Neo Matloga 'my hero is always next to me'

4 September - 3 October 2021
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Opening: Saturday 4 September, 15:00-19:00
Open: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-17 hrs

Stroom Den Haag kicks off the new cultural season with the solo exhibition my hero is always next to me by Neo Matloga. The South African artist is known for his monochromatic collages in which he presents diverse and vivid images that are at the same time loaded with intimacy and politics.

The exhibition of Neo Matloga is the first in a series of presentations that the Hartwig Art Collection | Production Fund realizes at five Dutch art institutes. After Neo Matloga, Stroom presents Kevin Osepa (16 October - 5 December 2021) and Anna Dasovic (in 2022).

Political, personal and universal - this is how Neo Matloga's work can be characterized. Matloga was born in South Africa a year before the official end of apartheid (1994). In his collages he reworks images of his world, sometimes opting for intimate, joyful everyday moments between individuals, and sometimes for public, iconic and generally known imagery. Stories of love and belonging can exist in stark contrast to the ever-persistent reality of a society characterised by colonialism and racism. A tension that can always be felt in his work.
 
Matloga's search for new imaginations is a combination of choreography, composition, and creative intuition. The visual material from media, magazines, photo albums and soap operas is distorted and painted over with ink, paint and liquid chalk. By cutting, tearing and building up different layers and stories, new connections are always created between past, present and future
 
In this exhibition, Matloga chooses a new approach that differs somewhat from the large monochrome works on canvas which many know. The work that is bought by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Dutch State, is the result of a for Matloga new experimental practice of collage on canvas. With the selection of smaller works — consisting solely of portraits — he shifts the scale, inviting the public to make active viewing also a personal and intimate experience.

Neo Matloga (1993, lives and works in Mamaila, South Africa and in Amsterdam) studied at the University of Johannesburg and at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work was on view at a.o. Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (2019); Tell Freedom, 15 South African artists, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort (2018); South African Constitutional Court, Johannesburg (2016); Time Line, The Bag Factory, Johannesburg (2015); South African and Chinese exchange, Workers Museum, Johannesburg (2015). Matloga is the recipient of various awards including the Royal Award for Modern Painting in 2018 and was nominated for the Volkskrant Visual Arts Prize in 2019. Recently Matloga was the winner of the ABN AMRO Art Prize and later this year he will have an exhibition in the Hermitage Amsterdam.
www.neomatloga.com

Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund
The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund was established in 2020 and is part of the Hartwig Art Foundation.
The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund stimulates experimentation and creativity at the highest level. Every year the fund supports a group of artists in the creation of new and ambitious work. The artworks are eventually bought by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Dutch State (Collectie Nederland). In this way, the fund makes a lasting social contribution.
For the Special Project 2020-2021 collaborations have been established with presentation institutions in the Netherlands. Besides Stroom Den Haag (The Hague) presentations by a total of 15 artists can be seen at Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam), Vleeshal (Middelburg) and Casco Art Institute (Utrecht).
www.hartwigartfoundation.nl


The exhibition by Neo Matloga is made possible by the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund, Mondriaan Fund, Stevenson, BankGiro Loterij Fonds and the City of The Hague.

Installation view Neo Matloga, 'my hero is always next to me' (2021), Stroom Den Haag
photo: Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation
Installation view Neo Matloga, 'my hero is always next to me' (2021), Stroom Den Haag
photo: Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation
Installation view Neo Matloga, 'my hero is always next to me' (2021), Stroom Den Haag
photo: Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation
Windows: Neo Matloga, 'my hero is always next to me' (2021), Stroom Den Haag
photo: Franz Mueller Schmidt. All rights reserved by Hartwig Art Foundation
Neo Matloga, 'Patricia', Ink on collage on paper, 2021
photo: courtesy Stevenson Amsterdam and the artist
Banner Hartwig Art Foundation
photo: design: Lydienne Albertoe
Poster Hartwig Art Foundation
photo: design: Lydienne Albertoe