(b. 1974, Cape Town, South Africa)

In 2015, Matthew Hindley had a solo exhibition at the Everard Read, Cape Town. In the wake of the fires that consumed the mountain above the city, Hindley had been drawn to the ruined, scorched landscapes and had started painting them. He then did a work featuring the fire itself and immediately a new subject was revealed to him: not the consequences of the conflagration but the conflagration itself, that luminous moment of blossoming before the transition became apparent. Many of his images came from popular sources and social media – several from images people took on their cell phones and posted on Instagram.


Following this show, he did a series of dry points with David Krut that featured fires and explosions – images of destruction sourced predominantly from films and the internet. He has carried the graphic mark-making he adopted in these images into his new series of large-scale paintings, so that the new works become more stylised and more overt as representations of fires and explosions rather than naturalistic images of these events. He uses highly transparent Shminka oil paints that he uses almost like watercolours, building layers and creating an extraordinary luminosity in the images. Hindley also seems to be occupying a middle-space here between photography (the sources are usually photographs), graphic images, painting and drawing. He states he has been drawn to Goya and Van Gogh – and the capacity of the line, or the movement of the line, to carry emotion, vibrate with feeling.  


Through images of war on television and Hollywood action films, we have grown accustomed to seeing explosions. They are often beautiful, spectacular. We consume such images often, perhaps daily. In this latest body of work, Hindley slows these events right down and asks us to contemplate them more closely. The images often become abstracted, morphing into suggestions of other images – with baggy minsters in the billowing clouds. 


We are aware that these are paintings, representations, and are compelled to consider how we reflect on or respond to violent events. Each event is given a particular emphasis, like a sunset that can never be repeated. Each event is specific, defined – and yet as timeless as a sunset too, suggesting that war and destruction have followed the progress of humanity across time and space – and that our moment of transcendence might be glorious, memorable, worthy or representation, but the danger is always that we will leave little but a charred wasteland in our wake.   

Craig Higginson




Matthew Hindley graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, in 2002, where he was awarded the Michaelis Prize. 


As one of the countries' most recognized younger painters, Hindley’s intense, poetic and delving artworks have featured in various critical and seminal South African exhibitions. Recent solo presentations have included An Everlasting Once at Brundyn + Gonsalves, Cape Town (2011) and Twilight of the Idols at Biksady, Budapest (2013).  Hindley’s exhibition of drawings at David Krut Cape Town coincided with the official launch of the book, The Five Magic Pebbles & Other Stories. His new solo painting presentation Resurrection (Der Brennende Wald ) was held at Everard Read Cape Town gallery, also in Cape Town in October 2015. 


In addition, he has presented at the world renowned Eli and Edythe Broad Museum, Michigan (2012) and the Kochi Muziris Biennale, India (2012). In 2014, he worked on a series of paintings inspired by the mythological African tales of South African writer Don Mattera, for a book published by Rhodeworks, in Berlin, Germany. In 2015, his artwork will be part of the  imago mundi, Benetton Collection at the Venice Biennale, and his major public sculpture Speak Naturally and Continuously will undergo conservation, in order to have the delicate physical computing piece in permanent running order. The artwork is installed above the entrance of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.


Selected Solo Exhibitions


 Resurrection (Der Brennende Wald), Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Twilight of the Idols , Biksady Galeria, Budapest, Hungary


  One Pearl of Great Price , VOLTA8, Basel, Switzerland


The Solo Project, Basel, Switzerland

  An Everlasting Once , Brundyn+, Cape Town, South Africa


Like, like, like, like a Circus , Brundyn+ Wembley Project Space, Cape Town, South Africa

Black Out , Brundyn+, Cape Town, South Africa


Private Vernissage (with Kromschroeder & Pfannenschmidt), Berlin, Germany


  Before My Time , 34Long, Cape Town, South Africa

2005      Speak Naturally & Continuously , Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


  Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Surrender , Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Selected Group Exhibitions


 HOMAGE,  Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

EMPIRE,  Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

Imago Mundi - Map of New Art, Benetton Collection, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice Biennale, Italy  


TWENTY: Contemporary Art From South Africa , Turchin, Centre for the Visual Arts, Appalation State University,

  North Carolina / Traveling to the Beijing Biennale, China in 2015


 Material/Representation , Brundyn+, Cape Town, South Africa


Collateral Segment - BRICS , Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India 

Global Groove , Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan, USA


Spier Contemporary Biennial, Cape Town, South Africa


 Dada South , South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


 South African Art , Danubiana Art Museum , Bratislava, Hungary


Videobrazil, WWWF Anthology Performance, Brazil


A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa , National Center for African American Arts, Boston, USA


On the road again , Engler & Piper Projekte, Berlin, Germany

 MTN New Contemporaries, Museumafrica, Johannesburg, South Africa


In no particular order (vol.1) , 16th Recontres Video Art Plastique, Normandy, France


 World Wide Video festival, Arti et Amicae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



 Winner of the permanent public art installation competition, South African National Gallery


Michaelis Prize, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa


Simon Gershin prize, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa


Irma Stern prize, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa

Selected Public Collections

Vass László Collection, Veszprém, Hungary

IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


University of Cape Town Collection, Cape Town, South Africa