Zwelidumile Geelboi Mgxaji Mslaba Feni
May 21, 1942
Withuis, Worcester, South Africa
New York City, U.S.
|Burial place||Lenasia, South Africa|
Zwelidumile Geelboi Mgxaji Mslaba "Dumile" Feni (May 21, 1942 – 1991) was a South African contemporary visual artist known for both his drawings and paintings that included sculptural elements as well as sculptures, which often depicted the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Feni lived in exile and extreme poverty for most of his art career.
Feni was born in the small farmstead of Withuis in Worcester, Cape Province, South Africa, to parents Geelbooi Magoqwana, a trader and evangelist, and Bettie Nothemba Mgxaji, a business woman. When he was young, Feni's family relocated to the Welcome Estate in Cape Town. His family were Xhosa people.
In 2010, a documentary called Zwelidumile was released. It was created by South African filmmaker Ramadan Suleman.
Feni's first name, Zwelidumile, means "a person known all over the country."
Feni has a daughter named Marriam Diale.
- 1965: Transvaal Academy, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1966: Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
- 1966: Gallery 101, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1966: Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1966: Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa
- 1966: Republic Festival Exhibition, Pretoria, South Africa
- 1966: SA Breweries Art Prize Exhibition, toured South Africa
- 1966: Trans-Natal, Natal Society for Arts, Durban, South Africa
- 1967: Gallery 101, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1967: Transvaal Academy, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1968: Sketches from a Private Collection, Goodman Gallery
- 1969: Grosvenor Gallery, London, United Kingdom
- 1970: Exhibition from the Collection of Desmond Fisher, Goodman Gallery
- 1970: The 51 Club Winter Art Exhibition, Goodman Gallery
- 1975: South African Sculpture, Goodman Gallery
- 1981: Black Art Today, Jabulani Standard Bank, Soweto
- 1988: La Galleria, New York, NY
- 1989: Portrait of Nelson Mandela for the Pathfinder Mural, New York, NY
- 1990: Township Art from South Africa, Applecrest, New York, NY
- 1991: Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa
- 2010: Art on Paper, MOMO Art Gallery, South Africa
- 1966: Artists of Fame and Promise, Adler Fielding Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1967: São Paulo Art Biennial, Brazil
- 1967: Sculpture South Africa, 1900: 1967, Adler Fielding Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1969: Contemporary African Art, Camden Arts Centre, London, United Kingdom
- 1971: Gallery 101, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1972: Gallery 101, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 1975: African Art from South Africa, Gallery 21, London, United Kingdom
- 1977: Contemporary African Art in South Africa, Rand Afrikaans University, Pretoria Art Museum, University of Orange Free State, William Hamphrey Art Gallery (University of Fort Hare)
- 1977: SANG (Cape Town Festival), Gallery 21, South Africa
- 1982: Art towards Social Development: an Exhibition of South African Art, National Museum and Art Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana
- 1983: United Nations Exhibition, Commemoration of Namibia Freedom Day, New York, NY
- 1987: Unlock Apartheid's Jails, conference on children under apartheid, with Bill Cosby and the American Committee of Africa, Hyatt Hotel, New York, NY
- 1988: Uhuru: an Exhibition of African American Art against Apartheid, City without Wall Gallery, Newark, NJ
- 1988: Voices from Exile (Seven South African Artists), Washington, DC; Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA
- 2010: MOMO Art Gallery, South Africa
Selected works and publications
- Feni, Dumile, and Bruce Smith. Dumile: Artist in Exile, South Africa: Bruce Smith in association with Art on Paper, 2004. ISBN 978-0-620-32860-9 OCLC 57398581
- "Dumile Feni". South African History Online. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Reuss, Sophia (29 September 2015). "Dumile Feni Biography". South African History Online. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Jason, Stefanie (12 September 2014). "Dumile Feni's exhibition a timely take on being black". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- Nettleton, Anitra (2011). "Writing Artists into History: Dumile Feni and the South African Canon". African Arts. 44 (1): 8–25. doi:10.1162/afar.2011.44.1.8. JSTOR 41330703.
- "Bonhams : Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942–1991) 'The Prisoner' 148cm (58 1/4in) high". www.bonhams.com. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Carew, Douglas (26 January 2002). "Artists Luthili masks brought home after 33 years in exile". Weekend Argus. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017 – via http://www.sahistory.org.za/.
- Williamson, Sue (2011). South African art now. Collins Design. p. 42. ISBN 9780061343513.
- Zvomuya, Percy (16 September 2011). "Known only by his absence". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- Feni, Dumile; Dube, Prince Mbusi (2006). Dumile Feni Retrospective: Johannesburg Art Gallery (PDF). Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery. ISBN 978-1-868-14442-6. OCLC 82364701. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
Catalog of a retrospective exhibition held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Jan. 31-Apr. 10, 2005, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, May 17–June 17, 2005, and the South African National Gallery, Aug. 13–Nov. 4, 2005[permanent dead link]
- "Zwelidumile". Africalia Belgium. 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- "Dumile Feni (1939 - 1991): The Order of Ikhamanga in Gold". The Presidency: Republic of South Africa. 2 December 2003. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
Awarded to Dumile Feni (1939 -1991) for Exceptional achievement in the field of arts and contribution to the struggle against apartheid