Eloquent-and-Elegant-Billie-Zangewa
Left​ : ​ “An Angel at My Bedside”,​ (2020) hand-stitched silk collage 31.89 x 46.06 in. / Center:​ ​“Self-Care Sunday”​ (2020)
hand-stitched silk collage 47.64 x 24.41 in. / ​Right​: Detail of ​​“Self-Care Sunday”​ (2020)

Elegant and Eloquent?​ Enter Billie Zangewa

Lehman Maupin presents:
“Wings of Change”
Through November 7, 2020

There’s something comforting in the remarkable collages of Johannesburg-based artist Billie Zangewa. Hand-stitched and composed entirely of silk, these seven intricate narratives invite intimacy not only for their subject matter but for their command of craft. Evidence of the human hand is everywhere.

“Wings of Change” ​ is Billie’s first exhibition with Lehman Maupin and her first in New York. The show reflects her time working in isolation during the pandemic.

“Zangewa creates figurative compositions that explore contemporary intersectional identity in an attempt to challenge the historical stereotype, objectification, and exploitation of the black female form. “Wings of Change” will feature new work that examines Zangewa’s personal experiences during the recent months of global lockdown, especially those of love, loss, and emotional transformation.”

– Statement, Lehman Maupin

Heart of the Home Lehman Maupin textile artist fabric artist Chelsea gallery contemporary art Women artists exhibition New York Art world South African artist black lives matter gallery crawl
“Heart of the Home” ​ (2020) Hand-stitched silk collage 53.5 x 43.25 in.
Zangewa illustrates domestic scenes, day-to-day activities and portraits. She is a master at composition. Consider “Heart of the Home” (2020​), ​where the artist portrays her son at the kitchen table. Colored pencils and an ipad lie nearby. The piece is fastidious in its depiction of kitchen backsplash, oven burners and cabinets. The contrasts of black chairs in the foreground invites the viewer in and the dynamic sandwiching of light and dark keeps the eye in play.​ “Heart of the Home” (2020​) ​is asymmetrical as the picture plane is interrupted.
Heart of the Home Lehman Maupin textile artist fabric artist Chelsea gallery contemporary art Women artists exhibition New York Art world South African artist black lives matter gallery crawl

The use of fabric imbues texture while its sheen reflects light. Her particular strength lies in describing facets of physiognomy as she cuts individual pieces of silk to describe her son’s facade. Weightless, ​“Heart of the Home” (2020​) adheres to the gallery wall via pins.

In ​“An Angel at My Bedside” (2020) a figure resembling the artist sleeps. A bedframe, adjacent to a lamp, quietly recedes. The truncated picture plane engages the surrounding wall space while the viewer’s eye hopscotches over red and white patterns. Billie started out in the fashion and advertising industries and brought her understanding of textiles to collage. Main themes centered on femininity, daily life, the mundane, cityscapes and life as an African.
Installation View of “Interview with Billie Zangewa/ “Alpha Crucis - Contemporary African Art”

“The act of stitching…is incredibly powerful in a way that’s not obvious and the first time I came away into this awareness was when I was a little girl; my mother’s sewing group would come to my house and would sew there and I saw how these women went into such a peaceful quiet place after sewing…”

Billie Zangewa is an exciting addition to the stable of artists at Lehman Maupin. Not to miss, the show runs through November 7th.
Faithfully Lehman Maupin textile artist fabric artist Chelsea gallery contemporary art Women artists exhibition New York Art world South African artist black lives matter gallery crawl
​ “Faithfully”​ (2020) hand-stitched silk collage 8.66 x 51.18 in.