Archive: Issue No. 68, April 2003

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

William Kentridge

William Kentridge
Village Deep
Chine-colle on paper
26 cm x 19 cm

Robert Hodgins

Robert Hodgins
La Contessa Venemosa, 2002
Paper size 57 x 76cm
Image size 49.5 x 68cm

Zwelethu Mthethwa

Zwelethu Mthethwa
Untitled, 2002
Lambda print
61cm x 45cm


Introducing Editions for ArtThrob

A distinctive partnership between South Africa's pre-eminent contemporary art website and Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery, Editions for ArtThrobis a new initiative aimed at making the work of South Africa's best contemporary artists widely accessible to new audiences. The programme will not only furnish an opportunity for collectors to build up a unique art collection, it will also keep ArtThrob alive by bringing in an income to pay the editorial and maintenance costs of the site.

Artist Profile 003: William Kentridge

William Kentridge is undoubtedly the most celebrated artist ever to emerge from South Africa, and is today recognised as one of the top international artists. Since his first one-person exhibition at the Market Gallery, in Johannesburg in 1979, his work has been grounded in the particularities of a momentous epoch in South Africa's troubled history, and is characterised by the skilful manner in which private narratives are set against the backdrop of history. His work is often located in the dusty immediacy of Johannesburg, and has over time been recognised and praised for its eloquent synthesis of conflicting traditions.

Born in Johannesburg, William Kentridge earned a Bachelor of Arts in politics and African studies in 1976 from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. From 1976 to 1978 he studied fine art at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, where he later taught printmaking. In 1981-2 he completed a course in mime and theatre at L'Ecole Jacques LeCoq in Paris.

Beginning in the mid 1970's, Kentridge became active in film and theatre, working as a writer, director, actor and set designer for numerous productions. He was a founding member of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company, based in Johannesburg and Soweto from 1975 to 1991, and of the Free Filmmakers Cooperative, established in Johannesburg in 1988.

In 1989 Kentridge made Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris, the first in a series of short animated films featuring Soho Eckstein - Johannesburg "property developer extraordinaire" - and Felix Teitlebaum, Eckstein's alter ego - "whose anxiety flooded half the house". Created from the artist's successively reworked drawings, the film premiered at the Weekly Mail Film Festival in Johannesburg and was later screened at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London.

The 1992 collaboration between Kentridge and Handspring Puppet Company, to stage Woyzeck on the Highveld, was a defining moment in his career. Combining puppets, animation, and live performance, the play won numerous theatre awards, and later toured Europe. It also led to further productions that would in effect establish the artist internationally. These multimedia production included Faustus in Africa! (1995), Ubu and the Truth Commission (1997) and the multimedia opera Il Ritorno d'Ulisse (1998). A major retrospective of his work which toured the United States, finishing at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York recently completed its tour at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.

Village Deep, 2003. Chine-colle on paper. Image size 26 x 19cm. Edition/60. Signed and numbered.

Similar in technique to his Atlas Confession, a print especially commissioned for Documenta XI last year in Germany, Kentridge has once again focussed on the gold mines which brought Johannesburg into being for this new print. Each print is unique, a hand torn black paper image of a miner collaged on to a different double page from an old book entitled Mines of the Transvaal. The prints are currently being assembled by master printer Mark Attwood of The Artists' Press prior to being signed by the artist, and shipping is expected to begin at the end of April.

Price: R6000 / $750 / Euro 700

Artist Profile 002: Robert Hodgins

La Contessa Venemosa is the engaging title of the second print in the Editions for ArtThrob series. This new lithograph in three colours is from Robert Hodgins, the acclaimed painter whose retrospective catalogue was launched recently, and whose work hangs in virtually every major art institution in the country. "Very few artists", writes Kendell Geers in a catalogue essay, "command the respect and admiration of their peers in the way Robert Hodgins does, a reverence often verging on cult status. In South Africa, he is the quintessential artist's artist, a guru for four generations, a point of reference for every self-respecting curator, and a voice of reason in an age where video has all but killed the painting star".

Born in 1920 in London, UK, Hodgins finally settled in South Africa in 1953, and has been painting ever since, exhibiting regularly through the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. His witty and satirical paintings of businessmen, generals, fops, blowsy women, Ubu and a host of other characters are an integral part of South Africa's art patrimony. "For me", says Hodgins, "it is very simple. The act of painting at a particular moment is able, for reasons I neither understand nor even try to understand, to open up the whole world of my experience, my thinking, my aspirations".

La Contessa Venemosa is in an original lithograph in red, pink and black handprinted on BFK Rives by master printer Mark Attwood of the Artists Press, Johannesburg, signed in pencil by the artist, and embossed in the margin with the chops of the Artists Press and Editions for ArtThrob.

The print can be viewed at the Joao Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town, and at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.

La Contessa Venemosa, 2002. Lithograph. Paper size 57 x 76cm. Image size 49.5 x 68cm. Edition/60. Signed and numbered.
Price: R3000 / $375 / Euro 350

Artist Profile 001: Zwelethu Mthethwa

The photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa has garnered a lot of attention for his considered portraits of the living conditions and experiences of the migrants who end up in our country's townships and informal settlements. As ArtThrob's Paul Edmunds has observed, "both the cultural disorientation they experience and their quotidian existence is rendered in the saturated hues and rich textures of his large-format photographs."

Zwelethu began exhibiting in the mid 1980s and has partaken in many one-person and group shows. These include 'The Short Century', which travelled Europe and the US recently, and the last two Dakar Biennales. Born in Durban in 1960, Zwelethu has a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art from Michaelis. Formerly a lecturer in Photography and Drawing at that venerable institution, he resigned in 1999 due to his increasingly high international profile. ArtThrob is honoured to launch Editions for Artthrob with a print from this dynamic talent.

Untitled, 2002. Lambda print. 61cm x 45cm. Edition/60. Signed and numbered certificate.
Price: R4000 / $500 / Euro 470


As soon as we have received your order you will be issued with an invoice, your personal edition number, and Editions for ArtThrob banking details. Upon receipt of payment you will then receive your edition(s) by registered mail. Please note that delivery is subject to availability and all prices are subject to change. Editions for ArtThrob is not responsible for any production delays. Postage and packaging costs vary according to country, see below.

Payment: Payment is via Bank Deposit only (Editions for ArtThrob banking details will be supplied with your order confirmation email)
Packaging & postage: Packaging, airmail postage and insurance costs are no longer included in the cost of the print, and vary according to country. You will be advised of these with your order confirmation email.
Delivery: Allow 2 weeks for dispatch.

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