Mia Chaplin


Mia Chaplin (b.1990 South Africa) is a painter who lives and works in Cape Town. Working in oil on canvas and paper, her highly expressive works are characterised by their rich impasto surfaces and visible brushstrokes. Chaplin’s most recent works emphasize a muted colour palette of pink fleshy tones and golden highlights. Consisting of still lifes, figure studies and landscapes, her work seems to meditate on the familiar. Her loose, erratic style of painting – synonymous with that of the impressionists – is intuitive, heightening the emotionality of her pieces. They communicate a sense of estrangement; reflecting a detachment between the self and her surroundings. Her works sway between voyeurism and intimate interaction, while remaining consistently self-referential.

Since completing her BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town in 2011, Chaplin has hosted four solo exhibitions, Mouth (2018), Under a Boiling River (2017) and Binding Forms (2016), with WHATIFTHEWORLD and most recently, Underbelly (2019), with No Man’s Art Gallery in Amsterdam. She has furthermore extended her painting practice into printmaking, hosting a mini-exhibition of monotypes from the series, The Making of a Sharp Blade (2017), in collaboration with Warren Editions, Cape Town. Chaplin has completed artist residency programmes at Cité Internationale Des Artes in the Marais district, Paris (2018), Nirox Arts Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa (2016) and at OBRAS Foundation in Alentejo, Portugal (2015).

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Underbelly, No Man's Art Gallery, Amsterdam
2018 Mouth - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2017 Under a Boiling River - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Johannesburg
2016 Binding Forms - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2014 Mia Chaplin: Ceremony, Salon 91, Cape Town
2011 Mia Chaplin: No Place, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 RESTUDIO, Cunningham Contemporary, Johannesburg
2020 Proxies, Gallery, Gallery, Johannesburg
Matereality, Iziko National Gallery, Cape Town
2019 Measures of Poetry, GoGo Collective, Bogardenkapel Brugge, Belgium
Outside, RBK Contemporary
2018 Showroom, Galerie extérieure at Cité internationale des arts, Paris
A letter to my 22 year-old self, BKHZ, Johannesburg
2017 Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town
Lady Garden, Cavalli Wine Estate, Cape Town
You Leave Me with This?, No End Contemporary, Johannesburg
The Making of a Sharp Blade, Warren Editions, Cape Town
Nano, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
2016 Cape Flower Show, The Castle, Cape Town
Nano, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
Sewing Paradise: a Sisterhood through Suzani, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
FUGLY, Die Voorkamer, Cape Town
For What its Worth, No End Contemporary, Johannesburg
No Man’s Art Gallery, Tehran
South African Art Exhibition, Galerie Pat ries van Dorst, Netherlands
No Man’s Art Gallery, Shanghai
2015 Cape Town Art Fair, The Avenue, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Wet Paint, Die Voorkamer, Cape Town
That Art Fair , The Palms, Cape Town
Pink, Chandler House, Cape Town
Surface: Emerging South African Painters, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
Out of Context, UJ Art Gallery, Johannesburg
New Voices 01 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Paint it Black, Salon91, Cape Town
2014 Cape Town Art Fair, The Pavillion, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Cubicle, Infecting the City Public Arts Festival, Cape Town
Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg
Art in Red Light #10, Art Fair, Amsterdam
SA Art Now, No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam
Florabunda, Die Voorkamer, Cape Town
2013 Cape Town Art Fair, The Look Out, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
In Good Company, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
Collections and Archives, Salon 91, Cape Town
One in a Million, Salon 91, Cape Town
I’d Rather Be Swimming, Salon 91, Cape Town
2012 Impression: Sunset, Salon 91, Cape Town
2010 First Edition, These Four Walls Gallery, Cape Town