Virginia Chihota was born in 1983 in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe and currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2004 she graduated in Fine Arts at the National Gallery BAT Workshop School (now the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design) and in 2006 she obtained a Diploma in Visual Arts from Harare Polytechnic. Chihota represented Zimbabwe at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and was awarded the Prix Canson in the same year.
Over the past fifteen years, Virginia Chihota's introspective work has been influenced by personal experiences - landmark and every day. In a reflection on intimacy and the human figure, she has addressed themes such as childbearing, childrearing, marriage, kinship, bereavement and faith. At once mundane and transcendental, rife with allusions to everyday life, and religious and folkloric symbolism, her large works on paper display a raw, expressionist verve and a striking grace in the elaborate use of patterns, textures and layers.
Having trained as a printmaker, Chihota’s use of screen-printing is as confident as it is original. She mixes printing techniques with drawing to produce unique works of striking formal complexity. They often depict the female form blending into near abstraction, and bodies caught in strange embraces evoking a figural union; along with an iconographic repertoire which points towards the domestic whilst emphasising connectedness and collectivity. Chihota's work highlights the ways in which the female agency disrupts borders and activates concerns around different forms of belonging. Subjectivity emerges as a concept embedded in notions of interrelatedness.
She is represented in collections including Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt; FRAC Picardie, Amiens; National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Saatchi Gallery, London; Tate, London; U.S. Department of State; J.P. Morgan Chase. She has shown internationally including National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2019), SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2019), solo at The Armory Show (2019) The Drawing Room, London (2018), Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (2017), Muséum d'histoire naturelle, Le Havre, France (2016), Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2015), Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover (2014), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2014), Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (2013), Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires (2012), Korea Foundation Cultural Center, Seoul (2010).
She is represented by Tiwani Contemporary in London, UK.
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