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Born in 1963 in Cape Town

Born in Cape Town 1963, Mandla trained at C.A.P.; the Community Arts Project from 1986 -1989, as did many of the artists on this exhibition. In the successive years from 1991-1994 he had four solo exhibitions at the SAAA – the South African Association of Arts Gallery in Cape Town. In 1992 Mandla was sponsored by the Foundation of Creative Arts and the SAAA head office for a five month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His work is to be found at IZIKO – The South African National Gallery, the South African Embassy in Washington DC, and the collection of Stellenbosch University, the Metropolitan Life Collection, SASOL, B.O.E. (Board of Executors), Hollard Insurance and Spier as well as in private collections around the world.

The Cape Gallery has maintained a presence of  Mandla Vanyaza gentle and insightful pastels, paintings and graphic works since 1987.  As well as being on show in the gallery he has participated from time to time in group exhibitions.

His involvement with art was first on a part-time basis when he attended evening classes at the Community Arts Project in Woodstock. Life drawing, sculpture and painting were the three main areas of his studies. It was only in 1990 that Mandla began working full time as an artist in Cape Town: since then he has participated in various group shows and had a small solo show at the Association of Arts (Western Cape)

Mandla’s early works were largely figurative,  his love of colour and graphic capacity translating into large scale pastel works of township life.

Mandla Vanyaza's oil paintings are usually painted in an impasto technique, which results in a richly textured surface. His personal preference for closely related chromatic ranges heightens the uniformity of the painted surface.

"I don't like sharp colours, I prefer to work with off-colours".
His enjoyment of colour is illuminated in his statement "….for me, sometimes painting is only about colour".

In scale Vanyaza's sculpture is usually small and intimate and he likes to create a group of small figures interacting with each other. They are ceramic sculptures painted with various glazes and fired.

The early 20th century French schools of painting have always been a great source of inspiration for Mandla, in particular the Fauves. Although not formally connected to the Fauves, Kees van Dongen's treatment of colour and the human figure continue to inspire Mandla. The acute draughtsmanship and particular observation of Honoré Daumier also serve as a constant invigorating force.

Mandla Vanyaza's study period at the Cité International des Arts in Paris brought him into direct contact with the French Artists who style he so much admires. He also had the opportunity to meet the aging Sekoto.


The Shape of Content, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Cities in motion, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Telling our story; group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Threshold, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Talking about Cape Town, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Siyakubona, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Social Synergy, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Participated in A Natural Selection: 1991-2011, Part 2 of the AVA, 40 year retrospective exhibitions Curated by Clare Butcher

Participated in a group show hosted by the Embassy of Spain, Bishopscourt, Cape Town

The Cape Gallery donated paintings purchased from the artist over fifteen years to be displayed and sold to the benefit of The Anglican Aids and Healthcare Trust at their headquarters in Braehead House  in Kenilworth. The exhibition ran concurrently with Cape 09. Mareike Wolf , a curator for The Hamburg Art Museum donated her services as curator of this exhibition. Mandla Vanyaza was one of the artists whose work was donated and shown.
Solo Exhibition Traverse/Travesty, AVA, Cape Town

Group exhibitions; Africa South at AVA, The framery Gallery.

Solo Exhibition In the kitchen, The Framery Art Gallery, Cape Town.
Group exhibition ‘Art and Business’, Artscape, Cape Town

Solo exhibition Sekoto – My Memory, AVA, Cape Town
‘Finding You’, a collaborative exhibit
‘Exhibition 4’, Old Mutual Asset Managers
Participated in the group exhibition “Encompass” at the Cape Gallery

2004 -2007  
Participated in ‘10 Years of Democracy’, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
participated in Thupelo workshops  and held a residency at Greatmore Studios, Cape Town

Studied Art and Design N6 at the Sivuyile College, Cape Town

Participated in a group exhibition ‘Art Kites Project’, IZIKO South Africa, Cape Town.

2000 – 2002
Taught art at Sivuyile College, Cape Town.

‘Paintings for the Millennium’, group exhibition in the Bay Hotel, Cape Town.

Solo exhibition at  Lipshitz Gallery, Cape Town.

Solo exhibition at AVA

Peace-ing South Africa together – Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
Exhibited in "Art for Peace" –Exhibition in Steyr, Austria

South African Artists, World Economic Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.
Exhibited with Zwelethu Mthehwa & Louis Jansen van Vuuren-A?
Exhibited in 'South African Artists' exhibition in Geneva.

Fourth solo exhibition at the SAAA: Recent Pastels
Exhibited in “Crosscurrents-a WINDOW TO South Africa" Exhibition in the Gillman Gallery Miami, Florida (Group Exhibition)

Third solo exhibition at the SAAA

Second solo exhibition at the SAAA
Mandla was sponsored by the Foundation for Creative Arts and by SAAA Head Office for a five month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He has also had works on group shows in Nice, Singapore –

Somervakakansie-Uitstalling, Kunshu from Africa and locally.
One of the judges at the Volkskas Atelier.

First solo exhibition at the SAAA
‘International painting and Graphic’ – Greece
Group exhibition at Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch.
Group Exhibition at Daljosafat Centre, Paarl.

Began working full time as an artist and taking part in group shows at the SAAA.


Studied, part time, at CAP (The Community Arts Project in Woodstock from 1986 – 1989.

Worked in the studio of ceramic artist Barbara Jackson

Qualified in carpentry after first doing an apprenticeship. Worked as a carpentry instructor. Attended part time classes at C.A.P. in Woodstock and participated in group exhibitions there.
Mandla Vanyaza Studied in Cape Town until Std. 8 completing his schooling in the Transkei  from 1979 -1980 when he matriculated at Bethel College, Butterworth.

His works are in the following collections:
IZIKO South African National Gallery
Embassy Washington DC
Stellenbosch University

Metropolitan Life Collection
Sasol Collection. Board of Executors, Hollard Insurance, Spier.
Mandla Vanyaza has artworks in private collections in South Africa and abroad.
Publications and catalogues

MANDLA VANYAZA - Burners in Waiting
view image larger
Title: Burners in Waiting
Size: 50 x 40 cm
Media: Oil
Price: R 5 000

Mandla Vanyaza will be supported and sponsored for a study period of five months at the Cité International des Arts in Paris. The SAA Head Office and the Foundation of Visual Arts made this possible. Mandla takes the human figure as his point of departure.
" People from all walks of life fascinate me". His artistic investigation focuses on the daily activities of people. Themes like 'Riding in a bus', Placing an Order' and 'Resting at Home' illustrate his preoccupation with ordinary human situations. For the people become the vehicle to express certain moods and sometimes comment on aspects of our society. Mandla Vanyaza's work is never lacking in his typical sense of humour. He says he moves away from the prevailing sadness to optimistic and positive statements about people. "Sometimes my work has a whimsical interjection, like a sort of dream that I want to come true".

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