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Biography of Malangatana NGWENYA

Mozambique > Arts : Malangatana NGWENYA

Malangatana NGWENYA
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Born on 06/06/1936 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Malangatana Valente Ngwenya born June 6, 1936 - died January 5, 2011, was a Mozambican painter and poet and one of Africa's greatest contemporary artists. He died in The Pedro Hispano Hospital in Matosinhos, Portugal,

Ngwenya left school at 11 when Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, and first worked as a shepherd and a tennis club ball-boy before taking up night classes and developing an interest in art.

Ngwenya took up painting and held his first solo exhibit in 1959. His work drew on Mozambican history, including the colonial period, the fight for nationhood and the civil war that broke out after the country's 1975 independence, and often portrayed human suffering and heroism.

He supported Mozambique's independence struggle and was jailed for 18 months by the colonial authorities.

Dias describes the renowned artist as "the father of Mozambican art", influencing practically every local artist who came after him with his "ethnic impressionism".

His work was exhibited in various foreign countries, including at the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.


Last update : 01/10/2011

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