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Archive: Issue No. 41, January 2001

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.


23.01.01 New multimedia art space for Johannesburg
23.01.01 Interart/Interact's see...hear...touch...feel...think at Spark!
23.01.01 Willem Boshoff's 'Kring van Kennis' at the Gencor Gallery
23.01.01 'Big Bag Show' at the Goodman
16.01.01 'Cross Overs' at CrossPathCulture SA
16.01.01 'Young Contemporary South African Artists' at MuseuMAfricA
23.01.01 'Launch' at the Open Window
09.01.01 Berco Wilsenach at the Pretoria Art Museum
Orange Free State
23.01.01 '!Xoe ...Off Site' for Oliewenhuis

Maitisong Art Gallery

The logo of the new gallery


New multimedia art space for Johannesburg

The Maitisong Art Gallery at the Jungle Connection Centre in Beit Street opened its doors on January 19. Managed by Ntombifikile, the name of the space translates as "a place of leisure and storytelling" in Setswana. Ntombifikile sees to it that the cultural spirit embedded in the rituals of African oral (and visual) tradition does not become extinct. Activities include the sales and marketing of art by mainly black artists such as Amakhulu Diniso, Mogorosi Motshumi, Julius Moeletsi and Richard Maleho; managing the Maitisong Book Club (people are invited to join the reading and discussion sessions of African literature); a weekly poetry recital evening, performances, film and writing workshops for the local community, and the sale of African films (they are contracted to the Film Resource Unit).

The venue is based at the Jungle Connection Centre in Doornfontein, strategically placed between the inner city, Berea, Joubert Park and Yeoville, and it is near Harrow Road which easily connects you to Soweto, Pretoria, Durban and other highways around Johannesburg. It offers itself as a potential centre for the inner city renewal project currently taking shape in Egoli. But above all, it seeks to marry art and leisure and all of life's pleasures in a way that acts as a support structure for local culture vultures.

The launch exhibition features the work of Gamakhulu Diniso.

The Maitisong Art Gallery, Jungle Connection Centre, 50 Beit Street (corner Sivewright Avenue), Doornfontein, JHB
PO Box 93618, Yeoville, 2143
Tel: (011) 487 0937
Cell: (083) 528 3090

Paula Louw

Paula Louw
Detail from Containment, 1999
50 x 40 x 14 cm
Found objects, paints, wire, nails, bitumen, hair, paper

Interart/Interact's see...hear...touch...feel...think at Spark!

Interart/Interact is an informal artists' discussion group. Launched only six months ago, the group is presenting its first show at the gorgeous Spark! complex at the end of the month. Co-founders Colleen Alborough (cousin of the more famous Alan) and Paula Louw recognised the dire need for artists to communicate and be proactive given the even more dire state of the gallery system in Johannesburg. While they acknowledge that this show is only a first and small step with all the possibilities of not living up to their (and our?) expectations, they have taken the plunge, bitten the bullet and all that, and for that they get respect.

They do not want to be recognised as a collective, but keep the group open to guest speakers, and anyone interested. The nine exhibiting artists, namely Colleen Alborough, Diana Bollweg, Anita Davis, Tarquin Holt, Sue Kaplan, Paula Louw, Greg Miller and Marita Smit, take on concerns that include environmental issues, technology, memories, childhood, politics, the body politic and the interrogation of identity.

The exhibition will be opened by Helen Weldrick at 6.30 pm on January 31. Ends February 11.

Opening: January 31, 6:30pm
Closing: February 11

Spark!, 10 Louis Road, Orchards
Tel: (011) 622 8297
Pieter Vorster 082 574 2152; Glynnis Jackson 083 836 1210
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 am until café-bar closes; Sunday: 10.00 am - noon

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff with one of the stones from 'Kring van Kennis'

Willem Boshoff's 'Kring van Kennis' at the Gencor Gallery

RAU seems to be serious about putting its money where its mouth is in terms of knowledge-building and moving the once-Afrikaans dominated university into the 21st century. They recently commissioned neo-conceptualist Willem Boshoff to create a public sculpture for the main entrance to the campus.

Kring van Kennis was erected in the second half of last year. A circle of eleven 'stones of thought' sculpted from South African granite have been placed roughly in a circle to form eleven points of discussion, one for each of South Africa's official languages. Adapted from Western and African Stone Age forms of concentric circles, texts are etched into the granite of the top part of the eleven stones. About twenty inscriptions covering the theme of "things that are worth learning about" (as described by the artist) are found on every stone or "seat", with the emphasis on knowledge, cognitive power, intelligence and awakening. To emphasis the site-specificity of the piece, typical university ideals are expressed and emphasised with -ologies and -isms suffixes.

The chosen text is a selection of words from a dictionary, which Boshoff began to develop himself more than ten years ago. Each is found at the top of the 'seats' with a concise explanation. He says:

    "This dictionary contains about 18 000 brief essays about English brain-teasers. I consulted about 200 dictionaries and finally worked through the 25 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary word for word in order to develop all the 'unknown' and mysterious-sounding words, or words on the verge of falling into oblivion, in 'friendly' paragraphs. This work attempts to build a bridge between people who don't understand each other easily. Discussion, debate and ultimate understanding, within the framework of a philosophical game, encourage us to take note of the differences and similarities that exist between us - knowledge that will lead to mutual respect of, and even admiration for, each other's inherent values. And eventually we discover each other. The Kring van Kennis then becomes a circle of getting to know each other."

The official unveiling of the group of sculptures will be undertaken by Prof JC van der Walt, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University, on Wednesday, January 31 at 5.30 p.m.

Opening: Wednesday, January 31 at 5.30 pm

Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans University, C Ring, cnr Kingsway & University Road, Auckland Park
Tel: (011) 489 2099
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 6.00 pm ; Saturday 9.00 am - 1.00 pm

The Big Bag Show

The Big Bag Show

'Big Bag Show' at the Goodman

Post- Big Bag Auction, the gallery hosts the 'Big Bag Show' featuring artists who worked, or who have worked, at the historic Bag Factory, also known at the Fordsburg Artists' Studios. While the studios provide facilities for artists, specifically those from communities without similar resources, they have hosted local guest residents as well as run a successful international residency programme for mid-career artists. The exhibition will include past and present residents as well as established and younger talents.

Opening: January 27

Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
Tel: (011) 788-1113
Fax: (011) 788 9887
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm ; Saturday 9.30 am to 4.00 pm

Tracey Rose

Tracey Rose

'Cross Overs' at CrossPathCulture SA

CrossPathCulture SA is a satellite of an eponymously named body in New York that recently opened in Newtown. This exhibition is a showcasing of work produced in workshops over the last few weeks and takes place simultaneously at the CPC Centre, the Market Theatre Galleries, Carfax and the grounds of the Workers' Library and Museum. Artist Samson Mnisi is the local director, who has managed to encourage artists like David Koloane, Tracey Rose, Nhlanhla Xaba, Kay Hassan, Ian Waldeck and Dinkies Sithole to participate in the initial project. Visiting artists include digital artist Ken Feinstein, Zhang Hongtu, Gerard Pas and Francis Hines, who is creating a much-needed public sculpture outside the Workers Library out of cars and fabric.

Opening: Sunday January 14, 5pm
Closing: January 31

For more information, contact Alyse Spiegel on 082 863 2965.

CrossPathCulture SA, 21 Malherbe Street, corner Pim Street, Newtown, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 492 1939

'Young Contemporary South African Artists' at MuseuMAfricA

BTech students from Technikon Witwatersrand showcase their work on the fourth floor of the museum. Working in a variety of media, the show promises to introduce some new names to the scene, but with both the Market Theatre Gallery and Civic Gallery closing recently, the spaces to show work by emergent artists in Johannesburg are dwindling at alarming rates.

The exhibition will be opened by artist and tech lecturer Leora Farber at 6.30 p.m.

More information, please call Michelle on 082 463 3571.

Opening: January 22
Closing: February 04

MuseuMAfricA, 121 Bree St, Newtown, JHB Tel: (011) 833-5624. Fax: (011) 833 5636 Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Invitation image for 'Launch'


'Launch' at the Open Window

The gallery kicks off 2001 with an exhibition of two and three dimensional works by recent graduates and young artists from art schools around Pretoria, including the University of Pretoria and the Open Window Academy. Artists include Anel Schoombee, Angie Banks, Carine Zaayman, Dylan Thomas, Frikkie Vermeulen, Johann Thom, Kobus Haupt and Rina Stutzer.

Opening: January 31 at 7.00 pm
Closing: February 17

Open Window Art Academy, 10 Rigel Avenue, Erasmusrand
Tel: (012) 347-1740
Fax: (012) 347-1710
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 4.00 pm ; Saturday 10.00 am - 2.00 pm



'Fabrications' at the Association of Arts, Pretoria

In what is touted as "South Africa's first group fibre sculpture exhibition", curator Celia de Villiers has put together a group of artists who have extended the boundaries of their own practice to work in fibre-based sculpture. Fibre here refers to wool, wood and wire. De Villiers, a veteran fibre artist and artist in residence at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival 2000, was first invited to curate 'Fabrications' as a satellite exhibition to the recent National Quilt Festival in Johannesburg. The response by traditionalists to the groundbreaking work on show was overwhelming. The exhibition at the Association of Arts in Pretoria is a selection of top work that attempts to destabilise the view that fibre art is the sole domain of female artists.

There seem to be some obvious omissions from the proposed line up, but that remains to be seen. Artists include Carien Quiroga (recipient of the 1999 PPC Cement Young Concrete Sculptor's Awards), Marlies Herold (1997 Sasol New Signatures Award winner), and Karin Lijnes.

Vice President of the World Craft (Africa), Wendy Goldblatt, will open the exhibition on Sunday 21 January at 6.00 p.m. 2001.

Opening: January 21
Closing: February 8

Association of Arts, Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 346-3100
Fax: (012) 346-3125
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Fridays: 10.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.; Saturdays: 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.; Sundays and Mondays closed

Berco Wilsenach

Berco Wilsenach

Berco Wilsenach
Mixed media
Installation detail

Berco Wilsenach at the Pretoria Art Museum

In the first solo installation by a contemporary artist at the Pretoria Art Museum, Berco Wilsenach presents 'Continuum' a landscape in which mechanical processes and synthetic materials define life and the passing of time. A forest of outsized umbrellas endlessly open and close, set in a floor of gravel, and viewers can listen to rhythmic sounds, and smell strawberry or eucalyptus.

The exhibition arose from Wilsenach's interest in the development of contemporary sciences, and in efforts to engage all the senses of the viewer. Rather than relying on found objects or transformed ready-mades, the artist designed all the kinetic elements for his piece.

'Continuum' was made possible with the assistance of the matching grant fund scheme of BASA, Rage Creations, Masterplan Architects and Stalcor.

Opening: January 08
Closing: January 28

Pretoria Art Museum, corner Schoeman and Wessels Streets, Arcadia
Tel: (012) 344-1807/8
Fax: (012) 344-1809
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00 am - 5.00 pm; Wednesdays 10.00 am - 8.00 pm; Sundays 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Greg Streak

Greg Streak Hermet
Mild steel, paint


'!Xoe ...Off Site' for Oliewenhuis

The energetic Mark Wilby, director of the Ibis Art Gallery in the small back-of-beyond town of Nieu Bethesda in the Eastern Cape could serve as a model for all creative types who choose to live in the sticks. In the past few years, Wilby has mounted a series of projects which have gained national attention, involving manyof the country's leading artists. Last July, (Wilby carefully times his projects to link to the Grahamstown Arts Festival) '!Xoe2' was mounted, and artists such as Andries Botha, Greg Streak, Jeremy Wafer et al travelled to Nieu Bethesda to make site specific work relating to their surroundings. The project had two faces: '!Xoe... Off Site' was a gallery based, related show in which the same artists prepared work for inside viewing. The exhibition at the Oliewenhuis, Bloemfontein's art gallery on the hill, will be the third venue. For our critic's opinion of the work, and how well the transition from the outside to inside was handled, read Paul Edmunds' Cape Town review.

Opening: Tuesday, January 30 at 7 pm

     See Reviews

Oliewenhuis, Harrismith Street, Bloemfontein