Selected Works

Shapes From Cityscapes 1, 2013
Mixed Media
Work: 130 x 412 cm
Shapes From Cityscapes 2, 2013
Mixed Media
130 x 463 cm
Three Faces, 2005
Acrylic On Canvas
50 x 50 cm
Red Beret, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
Work: 170 x 130 x 2.5 cm
New Life, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
Work: 100 x 160 x 5 cm
Street Dogs 10, 2005
Acrylic and pastel on paper
70 x 100cm
Mgodoyi 1, 1983
Charcoal and acrylic
91 cm x 63 cm
Birds Landing, 2017
Mixed media on canvas
Image: 160 x 120 x 2.5 cm
Procession, 2018
Mixed media on canvas
Image: 120 x 170 x 2.5 cm
Brazier, 2016
Mixed media on paper
Image: 177 x 85 cm Frame: 208.5 x 116.5 x 4.5 cm
Three Women, 2015
Mixed media on paper
Image: 85 x 171 cm Frame: 116.5 x 202 x 4.5 cm
Baptismal, 2018
Mixed media on brown paper
Work: 181 x 230 cm
Mgodoy (iii), 1999
Mixed media on paper
Work: 56.2 x 76 cm
Conversation , 2009
Work: 44.5 x 53.5 cm Frame: 55.7 x 64.1 cm
Street Dogs 7, 2005
Acrylic and pastel on paper
70 x 100cm


David Koloane (1938 – 2019) was born in Alexandra, Johannesburg, South Africa. Koloane spent his career making the world a more hospitable place for black artists during and after apartheid. Koloane achieved this through his pioneering work as an artist, writer, curator, teacher and mentor to young and established artists at a time when such vocations were restricted to white people in South Africa. A large part of this effort involved the initiatives Koloane helped establish, from the first Black Art Gallery in 1977, the Thupelo experimental workshop in 1985 and the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in 1991, where he served as director for many years. Koloane also tutored at the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) in 1979 and became the head of the fine art section and gallery from 1985 to 1990.

Through his expressive, evocative and poetic artwork, Koloane interrogated the socio-political and existential human condition, using Johannesburg as his primary subject matter. Koloane’s representations of Johannesburg are populated with images of cityscapes, townships, street life, jazz musicians, traffic jams, migration, refugees, dogs, and birds among others. Imaginatively treated, through the medium of painting, drawing, assemblage, printmaking and mixed media, Koloane’s scenes are a blend of exuberant and sombre, discernible and opaque pictorial narratives.

Koloane’s work has been widely exhibited locally and internationally. In 1999 he was part of the group exhibition Liberated Voices at the National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. In 2013, Koloane’s work was shown on the South African pavilion at the 55th la Biennale di Venezia and on the group exhibition My Joburg at La Maison Rouge in Paris. In 1998, the government of the Netherlands honoured Koloane with the Prince Claus Fund Award for his contributions to South African art. Koloane was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate twice, once from Wits University in 2012, and again from Rhodes University in 2015.

Earlier this year Koloane was the subject of a travelling career survey exhibition, A Resilient Visionary: Poetic Expressions of David Koloane, which opened at IZIKO SANG in June and will travel to Standard Bank Gallery and Wits Art Museum in October.