Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (Zimbabwean, born 1993) Adam and Steve joined by the knee, a study

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Lot 22AR TP
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami
(Zimbabwean, born 1993)
Adam and Steve joined by the knee, a study

Sold for £ 81,500 (US$ 108,481) inc. premium
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (Zimbabwean, born 1993)
Adam and Steve joined by the knee, a study
signed, dated and inscribed in pencil verso 'HWAMI / 2016 / Adam and Steve joined by the knee'
oil on paper
151 x 200cm (59 7/16 x 78 3/4in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired directly from the artist;
    A private UK collection


    A prodigious talent, Hwami has already received more acclaim in her short career than many artists achieve in a lifetime. She was selected to represent Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale in 2019, aged only 26. Due to complete her masters in fine art at Oxford University's Ruskin School of Art this summer, she has already enjoyed successful solo exhibitions at the Tyburn Gallery and Gasworks in London. At the end of 2020, she was picked up by Victoria Miro, joining an impressive roster.

    When asked what precipitated her interest in art, Hwami credits her love of cartoons, Manga in particular. As a child, she was constantly sketching her favourite characters. The influence of these animations is evident in the dynamism of her compositions.

    Hwami's creative process is deliberate and thoughtful. It starts with a collage of images and photographs, around which she constructs a painted narrative. She says that this approach was partly influenced by the creative sharing of images on social media sites such as Tumblr:

    "I spent a lot of time on the internet as a pre-teen and, in that socially awkward stage of my life, I found it more comfortable to escape and exist in cyberspace. I started exploring sexuality and gender identity. I was obsessed with the idea of physically living in a different body. All my frustration and confusion was expressed through studying the queer body."

    This spirit of enquiry and exploration can be seen in this oil, Adam and Steve. Although monumental in size, the work retains a delicate intimacy. The figure on the left looks out at us with an ambiguous expression - challenging, defiant, or aloof? Meanwhile, the figure on his right is completely oblivious to his audience. He has eyes only for his companion.

    Hwami's work asks the viewer to consider weighty topics - identity, sexuality, desire. But her handling is witty and fresh, as is evidenced by the title. The creeping tendril trailing along the bottom of the painting reaches towards the figure on the left, as if reaching out for its object of desire.

    Later this year, Hwami will showcase her works at a group exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. No doubt just one of many exciting developments yet to come for this artist.

    Bibliography:
    Amah-Rose Abrams, 'Kudzanai-Violet Hwami's modern pop portraits frame gender, sexuality and race', Wallpaper, accessed 12/02/21.
Contacts
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (Zimbabwean, born 1993) Adam and Steve joined by the knee, a study
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