Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Import, 2015, Oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm. Courtesy Barnard Gallery
Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Import, 2015, Oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm. Courtesy Barnard Gallery  

Combing the political with the personal, the critical and introspective, the work of Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi engages with social contexts and histories in subtle and distinct ways. Inherent to his paintings is a sense of locomotion; characters on the edge of departure or arrival, mid-run or tumble into threshold spaces between past and present, dream and reality.

With notable influences of 19th-century European Romanticism and 20th-century Soviet art, Ngqinambi meshes a style entirely his own. As remarked by Fay Jackson of Art South Africa, ‘Ngqinambi successfully makes political comment without propaganda, and conjures spectacle without being histrionic’. His love of theatre and film dramaturgy is apparent in the strong sense of narrative within in his paintings, and the melodrama incurred by his sweeping, broiling skies, fevered brushstrokes and brooding colour palette.