Louis Khehla Maqhubela was born in Durban in 1939. Between 1955 and 1959 he attended the Orlando High School and 1959 he won the second prize in an art competition organised by the Rembrandt group. One of his paintings was included in the second exhibition of Artists of fame and promise in 1959. He studied part-time under Cecil Skotnes at Jubilee centre in Johannesburg, the Polly Street Art Centre. During the following years he participated in several group exhibitions and in 1966 he won first prize in the last exhibition Artists of Fame and Promise which was a trip to Europe. This trip in 1966 gave him a chance to observe, study and meet other artists including the South African expatriate Douglas Portway, Portway who greatly impressed him and was to influence his work. He began to use oil paints, often on paper, and began a series of small semi abstract linear figurations using dark tones and vivid flashes of pure colour. Maqhubela was drawn back to Europe in 1973, he settled first in Spain and later, in 1978, he settled in London. He attended the Goldsmith College in 1984 - 85 and from 1985 - 88 the Slade School of Art where he gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Printmaking.

Philosophy, Technique or style
Using watercolour, conti and collage, Maqhubela began as a genre painter. His representations included figures, religious works, animals, birds and urban scenes. Often a single bird symbolised the unfettered spirit, which was a manifestation of oppression. By 1966, he began interpretation of philosophical and religious themes. From 1968, colour was the most important factor in his compositions, which were done in oil on paper. After touring European galleries, his work changed technically and aesthetically. 1971 saw a radical transformation consisting of painting on canvas in a colourful and distinctive style. His new work comprises abstract compositions, illuminated by floating colour shapes bound together by symbolic drawings of human and animal forms. His designs are scattered randomly over the canvas as he scratches paint down to the surface of the paper or canvas. Since 1990, his work shows a greater abstraction and non-figurative style. This intense symbolism results in an individuality, making him
one of South Africas’s foremost painters.

Art Education and/or training
1956-58 Polly Street Art Centre, Johannesburg
1959 Jubilee Art Centre, Johannesburg
1960 Design Centre, Johannesburg
1984-1985 Goldsmith College of Art and Design, University of London
1985-1988 Printmaking, Slade School of Art

1959 Prize, Rembrandt Corporation School Exhibition
1961 First Prize, Artists of fame and promise competition
1966 Grand Awards, Artists of fame and promise competition
1969 Cambridge Shirt Award in Art
1973 Prize, African Arts magazine, Los Angeles

Jubilee Social Centre, Johannesburg
Township Halls, Jabavu, Soweto, 1964
Mofolo Park Recreation Centre, Soweto
Oppenheimer Park, Soweto
Kempton Park – Johannesburg (30”x30” mosiac)
South African Embassy, London

Group shows
1959 “Artists of Fame and Promise”, Johannesburg
1962 “Bijou Paintings”, Lawrence Adler Gallery, Johannesburg
1963 “Polly Street Artists “, Cape Town
1964 “Gallery Artists” Lawrence Adler Gallery, Johannesburg
1965 “Township Life”, with Gerard Sekoto and Lucas Sithole in Johannesburg
1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1967 First one-man exhibition at the Alder Fieldings Galleries, Johannesburg
1963, 1968, 1971 Lidchi Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1965, 1967 Picadilly Gallery, London
1967, 1969 Durban Art Museum
1969 Cambridge Shirt Award on Art S.A. Today
1969, 1970 “Contemporary African Artists” Camden Arts Centre, London
1969 Helen de Leeuw, Johannesurg
1969, 1974, 1976 Gallery International, Cape Town
1970, 1988, 1988 Johannesburg Art Gallery
1971 Johannesburg Artists - Johannesburg Art Gallery Diamond Jubilee Exhibition
1973 London Arts Gallery
1974 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
1974 Gallery 21, Johannesburg
1981 Standard Bank, Soweto
1981 Black Art Today, Soweto
1983 University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
1985-87 “Voices from Exhile”, USA Travelling exhibition starting from Washington DC. Works by 6 South Africans based in Europe and the USA.
1987 “Summer show”, Jariwala Gallery, London
1987 South African Nation al Gallery, Cape Town
1988 “Watercolour Paintings “, Royal Institute of watercolourists, Mall Galleries, London
1988 “White Chapel Open”, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1990 “Major Works”, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London “Beyond The Barriers”,
1998 Gallery, London “Art From South Africa”, Museum Of Modern Art, Oxford
1991 Vita Art Now Exhibition, The Johannesburg Art Gallery
1998 Vanessa Devereux Gallery, Royal Society of Painters
1999 National Museum of African Art, Washington DC
1999 The Graham Collection, Washington DC
Slade Alumni

Solo shows
1968, 1969, 1970 Lidchi Art Gallery, Johannesburg
1970 Gallery International, Cape Town
1971, 1972, 1973, 1977 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
1975 Galeria Ivan Spence, Spain
1985, 1990, 1993, 1996 The Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
1989, 1991 Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London
1992 Holland
1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 Art First

Public Collections
Johannesburg Art Gallery
South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Africana Museum, Johannesburg
Sandton Municipal Collection, Sandtron, Johannesburg
University of Fort Hare Collection, Alice
Pretoria Museum
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
BUPA House, London
South Africa House
Standard Bank, Johannesburg
National Museum of African Art, Washington DC

Private Collections
Numerous collections in S.A, Europe and U.S.A

Corporate Collections
Numerous collections in S.A, Europe and U.S.A


© Johans Borman Fine Art