Tafadzwa Gwetai
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

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“The focal point of my art has always been people. People, how they react with their ever changing environment in urban and rural spaces. Our identity is constantly evolving and adopting to new and modern technological advances. My work embraces who we have become in relation to our surroundings. We are exposed to symbols, science and religions. Our identity is mutating and mankind is gradually assuming a new digitalised and urban identity. People are as much a part of urban spaces as much as the spaces are a part of them. The use of numbers and text in my work emphasizes the extent to which the fibre of our identity has been penetrated by technology and consumer culture that has resulted in the creation of diverse brands/symbols that have been devised to alter our core self.”

 

Title : Signs of the Times: Internet Way (2015) 
Dimension : 67 x 42 cm 
Media : Oil Paint on paper, printed material on canvas   

 

Tafadzwa Gwetai is a Zimbabwean visual artist, painter, sculptor and emerging curator who uses mediums such as oil paint, mixed medium and found objects. Gwetai has been actively involved in the arts since 2001. He has participated in various local as well as international exhibitions including, Between the Sheets Artists Books (Gallery East, Australia), and the exhibition, Colour Africa (Munich). He has also had four solo exhibitions to date, with the most recent being, “Con artist- The purpose of illusion” (2014) “Aesthetic Codes: When Science meets Art” (2012). He reintroduces and redefines mathematics with science and logic to create a new language. A language that challenges the very core of industry and its relevance to mankind. He views our existence as having been transformed into a virtual reality based paper work and documentation.  

 

Tafadzwa Gwetai explores the human condition and how mankind has redefined themselves and their basic existence. Existentialist philosophy such as that of Rene Descartes and Plato who challenged the existence of man and founded the concept of ‘I think therefore I am’. This influenced his line of thought to that of challenging the purpose and meaning of mankind’s existence.  

 

In May to November Tafadzwa Gwetai was Assistant curator to Raphael Chikukwa for the 56th Venice Biennale 2015. Pixels of  Ubuntu/ Unhu- Exploring The Social And Cultural Identities Of The 21st Century.

 

Tafadzwa Gwetai (left) as assistand curator to Raphael Chikukwa (right), Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and Curator of the Zimbabwean Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015.

 

AWARDS  

2011 1st Place- European Union  (National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare)  

2010 1st Place- Stanbic Bank Meeting Point (Competition & Exhibition), (National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe Harare)  

2010 3rd Place- FACET Zimbabwe Now (Competition and Exhibition of Paintings, graphics and multi-media sculpture by Federal Republic of Germany- Gallery Delta)  

2010 Award of Merit- Summer Exhibition (Gallery Delta)  

2008 2nd Place (graphics) – Post Election Selection: The Event and Lessons Learned Paintings and Graphics exhibition sponsored by The Swiss Embassy, Gallery Delta  

2007 Award of Special Mention- Peace through Unity in Diversity art competition sponsored by European Union, Gallery Delta;  

2006 Awarded the University Book Prize (Chinhoyi University of Technology)

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS  

2016 The People Watchers (The Africa Centre,) London 

2014 Con artist. The purpose of illusion. (National Art Gallery, Bulawayo) 

2013 Counting People. (Art eye Gallery) Sandton. Johannesburg 

2012 Aesthetic Codes: When Science Meets Art (National Art Gallery, Bulawayo) 

2010 The Incredible Discovery of Professor T. Gwetai (National Art Gallery, Bulawayo) 

2007 Laying Down of Thoughts (Gallery Delta); 

2001 Blind Rise (the National Art Gallery, Bulawayo)

 

CURATED EXHIBITIONS

2016 Profile Pic - Alter Ego. An exploration of human identity in relation to technology. (National Gallery in Bulawayo) 

2016 Network Connected- The Science and Art of Social Connection. (National Gallery in Bulawayo) 

2015 Assistant curator Pixels of Ubuntu/ Unhu. Exploring the social and cultural identities of the 21st century.    Venice 2012 Bulawayo Avant-Garde.A group exhibition by Visual Artist Association of Bulawayo. (National Art Gallery, Bulawayo) 

2011 Turning point: transformation unlocked (Empire Gallery, Bulawayo) 

2011 Spirit Level, setting the Balance (Empire Gallery, Bulawayo 

2009 EXPOSURE. A photography Exhibition by Oria Dale and Gabrielle Elkaim National Arts Gallery in Bulawayo 

2009 Women Speak. An exhibition designed to show case the vibrant work of women artists- National Art Gallery, Bulawayo 

2009 Piece for your Hut: Peace for your Heart. A painting exhibition by Aubrey Bango. National Art Gallery, Bulawayo 

2009 Legalise Art: an exhibition designed to give a platform for experimental art 

2009 LegaliseArt2: Made In Bulawayo. An exhibition designed to give a platform for experimental art. 

2009 The time has come- A painting exhibition by Nompilo Nkomo, National Gallery, Bulawayo 

2008 The Young Artist’s Exhibition of Recent Works (Gallery Delta, Harare) 

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 

‘Bridges’, V54 

Hong Kong, 15/03/2018 – 20/04/2018

Interest in African contemporary art has exploded in recent years, with endeavours like the 1-54 African Contemporary Art Fair offering a platform to present art from the continent to audiences in London and New York, while promoting the development of the African art market on the continent. With this in mind, V54—an organisation established by local charity Po Leung Kuk to promote youth arts and cultural development—presents Bridges, a group exhibition of contemporary African art curated by artist-in-resident Lee Garakara. The exhibition will present paintings and screenprints by three emerging artists: Tafadzwa Gwetai, Franklyn Dzingai and Anthony Bumhira.

 

 

The People Watchers 

The Africa Centre London, United Kingdom, 27/04/2016 - 7/05/2016  

A two man show featuring paintings and collages by Tafadzwa Gwetai and metal sculpture by John Hlatywayo, both from Zimbabwe.  

 

About This exhibition combines a set of rarely exhibited metal figures made in the 1990s by John Hlatywayo toward the endof his long artistic career and recent paintings and collages by Tafadzwa Gwetai, mostly completed during his participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale. The theme of the show is clearly manifested in the works, which complement each other excellently. 

 

 

line & form  

Opened by His Excellency Mr. Niculin Jäger, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland on Tuesday 18th September, 2018 at 5.30 p.m.

 

An exhibition of drawings, graphics & found object sculptures with works by Arthur Azevedo, Simon Back, Franklyn Dzingai, Takudzwa Guzha, Tafadzwa Gwetai, Admire Kamudzengerere, Helen Lieros, Silas Manyaya, Gina Maxim, Munyaradzi Mazarire, Sue McCormick, Luis Meque, Clive Mukucha, Tendai Mupita, Victor Nyakauru, Grace Nyahangare, Tawanda Takura, Evans Tinashe and Marjorie Wallace. Sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland.