Igshaan Adams

Igshaan Adams is one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary artists. Adams was born in the Bonteheuwel township in Cape Town, and went on to earn his Diploma in Fine Art from the Ruth Prowse School of Art in 2009. Since his debut exhibition Vinyl at AVA, Cape Town in 2010, the artist has astonishingly presented more than 15 solo shows, both locally and abroad.

Adams’ practice is a multidisciplinary one encompassing performance, weaving, sculpture and installation. He uses a variety of media from thread, beads and wire to seashells and stones. Adams describes his works as self-portraits in the sense that creating them is a journey of self-discovery which encompasses and confronts – amongst other things, race, sexuality and religion. The characteristic patterning in the artist’s work can be likened to that of prayer rugs, linoleum floors, and even pathways weaving through the Cape Flats.

Throughout the last decade, Adams has participated in a number of residencies, among them; the IAAB Pro Helvetia residency, Basel; at the Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and at the A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town.

With notable international recognition, Adams’ works have featured in a number of exhibitions around the globe, including at the Hayward Gallery, London; Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York; the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Seattle Art Museum. In 2018, he was the recipient of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art which culminated in the exhibition When Dust Settles which travelled throughout South Africa, including to the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town.


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