Archive: Issue No. 71, July 2003

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

16.07.03 New Works at the Stewart Gallery
16.07.03 Diek Grobler and Kalahari Bridges at Artspace
16.07.03 Lesheba Venda Arts Exhibition at Merely Mortal
16.07.03 Chris Ledochowski at PhotoZA
16.07.03 Dustin Kramer at Go-Ra Gallery
16.07.03 Ben Arnold at the Bag Factory
01.07.03 Otto Dix at Johannesburg Art Gallery
01.07.03 Judy Woodborne at Art on Paper
01.07.03 Leading Women Artists at Gallery on the Square
01.07.03 Bongi Bengu at Goodman Gallery
01.07.03 Nikodemis at Go-Ra Gallery
01.07.03 Jurgen Schadeberg at the Standard Bank Gallery
01.07.03 John Hogg and Suzy Bernstein at Museum Africa
18.06.03 Christian Nerf's '24.7' Residency Programme at JAG

16.07.03 'Fine line' at Mind's I Art Space
16.07.03 Thomas D Barry & Siemon D Allen at Outlet

New Works at the Stewart Gallery

Andre Naude, Beulah Vermaak, Louise Almon, Diane McClean, Louis Voster, Rhett Martyn, Paul Wade, MJ Lourens, Flip Hattingh, Heather Capon and Daniel Phaladi show new work at the Stewart Gallery.

Opens: July 5 at 10am
Closes: July 26

Stewart Gallery, 69 Eleventh Street, Parkhurst
Tel: (011) 327 1384
Mobile: 082 651 6642
Fax: (011) 442 5214
Hours: Tues - Sun 9am - 4pm; Sat 9am - 1pm

Diek Grobler and Kalahari Bridges at Artspace

The surreal 'Two Journeys' exhibition contrasts the urban life of Johannesburg-based Diek Grobler with the Groot Marico home of Kalahari Bridges.

Grobler uses satire, ceramics, paintings, scraperboard and digital animation to lampoon war, life and religion. Through his cast of offbeat characters depicted in odd situations, the artist comments on the pompousness, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness of politicians, intellectuals and everybody else.

Untrained, and newly discovered, Kalahari Bridges produces very large oils on canvas, depicting the surroundings and people from the Groot Marico. The big scale of the works encourage direct interaction with his subjects.

Previews: July 12, 10am - 2pm
Opens: July 13 at 5.30pm
Closes: August 8

The Art Space, 3 Hetty Avenue, Fairland
Tel/fax: (011) 678 1206
Cell: 082 651 4702
Hours: Tues - Sat 10am - 4pm

Lesheba Venda Arts Exhibition at Merely Mortal

Master artists Noria Mabasa, Paul Thavhana, Owen Ndou, Thomas Kubayi, David Murathi and others show a spectacular collection of Venda wood and clay sculpture. The exhibition also includes hats, handbags, tablecloths and pillowcases made from colourful traditional Venda cloth.

The Lesheba Venda Arts and Culture Programme, a joint venture between the De Beers Group and Lesheba Wilderness Game Farm in the Limpopo Province, is a cultural heritage programme aimed at generating employment as a means of preserving and regenerating Venda art.

For more information call Matt at Talent Attack on 072 124 8721, or Heather Greig at the gallery, or check out the Lesheba Wilderness website on

Opens: July 17 at 6.30 for 7pm
Closes: August 17

Merely Mortal, 356 Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall
Tel: 011 326 3820 (Heather Greig)
Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m - 5.30 p.m, Thurs 7 p.m - 11 p.m [bar], Sat 10 a.m -1 p.m

Chris Ledochowski

Chris Ledochowski
Studio Home, Ezinyoka, 1992
Archival pigment inks on coated cotton paper
34 x 50.8 cm

Chris Ledochowski at PhotoZA

Represented by Michael Stevenson Contemporary and currently showing at the Venice Biennale, Chris Ledochowski brings from Cape Town his photographic exhibition titled 'Cape Flats Details: Art and Life in the Townships of Cape Town'.

'Cape Flats' refers to the vast stretch of exposed sandy wetlands that lie north of Table Mountain. Highly unsuitable for residential purposes, today it has become home to close on a million people. Against the rigid domination by apartheid, people created and nurtured a culture that was under their control. Ledochowski finds details within this seemingly bleak environment: individual and collective expression of creativity and resilience that give positive meaning and definition to peoples' lives. His work conveys the balance between tradition and modernity, stability and change, faith and despair.

A book on Ledochowski's work will be launched at the opening.

For further information, please contact Michael Stevenson on, Tel (021) 421 2575 or Fax (021) 421 2578.

Opens: July 29 at 6pm
Closes: August 23

PhotoZA, 177 Oxford Road, Upper Level, The Mews, Rosebank (the old CD Warehouse)
Tel: (011) 880 0833 or Reney 083 229 4327
Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Dustin Kramer at Go-Ra Gallery

Twenty-one-year old Dustin Kramer makes his own paints, grinding pigments and mixing them with oil and other carriers. In 'Naked Silence', his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg, Kramer uses a reduced palette, painting both male and female nudes in his exploration of the changing roles of men and women in society.

In the context of modern painting he says: "Beauty is what interests me; beauty can often be sad and sadness can be extremely beautiful. Beauty penetrates far more than the most horrific images."

During the exhibition, Kramer will lead weekly workshops as an introduction to and demonstration of making oil paints. Please call the gallery for further information.

Opens: July 30
Closes: August 23

Go-Ra Gallery
53 6th Street, Parkhurst
Tel: (011) 880 9090
Hours: Tues - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 2pm

Ben Arnold

Ben Arnold
Invitation image

Ben Arnold at the Bag Factory

Greatly influenced by his spiritual life as a practising Muslim, Ben Arnold's massive angular sculptures and semi-abstract figurative forms reach beyond the immediate realities of life in 21st century South Africa to draw on the more timeless realms of prayer and faith. An active member of Fordsburg's Muslim community, Ben regularly leaves his studio to pray at the mosque around the corner from the Bag Factory.

Ben joined the Fordsburg Artists' Studios in the mid-1990s, by which time his reputation as a sculptor was already well-established, having started his art career back in the 1950s at the now-legendary Polly Street Art School with Cecil Skotnes. He is currently preparing for a solo show, due to take place at the Bag Factory in July 2003. The exhibition will feature several plaster works as well as a few pieces in terracotta.

"Islam is a religion of peace and, in this sense, the religion has helped me a lot," he says. "I rely a lot on my spiritual life for my work. Also, the everyday: the day-to-day dealings in life, because one lives one's spirituality. I've got a Sufi background and that's also a pool of my expression. Being a practising Muslim, Sufism is the heart of Islam. It's not just doing the rituals, but referring to the scriptures and the elders that went before -- great spiritual leaders like Rumi [Islamic mystic and poet]. I came across some of his writing in Switzerland where I spent some time with a lot of Muslim brothers from Turkey. He was born in Afghanistan -- lived most of his life in Turkey and died there."

Although there are often oblique human references in Ben's semi-abstract sculptures, as a Muslim, directly representational art is taboo to him. It is a tradition of the prophet that Muslims shouldn't try to reproduce living beings, Allah's unique creation. "I am still grappling with those issues and gradually working towards pure abstraction," he says. "Ultimately, I am on a spiritual quest towards total abstraction in my work."

Opens: July 24
Closes: August 13

Bag Factory, 10 Minnaar Street, Newtown
Tel/fax: (011) 834 9181
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 3pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Otto Dix

Otto Dix
Leiche im Drahtverhau (Flandern), 1924

Otto Dix at Johannesburg Art Gallery

The Johannesburg Art Gallery, in association with the Goethe Institute and the Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen, presents an exhibition of selected work of the renowned 20th-century German Expressionist artist, Otto Dix (1891-1969). Titled 'The War', this is the first large-scale exhibition of Otto Dix's post-World War I work to be shown in South Africa, and includes Social Criticism (Prints, 1920 - 1924) and Der Krieg (Etchings Set VI, 1924).

The direct confrontation with the war at the front lines was so grave for the machine-gunner Otto Dix that this experience would in fact mark him for life, and was a major influence on his entire life's work. During the course of his military service Dix did more than 600 drawings (between the years 1914 to 1918) at various battlefronts in Belgium, France and Russia.

The cycle, consisting of fifty separate drawings and often compared to Goya's Desastres de la Guerra, not only gives an authentic and horrifying portrayal of the terrible trench fighting that took place in the great battles of this first world war, it also unmasks the Moloch of war for what it truly is. This series of etchings, which ranks particularly highly among the main works of Dix's oeuvre, forms the centre of attention of this exhibition.

Dix never imagined that he could change people (i.e. humanity as such) by means of his works. But for these works, paintings and prints against the war, he drew on a deep-seated rage and hate. Later, he would defame the Nazi regime, which, after coming to power in 1933, removed him from his academic chair, one of the first Academy professors to suffer this. He was also prohibited from exhibiting.

The truth was however important for Dix, as is evidenced in some of his post-war works, which focus on marginalized social groups such as war veterans (who had lost limbs) and prostitutes. The exhibition showcases examples of this work.

Opens: July 1 at 5.30pm
Closes: July 28

Johannesburg Art Gallery, corner Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park
Tel: 011 725 3130 / 3184
Fax: 011 720 6000
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 5pm

Judy Woodborne

Judy Woodborne
mezzotint etching

Judy Woodborne at Art on Paper

Judy Woodborne's exhibition, titled 'The Parade of the Ridiculous', comprises etchings and mezzotints completed over the last 10 years. Woodborne is well known for her mastery of the etching technique and this exhibition offers some of the most beautiful and accomplished examples of her work. Her subject matter deals with human folly, the theatre of life and the carnivalesque, subjects aptly suited to the intricate and detailed process of etching on copper plate.

Woodborne is a Cape Town-based artist, working at Hardground Printmakers Workshop. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, having been awarded her MFA with distinction in 1993. In addition, she has won a number of prizes, including a Merit Award in the Volkskas Atelier Award. Her work has been represented in International Print Biennales and collections such as the Smithsonian, USA and the SA National Gallery.

The artist will give the opening address on Saturday July 5.

Opens: July 5 at 3pm
Closes: July 25 2003

Art on Paper, 8 Main Road, Melville (next to Outer Limits bookshop)
Tel: 011 726 2234
Hours: Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm

Regi Bardavid

Regi Bardavid
A Gem to Pursue
oil and beeswax on canvas

Leading Women Artists at Gallery on the Square

Sandton's Gallery On The Square will be exhibiting new works by leading South African women artists in a group show to commemorate Women's Day (August 9 2003). Artists included are Regi Bardavid, Jenny Stadler, Annette Pretorius, Helen Sebidi, Nina Romm, Philippa Hobbs, Cheryl Gage, Wilma Cruise, Josephine Ghesa (Ardmore Studio), and the Mapula Embroidery Project.

Opens: August 7
Closes: August 23

Gallery On The Square, Shop 32, Sandton Square
Tel: 011 784 2847/8
Fax: 011 784 2849
Hours: Mon - Thurs 10 am - 6 pm, Fri - Sat 9 am - 2 pm, Sun 10 am - 2 pm

Bongi Bengu

Bongi Bengu
'Dialogue', 2003
Mixed media on paper
113 x 164 cm

Bongi Bengu at Goodman Gallery

Bengu's new show 'Woman' asks questions about power or powerlessness as it relates to South African women.

"As a black visual artist, my experience is that women are still not respected and valued in the same manner as men," she says in her press release. In her new series of collages and paintings the artist seeks to celebrate well-known female pioneers and heroines, "locating them in their place in history and presenting them as heroines that history books and the media have made invisible."

"This series of works attempts to portray an empowered state of black women such as Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe and Esther Mahlangu," she continues, citing women who she avers are clearly located as equal participants and contributors in the progress of contemporary South Africa.

"By aligning myself with this line of thinking� I am searching to define my own identity," Bengu says. Her mural decorations can be viewed as openings or invitations to the 'interiors' of these women, reflecting a beauty or reality to everyone who approaches these dream houses. Why? "Because we are in perpetual search for something."

Opens: July 5
Closes: July 26 2003

See Reviews

Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
Tel: 011 788 1113
Fax: 011 788 9887
Hours: Tues - Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 9.30am - 4pm


Letting Go (detail), 2003
Acrylic, Mixed Media and Found Objects on Canvas
70 x120 cm

Nikodemis at Go-Ra Gallery

'Heartshapes and Mindscapes' is a solo show by Johannesburg-born Nikodemis (aka Niko), an artist well known for his involvement in Johannesburg's arts and culture scene. Niko is known for his enthusiastic, divinely inspired response to life by painting the energy at the source of the world around him, in the appropriately vivid colours that he senses.

"I don't choose colour. Colour chooses me," contends the artist. "I literally feel the energy pulsating through all of creation, and for me that energy manifests in colour. Pigmentatiously (sic) luscious blobs of pure colour?"

Yet not only is his use of colour, and paint, intuitive (and thus female), but he balances this yin energy with an academic, yang acknowledgement of art traditions past.

Opens: July 2
Closes: July 26

Go-Ra Gallery
53 6th Street, Parkhurst
Tel: (011) 880 9090
Hours: Tues - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 2pm

Jürgen Schadeberg

Jürgen Schadeberg
black and white photograph

Jürgen Schadeberg at the Standard Bank Gallery

'All the Jazz' is an exhibition of photographs by Jurgen Schadeberg depicting over 52 years of South African jazz musicians.

Schadeberg was born in Berlin in 1931 and, while still in his teens, worked as an apprentice photographer for a German Press Agency in Hamburg. He immigrated to South Africa in 1950 and became chief photographer, picture editor and art director for Drum magazine.

Schadeberg's first jazz photo session was in 1951 with musicians such as Kippie Moeketsi, Vi Nkosi and the Harlem Swingsters, some of whom he photographed in dingy and dilapidated makeshift dancehalls in Sophiatown, the Bantu Men's Social Centre and in the industrial areas on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

To his surprise, at that time there appeared to be no photographers with an interest in this type of documentary photography. Schadeberg found Township Jazz music extremely invigorating and exciting having taken an interest, in his youth, in the American New Orleans jazz scene, best exemplified by Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. In South Africa the American jazz sound was adapted and Africanised giving it a unique South African Township flavour. Much of the fifties music became a form of defiance, a means of survival and a symbol of freedom against apartheid.

The beauty of this jazz was its rawness where talented musicians, usually untrained and unable to read music, played spontaneously, creatively and vibrantly. Sadly these outstanding 1950s jazz musicians received little recognition from the South African record industry. The current revival and appreciation of 1950s jazz legends mixes comfortably with today's jazz greats to create a bridge between the spirit of jazz then and now.

In 1964 Schadeberg left South Africa for London and during the 1960s and 1970s he freelanced as a photojournalist in Europe and America for various prestigious magazines. He also taught at the New School in New York, the Central School of Art & Design in London and the Hoch Kunst School in Hamburg.

Schadeberg is a principal figure in South African and world photography. With a major body of work spanning 52 years and a collection of some 100,000 negatives, his work captures a wealth of timeless and iconic images.

Opens: July 8 at 5.30pm
Closes: August 30

Standard Bank Gallery, corner Simmonds and Fredericks streets, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 636 4842
Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 4.30pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

John Hogg and Suzy Bernstein at Museum Africa

John Hogg is one of South Africa's leading performance photographers. Some of his photographs are on view in the latest Art South Africa, in Charl Blignaut's feature on Steven Cohen. For this show, titled, 'Still Movement', Hogg and Suzy Bernstein show a collection of dance photographs. The exhibition is installed upstairs in the Bensusan Museum of Photography, and is sponsored by First National Bank.

Opens: July 13 at 3.30pm
Closes: August 7

MuseumAfrica, 121 Bree St, Newtown
Tel: (011) 833 5624
Fax: (011) 833 5636
Hours: Tues - Sun 9 am - 5 pm

Christian Nerf

Christian Nerf
Schematic view of '24.7' at Johannesburg Art Gallery

Christian Nerf's '24.7' Residency Programme at JAG

'24.7', the brainchild of artist and downtown raconteur Christian Nerf, is a weekly series of 24-hour residency programmes held over seven weeks in the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Combining art and social commentary in a live context, '24.7' is structured around a 'studio' space constructed in the downstairs area of the JAG.

Originally initiated in mid-2002 by Christian Nerf, at his City+Suburban studios on Commissioner Street, the initial 24-hour residency offered artists an opportunity to work in the city while also creating a platform for potential further collaborations between participating artists. The first participant was artist Barend de Wet, his project (knitted bikinis) subsequently exhibited at the C3 Gallery. Other participants at the City+Suburban studios residency programme have included Stephen Hobbs and Tracy Hennen.

For '24.7' each participating artist is permitted a flexible timetable to spend 24 hours on site during a week, that is 24 hours over six days, which equates with four hours a day. There are seven thematic 'chapters' of collaboration and experimentation taking place, which are broken down as follows:

Chapter 01: NEW MEDIA, June 24 - 29
Chapter 02: TRADITIONAL PRACTICE, July 01 - 06
Chapter 03: FASHION, July 08 - 13
Chapter 04: AUDIO, July 15 - 20
Chapter 05: CONCEPTUAL, July 22 - 27
Chapter 06: LENS-BASED MEDIA, July 29 - 03 August
Chapter 07: PUBLIC ART, 05 - 10 August

The bias is not strictly towards art practice, with participants drawn from a range of 'creative' disciplines ranging from computer programming to advertising, fashion photography to the highly indeterminate. Participants in each of the chapters have already been confirmed, although persons interested in taking part are advised to contact with a short proposal. The overall process can integrate new participants at short notice.

According to the projects initiator: "Documentation of this journey is key. Evidence of this nature is as valuable as the end product, if not the actual product." Daily downloads will be posted at By way of summary, the JAG will host an exhibition of '24.7' evidence from August 30 through to September 20, and will offer regular updates of the event as it unfolds.

Opening function on Saturday, June 21 at 3pm with Tokyo Star of Melville providing musical accompaniment.


Opens: June 24
Closes: September 20

Johannesburg Art Gallery, corner Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park
Tel: 011 725 3130 / 3184
Fax: 011 720 6000
Hours: Tues - Sun 10am - 5pm


'Fine line' at Mind's I Art Space

Fine Line is an exhibition of drawings by Diane Victor, John Clarke, Carl Jeppe, Elizabeth Gunther, Diek Grobler, Michéle Nigr�ni, Retha Buitendach, Gustav Vermeulen, Bertie du Plessis, Christo Basson, Gill Taylor, Ian Marley, Anna-Karien Goosen, Angus Taylor and Berco Wilsenach.

Opens: July 16 at 7pm by Margaret Gradwell
Closes: August 16

Mind's i Artspace, Shop 63 Brooklyn Square, Brooklyn, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 346 5131

Thomas D Barry & Siemon D Allen at Outlet

Volkskas/Absa Atelier winners Thomas Barry and Siemon Allen show their stuff at Abrie Fourie's new art hub in Pretoria.

Opens: July 22 at 6pm
Closes: August 22

24 du Toit Street, Building 10, Projector Room, Arts Faculty, Technikon Pretoria
Tel: (012) 325 0525
Hours: By appointment