Archive: Issue No. 67, March 2003

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DURBAN
15.03.03 Jane du Rand, Maurice Kahn and 'Geometric Modern' at the NSA
15.03.03 'Rorke's Drift: Empowering Prints 1962-1982' at the DAG
01.03.03 Guy Tillim at the NSA
01.03.03 Karen Bradtke's Memory
01.02.03 'Lost and Found' - an installation by Terry Kurgan at DAG
DURBAN

Jane du Rand

Jane du Rand
Forerst of Columns (in progress) 2003
ceramic mosaic


Jane du Rand, Maurice Kahn and 'Geometric Modern' at the NSA

The NSA is staging three exhibitions: 'A Forest of Columns', an exhibition of mosaic sculptures by Jane du Rand; screen prints by Maurice Kahn; and 'Geometric Modern', an exhibition of Art Deco.

Jane du Rand is a qualified architect, who has been working with mosaics on numerous public and private commissions. Often commissioned by other architects she is interested in decoration as an integral part of the conception of a building. Du Rand has recently contributed to major public buildings and sites, including Melrose Arch in Johannesburg and the recent pilot project for the rejuvenation of West Street in the CBD of Durban.

For the exhibition at the NSA du Rand will be presenting twelve individually crafted columns. Describing the exhibition as a "forest" of columns, du Rand draws from diverse cultures; from the Tuscan Doric to the Dogon in Mali to the Egyptian, constructing each column referencing different histories and symbology.

Continuing with the architectural theme, in the Mezzanine Gallery, is an exhibition entitled 'Geometric Modern', a show of photographs and architectural drawings of Art Deco buildings. Organised to coincide with the Seventh World Congress on Art Deco in Cape Town (to be held from March 30 until April 3, 20030, the show highlights Durban's rich Art Deco heritage. In a recently completed study by students from the school of Architecture, Planning and Housing at the University of Natal eighty quality Art Deco buildings were identified within the city's precincts.

The Art Deco Congress is expected to generate international interest, with delegates from the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom coming to South Africa. A post congress meeting (to be held in Durban) will be supported by daily lectures and site tours to local buildings, many of which are internationally recognised. Lectures will be held at the NBS Education Centre Botanic Gardens, Sydenham Road. For more information and the full schedule of the Art Deco programmes, please contact Jean Powell, President, Durban Art Deco (031) 266-3082 or email:terencep@saol.com

In the Park Gallery printmaker Maurice Kahn will be exhibiting recently completed screen prints. Kahn lived in Durban from 1971 to 1976, during which time he taught at the University of Durban Westville and ran a private printmaking studio in Morningside. He emigrated in 1977 and since then has been a senior lecturer at the Bezazel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. This will be his third exhibition at the NSA Gallery following shows in 1978 and 1981.

Kahn's exhibition consists of a portfolio of three suites, The Origami Suite, The Ornithological - Ichthyological Suite and The West Ireland Experience Suite. While some of the works tell the tale of particular experiences, such as Kahn's 'diary' of his trip to West Ireland, all the works are characterised by layers of overprinted flat, dense and unmodulated colours - often a print will have up to 25 colours - engaged in formal play reflecting Kahn's earlier modernist training. Some works reveal a more humorous side of Kahn as evidenced in Flying Pig, Flying Fish and other Birds, Chocolate Chips and Barbels and other Fish.

Kahn currently teaches screen-printing courses at Bezazel and is involved in an intensive research project into environmentally friendly printmaking technology encouraging his students to use water-based screen printing inks. The exhibitions open with a special performance by Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre on Tuesday, March 18 at 6p.m.

Opens: March 18
Closes: April 6

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm


Tony Nkotsi

Tony Nkotsi
Portrait of a Man [Biko], 1982
Linocut

Evelyn Matsoso

Evelyn Matsoso
Weeping, 1975
Linocut


'Rorke's Drift: Empowering Prints 1962-1982' at the DAG

The Evangelical Lutheran Church Art and Craft Centre at Rorke's Drift has long been recognized as a highly influential source of training for black artists in South Africa, particularly in the years when tertiary institutions were closed to black students. Rorke's Drift has been included in many accounts of South African art, but exhibitions and publications devoted to the Art and Craft Centre have been surprisingly few, and those that take printmaking as a theme even more rare.

'Rorke's Drift: Empowering Prints 1962-1982' showcases the period from the conception of the Centre at Ceza to the closure of the Fine Art School in 1982. Works closely associated with that period reclaim the history of Rorke's Drift printmaking from its earliest beginnings. Research for the project 'Rorke's Drift: Empowering Prints 1962-1982', conducted by the curators Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin since 1997, has drawn on a wide range of sources to reconstruct this history.

The exhibition includes some 120 artworks representing a rich range of Rorke's Drift printmakers. Many artists are well known and much of the work underscores the political dimension that was encouraged at Rorke's Drift by the debate around social issues. This can be seen in the very early 'resistance' pieces of Azaria Mbatha, as in his David and Goliath (1962), through to overtly political examples such as Charles Nkosi's Tribunal (1976) and Tony Nkotsi's Portrait of a Man (Biko) (1982).

The curators' focus on Rorke's Drift prints challenges stereotypes about the work of the Centre, and the idea of a 'Rorke's Drift style,' dominated by narrative linocuts such as those of Azaria Mbatha and John Muafangejo. While not denying the significance of these important artists, the exhibition provides insights into other aspects of Rorke's Drift production. Far from being limited to linocuts, the Centre's curriculum offered a wide range of print media, intaglio processes such as etching, aquatint, drypoint and mezzotint, as well as woodcuts, screenprints and other forms of colour printing. This curriculum was arguably more extensive than the printmaking training available at most recognised tertiary institutions of that time in South Africa.

Works that highlight this include Caiphas Nxumalo's drypoints, Velile Soha's coloured woodcuts, Cyprian Shilakoe's aquatints, and Maribe Mamabolo's mezzotints. Other works, such as prints by Evelyn Matsoso, demonstrate the contribution of female artists to the history. Visitors will also see early works from the pre-Rorke's Drift period, including little-known linocuts by Muziweyixwala Tabete.

In addition, 'Rorke's Drift: Empowering Prints 1962-1982' includes a few pertinent examples in other media, to demonstrate their relationship to printmaking. These include the use of print designs for tapestries, and related processes for ceramic decoration. An introductory 'story board,' outlining the history of the Centre and contextualising the exhibition will be supplemented by a display of journals, early catalogues and relevant documents. The exhibition was made possible by the MTN Foundation and is supported by a catalogue.

For more information contact Phillipa Hobbs at hobbs_p@mtn.co.za or telephone (011) 301 6619

Exhibition closes: April 13

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm


Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim
Luanda, Angola, 2001


Guy Tillim at the NSA

The photojournalist Guy Tillim celebrates the release of his book Departure with an exhibition showcasing images from his journeys over more than a decade. Described as 'seldom invasive or confrontational in his approach', this exhibition offers a look at 'situations from a side view.'

Closing: March 15

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm




'Memory' - an installation by Karen Bradtke

Currently running at the recently opened Cupboard Gallery at Home is an installation by Karen Bradtke entitled 'Memory'. The space compromises four works bound together by the theme of memory and its elusiveness. Uitlising transient materials and manipulating the light within the gallery Bradtke grapples with the maverick nature of memory. In positing some of her personal history Bradtke provokes the viewer to review their own.

Bradtke is a Masters student studying Sculpture at the Durban Institute of Technology.

Opening: February 25
Closing: March 16

The Cupboard Gallery, located in Home, corner of Innes and Windermere Roads, Morningside, Durban
Contact: Clinton 083-701-5032


Terry Kurgan

Terry Kurgan
installation view of 'Lost and Found' at the
Johannesburg Civic gallery, 2000


'Lost and Found' - an installation by Terry Kurgan at DAG

'Lost and Found' won Terry Kurgan the prestigious Vita Art Prize in the year 2000. A photographic installation of large-scale digital prints onto silk organza it broke new ground for Kurgan in her search to give material form to subjective experiences of familial relationships. Kurgan's interest in memory and desire, and the relationship between visual records and absence is aptly registered in these diaphanous sheets that both hold and dissolve the images.

For Kurgan family photographs, as much as they are visual reminders that secure the immortality and prominence of the subject in the mind of the viewer, they are also an inventory of mortality. Such images behold the tension between the past and the present, between a past that exists in the present and a past that is forever gone. They represent the impossibility of the desire to hold, or contain, some concrete reminder of present experience, as they are tied so precisely to a particular moment that they are always simultaneously a record of something or someone no longer there.

The images in the exhibition are from the 1950s and 1960s - when cameras became commonplace. They are typical of those first colour photographs in that very particular Kodak colour of that era. Kurgan says that she "wanted them to feel as though they could belong to anybody and close to the childhood of most people looking at them today". She also wanted "to avoid the nostalgic and sentimental associations one might have with the older, more formal studio portraits" and instead wanted them to resonate "with the sense that for a split second the photographed subjects were the centre of somebody's (the photographer's) universe".

Some of the images shown were found among Kurgan's parents' collection of old family photographs, the ones that never made it into the albums. Others belong to extended family members and friend's families or are anonymous photographs found in second-hand shops.

The artist, who is based in Johannesburg, will be giving a walkabout of the exhibition on Thursday February 6 at 9:30 a.m.

Opens: February 5 at 6:00pm
Closes: March 30

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm

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