Leonard Matsoso was born in 1949 Soweto, South Africa. He worked at the Jubilee Art Centre in 1962, alongside Cecil Skotnes and Sydney Kumalo. Matsotso works is recognised as work that negates literal commentary but rather owes its value to its presence. As a graphic artist and painter, Matsotso has produced a wide body of work encompassing both colour and monochromatic artworks. His works are intricate, combined with sculptural figures, yet juxtaposed on a back setting of blank backgrounds.

Although drawing was a favoured medium for several black artists of the period, due to its accessibility, Matsoso’s technique set him apart from the artists making work during that time. Matsoso was associated with the Goodman Gallery (where he exhibited between 1970 and 1988) and represented South Africa at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1973 and 1979. He was also invited by the Department of National Education in 1981 to submit work for the controversial Valparaiso Biennial in Chile, although the content of his work was subsequently rejected as being politically unsuitable.