Dale Lawrence


Dale Lawrence (b.1988) is an artist living and working in Cape Town. Through his work, Lawrence seeks moments of intimacy and invention through the disruption of repetitive processes: in craftsmanship and artistic practice, in familiar language and histories, in habitual behaviours and daily rituals.

Lawrence’s practice combines various media such as text, sculpture, print, performance and installation, frequently blurring lines between them. In creating new works by tearing up others that have gone unsold or recreating Kounellis’ Tragedia Civile (1975) from chip packets, or through his text works, in which the artist extracts phrases from ephemeral sources— including clickbait and news articles, news, advertising, social media, novels, song lyrics and speech transcripts—compiling them into poetic arrangements, Lawrence’s work displays a core focus on the interrelation between language, materiality and gesture.

Lawrence graduated with a Post-graduate Diploma in Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in 2010, following a BA in Visual Communication specialising in graphic design. Lawrence is also a founder of the creative studio HOICK.

Midden is Lawrence’s first solo exhibition with WHATIFTHEWORLD and follows Broken Tools at Nuweland Gallery in The Netherlands in 2021 and Look Busy, Another Helping and Further Prototypes at SMITH in Cape Town in 2016, 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Lawrence’s work has featured in group exhibitions with WHATIFTHEWORLD such as The Phoenix Runway (2022) and 40 Under 40 at WITW/KRONE. Lawrence was in residence in the USA in 2022 at ICA Philadelphia in a program co-organised by the museum and RAW Académie (Dakar) and directed by Just Above Midtown gallery founder Linda Goode Bryant.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 Midden - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2021 Broken Tools, Nuweland Gallery, Netherlands
2019 Further Prototypes, SMITH, Cape Town
2017 Another Helping, SMITH, Cape Town
2016 Further Prototypes, SMITH, Cape Town
Look Busy, Smith

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 The Phoenix Runway - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2021 40 under 40, WHATIFTHEWORLD/Krone, Cape Town
Between Strangers, Nuweland Gallery, Netherlands
2016 Sketch, SMITH

Art Fairs

Miart 2024