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, typically women of color, engage in narratives that range from the subversive to the supernatural. They are shown in theatrical tableaux, reflecting the artist’s background in fashion design. In these costume dramas, Sibande often represents herself as an actor or otherwise 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 Museum of Contemporary Art, Rio de Janeiro (2011); the Lyon Biennale (2013); The British Museum (2016); and The MET Breuer, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018). She has received the Smithsonian National Museum of Art Award (2017) and other honors, including an Ampersand Foundation Fellowship and a Kidder Residency in the Arts at the University of Michigan.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum


Funded in part by the Gordon CAP Gallery Fund

With additional support from

Clay Blevins 
John and Melinda Buntin
Susan H. Edwards
Jennifer and Billy Frist
Frank and Gwen Gordon Julie and Bob Gordon
Gail Gordon Jacobs
Louise and Neil Kohler
Neil Krugman and Lee Pratt
Kent Rollins and Belinda Butler

(List current as of April 15, 2021)


Supported in part by



Exhibition gallery

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