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A short Chronology

Zwelidumile Jeremiah Mxqasi – (Dumile Feni)

Osman Utletaan Feni


B. 21 / 5/ 1942. D. 16/10/1991 New York



                         Exhibits work at the Open Air Fair in Joubert Park. Johannesburg.



Dumile admitted to Charles Hurwitz (Santa ) South African National Tuberculosis Association hospital in Johannesburg.

Meet the artists Ngatane at the hospital encouraged by Mrs. Forster the wife of the hospital superintendent they painted a number of murals in the hospital.



Dumile joins classes run by Ngatane at the Chiawelo Centre in Soweto. Has his portrait painted by Ngatane. Portrait in the MTN collection.



Exhibits work at the Transvaal Academy annual show, held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.



                          Dumile’s first solo exhibition opens at Gallery 101 – Johannesburg.



Exhibition opens at the Durban Municipal Art Gallery on the 18 August and ran until the 5th September.


0n 25th October, Trans- Natal group show initiated by Omar Badsha and Dumile opens at the newly opened Natal Society Of Arts Gallery. The exhibition closed on the 5th November.


Republic Festival Exhibition held in Pretoria, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the white republic, organised by the white only Northern Transvaal region of the South African Association of Arts.


The annual SA Breweries Art Prize. Wins merit award for mother and child.


Pretoria Art Museum


                          Johannesburg Civic Theatre


Group show at the South African pavilion at expo 67 in Montreal.


Dumile work showed at the 13 Anniversary of the Transvaal Academy annual exhibition held at the Adler Fielding Gallery. November 1966 (Notice in RDM 10-11-1966)



Solo exhibition, opened by Mary Harari. Gallery 101.

9 June - Gallery 101 Johannesburg.




                         Participate in the annual Transvaal Academy exhibition.


One of a number of artists representing South Africa at the Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil.


Work exhibited at the Adler Fielding Galleries in Exhibition titled “

” Sculpture South Africa 1900 – 1967.


Solo exhibition Titled “Sketches from a private collection” Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.


July, Dumile leaves South Africa to attend exhibition in London.


Group Show held at the South African Association of Arts Gallery. Cape Town exhibition of the work of Dumile, Badsha, Ben Arnold Durant Sihlali, G Sekoto, Erick Mbata, Ben Macala … 27 August.


1969                Group show titled Contemporary African Art, Camden Arts Centre, London.


                          Grosvenor gallery, London. August – Sept 8th.


1970                Represented in group show Titled “The 51 Club Winter Art Exhibition, Goodman gallery. Johannesburg.


Solo exhibition. Work from the collection of Desmond Fisher, Goodman Gallery. Johannesburg.



                         Represented in group show, Gallery 101. Johannesburg


                         Wins first price for sculpture African Studies centre, University of California, Los Angeles.



                         Wins the UTA Pavement Competition. USA


1974                  Goodman Galleries – group show 24th January 1974.


1975                  Goodman Gallery (SA Sculpture)


                          Group show “African Art from SA” Gallery 21, London


1977                  Gallery 21,


Group show held at the South African National Gallery, as part of the annual Cape Town Festival.


Group show, Contemporary African Art in SA. Organised by the University of Fort Hare, which travels to Rand Afrikaans University, Pretoria Museum, University of Orange Free State, William Hamphrey Art Gallery.


1981                  Group show Black Art Today, Jabulani Standard Bank, Soweto


1982                  Group show, Exhibition of SA Art, National Museum and Art Gallery, as part of the Art Towards Social Development festival, Gaborone, Botswana


1980- 83  

Attended New York University, Graduate programme in film and television.



Exhibition at Los Angeles African-American Museum.


Participates in exhibition marking the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Freedom Charter at the United Nations Plaza.



U.N. Exhibition commemoration of Namibia Freedom Day, New York City.


Group show, City Without walls Gallery, Newark, New Jersey

Visiting lecturer in the department of Fine Art at UCLA and the Massachusetts College of Art.


1987                 Unlock Apartheid's Jails, conference on children under apartheid,

with Bill Cosby and The American Committee of Africa, Hyatt Hotel, New York City


Mural for the University of California, Los Angeles



Group show “voices from exile” exhibition. U.S. tour including Washington DC, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and other cities. For the American Committee on Africa's Unlock Apartheid Jails' campaign

                        Work exhibited, Triptych.


Solo Exhibition La galleria, New York, USA


                         Solo exhibition “Statements Dumile” (date venue unknown)


Uhuru: an Exhibition of African American Art Against Apartheid. City Without Wall Gallery, Newark, New Jersey, USA.



Voices From Exile, USA, (Seven SA Artists), Washington DC, Los

                        Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia.


Completes portrait of Nelson Mandela for the Pathfinder Mural, N.Y.C.



Township Art from SA, Applecrest, New York, USA


1991                  Dies in New York 16/10/1991

                         Buried in Muslim cemetery in Lenasia, Johannesburg South Africa.

                         Memorial service held at the premises of the Johannesburg Art Foundation speakers Wally Serote, Nadine Gordimer and Ezrom Legae speakers. (star 1 Nov).


1991                  Solo exhibition at the Grahamestown Festival. Grahamestown. July


1992                  Grahamestown Festival exhibition opens at Technikon Natal Gallery. Durban. March


2003                  The South African Government awards posthumous award the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold.



                         Formation of Dumile Feni Foundation. Johannesburg

                         Formation of Dumile Family Trust. Johannesburg.


                         Solo exhibition Artists in Exile an exhibition and catalogue by Bruce Smith. Art on Paper Gallery. Melville.



                         Dumile retrospective exhibition Johannesburg Art Gallery. 30 January



1966                  SA Breweries Art Competition

1971                  African Studies Centre, UCLA Art Competition

1972                  Winner, U.T.A pavement Competition

1973                  1st Prize for Drawing at the Sao Paulo Biennale

2003                  Awarded, Order of Ikhamanga in Gold (posthumous) by President Thabo Mbeki.




1987                  Mural for the University of California, Los Angeles

                         Triptych of drawings for the American Committee on Africa's Unlock

                         Apartheid Jails' campaign

1981                  Sculpture of Louis Armstrong. Liz Clairorne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.

1988                  Portrait of Nelson Mandela for the Pathfinder Mural, New York City




1950’s               Primary school, Cape Town, Queenstown.

1986                  Visiting artists, university of Massachusetts

1980 – 1983       New York university graduate programme in film and television.


Compiled by Omar Badsha



Sources : Prince Dube- Johannesburg Art Gallery, Badsha private papers, Bruce Smith collection, Pretoria Art Gallery, collection


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