Mary Sibande was born in Barbeton, South Africa. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sibande obtained an Honours degree from the University of Johannesburg in 2007 following a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Witwatersrand Technical College in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2004. Notable awards include the 2017 Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts Award; the University of Johannesburg Alumni Dignitas Award in 2014 and the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts. Sibande is also the recipient of several residencies, fellowships and tenures, including the 2018-2019 Virginia C. Gildersleeve Professorship at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York, USA; the MAC/VAL Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne in Paris, France and the STAMPS School of Art & Design Fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA in 2013; the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) in Washington, D.C, USA in 2011; the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in New York, USA in 2009 and the Cite des Arts International Residency in Paris, France in 2006.Read More
Sibande's work was recently included in Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present at Moody Centre for the Arts – Rice University in Houston, USA in 2020. In 2019 Sibande presented her first UK solo exhibition of new works, titled I came apart at the seams, at Somerset House in London, UK. The exhibition opened in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. Sibande's works were included in the 14th Curitiba Biennale in Curitiba, Brazil; The Ampersand Foundation Award 21 Years Celebration Exhibition curated by Gordon Froud at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), as well as the N'GOLA Festival of Arts, Creation, Environment and Utopias in Sao Tome and Principe in Central Africa; the group exhibition Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity at the Boston Museum of Fine Art; as well as in the 2019 Havana Biennale in Havana, Cuba.
Since her first exhibition My Madam's Things at Gordart Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2006, Sibande has presented numerous solo presentations including: Jo'burg City, World Premiere Exhibition of Billboards – a city-wide exhibition on 19 buildings in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010; Mary Sibande and Sophie Ntombikayise Take Central Court at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, USA in 2012; Long Live the Dead Queen at the MAC/VAL Musée d'Art Contemporain di Val-de-Marne in Paris, France in 2013; The Purple Shall Govern, a travelling exhibition presented at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly known as Grahamstown) in 2013, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum in Port Elizabeth in 2013, the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 2014, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg in 2014 (all in South Africa) and the Musée Léon Dierx in Saint Denis, Reunion Island in 2014; Right Now! at Stellenbosch University's Art Museum in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2016, Crescendo of Ecstasy at TMRW Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2018 and a solo presentation at the Leroy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University in New York City, USA in 2019.
Sibande has exhibited her work extensively within group shows, and was included, most notably, in: Desire, Narratives in Contemporary South African Art at the 54th Venice Biennale, as part of the South African Pavilion in Venice, Italy in 2011; From Pierneef to Gugulective: 1910-2010 at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa in 2010; and L'exposition du Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres in Dakar, Senegal, also in 2010. Sibande's work forms part of prominent public and private collections including: the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C, USA; the Iziko South Africa National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa; the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas in Kansas, USA; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, USA; the MAC/VAL Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-deMarne in Paris, France; the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, USA; Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, USA and Fonds Régionaux d'art Contemporain in Marseille, France.
Text courtesy SMAC Gallery.