• Nonzuzo Gxekwa X Pierre le Riche

    The Mask Project
  • "In African cultures masks are never decorative playthings, they connect one to the spirit world. A mask is a sacred medium between this world and the next. The appropriation of African masks by Western artists – Picasso is a famous case in point – resulted in a deactivation of their deeper value. African masks were never solely an innovative resource for art, but protective conduits between the known and the unknown."

     

    - Ashraf Jamal

  • Read the full exhibition text Ancient Reckoning by Ashraf Jamal here.

    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 04, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED IV (MASK IN BLUES), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 04, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED IV (MASK IN BLUES), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 06, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED VI (MASK IN YELLOW, BLUE AND GREEN), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 06, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED VI (MASK IN YELLOW, BLUE AND GREEN), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
  • ‘The Mask Project’ is a collaboration between THK Gallery artists Nonzuzo Gxekwa and Pierre le Riche, created during the lockdown for COVID-19 in South Africa. During one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the artists wanted to show the resilience and creativity of the arts in Africa. 

     

    “Creativity and beauty are like medicine for the soul in uncertain times,” says artist Nonzuzo Gxekwa who is based in Johannesburg. For ‘The Mask Project’ she joined hands with artist Pierre Le Riche, who resides and works in Cape Town. The pair worked together remotely to create a body of work incorporating elements from Africa’s rich use of textiles and fabrics.

     

    Le Riche, who works predominantly with fabrics and textiles, created six textile masks that were then incorporated by Gxekwa in her photographs.

     

    There are six masks, each in a bespoke perspex display case. Each mask has an accompanying photograph in an edition of 8 with two artist’s proofs.

    The first edition of each photograph is sold together with the accompanying mask, with the remaining editioned photographs sold individually.  

    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 08, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED V (MASK IN RED WITH TASSLES), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 08, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED V (MASK IN RED WITH TASSLES), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 02, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED II (PRIDE MASK IN FUSCHIA), 2020 Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 02, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED II (PRIDE MASK IN FUSCHIA), 2020
      Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric
  • “I initially started making face masks for friends and family when South Africans were first introduced and then required to wear them in public, and there was still a shortage of them in the country. As I fabricated countless masks and trying to capture the personality of the intended wearer with my choice of fabrics and trims, the reality of a masked society started dawning on me. I couldn't help but fantasize about how these objects would integrate into our daily lives—pictured them becoming an extension of fashion and flesh. The elaborateness of the masks transforms them into objects which blurs lines between objects of functionality, art, craft and fashion. Inevitably, these masks become props for a masquerade which can hopefully distract from the spectacle of a world riddled with a pandemic.”

     

    - Pierre le Riche

    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 03, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 03, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
       
    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 05, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED V (MASK IN RED WITH TASSELS), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 05, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED V (MASK IN RED WITH TASSELS), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
       
  • “The Mask project was a way of capturing and making sense of the strange time that we are living. But instead of feeling lost and anxious about this period, we decided to use our art as an outlet for the anxiety around us. With Pierre we drew inspiration from African heritage where masks are a form of communication and part of costumes used in special events and rituals. Masks act as a form of protection as well as a way to hide certain elements. They offer communication with our ancestors and with each other.”

     

    - Nonzuzo Gxekwa

    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 01, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED I (PRIDE MASK IN RAINBOW COLOURS), 2020 Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 01, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP

      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED I (PRIDE MASK IN RAINBOW COLOURS), 2020
      Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric
    • NONZUZO GXEKWA UNTITLED 07, 2020 100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric UNTITLED VI (MASK IN YELLOW, BLUE AND GREEN), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
      NONZUZO GXEKWA
      UNTITLED 07, 2020
      100 x 68 cm | Edition of 8 plus 2 AP
       
      PIERRE LE RICHE
      UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
       
      UNTITLED VI (MASK IN YELLOW, BLUE AND GREEN), 2020
      Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric
  • “Now masks have become part of our everyday costume as there is a great responsibility among each and every one of us to protect each other from the virus. The beautiful artistic creations that we have made inspires the wearer to wear the mask without feeling the eminent threats of our present times. The nakedness of the models represents our vulnerability as this pandemic has stripped us of everything that we know—of life as we know it. The pandemic has affected everyone, rich, poor, black and white. It is asking that we take a deeper look at ourselves and the world we live in.”

     

    - Nonzuzo Gxekwa

  • There are six masks, each in a bespoke perspex display case. Each mask has an accompanying photograph in an edition...

     

     PIERRE LE RICHE

    UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020
    Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric

    There are six masks, each in a bespoke perspex display case.

     

    Each mask has an accompanying photograph in an edition of 8 with two artist’s proofs. The first edition of each photograph is sold together with the accompanying mask, with the remaining editioned photographs sold individually. 

  • PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case....

    PIERRE LE RICHE 

    UNTITLED III (MASK IN PINKS), 2020 

    Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.

     

    UNTITLED V (MASK IN RED WITH TASSELS), 2020

    Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.

     

    UNTITLED VI (MASK IN YELLOW, BLUE AND GREEN), 2020

    Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.

     

  • PIERRE LE RICHE UNTITLED IV (MASK IN BLUES), 2020 Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case....

    PIERRE LE RICHE

    UNTITLED IV (MASK IN BLUES), 2020
    Belgian linen, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.
     
    UNTITLED I (PRIDE MASK IN RAINBOW COLOURS), 2020
    Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.
     
    UNTITLED II (PRIDE MASK IN FUSCHIA), 2020
    Belgian linen, tapestry canvas, acrylic yarn, found fabric in bespoke perspex display case.
     

     

  • Ocula Magazine | The Mask Project

    Ocula Magazine | The Mask Project

    A feature on the colloborative project between THK artists Pierre le Riche and Nonzuzo Gxekwa, titled The Mask Project.

     

    Read the full article here.

  • KUNSTFORUM International | COVID-19 'The Mask Project' | Pierre le Riche X Nonzuzo Gxekwa

    KUNSTFORUM International | COVID-19 "The Mask Project" | Pierre le Riche X Nonzuzo Gxekwa

    August 6, 2020 Feature on Kunstforum International regarding The Mask Project, a collaboration between THK Gallery artists Pierre le Riche and Nonzuzo Gxekwa. Read the full piece here .
  • Ocula Magazine | African Connections: Artists to Watch at 1-54 and Frieze Masters

    Ocula Magazine | African Connections: Artists to Watch at 1-54 and Frieze Masters

    October 8, 2020 Article including mention of Nonzuzo Gxekwa, and THK Gallery's participation at 1-54 London. Read the full piece here .
  • Latitudes | The Mask Project | Nonzuzo Gxekwa x Pierre Le Riche

    Latitudes | The Mask Project | Nonzuzo Gxekwa x Pierre Le Riche

    July 20, 2020 An article on The Mask Project collaboration between THK Gallery artists Nonzuzo Gxekwa and Pierre le Riche. Read the full piece here .
  • About Nonzuzo Gxekwa

    About Nonzuzo Gxekwa

    Nonzuzo Gxekwa (b. 1981) is a Johannesburg based photographer. Her approach to photography favours the everyday over the spectacular; sharing interesting and intimate moments through focusing the camera on what is around her as well as herself. Whether it is through street photography or the studio, her work explores the human condition in subtle and beautiful ways.

     

    DOWNLOAD FULL BIO & CV >

  • About Pierre le Riche About Pierre le Riche About Pierre le Riche About Pierre le Riche

    About Pierre le Riche

    Pierre le Riche (b.1986, Port Elizabeth) is a conceptual artist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. He primarily works in sculpture and installation, and does not specialise in any particular medium or art-making skill. He has gained recognition for his dynamic use of string and textile work.

     

    He has participated in many projects and exhibitions in South Africa and abroad.

     

    DOWNLOAD FULL BIO & CV >