Portia Zvavahera


Expressive and rich paintings by the Zimbabwean artist Portia Zvavahera-made during a time of intense solitude and collective struggle across the globe

This book is not yet published, but will be available from August 2022.

ISBN: 9781644230718 Category:

Portia Zvavahera, Meredith Brown


In her paintings, Zvavahera gives form to emotions that manifest from other realms and dimensions beyond the domains of everyday life and thought. Her vivid imagery is rooted in the cornerstones of our earthly existence-life and death, pain and pleasure, isolation and connection, and love and loss.

Zvavahera draws from a powerful visual vocabulary comprising women, her family, and shape-shifting animals, in scenes both metaphorical and fantastical. In several paintings she makes use of intricate patterns taken from her own floral or classical Zimbabwean designs. Her particular process of alternating painting and printing results in images that communicate complex emotions in a play of tension and release. The result is a deeply personal body of work that probes the nature of the human condition. As Zvavahera states, “It is me in the paintings…. I can only speak about myself.”

In addition to gorgeous reproductions of 24 paintings, including up-close details and installation views, this catalogue also features a new essay by Meredith Brown and an interview with the artist by Allie Biswas. This catalogue surveys work made since 2017.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 24.1 x 27.9 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 9 August 2022
Number of pages 112
Format Hardback
Dimensions 24.1 x 27.9 cm
Weight 300 g


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Portia Zvavahera”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Portia Zvavahera was born in 1985 in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the BAT Visual Arts Studio, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, from 2003 to 2005. She then received a diploma in visual arts from Harare Polytechnic in 2006.

Allie Biswas is a writer and researcher based in London. She is coeditor of The Soul of a Nation Reader: Writings by and about Black American Artists, 1960-1980 (2021). She has published interviews with artists including Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Meleko Mokgosi, Zanele Muholi, Adam Pendleton, and Wolfgang Tillmans. She has written catalogue essays for monographs on the work of Rina Banerjee, Hannah van Bart, Arcmanoro Niles, and Serge Alain Nitegeka. Forthcoming publications include a catalogue about the U.S. Embassy's art collection in London and interviews with Theaster Gates, Lubna Chowdhary, and Ibrahim Mahama.