Archive: Issue No. 85, September 2004

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17.09.04 Berni Searle heads up a visual arts feast at Pentech
17.09.04 'Prejuger', an exhibition of visiting artists at Greatmore Studios
17.09.04 'Doring Doilies' and more at the AVA
17.09.04 Alexander Podlashuc exhibits new work at Sanlam
17.09.04 Fiona Moodie at the Irma Stern museum
17.09.04 Sir John Benjamin Stone at UCT
03.09.04 Oltmann, Brand and Mudzunga at MSCG
03.09.04 'Flip' at the Old Town House
03.09.04 Gina Waldman and 'A Refreshing Alternative' at Bell-Roberts
03.09.04 'A Place Called Home' at SANG
03.09.04 'Salt on my Skin' by Greta Matthews-McMahon at João Ferreira
03.09.04 'Integration' by Alex Krenz at VEO Gallery
03.09.04 Puppets from Mali in 'Patrimony' at Irma Stern Museum
03.09.04 'New Light on Old Masters' and 'Ilifa' at SANG
03.09.04 'Travelling Light' at Photographers Gallery ZA
03.09.04 'Vuleka' at Art.b.
01.08.04 Deborah Poynton, Diane Victor and Tracey Payne at Michael Stevenson Contemporary
01.08.04 Matthew Hindley at Bell-Roberts Gallery
01.08.04 Pain du Ciel/ Bread of Heaven at 3rd i Gallery
01.08.04 Tamlin Blake, Barbara Wildenboer and Caversham prints at the AVA
01.05.04 'Democracy X' at The Castle of Good Hope
01.04.04 'Old Masters, New Perceptions' at SANG


03.09.04 'Earthworks/Claybodies' at Sasol Art Museum
01.08.04 'After-image' by Paul Emmanuel at US Gallery


Berni Searle heads up a visual arts feast at Pentech

Die Burger's 'Suidoosterfees' hits Cape Town at the end of this month with a vast programme of events that includes a visual arts element. Capetonian artist Berni Searle is the highlight. Her installations and performance-based video works are on show in the foyer of the auditorium.

'20/10' is the title of an exhibition at the entrance of the Cape Cultural Hall where 20 Western Cape artists interpret the past 10 years of democracy in their work. They include Conrad Botes, Theo Kleynhans, John Murray, Selwyn Pikeur, Sanell Aggenbach, Hanneke Benade, Lien Botha and Susan Grundligh-Kruger.

Opens: September 24
Closes: September 25

Reem Hassan

Reem Hassan
'Black Point 1'

Reem Hassan

Reem Hassan

'Prejuger', an exhibition of visiting artists at Greatmore Studios

A trio of international artists currently working at Greatmore Studios is holding an exhibition of their work. Greatmore artists-in-residence Reem Hassan from Egypt, USA's Karen Sanders and Switzerland's Fulvio Bressan all have artwork on show.

Opens: September 15
Closes: September 23

Doring Doilies

Doring Doilies

Gabriel Clark-Brown

Gabriel Clark-Brown
'The Lure of Reason'

Luzamba Misiri Zemba

Luzamba Misiri Zemba
mixed media

'Doring Doilies' and more at the AVA

Tamlin Blake, who recently exhibited her beaded paintings here, Karin Cronje, Michele Davidson, Rikus Ferreira and Marlise Keith make up a group exhibition called 'Doring Doilies' in the main gallery.

Michaelis graduate Gabriel Clark-Brown, who now runs publishing company Global Art Information in Cape Town, exhibits new etchings entitled 'Whitewash' in the Long Gallery. Upstairs, Luzamba Misiri Zemba shows his mixed media works.

Opens: September 13
Closes: October 2

Samuel Mudzunga

Alexander Podlashuc
A Young Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil

Alexander Podlashuc exhibits new work at Sanlam

A selection of works completed by Alexander Podlashuc over the last four years both in South Africa and abroad forms the focus of Sanlam's latest exhibition. Podlashuc has been painting since the late 1940s in South Africa, the UK and Europe.

Curator Stefan Hundt says Cape Town galleries are currently competing to give exposure to the latest fashionable young artists on the block. 'It is no surprise,' he adds, 'that some of our most accomplished artists are being marginalised, even though they are by no means non-productive - as the Podlashuc exhibition demonstrates."

Hundt says Podlashuc's painting is still fresh at the age of 74 - 'His painting technique, refined over all the years, still reflects a youthful and spontaneous character of mind and approach to life.'

Professor Karin Skawran will open the exhibition at 6pm on September 16.

Opens: September 17
Closes: October 19

Fiona Moodie at the UCT Irma Stern Museum

Fiona Moodie, who has lived and worked in Spain, Italy, France and the UK, shows a collection of recent abstract paintings and children's book illustrations at the Irma Stern museum. The exhibition coincides with the International Board on Books for Young People being held at the Baxter complex.

Moodie regularly participates in international exhibitions, including the 'Illustrators Exhibition' at the Bologna Book Fair. Books on show include The Boy and the Giants, Noko and the Night Monster and The Wonder Shoes.

Opens: September 7
Closes: September 28

Sir John Benjamin Stone

Sir John Benjamin Stone
'Zulu Police, Durban', 1894

Sir John Benjamin Stone at UCT

This show comprises images documenting the photographer Sir John Benjamin Stone's travels around Africa 110 years ago. They range from intriguing pictures of Rondebosch prior to its current development, to a variety of photographs documenting a very different life in South Africa during Victorian times.

The exhibition will be opened by Lesley Hart from UCT Library's Manuscripts and Archives department.

Opens: September 9
Closes: September 20

Samuel Mudzunga

Samuel Mudzunga
Aeroplane Drum, 1997
Mutobvuma wood, fabric, vellum and bitumen
180 x 170 x 190cm

Kevin Brand

Kevin Brand
'eleven a side', 2004
painted bronze
height: 82cm (excluding base)

Oltmann, Brand and Mudzunga at MSCG

A trio of heavyweight sculptors follows in the wake of last month's three painters at MSCG. First up is Walter Oltmann, a Fine Art lecturer at Wits University, who is well known for his wire sculptures. He has exhibited widely in galleries and museums and, completed numerous commissions, including three large aluminium wire flowers for the newly constructed Arabella-Sheraton.

In his recent work, Oltmann explores images that tease the borderlines between categorisations of humans, animals and plants. He often plays with paradoxes between vulnerability and the monstrous in his sculptures, while his drawings and lino-cuts are usually closely related in subject matter.

Kevin Brand exhibits a new series of works eleven a side. This installation of painted bronze figures is inspired by the popular table soccer game with its 22 figures that swivel on rotating bars. Each team comprises four sculptures of single players, two double-figure pieces and one three-figure piece.

Samuel Mudzunga is a self-taught Venda carver and sculptor. He has become well known over the past decade for large carved drums, which he uses to interrogate the customs of his community.

In 1996, Mudzunga staged his first 'burial' performance using a coffin-shaped drum. The following year, he transformed the traditional murumba drum used during ritual into an aeroplane to celebrate his fourth marriage.

His work was recently included in an exhibition called 'New Identities' in Bochum, Germany, and will be on show later this year in 'Personal Affects' at New York's Museum of African Art (see International Listings).

Opens: September 15
Closes: October 23


Unknown Artist
Portrait of a man in a shepherd's guise
Dutch School, Amsterdam, 17th century
oil on panel
Michaelis collection Inv. No. 14/31

'Flip' at the Old Town House

Both the artworks and public expectations will be unceremoniously flipped in this exhibition at the Old Town House. Various paintings by Old Masters like Jan Steen and Frans Hals from the well known Michaelis Collection of 17th century Dutch paintings will be displayed back-to-front.

The installation is under the curatorship of art theorist Andrew Lamprecht, a lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. 'Flip' aims to raise questions and issues around perceptions in a gallery space, while also drawing attention to the important information found on the backs of paintings.

Old labels, inscriptions and other material have become attached to paintings over hundreds of years. These markings provide clues to their previous ownership, origin, provenance and how they were made.

Lamprecht will give a walkabout at 2.30pm on September 4. Call Lizzie on (021) 467 4662 for details.

Opens: September 1
Closes: October 31


Gina Waldman

Gina Waldman
'Nesting', 2003
Mixed Media: artificial birds on found painting

Donovan Ward

Donovan Ward

An exhibition of kitsch by Gina Waldman at Bell-Roberts

'Excessive Surfaces' is an exhibition of mixed media works by Gina Waldman that explore the inner, psychological human condition. She uses a variety of media, including found objects, collage, glitter, mirrors and holographic paper, to create works that show the artifice behind beauty.

According to Bell-Roberts, Waldman strives to decorate the damaged: 'She works ironically with a kind of self-consciousness about romanticising the world, and, in so doing, implying that there is something that lurks beneath the surface, like a stain or an imperfect mark.'

Opens: 6pm, September 15
Closes: October 9

Waldman is also part of a separate show at Bell-Roberts that includes Kevin Brand, Matthew Hindley, Donovan Ward, Paul Du Toit and Ernestine White.

The six artists have each turned an air conditioner into a work of art for a group show with a commercial twist. 'A Refreshing Alternative' evolved from LG's television advert, which featured an 'Art Cool' air conditioner being mistaken for an actual work of art on the gallery wall. The artists will also exhibit other works alongside the LG creations.

Opens: September 8
Closes: September 11

Omar Badsha

Omar Badsha
From the series Road to Tadkeshwar (Grandfather and Children, Tadkeshwar, 1996), 2004
Photographs and Archival materials

Sunil Gupta

Sunil Gupta
From the series 'Homelands' (Mundia Pamar, Uttar Pradesh/ Chesapeake Bay, Marylands), 2001-2003

'A Place Called Home' at SANG

'Diaspora' is a term frequently used but hard to define. Although the diaspora is a somewhat nebulous concept, artists are more commonly engaging with complex and multi-faceted identities in a world where geographical boundaries are more easily permeated.

'A Place Called Home' brings together the work of various British, South African and international artists from the South Asian diaspora. They include South Africans Omar Badsha, Faiza Galdhari, Zen Marie and Usha Seejarim alongside artists like Sunil Gupta (India/ Canada/ UK), Moti Roti (Trinidad/ Pakistan/ UK) and Prema Murthy (Philippines/ India/ US).

Sponsor, the British Council Southern Africa, says the show probes the experience of minority cultures claiming space in wider social and cultural landscapes. The exhibition is curated by South African Zayd Minty and includes photographic, print, video, web-based and installation works.

Minty says the project came from a subjective position. He writes in the catalogue's introduction: 'It arose out of a long engagement with my own sense of self and of my place on the globe.'

Opens: September 22
Closes: November 7


Greta Matthews-McMahon

Greta Matthews-McMahon
'Water Diviner II'
Mixed media on board
30 x 30 cm

Greta Matthews-McMahon at João Ferreira Gallery

This show of abstract, mixed media canvases, collages and drawings, entitled 'Salt on my skin', brings the internal to the surface. Matthews-McMahon says of her work: 'I try to familiarise those moments where the visible and the invisible meet. It comes from a yearning to connect within and to bring that which is below into a perfect balance with the outside.'

Matthews-McMahon views our senses as an essential link between the inner and outer worlds. The title of the show alludes to a place of stillness where one can transcend isolation to connect to a greater sphere.

Opens: September 1
Closes: September 25

Alex Krenz

Alex Krenz

Alex Krenz at VEO Gallery

No navel-gazing for artist Alex Krenz, who boldly tackles the weighty subject of quantum physics in an exhibition called 'Integration' at the VEO Gallery.

Vibrational resonance is the key ingredient of the so-called wall dressings. Krenz says they have been engineered from an understanding of the quantum physical level, where sub-atomic particles are seen as energetic vibrations, 'These vibrational resonations help to create a living space that calms the mind and grounds the body.'

The Serenity series of paintings displays the zero-point field, which orchestrates all matter on a quantum physical level and is also the sub-structure of the universe that holds all matter together.

Opens: September 7
Closes: September 18

Malian Puppet

Malian Puppet
Courtesy of the Yaya Coulibaly Family Collection

Puppets from Mali at Irma Stern Museum

Cape Town's well known Handspring Puppet Company has teamed up with the Mali-based Sogolon Puppet Troupe to produce a cross-cultural show called 'Tall Horse', which opens this month at the Baxter Theatre. The Irma Stern museum is holding a timely exhibition, which happens to coincide with this show.

'Patrimony' exhibits puppets from Mali's Coulibaly Family Collection, a unique heritage built up over generations. Yaya Coulibaly, who heads up the Sogolon Troupe, is a master puppeteer who draws upon generations of knowledge about this ancient art form.

'Patrimony' was last month on show at the Sasol Art Gallery in Stellenbosch.

Opens: September 9

Closes: September 25

Running alongside, in a separate Irma Stern museum exhibition, Fiona Baumann holds a show of book illustrations and recent paintings. It coincides with the International Board on Books for Young People being held at the Baxter complex.

Opens: September 7

Closes: September 25

Keith Seaford

Paper conservator Keith Seaford at work

'New Light on Old Masters' and 'Ilifa' at SANG

As a sequel to 'Old Masters, New Perceptions', the SANG has put together a demonstration on how old oil paintings, works on paper and even Jane Alexander's famous Butcher Boys are being conserved by experts for future generations. In 'New Light on Old Masters', photographs show the effects of artworks treated to a makeover.

Closes: mid-2005

A separate SANG exhibition, opening on Heritage Day, showcases 150 African artworks acquired by the gallery over the past decade. 'Ilifa Labantu Heritage of the People' is curated by Carol Kaufmann, Iziko's African art specialist. She says: 'The post-1994 sense of freedom has encouraged South Africans to look to the north to rediscover cultural affiliations with the rest of the continent.'

'Ilifa' includes textiles from Ghana, beaded crowns and gold-weights from Nigeria, Kuba ceremonial beadwork from the DRC and 'repatriated' works like engraved Nguni cattle horns depicting scenes from the Zulu war of 1879.

The exhibition will include a series of organised tours. Contact Carol Kaufmann on (021) 467 4672 or email

Opens: September 24
Closes: April 2005

Paul Weinberg

Paul Weinberg
'Gay Cabaret', Harare, Zimbabwe, 1995
12 x 16 inches

'Travelling Light' at Photographers Gallery ZA

An exhibition of photographs by Paul Weinberg, as well as the launch of his book, comes to Cape Town's Photographers Gallery ZA after a run at Durban's NSA Gallery.

Weinberg's exhibition reflects 25 years of his photographic career, from his pics of Johannesburg streets of the late 1970s to contemporary rural and desert landscapes. Many of the images are previously unpublished.

Weinberg says in the book's introduction that photography has provided him with a privileged interface into other people's lives - 'These photographs capture glimpses of life between the cracks before, after and while the political wheel was turning. They are about how people try to survive in so many different and extraordinary ways and the survival choices they make under often extreme conditions of hardship.'

Opens: September 8
Closes: October 2

'Vuleka' at Art.b.

Art.b, the Arts Association of Bellville, holds an exhibition of selected artwork entered into its annual Vuleka competition. Vuleka, which means 'open' in Xhosa, encourages creativity, innovation and adventurous art. The only proviso, besides being 18 years of age, is that artists must not yet have held a solo exhibition.

The categories include best work in oil, acrylic and watercolour, best graphic work, best sculpture or ceramic work, and best work in another medium or photographic work. The overall winner receives R5000 and a return flight to Paris, while category winners receive R1000 each.

Opens: September 1
Closes: September 22

Tracey Payne

Tracey Payne
'Night Bubbles' (detail), 2002
Oil on canvas
Diptych: each panel 90 x 90 cm when hung 90 x 180cm

Deborah Poynton, Diane Victor and Tracey Payne at Michael Stevenson Contemporary

For the second time in a row, Michael Stevenson hosts three painters' shows simultaneously. Deborah Poynton's new series of six large-scale paintings employ visual metaphors to operate on various levels. From depictions of a beach scene to a family group, the paintings are rich with references both classical and peculiarly South African. Contradictions between the human condition and societal expectations, between inner and outer realities, are inferred.

Tracey Payne, who showed earlier this year at the Irma Stern Gallery, now brings her distinctive painting style of subtle washes and veils combined with precise detail to the Michael Stevenson Gallery. The works were inspired by kinbaku, erotic rope bondage, and sakura, the cherry blossom and Japan's national flower.

Payne sees bondage as a metaphor for other kinds of ties that bind us to superficial habits and compulsions. The cherry blossoms are a reminder of the cyclical nature of life and offer hope and freedom from bondage.

Diane Victor, well known for her consummate charcoal and pastel drawing and printmaking skills, will show alongside her contemporaries.

The Friends of the South African National Gallery will be holding a walkabout of this exhibition at 11am on August 5. Call (021) 467 4662 for details.

Opens: August 4
Closes: September 11


Matthew Hindley

Matthew Hindley
'work in progress'
Oil on canvas

Matthew Hindley and 'Surrender' at Bell-Roberts

Michaelis graduate Matthew Hindley exhibits one sculpture and four oil paintings in this show of new work called 'Surrender'. His paintings often evoke a distinctive emotion somewhere between alienation and impending doom but are also hauntingly beautiful in their 'pop' style.

A work by Hindley was recently included in Andrew Lamprecht's 'Contra Mundi' at the AVA, where it was singled out by critics as one of the stronger works on show. Carving a niche for himself as a cutting-edge new media artist, a Hindley video installation can also be viewed at SANG's 'Decade of Democracy' exhibition.

Catherine Raphael

Catherine Raphael
'The Black Dress' series

Pain du Ciel/ Bread of Heaven at 3rd i Gallery

Painter Catherine Raphael exhibits new work at the 3rd i Gallery, which takes as its thematic starting point the recognition of 'the feminine' in a patriarchal world that can objectify and devalue it.

3rd i describes Raphael's work as a witty and subtle reaction to this recognition, 'weaving a tapestry of female sexuality, charm and bewitchment in a provocative assertion of the feminine'.

Opens: August 18
Closes: September 25

Tamlin Blake

Tamlin Blake
'Brother 4'

Tamlin Blake, Barbara Wildenboer and Caversham prints at the AVA

The main gallery hosts a group exhibition called 'Journey' of limited print editions created during international residency programmes by artists hosted at the Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers.

Tamlin Blake, a botanical artist from Cape Town, exhibits entire paintings produced from a variety of beads in the Long Gallery in a show called 'Change of Address'. She was a finalist in last year's Brett Kebble awards with a collection of South African stamps featuring Proteas, also made out of beadwork.

Upstairs, Barbara Wildenboer holds her first solo show with mixed media work. Most recently, her artwork The Bridge was on show at the Spier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial in January this year. It raised questions on issues like displacement and ownership of land.

Opens: August 23
Closes: September 11

Democracy X at The Castle of Good Hope

This exhibition, in South Africa's oldest colonial building, brings together over 300 artefacts, contemporary artworks, documents, photographs, sound and film. Most of these are from Iziko's own collections but the exhibition also includes items on loan from public and private collections throughout South Africa.

The exhibition spans seven rooms, beginning with the early traces of the human past, the first farmers and early southern African states, and leading to colonial dispossession and African resistance. Mining, urbanisation and apartheid precede the turning points of the 1970s until democracy in 1994. A special room is dedicated to the Truth Commission.

Interviews with and self-portraits of 28 year-old South Africans conclude the exhibition. Sue Williamson's Messages from the Moat, a permanent installation piece on slavery at the Cape, looks right at home in the basement of the Castle's Block B.

Opens: April 21
Closes: September 30


Antonin Merci

Antonin Merci
Portrait of Ira Aldridge as Othello, 1868
marble and bronze

Old Masters, New Perceptions at SANG

This exhibition brings a fresh lens to restored and newly acquired pre-20th century European paintings, sculptures and art works on paper. The major highlight is a new arrival, Antonin Mercié's Gloria Victis (Glory to the Vanquished) of 1875, described as a tour de force in bronze casting. Pietro Calvi's marble and bronze bust Othello (1868), now retitled Portrait of Ira Aldridge as Othello, is unveiled as an actual portrait of the internationally famous black American Shakespearian actor.

Opens: March 2004
Closes: December 2004


Deborah Bell

Deborah Bell

'Earthworks/Claybodies' at Sasol Art Museum

Deborah Bell, Wilma Cruise, Guy Du Toit and Petros Gumbi exhibit together in this show of sculpture in clay at the University of Stellenbosch. 'Earthworks/Claybodies' was recently on show at Pretoria's Art Museum and last year at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg.

Curated by Cruise, the show features artists using the body as their subject matter. Bell creates spiritual links across boundaries of history and style, as depicted in the Sentinel series of nine large sculptures. Cruise creates expressionistic works with 24 cloned sheep marching through the gallery.

Du Toit uses casting to create ironic works like Plates, Venus, Moulds that tackle feminist issues. Gumbi, a 2003 Brett Kebble finalist, is known for his fine modelling of the human form and his preoccupation with Zulu history.

Art critic Hazel Friedman will open the exhibition.

Opens: 6.30pm, September 15
Closes: October 24

Paul Emmanuel

Paul Emmanuel
'Twelve Phases of Orange'
hand coloured hand printed stone lithograph

'After-image' by Paul Emmanuel at the US Art Gallery

Printmaker Paul Emmanuel continues his investigations into the politics of South African militarism, power and patriarchy and their relationship to the male identity with his first solo show. The highlight is a large-scale drawing (2m x 4.8m), in which a fine steel blade has sensitively incised exposed photographic paper.

Emmanuel is known for his printmaking and intaglio works. He was the first recipient of the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in 1997 and winner of the Sasol 'wax in art' competition in 2002.

More recently, he exhibited a site-specific installation during the Grahamstown Festival, called Lost Men. Three works from this installation will also be on show, along with a handmade artist's book seven years in the making, titled Cathexis.

Professor Keith Deitrich of Stellenbosch University's Fine Art Department will open the exhibition.

Opens: 6pm, August 3
Closes: August 26