"Interpretation is an onerous task, and requires far more than just aloof observational skills and a clever turn of phrase. The South African artworld is at an awkward juncture in its history. As Mario Pissarra recently observed in a piece of writing for ArtThrob, "the visual arts have fared worse than other art forms in the transformation process". It is a simple insight that frames the existence of an entire community."
Thus reads a paragraph from an extensive editorial letter in which I offer my farewell to a site that has both nurtured and sustained me. To readers that have taken the journey with me, thank you. To the artists, gallerists, scholars and students who engaged with my awkward questions and requests, thank you too. To Sue, Tracy, Virginia, Paul, Kim and the rest of the team, a special word of heartfelt thanks.
My departure aside, Kathryn Smith's Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition 'Euphemism' is certainly the one to see in July.
Next update: August 3
Following its annual members show, the AVA presents an exhibition of women artists, primarily from Cape Town and Durban, curated by Vuyile Voyiya, and including artists Bongekile Bengu, Gabisile Ngcobo, Fikile Skosana and Noni Vakalisa; Luc van der Walt presents digitally manipulated drive-by scenes at the Third Eye Gallery; Ronnie Levitan and Geoff Grundlingh are at the Photographers Gallery ZA; Kevin de Klerk returns to the VEO Gallery; and the US Art Gallery presents an experimental socio-artistic project by Belgian artist, Nelson Hoedekie.
Lots to look forward to, particularly Kathryn Smith's Standard Bank Young Artist show 'Euphemism'. Amongst the many other shows, 'Through the Looking Glass' at Albany History Museum, the launch of Paul Emmanuel's 'The Lost Men', 'David' by Frances Goodman and Frank Ledimo's curatorial project 'Initiation as a Rite of Passage' are sure to offer worthy stop-over points. Also on show: Greg Schultz and 'Frequency', 'Sans' by Brent Meistre, Peter van Heerden's 'So is 'n Os Gemaak', William Kentridge's '9 Drawings for Projection', deviant films by Aryan Kaganof, street theatre from The Odd Enjineers, and public talks by Niki Daly and Mokena Makeka. Definitely not to be missed: James Webb and James Sey's 'A Compendium of Imaginary Wavelengths'.
Ina van Zyl presents new works in charcoal with watercolour on paper; 'Images of Defiance' continues its MuseumAfrica run; Gordart Gallery is hosting an exhibition of South African contemporary glass art; Manfred Zylla is at Gallery Momo; Bensusan presents a major retrospective commemorating 51 years of photography by David Goldblatt; the ABSA gallery is showing the work of finalists in this year's L'Atelier art competition; Paul Weinberg reflects on 25 years of his photographic journey, at Photo.za; Melville's Unity Gallery has drawings by Cara Walters, studio manager for the Artists' Proof Studio; Malcolm Payne is on at the Goodman Gallery; Michael MacGarry presents a multi-media installation at The Premises; 'Jo Ractliffe: Selected Works 1982-1999' is on show at Warren Siebrits; Unisa presents a show reflecting on its collection of resistance art; and Jena McCarthy is Outlet.
'A Place Called Home' is an exhibition of photographic, print, video, web based and installation works by artists of Indian/South Asian descent, curated by Zayd Minty, is on at the NSA Gallery, and will be followed by Daphne Prevoo's 'Inversions', a series of sculptural installations. Artists Action Around Aids is on at the Tatham Art Gallery and Helene Verwey's 'Work in Progress' is at artSpace Durban.
Robin Rhode is enjoying a busy summer season up north with shows at Carlier Gebauer in Germany, another at San Francisco's Langton Arts and a one further show in New York, at the Artists Space; Stephen Hobbs is facilitating a South African/ Swiss exchange in Bern; Ian van Coller is at the University of New Mexico Art Museum; Mandy Lee Jandrell appears on a show titled 'Cinderella'; Imke Rust and Clifford Charles are in Germany; a high-profile list of artists are on show at the Museum Bochum, also in Germany; in Greenwich, south London, ten artists celebrate ten years of democracy, while Kendell Geers gets sexy in France.
Kim Gurney reports on the work of three young painters currently on show at the Michael Stevenson Contemporary, and also says of Keith Dietrich's latest exhibition that it is "a densely referenced exploration of how the land 'lies'." Manfred Zylla straddles taboo historicism from the 1980s with very hot technical appeal, writes Robyn Sassen who also reviews 'Images of Defiance'. In KwaZulu Natal, Gabi Ngcobo is impressed by the portraiture of Bronwen Vaughan-Evans, but doubtful about John Roome's exhibition of watercolour paintings. Rima Geffen reviews a show by six young photographers trained under Jenny Altschuler, which was recently on view in the United States.
The acclaimed Cape Town photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa discusses his influences, his thoughts on the publication Shack Chic, the South African artworld and his latest project, while Roger Ballen explains why his images are existential inquisitions into terror. Also in the news: James Webb has won a prestigious Japanese residency; South Africa is hosting an international comics festival; Kresta Tyler Johnson talks with artist Paul Stopforth about his residency programme on Robben Island; the second annual Brett Kebble Art Award finalists will be announced mid-July; Thando Mama receives the Belgian Community's Award at Dakar Biennale; Sasol's New Signatures competition will for the first time award artists and an art instruction institution this year; Robyn Sassen discovers a renewed energy among three artists working to dismantle the preconceptions surrounding the art of jewellery making; 'Mine(d)Fields' sees four curators from Switzerland and South Africa working together to create a multi-venue exhibition of artists from both countries; and as Sophie Perryer passes the baton on to Sean O'Toole, ArtThrob's outgoing editor offers personal account of his insights into the South African art community.
What motivates curators and art buyers to purchase artworks? This simple question is the premise for Gallery Choice, a monthly feature that aims to reveal who (public museums/corporate collections) is buying what (artist), and why.
Gordon Froud recently took over the Thompson Gallery, in the Johannesburg suburb of Melville. He discusses Guy du Toit's sculpture, They all look the same to me, hey.
Sue Williamson's diary notes offer an indispensable insider's view of the art community.
"Apart from the early 1980s when I was influenced by American Photorealists," remarks Keith Dietrich, "my work has not been influenced by any artists or artworks in particular." Kim Gurney contextualises Dietrich's output, and also talks of his fascination for history and research.
Arts and Letters Daily is a site that collects links to other important sites with information on issues from the area of, loosely speaking, the 'liberal arts'. By Carine Zaayman.
"Wikipedia is an interesting example of the way in which open source content can operate," observes Carine Zaayman of this month's featured project site.
A section devoted to calls for submissions and proposals; invitations to participate; studios to let; art auctions and charity benefits. This update: ArtThrob is looking to appoint a new Editor-in-chief.
A forum to discuss the issues of the day.
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Penny Siopis is the latest artist to join our Editions for ArtThrob programme. Her work 'Cultivate Love' was produced in collaboration with Randy Hemminghaus, master printer from New York's Galamander Press, and is a distillation of her most recent work, from her Shame series.
Available now: outstanding prints by William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Hentie van der Merwe, and Tracey Rose.
Browse through past editions of ArtThrob.
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