Billie Zangewa

The artist

Born in 1973 in Malawi, Billie Zangewa lives and works in Johannesburg. Using samples of vibrant silk, the artist hand sews sprightly embroideries who take inspiration from contemporary life scenes. Often the heroin of her figurative compositions, she mixes personal experience with the universal: the bustle of urban megalopolises as well as the actions of ordinary life come alive on the fabric. Everyday life thus becomes a pretext for political reflection on identity, and questions gender stereotypes and racial prejudice.



Birth Born in 1973 in Blantyre, Malawi
Residence She lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa
Education 1995 BFA Printmaking Major, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa


2024 ECHO. Enveloppé dans le souvenir, MoMu, Antwerp, Belgium
2023 A Quiet Fire : Billie Zangewa, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, England/ Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland (touring exhibition)
2022 Billie Zangewa, Harvey B. Grantt Center for African American Arts & Culture, Charlotte, NC, USA
Flesh and Blood, Lehmann Maupin, Seoul, South Corea
2021 Billie Zangewa: Domestic Life, Musée des Beaux-Arts Le Locle, Le Locle, Switzerland
Billie Zangewa: Thread for a Web Begun, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA, USA
2020 Soldier of Love, Galerie Templon, Paris, France
2018 Vision of Love, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL, USA
2017 Art Paris, Afronova Gallery, Grand Palais, Paris, France
Love and Happiness, Frieze Frame, Regent’s Park, London, UK

Voir plus

2010 Black Line, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2009 101 Tokyo International Contemporary Art Fair, Afronova Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2008 Stitch by stitch, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Fragments, Johann Levy Gallery, Paris, France
2007 Silk Tapestries, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Hot in the City, Gerard Sekoto Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

With a series Gestures, Alliance française, Gaborone, Botswana


2024 ECHO. Enveloppé dans le souvenir, MoMu, Antwerp, Belgium
2021 The Power of My Hands, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Paris, France
Portals, NEON Foundation, Athens, Greece
and I will wear you in my heart of heart, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY
Rituals of Resilience, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, USA
2020 Global(e) Resistance, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art, The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
Media Networks, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
2019 The Power of My Hands, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
I Am . . . Contemporary Women Artists of Africa, National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, USA
Mating Birds Vol.2, KZNSA – Kwa, Zulu Natal Society of Arts, Durban, South Africa
Presence, Spelman Museum, Atlanta, USA
2018 Soft Power, Transpalette – Centre d’art contemporain, Bourges, France
Making Africa: A Continent Of Contemporary Design, The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA
Second Life, Musée d'Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden – MACAAL, Marrakech, Morocco
Pulling at Threads, Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa
Ladies by Ladies, Space Art Absolute, Paris, France
2017 Lucy’s Iris, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno together with Casa África, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Essential Landscape, MACAAL, Marrakesh, Morocco
Making Africa, Atlanta Museum of High Art, Atlanta, USA
Half-Life of Love, MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA
Stedelijk BASE, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Et Dieu créa la femme, Maison Guerlain, Paris, France
Africa. Raccontare un mondo, CAP, Milan, Italy
Frans Masereel, Mu.Zee, Oostende, Belgium
Back to the Self, Marabouparken Konsthall, Sundbyberg, Sweden
Onder Ons, CIAP Hasselt, Belgium
2016 Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life, Spelman Museum, Atlanta, USA
African Contemporary Art Fair, Afronova Gallery, Somerset House, London, UK - Pioneer Works, New York, USA
Essentiel Paysage, MACAAL, Marrakech, Morocco
Women’s Work, Crafting Stories, Subverting Narratives, IZIKO South Africa National Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
Essentiel Paysage, Musée d'Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden – MACAAL, Marrakech, Morocco
Making Africa: A Continent Of Contemporary Design, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands - Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelone (CCCB), Barcelona, Spain
Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA, USA
A Constellation, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA
The Substance of Things Not Seen, JAG, South Africa

Voir plus

2015 Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Work of Six African Women Artists, WIELS, Brussels, Belgium - Lunds Konstall, Lund, Sweden – FRAC Lorraine, France
Africa: architecture, culture and identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
African Odysseys, Le Brass Cultural Centre, Forest, Belgium
Women’s Work, Iziko National Gallery of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhein, Germany – Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
2014 How Far How Near, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fiac Officielle, Magnin-A, Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, France
2013 My Joburg, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, Germany – La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
Hollandaise, Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal
Africa Africa, Abbaye Saint Andre, Centre d’Arts Contemporain, Meymac, France

Hollandaise, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Progress of Love, The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, USA

Celebrating 20 artists, MDIS, Johannesburg, South Africa
En toute innocence, subtilités du corps, IF Gallery, Paris, France
Marakesh Art Fair, Palace Es Saadi, Marrakesh, Morocco
Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France
Kaddou Diggen, Galerie Le Manège, Dakar, Senegal

Space, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Transformations, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Anima Animal, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France
Creativity Meets Science, Spier, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Re/Presentaciones: Ellas, Casa Africa, Las Palmas, Spain
Vibrant exposure, Amaridian Gallery, New York, USA

Afronism, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Social Fabric, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Nie Meer, De Warande Kunsthalle, Turnhout, Belgium
Dak’Art, African contemporary art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal

Black Fine Art Show, Galerie Intemporel, New York, USA

Brett Kebble Art Award exhibition, Cape Town Convention Centre, South Africa
Aardklop Festival, Absa top ten, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Absa l’Atelier Award exhibition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Playtime Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa

Group show, Spark Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Printwork, Rhodes University retrospective, Albany Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa

Artists in Botswana, National Gallery of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Untitled, Gallery Anne, Gaborone, Botswana


2017 Bus Expo, Art Paris in collaboration with Air France
2009 Bronx Museum. New York City, USA
2006 Air Antwerpen. Antwerp, Belgium
2005 Cite International Des Art. Paris, France
2006 Awarded Res'artis residency with Air Antwerpen at the Dak'art Dakar Biannale
2004 Absa L'Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award
1997 Artists in Botwana Award Printmaking

ABSA Bank, South Africa
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Fondation Blachère, Apt, France
Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, USA
ICA Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
J.P Morgan Chase Manhattan, USA

Voir plus

Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA
Reserve Bank of Botswana, Botswana
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), South Africa
Rhodes University Alumni, South Africa
RISD Museum Providence, Rhode Island
Sasol South Africa, South Africa
SMBA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, USA
Spelman Museum of Art, Atlanta Georgia, USA
Spier, Stellenbosch, South Africa
TATE, London, UK
The Norval Foundation Trust, Cape Town, South Africa


White Wall - mai 2022

Why Billie Zangewa Depicts Daily Feminism in Silk

Eliza Jordan

Harper's Bazaar - october 2020

Meet the textile artist weaving a new world

Le Monde - mai 2020

Culture Galeries : Billie Zangewa

Philippe Dagen

ArtReview - mai 2020

Billie Zangewa at Galerie Templon

Daisy Sainsbury

Living Space - juin 2020

Stitch by Stitch

Robyn Lane

Connaissance des Arts - avril 2020

Trois expos d'artistes dématéralisées

The Art Newspaper - avril 2020

Les transgressions formelles de Billie Zangewa

Anaël Pigeat

Artskop - mars 2020

Zangewa : un manifeste pour l'amour dans des temps incertains

M le Magazine du Monde - mars 2020

Avie recommandés : le fil de l'intime

Phaidon - 2019

Talking textiles with Billie Zangewa

Sunday Times - juillet 2018

Billie Zangewa

Andrea Nagel

Elephant - juin 2018

Billie Zangewa on her sociopolitical silk works

BBC News - avril 2017

African artist Billie Zangewa on working with silk

Aduna - juillet 2016

Billie Zangewa : painting the contemporary african woman in silk

True Africa - novembre 2015

Billie Zangewa on expressing her black femininity

Aout Atak

SA Creatives - août 2014

Visual Artist working with raw silk - Billie Zangewa

Between 10and5 - août 2014

Creative Women : Billie Zangewa

Jessica Hunkin - mai 2007

Represent Interview : Billie Zangewa

Alarm - mars 2007

Billie Zangewa


Billie Zangewa

Solo Show

Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, England Through May 13, 2023

For her first solo exhibition in England, Billie Zangewa presents artworks from the past 12 years at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts until May 13, 2023.

Chiharu Shiota
Billie Zangewa

Moody Center for the Arts, Houston
From January 13 to May 13, 2023

As part of the group show Narrative Threads: Fiber Art Today at the Moody Center for the Arts, Chiharu Shiota and Billie Zangewa will exhibit their works from January 13 to May 13, 2023.   The artists featured in the exhibition speak to contemporary issues of identity, gender, race, sexuality, and power through a medium with deep, multicultural roots that predate written history. 

Billie Zangewa

Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ, Amsterdam
On Going

Using samples of vibrant silk, the artist hand sews sprightly embroideries who take inspiration from contemporary life scenes. Tomorrow is a Different Day spotlights art and design from the collection, from 1980 to the present, by international artists and designers who are helping to shape the changes of today and tomorrow. They challenge the status quo and offer alternative perspectives.

Billie Zangewa

From January 22 to May 30, 2021
Musée d’Art Moderne, 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris

As part of the Saison Africa2020, Suzana Sousa, independent curator based in Luanda, Angola and Odile Burluraux, curator at the au Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, bring together at MAM a set of works by sixteen female artists from several English-speaking African countries, and Portuguese speakers, or from the diaspora, offering a glimpse of a contemporary African art scene little presented in France. The Power of My Hands, through the creations presented – painting, pottery, photography, video, performance, embroidery etc. – takes into account the capacity of the artists to approach, starting from their personal histories, the social questions which determine the female condition.

Omar Ba
Billie Zangewa

From July 29 to January 4, 2021
Centre Pompidou, Rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris

The exhibition ‘Global(e) Restitance’ reveals for the first time, more than sixty artists reunited for the last century around the question of “resitance”, including Senegalese Omar Ba and South African artist Billie Zangewa.
The exhibition that collects many work from many different medium and countries, questions the theoretical and esthetical relationship between politics and art. The idea of resisting, studied through the handling of politic as well as art for activism, as always been experienced by artists under oppression and inequalities.

Norbert Bisky
Jim Dine
Billie Zangewa

We invite you to experience our new online viewing room for an immersive visit of our Paris and Brussels spaces.
Currently on view: Norbert Bisky: Desmadre Berlin, Jim Dine: The Classic Prints, and Billie Zangewa: Soldier of Love.
Click on the link below and on each work to explore!

Billie Zangewa

From 31 January to 17 May, 2020

Alpha Crucis exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet gathers seventeen artists from seven African countries – a constellation of artists from the South, brought into northern sight—among which, Billie Zangewa, from Malawi.
The seventeen artists gathered here originate from numerous countries, belong to different generations and have diverse practices. But what they all have in common is that, living in Africa, they are all able to see Alpha Crucis. Can this be seen as a symbol of hope for a pan-African utopia, in which, despite antagonisms, all African countries look in the same direction towards the same guiding light, and do not need to look north when making their art?