CAMAGU, the first international solo exhibition by Cape Town ceramicist Andile Dyalvane, opens at New York’s prestigious Friedman Benda Gallery on 23 June, with more than 20 unique pieces premiering at this monumental two-month-long show.
Andile, the most recent winner of South Africa’s Southern Guild Design Foundation Icon Award, was first introduced to the renowned American design gallery in 2014, through Trevyn and Julian McGowan of Southern Guild, the collectible design gallery that has represented him since it was founded in 2008.
Friedman Benda, which represents only the top global names in design – from Marcel Wanders to Wendell Castle and the Campana Brothers – has now included Andile’s name on its exclusive list of 15 artists, having already shown several previous pieces of his work at Design Miami last year.
‘Andile’s is a completely unique voice in the global design world,’ says Trevyn McGowan. ‘The extraordinary techniques he has developed, both at home and through residencies in Denmark, France, California and Taipei, and his ability to work in such an oversized scale, something extremely rare in ceramics, offers an exceptional complexity seldom witnessed in this medium, while still forming a narrative that remains true to his African identity.’
New pieces for the show include ceramic screens, lighting, shelving and overscaled vessels, with surface designs that continue to reference the African scarification with
which Andile’s work has become synonymous. Camagu, a Xhosa term referring to gratitude, which has become a much-used mantra for the humble designer, was an obvious choice for the exhibition title. ‘I’ve always wanted to do a solo show, creating works I’d only ever dreamed of producing, and this show is it,’ Andile explains. ‘It’s been my chance to realise designs that would otherwise have remained in my sketchbooks. So camagu references my gratitude.’
Says Trevyn: ‘Friedman Benda is undisputedly one of the most important galleries in the world and the recognition that this solo exhibition is affording Andile is remarkably significant for him as an artist, and for the South African design industry as a whole.’
Andile is the co-founder of Cape Town-based ceramics company Imiso Ceramics and believes that through working with this medium he’s acknowledged his calling and found a way to practise it successfully. ‘When someone gives you a gift and sees you using it, it encourages them to give you more because they see you appreciate it. This is the gift I’ve been given, and I’m practising it, and so I’m receiving more. More ideas, more opportunities, more camagu.’
Camagu runs from 23 June to 19 August. Follow #camagu to see Andile Dyalvane’s progress for this solo show.
To see other work by Andile Dyalvane, visit Southern Guild Gallery 10 Lewin Street, Woodstock, Cape Town?Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday by appointment