Using materials like masking tape, ink, spray paint and more, Ellipses serves as a chronicle of the artist's life and continues his practice of documentation through abstract, figurative and text-based imagery. Langa's work since the mid-1990s has interrogated land and public and personal politics through the mapping of territory and cultural environments, on occasion using actual maps as a basis or 'word towers' charting the relationships, associations and intimacies with places and people that constitute his journeys in the world. .
About the exhibition, Langa says:
Ellipses is only an explanation. Something broke in the description and I am finishing it and I am just leaving it here for the moment and I will open another topic because I am talking about many different things and I will come back to it. This is what Ellipses means to me right now.
What am I doing when I make work - do I sit down and plan, do I want to make landscapes, do I want to make things with wool, do I want to make things with threads, do I want to make things with toys? No, because my interest is sparked by so many different things that it is very, very possible to have more than 10 things at once because they are prompted by different desires and different needs. It is like taking notes, and so sometimes a medium takes over. I might be working with ink, and so the work might look like it is sequential, and sometimes within that there is a break because I get distracted - maybe it was sunny and then it started raining, and then suddenly, I do not know, something else happened, but all of those things were made by the same hands at different homes and in different set-ups ...
At Frieze New York (5-8 May 2016), Stevenson will present selected works from Langa's oeuvre (booth D11). The presentation will span nearly two decades, including drawings ranging from 2003 to 2016.
In July, Langa will organise, with Joost Bosland, a group show entitled The Quiet Violence of Dreams, exploring K Sello Duiker's 2001 novel of the same title and its resonance with visual artists working then and now. The show will take place across Stevenson's Cape Town and Johannesburg galleries.