Colbert Mashile: Not Yet to Open in Boston

in CFA, Visual Arts
September 11th, 2012

MashileSherman Gallery at Boston University College of Fine Arts Presents Solo Exhibition September 18

Boston, MA – The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Boston University is proud to present Colbert Mashile: Not Yet, a new series of linoleum prints by the South African artist.

Colbert Mashile: Not Yet
at Sherman Gallery
Dates and Events: Tuesday, September 18 – Sunday, October 28, 2012
Opening Reception with Colbert Mashile: Thursday, September 20, 5:30-7:00pm
Artist Talk with Colbert Mashile: Wednesday, September 26, 6:00pm
Exhibition and Gallery Events are Free and Open to the Public

“We are thrilled to welcome Colbert Mashile to the Sherman Gallery for his first solo exhibition in the United States,” said Lynne Cooney, Exhibitions Director at the School of Visual Arts at CFA. “In perhaps his most graphically didactic work to date, Colbert Mashile: Not Yet examines the current socio-political issues facing South Africa. CFA is proud of its role in enriching the Boston University and Boston arts community through the unveiling of this new series.”

Colbert Mashile’s new series of linoleum prints employ the graphic, yet simplified visual language of relief printing to render dramatizing narratives of the human condition. Mashile’s paintings and prints have continually drawn upon his deep connection to the landscape of rural South African life. In Colbert Mashile: Not Yet, the artist explores the interplay between natural and mystical elements within cultural customs and rituals, often contending with the ambiguous meaning of cultural determinants within a continually transforming contemporary society.

Mashile’s narratives are largely figurative. In these works, Mashile situates the figures within an active and dramatic landscape of marks and lines inspired by the lively patterns and prints of South African clothing and decorative objects. Within the composition, Mashile inserts a text box or bubble, initially leaving it empty like an unformed thought. Once the larger image is completed, Mashile adds pieces of text that are randomly extracted from a variety of media sources.

The radical juxtaposition of image and text thus presents a conundrum. Mashile’s text does not illuminate the meaning, but rather compounds it, rendering the image untranslatable. As Mashile states: “The text works within the image, but also against it, intentionally creating an ambiguity that changes the relationship of the image and how it is read.”

About Colbert Mashile

Colbert Mashile was born in 1972 in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. He received a certificate in Art from the Joannesburg Art Foundation in 1994. He went on to study at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art in 2000, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Heritage Studies in 2002. In addition to exhibiting his paintings and prints throughout South Africa and internationally, Mashile has worked on large-scale cultural projects including the Constitution Hill Project in 2002, and the Apartheid Museum Project in 2001. He has won a number of awards, including the ABSA Atelier Merit Prize in 2000.

About Sherman Gallery at Boston University

The Sherman Gallery at Boston University is located at 775 Commonwealth Avenue on the 2nd Floor of the George Sherman Union. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (BU Central T stop on the “B” Green Line.) Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 11:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm-5:00pm. For more information, visit

Institutional Biography

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.