World-Renowned African Ceramicist

World-Renowned African Ceramicist


Andile Dyalvane

The wonderous mind of world-renowned African ceramicist, Andile Dyalvane will grace the New York art galleries once again last week with the opening of his second solo exhibition, iThongo, at Friedman Benda. His newest collection made its debut in Dyalvane's homeland in Ngobozana, Eastern Cape, in November of last year before moving to the Southern Guild in Cape Town, and now it is finally here for American viewers to enjoy. The name of this collection, iThongo, means "ancestral dreamscape" in isiXhosa and references the method through which messages (uYalezo uLwimi IwabaPhantsi) are delivered from ancestors. The exhibition will feature a collection of hand sculpted chairs, stools, and benches, arranged in a circle around a traditional fire hearth and herbal offerings in honor of the customs of Xhosa ceremonial gatherings. This exhibition style creates a link between the past, present, and future that inspired Dyalvane's sculptures and practices. Each detailed line and curve of every piece in the collection is based on a pictograph or glyph from a series of 200 symbols created by Dyalvane, himself, to indicate important words in Xhosa life. 

The exhibition runs at Friedman Benda from April 29th - May 22, 2021. To read more about the iThongo showcase, click the link here.


The World of Andile Dyalvane

Born in 1978 in the small village of Ngobozana, near Qobo-Qobo in the rural Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Dyalvane grew up farming and looking after cattle - sewing a deep connection to the land and his Xhosa culture. Andile completed a National Dilpoma in Art and Design at Sivuyile Technical College in Gugulethu, Cape Town, followed by a National Diploma in Ceramic Design from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeht in 2003. In 2005, together with fellow NMMU graduate Zizipho Poswa, he co-founded Imiso Ceramics, whose handmade tableware and vessels have earned the studio an international following. He was included in Artsy's Top 10 Contemporary Artists Working with Ceramics, and was named one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail & Guardian newspaper in 2011 and the VISI magazine Artist of the Year in 2009. Dyalvane is the recipient of the 2015 Design Foundation Icon Award and was the Feature Designer of the Year at 100% Design South Africa in 2018.

As a well-traveled designer, Dyalvane prides himself on his Xhosa and South African heritage and works to honor his cultural traditions and share his journey through his sculptures. Clay allows him the ability to create beautiful, valuable, and functional objects with the four elements of life: earth, water, air, and fire. ​​​​​​​

Andile Dyalvane holds a special place in kanju's heart, as he was one of our first artist partnerships and has since remained an avid supporter of kanju and a close friend of our Founder, Meg. In August of 2019, Dyalvane visited kanju in Dallas for several days, including a live talk and exhibition demonstrating the spirituality of his work at the kanju Showroom. His visit to kanju in Dallas was chronicled in the Dallas Morning News at the time. We are ecstatic to see an exhibit of his newest artwork back in the U.S. A few highly collectible pieces from his earlier work are available for purchase and can be viewed below.

Shown above, starting from left: ​​​​​​​Nokunomga "Thank you" - Africasso Ceramic Vessel, Africasso Slim Conical Vase, and Scarified Ceramic Vessel in Nautical Wrap.