Basel/Hamburg, The Baloise Group has donated a group of drawings by Kemang Wa Lehulere to the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where they are currently being exhibited under the title A Conversation with a Homeless Piece of Grass. The South African artist is the winner of the 15th Baloise Art Prize, which was awarded to him by the Baloise Group last year at Art Basel.
This concludes the series of donations made to the Hamburger Kunsthalle. The intention of Baloise in terms of its donations has always been to work with various European museums. For the forthcoming Art Basel, Baloise has therefore decided to consider the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) in Frankfurt for the resulting donation.
Every year since 1999, the Baloise Group has awarded the Baloise Art Prize of CHF 30,000 each to two young artists chosen by an international jury. Baloise also acquires the artworks of the two winners and donates them to two prominent European museums. In 2014, the artist Kemang Wa Lehulere was chosen. His group of works will join the collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. The Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation in Vienna will receive a work by the German artist Jenni Tischer (b. 1979).
Kemang Wa Lehulere is one of the most important exponents of the younger generation of artists in South Africa. In his drawings, murals, videos, performances and installations, he deals with the contradictions of individual biography and collective history in South Africa. His interest focuses on the question of the archiving, uncovering, but at the same time also the suppressing and erasing of memory in text and images.
Since 2006, he has collaborated with the artists' collective Gugulective and the Center for Historical Reenactment in Johannesburg, of which he is a co-founder.
Entitled A Conversation with a Homeless Piece of Grass, Kemnag Wa Lehulere is exhibiting a group of drawings influenced by his own experiences in theatre and film. Drawn in ink or felt-tip pen, these works resemble storyboards or diaristic sketches. They look like individual scenes from a film or play and are - according to Kemang Wa Lehulere - like his performances, part of a whole production.
Kemang Wa Lehulere (b. 1984 in Cape Town, South Africa) lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied art at the University of the Witwatersrand. In April 2014, Kemang Wa Lehulere won the International Tiberius Art Award Dresden. His works have been shown at many exhibitions, including the 55th Venice Biennale (2013).