Biography

Karlien De Villiers was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1975. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Stellenbosch University from 1994 - 1997, and worked as a commercial designer in an advertising agency in Cape Town after graduating.

She soon realized the advertising world did not suit her passion for painting, drawing and traditional image-making techniques, so she resigned and traveled through the US and Europe for two years doing odd jobs, visiting museums and bookstores and drawing in her sketchbooks.

Upon returning to South Africa in 2000, she started her Master’s degree in Information Design at Pretoria University. De Villiers first published short comic stories in Bitterkomix, satirical Afrikaans comic magazine, but during her postgraduate studies she started working on a graphic novel that deals with the death of her mother set against the socio-political backdrop of Apartheid South Africa during the 1970s-80s, entitled Meine Mutter war eine schöne Frau (‘My mother was a beautiful woman"). The novel was published in a German translation in Switzerland (Arrache Coeur), and emerged as the second-best seller at the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Luzern in 2006.

The book has since been translated into French (a et La), Spanish (Glenat) and Italian (Comma22) – but has to date not been published in South Africa.



Solo Exhibitions

2021

  • Floating Solo, Cellar Contemporary, Trento, IT 

2015

  • Karlien de Villiers-Work on Paper, Fumetto Comix Festival, Galerie F5, Luzern, CH 

2013

  • The Discomfort Zone, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town, ZA

2009

  • While you were sleeping, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, ZA

2007

  • Who can a monster blame for being blue? Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, ZA 

2006

  • Eine Kindheit in Südafrika, Fumetto Comix Festival, HGK Kapelle, Luzern, CH

  • Meine Mutter war eine schöne Frau, Kunstmuseum Erlangen, DE


Group Exhibitions

2022

  • BOOMING Contemporary Art Show - Feminismas, Bologna, IT

2020

  • SHAPING THINGS: Contemporary Ceramics, SMAC, Stellenbosch, ZA

  • Cape Town Art Fair, Cellar Contemporary, Trento, IT

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Artworks

Contact Gallery

Ancestors, 2017

31 x 41 cm

Contact Gallery

Blue Blood, 2019

40 x 50 cm

Contact Gallery
Contact Gallery
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Ghost, 2019

23 x 31 cm

Contact Gallery

Jolmeid, 2014

28 x 39 cm

Contact Gallery

Jungle Boogie, 2019

40 x 50 cm

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Journal

Events, Posted on 11/05/2022

DOUBLE APPOINTMENT IN BOLOGNA WITH CELLAR CONTEMPORARY

by Teodros Decarli

Cellar renews the appointment with the Bolognese Art Week with two booths at ARTEFIERA and BOOMing

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Events, Posted on 01/03/2022

WOMEN AND CATS

by cellar contemporary

La nuova mostra di Karlien De Villiers allo Spazio Pulk in collaborazione con Cellar

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Events, Posted on 11/05/2021

FLOATING SOLO OPENING

by Claudia Uccia

Cellar presents for the first time in Italy the works of the South African artist Karlien De Villiers in a solo show titled Floating Solo

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Events, Posted on 08/02/2020

CELLAR CONTEMPORARY IS BACK TO CAPE TOWN

by Camilla Nacci

For the second time we’ll be present in the art fair with a booth which features three sections, in collaboration with Studio d’Arte Raffaelli.

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