Johannesburg-based Mary Sibande creates hyperrealistic figurative sculptures, photographs, and virtual reality installations that address inequities of race, gender, politics, and economics in postcolonial South Africa. Her cast of characters, modeled on the artist herself, engage in narratives that range from the subversive to the supernatural. They are shown in theatrical tableaux, reflecting the artist’s interest in fashion and textiles. In these costume dramas, Sibande echoes the history of powerful women who resist stereotyping as domestic employees or victims of imperialism, in South Africa and around the world.

Sibande’s work has been exhibited in the South African pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2010), the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town (2010), The British Museum (2016), and The MET Breuer, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018). She has received the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art Award (2017) as well as prestigious fellowships.

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