Kate Gottgens was born in 1965 in Durban, South Africa, and currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. Gottgens graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, in 1987. Gottgens is the most recent recipient of the Ampersand Fellowship Award, resulting in a residency in New York City, USA.
In 2020, Gottgens’ participated in SMAC Gallery’s ongoing project, Artist Room, showcasing a solo presentation of new works. Earlier in 2020, her work was included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), in Cape Town South Africa, as well as A "Show of Solidarity", a group exhibition at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2019 her works were included in the Ampersand Foundation Award 21 years celebration exhibition curated by Gordon Froud at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as SMAC Gallery’s presentation at FNB Art Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gottgens recently presented a body of new works as part of SMAC Gallery’s presentation at Untitled, Art in Miami, USA.
Earlier solo exhibitions include: Cold Cuts as part of SMAC Gallery’s presentation at Sydney Contemporary in Sydney, Australia in 2018; "Tired from Smiling" at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2017; Famine at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg in 2016; "MALICE" Aforethought at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2013; "Merry Hell" and the "Dreambody" in 2010; "Asleep Inside You" in 2009; and "Little Deaths" in 2007. In 2014 Gottgens made her international debut "Savage Nature" at Espacio Liquido in Gijon, Spain. Following Gottgens’ inclusion as the only South African selected for Thames and Hudson’s publication, "100 Painters of Tomorrow" in 2014, her work was exhibited at One Art Space in New York City, USA as part of the exhibition to launch the publication. In 2015, SMAC Gallery published "Kate Gottgens // Paintings 2007 – 2015" to coincide with her exhibition Infinite Loop in Stellenbosch. In 2017 SMAC Gallery published Gottgens’ second book, Gottgens // Paintings 2015 – 2017 to coincide with her exhibition, Tired From Smiling. She presented her first solo exhibition in 1993 entitled Modern Wonders.
Gottgens has exhibited in numerous group shows locally and abroad since 1988–most notably; the 8th New Delhi Triennale in India in 1994 and Scurvy at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town in 1995. SMAC Gallery presented Gottgens at Miart in Milan, Italy in 2014, and selected international fairs including Artissima in 2017. Recent group shows include: "Suitcase Show", at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, as part of the group show in collaboration with Galleria Massimo Minini in 2019; "Bathing", curated by Brian Shure at Planthouse Gallery in New York City, USA, in 2018; "Summer Show ’16" at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2016, and "Imago Mundi", a traveling exhibition held at Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome; Ca’ dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy both in 2014.
Gottgens work was recently acquired by the Hall Art Foundation, Derneburg, Germany & Reading, Vermont USA, the collection Majudia / Arsenal Contemporary in Montreal, Canada, and the Taylor Art Collection in Denver, USA. Further collections include the Luciano Benetton Collection in Treviso, Italy; The Royal Portfolio Collection in Cape Town, South Africa; The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Collection in Johannesburg, South Africa; Hans Porer Collection in Cape Town, South Africa; Spier Art Collection in Cape Town, South Africa.