top of page


(Cape Town, 1991)


“I remember the engineer’s table my father worked at, covered in koki and pencil lines, a layering of possible trajectories which accumulated over time.”

Katharien de Villiers graduated in 2015 with an MFA in Installation from KASK, Gent, Belgium; she lives and works in South Africa.
From sculpture to painting, and installation, conversations with the artist reveal the ‘patina of time’ on the works, surreal symbolism, Afrikaans onomatopoeia, and collage constructed from hybrid memories.

Paying close attention to what is hidden and taken for granted, the paintings are layered and talkative. Arenas of color give dimension to a body of work that often projects into the gallery space, entrusting the ordinary with authority, and evincing a romance with the mundane.
Through tactile manipulations, involving the juxtaposition and de-contextualization of material, de Villiers calls on the sensorial, mental, and physical potential and participation of the viewer when confronted with her work. Thus, depending on the inherent power of the given form and inclination of the beholder to be informed or moved, allowing the voluntary encounter to evolve into a symbiosis of original and inspired reality.

Speaking on her work, the artist says: “When you are confronted with an image you do not send out aggressive rays of sight but let the picture work on you. And that’s like experiencing. We must all create our own meaning through experience.”
Her latest solo shows include Sound blindness at A4Arts Foundation, in Cape Town.

She participated in group exhibitions in Belgium, such as Vibrations Off at Kristof de Clercq gallery along with Honore d’O and Manfredo Schu.
Her first solo, A Bonnet of Gatsbys, was hosted by SMITH Gallery, Cape Town in 2017. In 2018 she had two solo shows- one in a basement in Johannesburg titled Pick Over the Bones, again with SMITH gallery, and Trembling Thought, an independent motion she held in her studio. Both these exhibitions were space-specific installations. 2019 brought yet another solo show at SMITH gallery, titled Bananas and Saints Alike. De Villiers’s work featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, Still Here Tomorrow To High Five You Yesterday, 2019. Her work also features the permanent collection of the Nirox sculpture foundation. Whether painting or sculpture, de Villiers explores and questions the spatial and relational dynamics of space, the work, and its relation to the viewer.



Echo Me / Here I Am / Ecco Mi, Osart Gallery, Milan


Sound-blindness, A4Arts Foundation, Cape Town

Bananas and Saints Alike. Smith studio, Cape Town. Curated by Jana Tereblanche.

Pick Over the Bones. 68 Jute street, Johannesburg. Curated by Katharien de Villiers

Trembling Thought. GUS gallery, Stellenbosch. Curated by Heinrich Groenewald.
Trembling Thought. SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Katharien de 

A Bonnet of Gatsbys. SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Amy Ellenbogen.

The Carwash: a Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to His Own Madness. The Atrium, TRUMPET

Building, Keyes Art Mile, Johannesburg.

the palace of illness in beauty. MAP, glaze gang, KASK, Gent, Belgium.



UpCycle. Quando l'Arte Reinventa il Mondo, Italian embassy in Bern, Switzerland. Curated by Silvio Mignano and Antonello Tolve



40 under 40, Whatiftheworld, Tulbagh
Apartment x The Fourth, Cape Town

Unresolved Category, Gallery MOMO, Cape Town. Curated by Heinrich Groenewald.
Aspect : Ratio, Galley MOMO, Cape Town. Curated by Keely Shinner.

Bad Taste: Image in Crisis, SMITH gallery, Cape Town. Curated by Jana Tereblanche.


Still Here Tomorrow to High Five You Yesterday, MOCAA, Cape Town. Curated by Azu Nwagbogu

Salad, SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Jana Tereblanche.


Fulcrum Suzanne Shaw Creative Award, Candice Berman Gallery,

Johannesburg. Curated by Layla Leiman, The Bag Factory.

Open Laboratory, Winter Sculpture Exhibition, Nirox Sculpture Foundation, Johannesburg.
Out of Nowhere, SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Amy Ellenbogen.

Nothing Personal, SMAC gallery, Stellenbosch. Curated by SMAC.

From Whence They Came, SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Amy Ellenbogen.
How Blushing Foot and Scissor met on the Fourth Floor of Atlantis, 
Kalashnikovv gallery, Johannesburg. In collaboration with Neel de Bruyker (BE), Tine Peuteman (BE), Guus van der Velde (NL), Jeanne Gaigher (SA), Ruann Coleman (SA), Lucy Jane Turpin (SA), Antonia Brown (SA), Katharien de Villiers (SA). Curated by Katharien de Villiers.

SKETCH. SMITH studio, Cape Town. Curated by Amy Ellenbogen.


Drawing a group show. GUS gallery, Stellenbosch. Curated by Lucy Jane Turpin.
Ensayo Para Una Exposición. Combo gallery. Cordoba, Spain. In collaboration with Olga Micinska, Erika Roux, Christopher Squier and Lisa-Marie Vlietstra.

Vibrations ofF. Kristof de Clercq Gallery. Gent, Belgium. In collaboration with Honore d'O and ManfreDu Schu.
the horizon apparatus. Tumult Gent. KASK cinema. Gent, Belgium.


7E. Apartment exhibition. Lange Boomgaardstraat 7E, Gent, Belgium.

Curated by Katharien de Villiers and Jonathan Paepens. In collaboration with Chris Swart, Abigail Liparato, Hayoun Kim, Annemieke Olthuijs and Jonathan Paepens.


They put alternating currents in our head. Zwarte Zaal Gallery. Gent, Belgium. Curated by Paul Casaer and Cel Crebeels. In collaboration with Annemieke Olthuijs.

bottom of page