Artist Profile



Johannes Maswanganyi was born in 1948 near Giyani, Limpopo Province where he still lives. He has had no formal art education but was taught by his father to make functional objects such as spoons and bowls.
In 1965 he started carving figures used by sangomas (traditional healers) when treating their patients during consultations and he made carved stoppers for their medicine containers (nhunguvana). Maswanganyi developed a modern-day version of the medicine container which is a hollow kneeling sangoma figure with the head as a removable stopper (namisoro).
In addition, Maswanganyi made contemporary painted figurative carvings of political figures and celebrities. He kept up to date with current events and these sculptures have been exhibited in many art galleries and have been acquired by major corporate collections.
1985 Africana Museum in Progress, Johannesburg
1986 WITS (Standard Bank Foundation Collection of African Art
1987 Market Gallery (solo) RAU (SA Sculptors)
Waldorf School of Art, Sandton (Rural Art Fair)
1988 Johannesburg Art Gallery (Vita Art Now) and The Neglected Tradition
FUBA, Group show Natalie Knight Gallery Hyde Park, Johannesburg
1989 Art from South Africa MOMA Oxford and other venues, United Kingdom
1993 Biennale of Visual Art, Venice
Goodman Gallery, Everard Read and
1994 Bayrische Vereinsbank, Palais Preysing, Munich, Germany
2000 Art Gallery, Knysna: Mukondeni Gallery, Randburg
2001 Pietersburg Art Gallery
2003 Development Bank of South Africa
2004 Waterfront Nobel Square Project, Cape Town
2005 Bus Factory, Newtown- Johannesburg
Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria.