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b. 1985, France

Paul Maheke Biography

Born and raised in France, Paul Maheke is a London-based contemporary artist with a wide-ranging practice. Fast emerging on the international art scene, Maheke is becoming known for his collaborative, dance-oriented performative works and video installations that delve into identity politics (racial and sexual), alternative beliefs, and structural power.

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Paul Maheke was born to Congolese parents in Brive-la-Gaillarde. He studied at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris-Cergy, completing his master's in 2011. In 2015 he also completed a programme of study at Open School East in London. His performative career began with subtle anonymous public interventions, including leaving small monochromes in parking spots, altering a mirror in a men's public toilet, and installing reflective shapes outdoors to catch the sun.

Upon moving to London, deeper social concerns entrenched themselves in Paul Maheke's artwork: queer anxiety, post-colonial structures of power and representation, strategies of resistance, and the complex cultural identities of diaspora communities. For his early video installation Mutual Survival, Lorde's Manifesto (2015), the artist filmed women of the Tropical Isles Carnival Dance Troupe rehearsing in Hackney, presenting dance as a mode of communal self-defense.

Dance has become a principal medium of the artist's work, whether performed or only choreographed by him. His performative oeuvre explores the function of the body as an archive of memory and identity, and as a space of resilience. Through movement and dance, culture is conveyed or challenged. Maheke often accompanies the movement of the body with word fragments of post-colonial and feminist theory, projected, printed, and spoken.

Collaboration is also a frequent feature of Paul Maheke's performances. In 2019 Maheke collaborated with Belgian-Congolese DJ and sound artist Nkisi on Sènsa: a commissioned performance for the Performa 19 Biennial that drew upon African Bantu-Kongo cosmologies. Together the two artists of Congolese heritage examined tropes of black identity and post-colonial power dynamics.

Active on the international art scene, Paul Maheke has already been featured in major art events, including the Performa 19 Biennial, New York; the 58th Venice Biennale; and Manifesta 12, Palermo. His work also features in public collections such as the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; the Arts Council Collection, England; and Neues Museum Nürnberg, Germany.

Paul Maheke Solo Exhibitions include:

Levant, Ludlow 38, New York (2019); A fire circle for a public hearing, Vleeshal Middelburg, Netherlands (2019); What Flows Through and Across, Assembly Point, London (2017); I Lost Track of the Swarm, South London Gallery (2016).

Paul Maheke Group Exhibitions include:

La pleine lune dort la nuit, Musée d'art contemporain de la Haute-Vienne, Rochechouart, France (2020); Transcorporealities, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2019); Get Up, Stand Up, Somerset House, London (2019); Coming Out, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2017); Elements of Vogue, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2017); VIVA! art action, Centre CLARK, Montreal (2013); Papier Français, The Poetry Art Club, New York (2012).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020

Paul Maheke, Vanille Bleue III (2021). Digital drawing printed on paper. 150 x 118 cm. Courtesy Goodman Gallery.

Paul Maheke Featured Artworks

NO by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeNO, 2021Digital drawing printed on paper
165 x 180 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Vanille Bleue I by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeVanille Bleue I, 2021Digital drawing printed on paper
164 x 200 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Vanille Bleue II by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeVanille Bleue II, 2021Digital drawing printed on paper
253 x 200 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Vanille Bleue III by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeVanille Bleue III, 2021Digital drawing printed on paper
150 x 118 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Vanille Bleue IV by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeVanille Bleue IV, 2021Digital drawing printed on paper
250 x 223 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
The River asked for a Kiss and In The Watery Core of those Stories by Paul Maheke contemporary artwork
Paul MahekeThe River asked for a Kiss and In The Watery Core of those Stories, 2017Digitally printed curtains and fish tanks containing various aquatic non-indigenous species of plants
145 x 410 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery

Paul Maheke Current & Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Maheke, Vanille Bleue at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
Open Now
15 April–26 May 2021 Paul Maheke Vanille Bleue Goodman GalleryJohannesburg
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Soft Architectures at Goodman Gallery, Cape Town
Closed
28 November 2019–16 January 2020 Group Exhibition Soft Architectures Goodman GalleryCape Town

Paul Maheke Represented By

Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Cape Town, London

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