Paris Internationale - © Paris Internationale
First Floor Gallery - © Paris Internationale
First Floor Gallery

First Floor Gallery Harare is Zimbabwe’s leading contemporary art space with a programme, which incorporates artist development and educational and socially engaged cultural initiatives alongside gallery practice. Since opening in 2009 as an experimental artist-run initiative, First Floor Gallery Harare has launched numerous international careers of Zimbabwean artists and beyond. In 2020, the gallery opened a second gallery space in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s fastest-growing city and premier destination for international visitors, with the aim of expanding its programme and audience reach as well as supporting development of the local emerging artist community.

Karigamombe Centre
2nd Floor, 53 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe

Elephants Walk Complex
253 Mosi-Oa-Tunya, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

This project brings into conversation new works of three contemporary African abstractionists Amel Bennys, Amanda Mushate and Helen Teede. These three dynamic women artists of different generations, cultural and life experiences are both committed to speaking a personal truth as a woman, as an artist and as an African beyond external preconceptions of what women, artists and Africans can and should be. Potently each has very consciously has chosen to dispence with figuration in their practice.

Despite their diverse backgrounds and dramatically different approaches, the conversation between the works of these artists creates a unifying and symphonic experience of life treated with joy and gravitas simultaneously. It charts a unique and exciting trajectory about intercultural and degendered history of abstraction and rich contemporary possibilities for poetry and storytelling in painting and sculpture.

Amel Bennys

Born in 1970 in Tunis, Tunisia,
Lives & works between Tunis and Paris

Amel Bennys is an abstractionist with a deeply evolved practice which spans continents and artistic traditions – Africa, Europe and North America.

Having received her education in Tunisia, Bennys went on to obtain an MFA from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris earning numerous awards including as she built her career, including Villa Medicis “Hors les Murs”, “Les Etoiles de la Peinture”prize, which resulted in an exhibi-tion at the Maeght Galleries, Montrouge and Barcelone. In 2012, she has been invited by the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation (Bethany, CT) which resulted in her moving to New York for the following decade.

As both a painter and sculptor, Bennys uses color as equally a structure as a three- dimensional object in space. Layered textures and pigments define much of her work. This exploration of texture and material gives way to the visual knowledge of form through coloration. For the artist, color becomes a point of departure in exploring the depths of architectural form. In her paintings one can note the manner in which color acts as a constructive tool: the purity of pigment stands flat on the canvas and thus become a structure in and of itself. Bennysʼ paintings are lyrical and exist as a natural and fluid extension of sculptural figuration. Bennysʼ practice exists within the realm of incessant layering of flat pigments, the “tableau” becomes the art object as a three-dimensional structure.

Her work has been reviewed in Le Monde Diplomatique, Gazette Drouot Auction, French television: FR3 & ARTE. Her work is in prestigious collections including: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, U.S.A ; Agnès B., private collection ; Alain Bonfand, private collection ; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis, Tunisia ; Ministry of Culture collection, Tunis, Tunisia; Pascal Quignard collection, Paris, France; Frédéric Mitter- and (former Minister of Culture) collection, Paris, France; Foreign Ministry of France collection, Paris, France; Intervest Development Corp collection, New York, U.S.A.

For the eyes of the beloved - © Paris Internationale
Amel Bennys
For the eyes of the beloved, —2019

Pigments, acrylic, aluminium, oil sticks on canvas
170 x 140 cm

Brooklyn - © Paris Internationale
Amel Bennys
Brooklyn, —2015

Pigments - aluminium - Pencil - on canvas
140 x 110 cm.

Always - © Paris Internationale
Amel Bennys
Always, —2021

Pigments, acrylic, oil sticks on canvas
180 x 220 cm

3121 Third Avenue - © Paris Internationale
Amel Bennys
3121 Third Avenue, —2019

Pigments, aluminium, acrylic on canvas
178 x 210 cm

Amanda Shingirayi Mushate

Born 1995, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe

At just twenty-seven, Mushate is establishing herself as a leading voice in contemporary Zimbabwean painting and an innovative young abstractionist with a growing international reputation. As a young woman and a new mother, in a male dominated field Mushate is also a role model and an advocate for women artists, making art and careers possible without sacrificing family. After completing her studies at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Visual Arts Studio in 2016, Mushate was mentored by Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude to develop a vibrant and unique personal vision and modes of expression, presenting her first solo exhibition in 2018 with First Floor Gallery. Like any young person, Mushate is preoccupied with finding and shaping her place and path in this world, while negotiating the complexity of interpersonal relationships. Drawing her inspiration from music and from people around her but not wanting to be constrained by over figuration, she paints and sculpts her happiness and burdens, and the things that she takes time to visualize. “Art is a way for me to write about a ‘future’ for me and for all individuals for them to never be overshadowed by negative influences that divert us to our true purpose in life.” Mushate’s passionate, playful and mazelike canvases have been winning critical and international collector attention globally with works in important private collections in Cape Town, New York, Harare, London, Amsterdam and Paris.

Selected Recent Exhibitions
2022: SCENORAMA (Gabi Ngcobo curator), Javett Art Centre - University of Pretoria, South Africa
2022: Shuviro Yamai, solo exhibition, First Floor Gallery Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
2021: Investec Cape Town Art Fair, First Floor Gallery Harare: Cape Town, South Africa
2021: Nguve ine Muridzi, solo exhibition, First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
2021: Mirror Mirror! - South South Veza, First Floor Gallery Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe
2020: Level Mosi-oa-tunya, First Floor Gallery, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
2020: African Galleries Now, African Art Galleries- Artsy Online art fair, First Floor Gallery
2020: Tomorrows/Today solo presentation, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, First Floor Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2019: Emerging Painting Invitational (finalist), First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
2019: On A Clear Day (Amanda Mushate - Mavis Tauzeni), First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
2018: Next Level, First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
2018: Hupenyu Hwangu Ndapedza Dzidzo (My Life-End of Lessons) solo exhibition, First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
2017: Young Artist Exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
2016: Green Shoots, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Wenge mhuka (Like an animal) - © Paris Internationale
Amanda Mushate
Wenge mhuka (Like an animal), —2022

Oil on canvas
119.5 x 100cm

Kuyakhanya - © Paris Internationale
Amanda Mushate
Kuyakhanya, —2022

Oil on canvas
129.5 x 98.5 cm

Ukuyamukela (Beneficiary), 2022
Oil on canvas
130 x 98.5cm - © Paris Internationale
Amanda Mushate
Ukuyamukela (Beneficiary), —2022

Oil on canvas
130 x 98.5 cm

Ukhuzithola - © Paris Internationale
Amanda Mushate
Ukhuzithola, —2022

Oil on canvas
140 X 250cm

Helen Teede

Helen Teede (b.1989) is a visual artist from Zimbabwe, working primarily in painting. She has recently returned to Zimbabwe from Italy having completed her Masters in Visual Art at IUAV University of Venice with 110/110 and Honours. Her thesis, “Phenomenology of Painting as an intersectional Medium” reflects on storytelling through painting as a medium that comprises ongoing formations, relying on situated knowledge and material thinking as ways of knowing that rejects ideas of total, objective knowledge, and embraces the importance of process, curiosity, failure and the acceptance of paradox. She has worked as an artist since 2013, after completing her BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, joining First Floor Gallery Harare in 2015 and participating in numerous group exhibitions, including a survey of contemporary Zimbabwean painting at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in 2018, a number of two person-shows, as well as five solo exhibitions locally and internationally. She currently lives in Harare, working as an artist and researcher with First Floor Gallery Harare.

Recent Exhibitions
•2021 Artemisia, First Floor Gallery, Victoria Falls
•2021 Mirror Mirror, South South Veza, First Floor Gallery Harare
•2020-2021 Level Mosi-oa-Tunya, First Floor Gallery, Victoria Falls
•2019 Traffic Festival Delle Anime Gentili: San Lorenzo in Campo, Italy.
•2019 Home Affairs, Daor Contemporary: Cape Town, South Africa
•2019 The Harare Fauves, Alon Segev Gallery: Tel Aviv, Israel.
•2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, First Floor Gallery Harare: Cape Town, South Africa
•2018 Without Breaking Anything, Matter Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
•2018 Five Bobh. Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA), Cape Town. South Africa.
•2018 FNB Joburg Art Fair. First Floor Gallery Harare, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
•2018 Next Level. First Floor Gallery Harare, in Harare, Zimbabwe.
•2018 Cape Town Art Fair. First Floor Gallery Harare, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Aubade, 2022
Oil on Canvas
150 x 160 cm - © Paris Internationale
Helen Teede
Aubade, —2022

Oil on Canvas
150 x 160 cm

Between the Ground and the Feast - © Paris Internationale
Helen Teede
Between the Ground and the Feast, —2022

oil on canvas
200.00 x 170.00 cm

Time to Plant Tears - © Paris Internationale
Helen Teede
Time to Plant Tears, —2022

160 x 240 cm
Oil on Canvas

The one world we all belong to, Part 6 - © Paris Internationale
Helen Teede
The one world we all belong to, Part 6, —2022

40 x 45 cm
Oil on Canvas

You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.