Malangatana: Mozambique Modern

Sponsor Tour and Luncheon – Postponed

Tour & Luncheon

Please join us for the Society for Contemporary Art’s annual Sponsor Tour, which recognizes the special commitment and generosity of Sponsor, Patron, and Benefactor members and provides an opportunity for our board to thank you for your extraordinary support during the past season.


This year, Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art; Constantine Petridis, chair of the arts of Africa and the Americas and curator of African art; and Felicia Mings, academic curator, lead a tour of the exhibition Malangatana: Mozambique Modern. Artist, poet, and revered national hero Malangatana Ngwenya (1936–2011) was a pioneer of modern art in Africa. Born in Mozambique, Malangatana depicted vivid allegorical scenes that take inspiration from local religious practices and are influenced by his own cultural background and life under colonial rule. This exhibition presents a selection of the artist’s early paintings and drawings, made between 1959 and 1975. In this period Malangatana embarked on bold formal experiments that coalesced into a signature style characterized by dense compositions of human, animal, and monstrous figures. Malangatana’s early career coincides with Mozambique’s liberation struggle, in particular the armed resistance against the Portuguese in 1964 spearheaded by the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO). A Portuguese colony until 1975, Mozambique was among the last countries on the African continent to gain independence. Malangatana’s paintings and drawings exemplify the confluence of artistic innovation and political liberation that has shaped the history of modern art in Africa during the second half of the 20th century.


Sponsored by Christie’s

Malangatana Ngwenya. The Fountain of Blood (Fonte de sangue), 1961. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., 2012.67.