Nicholas Hlobo

Ingubo Yesizwe

4 June - 1 August 2009

Michael Stevenson is pleased to present the large-scale sculpture Ingubo Yesizwe by this year's Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art, Nicholas Hlobo.

The sculpture was the centrepiece of Hlobo's exhibition at Tate Modern, London, which ran from December 2008 to March 2009 in the Level 2 Gallery. Made of leather off-cuts, rubber, ribbons and gauze, with an underlying steel structure, the work resembles a great, slouching creature, measuring 30 metres from its head to the tip of its long tail.

The title of the work, Ingubo Yesizwe, translates as 'clothes or blanket of the nation', referring to the Xhosa ritual whereby cowhide is used to cover a corpse before burial to protect the deceased as they enter the afterlife. The Tate Modern exhibition curator, Kerryn Greenberg, wrote: 'Ingubo Yesizwe implies protection, integration, and the potential for transformation, both of the materials Hlobo uses and the country he lives in.'

For more information on Hlobo's Tate Modern exhibition, see

Hlobo's Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition premieres at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2-11 July), followed by the National Schools Festival (12-18 July) and a national tour to major museums.

In addition to the Tate Modern show, Hlobo had a solo exhibition as part of the Momentum series at the ICA in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2008. Recent group exhibitions include Beauty and Pleasure in South African Contemporary Art at the Stenersen Museum, Oslo (2009); Gender, (Trans) Gender and (De) Gendered at the Havana Biennale, Cuba (2009); Mythologies at Haunch of Venison, London (2009); the third Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); and Flow at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2008).

Hlobo's exhibition at Michael Stevenson runs concurrently with Deborah Poynton: Everything Matters and the first FOREX project, This is My Africa by Zina Saro-Wiwa.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 4 June, 6-8pm. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.