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Archive: Issue No. 47, July 2001

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


Website of the month
New listings
Institution sites
Gallery sites
Artist sites
General sites
Exhibition sites
Project sites
Zine sites


Frank Gehry
Nationale-Nederlanden Building, Prague
From Artforum's summer focus on architecture



Relaunched last month to include exclusive online content as well as a sampling of the print publication, Artforum's new website makes living on the southern tip, with its dearth of international art magazines, just that bit more bearable. Updated with new content daily, the slick site (a natural translation of the print look and feel) offers tasty snippets of art world news, tracking the movements of museum directors and curators across the globe and keeping tabs on the art market, as well as links to the top stories of the day from sources like the London Guardian and Times, The Art Newspaper and the New York Times.

Critics' Picks serves up bite-sized reviews of the hottest shows in New York, London and other major centres, while the Museums section has an indispensable globetrotter's guide to the major museum shows currently on in the US and internationally. In Print offers the full magazine table of contents, with clickthroughs to selected articles including the popular HotList and TopTen features. The Links section is another must-visit - a quick glance served up the New Museum in New York's online discussion of its current William Kentridge exhibition. Artforum's talk boards are a little slow, as new bulletin boards tend to be. Nonetheless, this is a site to bookmark, along with Frieze and The Art Newspaper.

Tracey Rose

Tracey Rose
Ciao Bella, 2001
Still from video
Photo: Universes in Universe



Tour of the 49th Venice Biennale

Four weeks after the opening, Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt have published a virtual tour of the Venice Biennale on their Universes in Universe website, concentrating (in line with the Universes project) on participants from Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. The tour covers 62 artists and projects, many with interviews or additional texts. Selected artists from Harald Szeeman's 'Plateau of Humankind' exhibition include Tracey Rose (whose video installation Ciao Bella is cited as one of the most exciting works on the show by Dan Cameron, writing for Artforum) and Gustavo Artigas, until recently artist-in-residence at the Bag Factory. 'Authentic/Ex-centric', the parallel exhibition with Emma Bedford as associate curator, is documented at length, including works by Berni Searle and Willem Boshoff and a tantalising glimpse of African wax-print attired astronauts by Yinka Shonibare. As Haupt and Binder point out, the virtual tour is not an exhaustive one, but does serve to foreground work from regions of the world "so underrepresented in Szeemann's exhibition".


Steven Cohen

Performance artist and winner of the 1998 FNB Vita Art Prize, Steven Cohen's fabulously wicked attires can be pored over at leisure on his site, once you've navigated past the pesky floating gifs and "adults only" warning on the front page. Writings include Cohen's own thoughts on performance ("like surgery without anaesthetic"), media reaction to his Dance Umbrella works (cue moral outrage) and an article from the Mail & Guardian about the genetic individuality of the Cohen tribe. But it's the pictures that truly fascinate, capturing Cohen's way-out-there "Living Art" and applied art in all its dangerous, challenging glory.



Museums Online

All the current activities and exhibitions of South African museums. The site includes an events section enabling anyone in the museum or related community to announce relevant activities on the internet, and a by-subscription mailing list which will allow one to be e-mailed regularly on museum activities. Discussion forums also give one the opportunity to voice an opinion on a variety of arts issues.

South African National Gallery

Part of Museums Online, this is a very comprehensive site providing information on everything that needs to be known about the South African National Gallery from its collection to the library. All of the SANG's newsletters can also be viewed as well as internet exhibitions.

The South African National Gallery is an art museum which holds in trust an historical and contemporary art collection on behalf of the people of South Africa. The gallery provides a cultural and educational resource, encourages involvement in the visual arts, and nurtures a culturally diverse but shared national identity.

Initially comprising 45 paintings presented in 1871 by Thomas Bayley, the collection of the SANG has grown to one of international stature, encompassing substantial holdings of South African, African and Western European art. The Annexe building is used for exhibitions, film screenings, workshops and lectures.

Owl House Foundation

This clean and neatly designed website is about the Owl House Foundation, once the home of Helen Martins who died on August 8 1976. Miss Helen, as she is also known, changed her home in Nieu-Bethesda, set in a fertile valley of the Sneeuberg Mountains, from what she felt was a mundane surrounding into one that plays with reflection and space, light and dark and different hues. After filling the interior of the house that serves as "a luminous backdrop of walls and ceilings coated with elaborate patterns of crushed glass imbedded in bands of brightly coloured paint", the exterior was developed. Images of sun faces, owls and camels, all manner of real and fantastical beings are to be found.

To conserve this beautiful and unique structure the Foundation is researching and employing contemporary materials and methods to combat weaknesses developed because of harsh climatic conditions and the ever-increasing number of visitors. A slow and expensive operation, the process is designed for long-term preservation - each element being returned to its original state. The Foundation receives no support from official sources. They are indebted to the membership base, individual donors and principal patrons, PPC Cement.

Ruth Prowse School of Art

The Ruth Prowse Art Centre is one of Cape Town's more enduring art institutions, housed in a historic farmhouse in Woodstock once owned by artist Ruth Prowse. Once the kind of place one couldn't quite admit to attending (too many housewives filling in spare time in the painting classes) the Art Centre has now jacked itself up with banks of the latest computer equipment, and as well as traditional art teaching is offering classes in web design and video editing - see Exchange. For a sample of the skills you might hope to achieve, check out the cool grey minimally elegant website, designed by FUR, who will be co-ordinating the courses.

District Six Museum

"Europeans Only. Slegs Blankes" introduces you to this website commemorating the area of District 6 and honouring the people who fought against the forced removals and Group Areas Act. On December 10 1994, the District Six Museum opened with its first exhibition "Streets - Retracing the Past". The mission of the District Six Museum is to ensure that the history and the memory of forced removals in South Africa endures. It aims to foster understanding between communities, isolated by segregation, by focussing on the multicultural nature of District Six. Central to its mission is the documentation and imaginative reconstruction of the history, labouring life and cultural heritage of the District Six community.

MTN Art Institute

The MTN Art Institute is committed to using its fine and expanding art collection and other resources as vehicles of expression to connect people to each other, and to South African and African art, culture and heritage. The institute's vision is to nurture heritage and cultural processes, and in so doing support the mechanisms through which society may be examined and restored. New on the site is artist Abrie Fourie's collection of 16 downloadable screensavers, titled Philippians 4.8.

King George VI Art Gallery

This is the website of the King George VI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth, with news of current exhibitions and activities and a virtual tour of some of the gallery's highlights. The museum serves the public through programmes of art research, conservation, publications, educational and recreational events and exhibitions.

The Pelindaba Museum of African and Modern Art

In 1978, Johannesburg gallerist and collector Fernand Haenggi formed the Haenggi Foundation, and found a site near Hartebeespoort Dam where he hoped to erect a permananent structure entitled the Pelindaba Museum of African and Modern Art. Corporate support was not forthcoming, and eventually Haenggi had to abandon his plans, and donated many of the finest works in his collection of mainly 1960s art to institutions across the country. Artists included Norman Catherine, Lucas Sithole, Judith Mason and Lucas Seage, among many others.

What could not be realised in stone has taken form in cyberspace. This site shows the collection and names the galleries where the work may now be seen, and is of great interest as an overview of that period of South African art. A second site,, concentrates on the ouevre of sculptor Lucas Sithole. Design wise, this rather fussy site is not going to win awards, and the images, although mainly of excellent quality, take time to download. But for students of South African art history, it will be most useful.

Red Eye

This site provides information on the monthly 'Red Eye' art-for-all event at the Durban Art Gallery, described here as a "kick in the pants art initiative". A sharp design in black and red characterises the site, with some nifty flash animations and sound effects. The site gives the philosophy of 'Red Eye', a history of the multi media event, galleries of past highlights, and tells you how to send in a proposal for a future 'Red Eye'.



The NSA Gallery

The Natal Society of Arts (NSA), located in Durban, has been promoting the visual arts in KwaZulu-Natal for more than 90 years. It is presently located in a contemporary, custom designed building in a beautiful park setting. This centre is committed to the promotion of contemporary art and holds exhibitions and educational events on an ongoing basis. The organisation has also implemented national and international networking to promote and develop cultural exchange.

The NSA possesses a training arts programme, a nesart KZN magazine on the arts, an arts café, a shop and an opportunity to become part of their membership. This cleanly designed site contains information on everything that makes up the NSA. Check it out for information on current exhibitions.

Chelsea Art Gallery

This small and functional site is the home of the Chelsea Art Gallery, located in Cape Town's picturesque Wynberg. Current exhibitions are listed, and work by gallery artists can be referenced.

The BAT Centre

The BAT Centre is Durban's Art and Culture Experience. The BAT Centre belongs to the Bartel Arts Trust, a public body whose trustees are drawn from the educational, business, art and culture sectors of KwaZulu-Natal. To celebrate South African art and culture the centre promotes local talent and skills, celebrating unique cultures, creating jobs for artists by sourcing talent, imparting skills and developing markets. It centre acts as a community cultural centre for the City of Durban and the people of the harbour and Esplanade functioning as a resource to outlying art and cultural centres and creative people. It strives to achieve these aims by making spaces, teaching skills, and equipment available. Furthermore it initiates cultural exhibitions and creates markets for artists via the various art shops and music, theatre and dance venues.


This site includes a chronological list of South African artists and interesting articles on some, along with examples of their work. Vgallery promotes visual artists in South Africa with the aim of selling work. There is a list of articles stemming from 1998 on exhibitions, artists, and issues concerning the contemporary art world. Also featured is a newsflash informing the public of a current happening. This site is simply designed and well organised, very easy to navigate around and includes a good selection of work.

Gallery 111

This site is all over the place and what's a little frustrating is having to scroll to the right in order to read some of the literature. However, it does provide important information and has a positive mission that serves the South African contemporary art community. The gallery has made every effort to keep costs low for exhibiting artists. A small space located in Kensington, Johannesburg, Gallery 111's mission is as follows: "To encourage innovation, experimentation and provide support in all fine art media, with an emphasis on the developmental and educational aspects of digital and electronic media. Collaboration with creative persons outside the definitions of fine art and thus many of our projects consist of works created between poets, musicians, architects, businessmen, engineers and visual artists. A distribution point for products such as CDs, CDRoms, books and other publications produced by artists, poets and avant garde musicians. Poetry readings, experimental music and performance events as well as workshops take place at regular intervals."

The Goodman Gallery

Thirty-two years ago, the Goodman Gallery of Johannesburg opened to encourage contemporary South African artists to exhibit, despite apartheid. The policy of the gallery was to foster the culture of the country under despotic duress. Today, the vision remains the same, but the methodology and philosophy is geared to a new liberated country, which is struggling to emerge into the international arena. In this context the gallery has widened avenues to encourage the participation of artists in exhibitions around the world as well as at home. Under the directorship of founder Linda Givon, The Goodman Gallery continues to be the most important gallery in the country, promoting art through established and new contemporary talent, whilst maintaining quality as the criteria.

On site one can view CVs and examples of work by artists Willie Bester, Norman Catherine, Kendell Geers, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge, Kagiso Pat Mautloa, Zwelethu Mthetwa, Sam Nhlengethwa, Penny Siopis, Sue Williamson, Deborah Bell and Moshekwa Langa.

The Lipschitz Gallery

Sue Lipschitz has been actively involved in the visual arts for many years promoting emerging and established artists nationally and internationally and has curated exhibitions of South African contemporary art in the United States. This gallery promotes work by established and emerging artists and assists private and corporate buyers in the art of investing in art an important mission as South African contemporary art continues to explode onto the international scene. Corporations and interior designers can find assistance here in the "art of investing in art". Art work and biographies can be viewed on the site - an art talk section publishes a current happening in the South African art world.

Association for the Visual Arts

Cape Town's Association for the Visual Arts is one of the oldest galleries in the city, and under the directorship of Estelle Jacobs provides space for a continuous round of exhibitions decided upon by a committee. The AVA also serves as a clearing house for art information and has an outreach programme which benefits less privileged artists. Their website carries news of current shows, and information on previous exhibits.

Bang the Gallery

Bang the Gallery is a creative and energetic South African art gallery. Conceptualised and run by artist Alex Hamilton, it reflects a new and positive energy in the art world of South Africa and provides a platform for contemporary artists - exhibiting work of a variety of local artists, including Alex Hamiliton, Shany van den Berg, Solomon Siko, Andrew Hollis, Karen Jay, Craig Foster and many more. The artwork includes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and photography.



Stroom is an organisation in Holland which not only has its own gallery but also sponsors numerous public art projects by such artists as Vito Acconci. Their site lists and shows many such projects. At present, the site is in Dutch only, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for South Africans.



Alan Alborough

As with all Alborough's work, the site avoids all non-essentials. Alborough was the Standard Bank Young Artist for 2000, an award which carries a modest fee for a catalogue. That fee was used to design the website instead, and was launched to coincide with the opening of his award show in Grahamstown. If you like Alborough's work, put this one on your favourites list.

Kendell Geers

"Kendell Geers - the black hole in the rainbow nation in a fucked up world." This site consists of articles and reviews of Geers' works and writings by the artist. Geers writes in his essay The Perversity of My Birth: The Birth of My Perversity, "I was born guilty without being given the option. As a white man (presumably heterosexual) born into a working class Afrikaans family I was precisely that being for whom Apartheid had been invented." Geers' portfolios may be viewed and much can be learned about this controversial artist. This site is very well designed and a lot of fun to navigate through.


Virtuele Expositie: Kheto Lualuali

Mozambican painter Kheto Lualuali has lived and worked in Amsterdam since 1998 and is a member of the Associaton Nucleo de Arte in Maputo, Mozambique. This virtual exhibition contains 18 paintings divided in seven different phases. Each phase represents his "archives", made of different artistic forms and styles, or techniques that the artist tries to develop continuously.

Rob Moonen

This artist's website is that of Rob Moonen, a Dutch conceptual artist known to many South Africans after he participated in a Cape Town workshop in 1996. He is currently working with Kevin Brand on a collaborative textile piece to be made up at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, Holland. But his website is listed here because of its good design and the insight given into the artist's fine work.



Black Arts Collective

The Black Arts Collective (BLAC) is a loose network of artists (from poets to playwrights, filmmakers to fashion designers), academics, journalists and cultural workers. Since 1998 BLAC has been meeting regularly to discuss issues of arts, culture, race and identity in Cape Town (and South Africa) and to develop new discourse, especially around arts practise. The project consists of the BLAC seminar Series running successfully since 1999 and this website. The latest edition of BLAConline features an update on BLAC activities and events happening in Cape Town as well as international residency programmes.

SARA: South African Resistance Art, Art and the journey to freedom in South Africa

How did artists respond to apartheid? How did the international art world react to South Africa's political situation? These questions and more are answered on this site.

South African artists respond to the political situation through their talented and impassioned eyes, and their works mirror the journey to freedom in this country. The focus is on four top contemporary artists, each one depicting the struggle to free the country of apartheid through artistic expressions in a different way. They are Jane Alexander, Willie Bester, Jonathan Comerford and Helen Sebidi. Their personal backgrounds are explored, as well as their general artistic characteristics and examples of the works they produced specifically related to the apartheid government and its activities. The development of each artist since 1994 is viewed as well as some of their most recent works.

South African Artists

This independently funded directory of South African art, galleries and artists was sparked by the evident lack of marketing and publicity opportunities and techniques for artists and galleries in the region. The initiators of South African Artists claim that they are the leading source of info for anyone interested in South African art but there is little commentary on art. The site was specifically created to sell art. A book choice and featured gallery or artist are also published.

South African Centre for Photography

This is the website of Cape Town's South African Centre for Photography, and gives images and information about current photographic events. The centre "endeavours to promote a broader understanding of the medium of photography in all its forms, and to foster the development of its practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism through the establishment of sustainable ongoing programmes".


Every artist deserves a business card on the net, Artslink webmaster TJ de Klerk believes. And galleries can have a whole page, free. This local site becomes more and more useful, with its e-mailing of arts-related press releases available to anyone through its Acemail programme. From the beginning of 2001, the site features a daily 'Artrap' by the well known Darryl Accone.


Queer Arts Resource

Queer Arts Resource is a not-for-profit educational forum for the display and discussion of queer art and culture. Until the recent advent of Queer Studies, the history of art has omitted most material of direct relevance to lesbians and gays. Much has been suppressed, much has been lost due to neglect or censorship, and a great deal has simply been overlooked. QAR is expanding the range and depth of knowledge about contemporary and historical queer art, and making this information freely available on this website. Check out 'AIDS: Making Art and Raising Hell" in the archive section for a unique perspective on the AIDS crises and its effect on the art community.

Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall

In many places, painting graffiti is illegal. Although Art Crimes does not advocate breaking the law they believe that art belongs in public spaces and that more legal walls should be made available for this fascinating art form. The work on the site has been created by artists who call themselves "writers", their works are their writings. Here, attempts are made to dispel the negative stereotypes about people who produce graffiti art and their affiliation with gangs. There are many featured artists from all over the world along with examples of their work. Art Crimes is huge, containing hundreds of featured artists and thousands of works as well as links to artists' sites. There are links to HipHop sites, art sites, media and other graffiti sites. Interviews and articles are also included and a catalogue can be bought.

The Thami Mnyele studio

The Thami Mnyele studio in Amsterdam, established in 1993, is a home from home for two visiting artists a year, providing an air ticket and living and working space. The foundation is also considering artists from other African countries. The website tells how to apply for a fellowship and the conditions.


E-flux bills itself as the "the first electronic mailing company devoted exclusively to serving the international art world". Working from a database of cutting edge critics, collectors, consultants, galleries and museums, e-flux will email information about exhibitions to its subscribers at "a small fraction of the usual mailing costs". Logging on to the site will provide information about a wide range of current exhibitions in the States and Europe.


ShanghART displays works by internationally acclaimed Chinese artists, as well as new and coming young artists from Shanghai and all over China. Since its establishment two years ago, ShanghART has featured some of the most interesting young artists who live in China today. It has become a unique centre for contemporary art in a country with a fast developing art scene. Through exhibitions this site contributes to the development, appreciation and collection of contemporary Chinese art.



Tour of 'The Short Century'

'The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945-1994' is an ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition in which Documenta 11 director Okwui Enwezor "redefines Africa's place in the annals of 20th century history". The exhibition recently moved from Munich to Berlin, and will move from here to America. But what of Africa itself, you cry? Thanks to Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt, those of us with internet access can now take a virtual tour of the show in its Berlin manifestation, which is beautifully documented on their invaluable Universes in Universe website. The website provides a map of the Martin-Gropius-Bau where the exhibition is installed, and one can choose to "walk" through the rooms in a linear fashion or navigate the exhibition by theme or by artist. Moving through the show, one can zoom in on works that invite further scrutiny - look out for Jane Alexander's Butcher Boys in an entirely new context, as well as pieces by Sue Williamson, Kendell Geers, Moshekwa Langa and many other South Africans.

South Africa Line project

To increase the artistic and cultural contact between South African and Dutch artists, a South African living in the Netherlands, Andrea Rolfes and a Dutch art project manager, Arend-Jan Weysters of Stichting AKKA, designed the Holland South Africa Line project (HSAL). This exhibition showed in Amsterdam in September, 2000 and at the Cape Town Castle in January 2000. This project was designed specifically to have "dialogue" and "communication" between seven Dutch and seven South African artists as its primary basis and objective. Information on the exhibition, and examples of work by the artists involved, are also included on the site.

Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa

One of the better exhibition websites around is this one, which shows a number of works by each of artists on New York's Museum for African Art show, 'Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa'. It's a good place to go for all those matric essayists constantly seeking information on local artists. It presents paintings, sculptures and installations created between 1994, the end of the apartheid era and 1999.



Sensorium is a site of truly wondrous projects. Breathing Earth, for instance, is a visualisation of earthquakes that have happened worldwide in the past 14 days. A globe with a map of the world comes into view, and on each of the 14 dates, swellings bubble up indicating the location of the seismic activities. Other projects involve the number of kilometres the world has swung round the sun while you have been busy on the website, and the sounds of the web itself.


Plexus is one of the best - great artist projects, articles, news.




REDzine is a groovy looking site with articles, interviews and examples of work by artists and students of the contemporary art world. The look is fresh and gives the impression that there a lot is going on within... which there is. Devin Purvis runs this Durban based e-zine devoted to experiments in design, art, music, photography and the internet. The (all original) content is of both South African and International origin, with a focus on the socially challenging (likes to peel back the gloss).


ZA@Play is a good daily read for anyone who wishes to keep up with the best of local cultural happenings. The site also features lively interviews and reviews taken from the Mail & Guardian.


Comprehensive and well designed, is packed with loads of information on the contemporary art scene in China. It contains an artist and online gallery of work in all types of media by artists whose biographies can be read after clicking on the thumbnail of each piece. The Museum and Gallery page contains a list of these institutions, located in China and the United States. The Education page gives listing of the top five art institutes available in China, all providing exchange programmes and links to each institution site for more details. There is a store where one can order China fashion dolls, delicate fine art prints, elegantly made sculptures, and well-designed T-Shirts. Art News provides information on what's happening in the contemporary art world of China. One can join a live chat session discussing a variety of art related topics, or simply leave an opinion or reply to a previous one. is a New York-based website which is one of the best and the biggest, constantly updating current information on exhibitions, and offering excellent reviews and magazine coverage.


Focusing on an interchange of material about Africa, this fresh-looking Dutch-based site has a particular emphasis on the arts and culture of this continent, and searches for new virtual exhibitions to host online.

International Gallerie

Published biannually in India, International Gallerie is the gorgeous online version of a global ideas magazine and has won seven national and international awards for excellence addressing issues that are of universal concern through the arts, performing arts, essays, poetry, photo-essays, socio-political stories of communities and people.

Chinese Art

Chinese artists are attracting more and more notice on the world art scene - check out this well designed site for a look at what's contemporary or traditional in the world of Chinese art. One can order magazines, books, there is an artist of the week and a calendar of events.


If you're up to grappling with questions of "critical thought around the whole subject of how culture and technology are interweaving at the end of this century", you could click on the Frame site to read essays by contributors from around the world. Frame is an e-zine emanating from the UK. It's edited by Sue Thomas and Simon Mills.


New York artist Joy Garnett has started a website of interest to artists. Newsgrist,"where spin is art" has images and prose and poetry and articles. Well worth checking out.