Transcendence and Transfiguring | Percy Konqobe: Johannesburg

14 November 2020 - 19 April 2021

Gallery MOMO is pleased to present our first opening since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown,“Transcendence and Transfiguring” a solo exhibition by Percy  Konqobe.


Percy Ndithembile Konqobe a sculptor (born in Nigel, South Africa, 1939) creates clay and bronze sculptures that usually embody abstracted human and animal figures. He expresses ideas of spirituality, as he seeks to connect the intangible and metaphysical world with that of the physical and material world. Identifying himself as a Traditional Healer (Sangoma), Konqobe has stated his work comes to him in his dreams as communications from his ancestors. One can say that Konqobe is a vesicle for his creations, and that he is only a mediator between the physical world and the spiritual.


The idea that his work comes from something greater than him and everyone else in this realm speaks to thepower of Konqobe’s work. Though small in size, the sculptures are small in size, hold significant subject value.His sculptures may be described as melodic however the arithmetic qualities of the pieces may be appreciated, as Konqobe attempts to find an equilibrium of the aesthetic beauty of his pieces and aspects of his pieces that are meant to strike thought and pondering from the audience. The figures that Konqobe creates are comprehensible but yet not comprehensible at all, explicit in its communication of what is being presented but yet vague and ambiguous in many ways. This paradox of feelings provides the audience with an opportunity to have an existential experience with the piece but at the same time, enjoy it for its striking beauty.


This marriage of devices is shown again in the physical aspects of his sculptures, the piece “Feeding Time II”portrays two feminine structures breastfeeding two childlike figures, which are all bound together by theexperience. Similar to the sculpture, “Women in Dialogue” which showcases a union between the entangled female figures, which also express the intimate moulding of the two characters. The sculpture “Ndzinga”shows a humanlike figure riding a larger animal body with its head held high. This strong presence shows an expression of dominance and power.


Ashraf Jamal writes in his essay, Faith Incarnate: Percy Ndithembile Konqobe, “All of Konqobe’s are ramifiedyet liquid. The limpid tension his figures embody stems from the sculptor’s clear vision, the desire, always, toevoke a symmetrical relationship between the quotidian and spiritual. This is because Konqobe is both a humanist and spiritualist – the one is inseparable from the other.


”The exhibition will be open to the public on, 14 November 2020, at Gallery MOMO Johannesburg, at 12:00until 16:00.


All COVID-19 regulations and protocols will be followed by the gallery, which include hand sanitisation and temperature screening upon entry into the space. The gallery will expect all guests to keep to social distancing regulations and wear a mask at all times. No Mask, No Entry.