Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to announce a solo booth of works by Gareth Nyandoro at Armory Presents, Pier 94.
Gareth Nyandoro is known for his large works on paper, which often spill out of their two-dimensional frame and into installations including paper scraps and objects found in the markets of Harare, where he is based. The main source of inspiration for Nyandoro’s work is the local markets of Harare, with their buzzing stalls, loud hawkers, frenzied buyers and enticing displays of goods. A keen observer of human behaviour, Nyandoro admires the everyday artistry involved in the displays, where colour, shape, desirability and price all contribute to the competition for the most attractive - and best-selling - stall. His interest in objects and commerce translates into the manifest materiality of his work, but also into its iconography, as he closes in on details from the marketplace: a single shoe here, a hanging shirt there, a batch of designer sunglasses, a lollipop. Nyandoro prepares the various elements of his compositions separately, before assembling them on large sheets of canvas. The result is a collaged aesthetic, suggesting the makeshift appearance of the market. The work is at times abstract, with discarnate human figures barely visible, submerged by grids of inky scratches and checkered patterns: a reflection on the ephemeral, transitional nature of the marketplace and its main actors, rendered through portrayals of everyday experience.
The artist's unique technique was inspired by his training as a printmaker: upon preparing an etching, Nyandoro realised he was equally as interested in the engraved copper plate as he was in the print. He thus developed a distinctive working method, derived from etching: using sharp blades, he cut-draws into large pieces of paper and sponges ink onto the surface before removing the top layer of paper with tape. Only ink that is trapped within the deep paper cuts remains visible, along with coils of scrap paper, which Nyandoro often collages onto the work or leaves sprinkled on the floor as indicators of his labour-intensive process. Nyandoro has named his technique 'Kucheka cheka', after the infinitive and present tense declinations of the Shona verb cheka, which means 'to cut'.
About Gareth Nyandoro
Gareth Nyandoro was born in 1982 in Bikita, Zimbabwe and currently lives and works in Harare. He studied Fine Art at the Harare Polytechnic College and the Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Nyandoro was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2014 – 2015) and represented Zimbabwe at the 56th Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions include Modern Art Oxford (2016) and National Gallery of Zimbabwe (2013). He won the 2016 Emerging Voices Award in Art from the Financial Times and Oppeinheimer Funds. Nyandoro is a 2017 artist-in-residence at SAM Art Projects, culminating in an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris in June 2017.