Archive: Issue No. 94, June 2005

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JOHANNESBURG

3.06.05 Jacqui Bernstein at Spaza
3.06.05 Pieter Swanepoel and Emma Willemse at Artspace
3.06.05 Carol Nathan Levin at Gallery @157
3.06.05 Andrew Walford in Houghton
3.06.05 Herman Niebuhr at ABSA
3.06.05 Rosemarie Marriott at gordart
3.06.05 Lesley Ann Myles at gordart
3.06.05 Kathryn Smith at Standard Bank
3.06.05 Emily Stainer at Standard Bank
3.06.05 Andre van Vuuren at Obert Contemporary
3.06.05 Rorke's Drift at Warren Siebrits
3.06.05 Lizza Littlewort at Gerard Sekoto
3.06.05 William Kentridge at Goodman
3.06.05 Kirsten Miller at Unity Gallery
3.06.05 Geraldine Fenn at Franchise
3.06.05 Minette Varì at Momo

9.05.05 Universal Declaration of Human Rights at University of Johannesburg
9.05.05 Ian Waldeck at Artspace
9.05.05 Porn Again at Merely Mortal

6.04.05 Belinda Zangewa at Alliance Francaise

PRETORIA

3.06.05 Dirk Meerkotter at South African Association of Arts
3.06.05 Penny Baillie at South African Association of Arts
3.06.05 Past University of Johannesburg Students at South African Association of Arts
3.06.05 The River Project at Pretoria Art Museum

9.05.05 South African Photographers at National Cultural History Museum
 

JOHANNESBURG

Jacqui Bernstein
 

Jacqui Bernstein at Spaza

Jacqui Bernstein comments on her solo exhibition of selected paintings entitled 'Point Blank': 'These semi-autobiographical oil paintings evoke a contemporary surrealism, peppered with imagery of myth and the mundane. The often dark content is celebrated with bright colour and bold line, exploring a world that is more dreamscape than waking life'.

Opens: May 22
Closes: June 12


Pieter Swanepoel

Pieter Swanepoel
Untitled

Emma Willemse

Emma Willemse
One side of 'Changing from nothing to one'
 


Pieter Swanepoel and Emma Willemse at Artspace

An exhibition entitled 'Dwarsdeur', comprising surface paintings by Pieter Swanepoel and works on doors by Emma Willemse, will be opened by Karin Preller, at Artspace in Fairland. The event also features the launch of a volume of poetry, entitled Middelman by Rudolph Willemse and a poetry reading by Marcel van Heerden.

Swanepoel allows marks, scratches, spills and other blemishes that appear on the surface of painted surfaces, to become part of the visual language of his works. He consistently seeks for and experiments with ways to interfere with traditional notions of the pictorial conventions of easel painting in order to construct artworks he terms 'deconfigured paintings'.

Willemse uses doors as found objects in her work. Taken out of context, these doors become the evidence/trace/remnant of mundane rituals of transition. The door becomes an object of desire for the artist, as well as an indexical symbol of 'reaching the other side'.

Opens: June 26
Closes: July 16


Nathan Levin

Carol Nathan Levin
Deconstruction
Sequins on fabric

Nathan Levin

Carol Nathan Levin
Reconstruction
Sequins on fabric
 


Carol Nathan Levin at Gallery @157

Carol Nathan Levin, a fashion designer/textile surface artist, has always created super-kitsch shrines wherever she has lived. Fifteen years ago, while resident in Los Angeles, she saw an exhibition dealing with the Haitian artform of Drapo Vodou. Constructed of sequins and beads hand-sewn onto fabric, it is a medium designed to bring life to the iconography of Haitian Vodou. On seeing this approach to artmaking, Nathan Levin decided to make her own.

It was at this time that her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Throughout all the doctor's visits, operations and chemotherapy, Nathan Levin tried to take her mind off reality by sewing a 'mandala' using the technique of overlapping sequins, silently praying throughout. When her sister recovered, she put it away, secretly associating it with the cancer and never wanting to look at it again.

Ten years later, Nathan Levin's mother was also diagnosed with cancer. Once again she brought out the same mandala. 'Each stitch seemed to help me to transcend the emotional pain.'

For her mother's 72nd birthday, shortly before she passed away, Nathan Levin completed the 'cancer blanket'. Sequining became her medium of choice and her new works are mediations on life, spirituality and contemporary South African society. They are executed in the Drapo Vodou style, which present a similar quality to a Byzantine mosaic in the light reflections they cast.

Opens: June 1
Closes: July 2



Andrew Walford in Houghton

Kwazulu Natal potter Andrew Walford is bringing his latest pots from his mountain top studio in Shongweni to Gauteng. Recently returned from a successful exhibition in Germany, Walford will be demonstrating his style of throwing and Japanese brushwork. Stylistically billed as 'Zen Zulu', Walford's work ranges from miniature porcelain bowls to Japanese tea bowls, and from sushi dishes and hand basins to metre-high wall tiles made of paperclay.

Opens: June 4
Closes: June 5



Hermann Niebuhr at ABSA

Rhodes graduate Hermann Niebuhr presents a body of work which introduces a personal angle to the inner city renewal project in Johannesburg. The work questions the artist's relationship to the inner city through expressions of fear and abundance.

Through the minimal treatment of urban contrasts such as architectonic spaces and filtering neon lights, Niebuhr renews a personal interest in the Johannesburg experience, aiming to promote its re-reading. In his work, the city exists almost completely devoid of human traffic, yet it invokes a desired life dynamic.

Niebuhr has participated in numerous exhibitions both locally and abroad, and has work in several corporate collections, including Absa Bank, Webber Wentzel Bowens, and Sasol (Milan). Opens: June 6
Closes: June 29


Rosemarie Marriott
 

Rosemarie Marriott at gordart

Rosemarie Marriott presents an exhibition entitled 'wolhaarstorie'. It challenges the connotative values established by society for children's toys.

Opens: May 29
Closes: June 11


Lesley Ann Myles

Lesley Ann Myles
 


Lesley Ann Myles at gordart

Unisa graduate Lesley Ann Myles presents 'Death immortalises life', an exhibition of mixed media landscapes exploring the HIV/Aids pandemic. The exhibition will be opened by Koos van der Watt, senior lecturer in the department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology.

Opens: June 19
Closes: July 2


Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith in 'Jack in Johannesburg'
 


Kathryn Smith at Standard Bank

Making art and indulging a compelling interest in forensic investigation, particularly the psychological aspects of criminal activity, have preoccupied the Standard Bank Young Artist winner, Kathryn Smith, since childhood. Choosing to prioritise her work as an artist, curator and critic, her artistic practice owes much to the forensic investigator's ability to recreate narratives from evidence that can often best be described as 'debris'.

Smith's process and research methodologies are based on medical recreations (or reinventions) of events or situations which are not presented as complete 'histories', but abstracted moments and suggestive details. Working primarily in photography and video, and dabbling in performance, Smith will treat her exhibition 'Euphemisim' as a work-in-progress and response to the specific gallery and museum spaces to which it will travel.

Including the body of work entitled 'Jack in Johannesburg', the exhibition comprises work infused with baroque melodrama. Here, evidence and fantasy are circumstantial. Stand-ins, prostheses, body doubles and the slippery space between impersonators and impostors are all brought to bear in an exhibition that makes little attempt to sift truths from fictions.

Acknowledging the secret histories and unspoken desires that exist between public and private space, Smith's work flirts with the meeting of reality and fiction, fantasy and desire.

Opens: June 7
Closes: July 9



Emily Stainer at Standard Bank

Emily Stainer's exhibition of display boxes entitled 'Menagerie', takes place downstairs in the Standard Bank Gallery. Like miniature theatres, the artworks shift in focus from mythical to erotic window displays. The cages are reminiscent of elaborate, gilded birdcages found in Victorian Drawing Rooms or nurseries, meant to house exotic birds, and yet they are evocative of the barred enclosure found in nightclubs and strip joints, containing gyrating women.

In her exhibition, Stainer has sought to evoke something of the ambience of the Victorian freak show, a collection of the outlandish and the strange. The body of work explores the notion of otherness in miniature worlds which enclose, cage and display a menagerie of the bizarre.

The suggestion of voyeurism and the use of contradiction and comic contrast play an explicit role in much of Stainer's work. Her use of mirrors confronts the voyeur with his or her own image. The lushness of velvet, varnish and gilt provide the temptation of spectacle and pageantry that paves the way for a public pleasure show, a menagerie.

Opens: June 7
Closes: July 9


Andre van Vuuren

Andre van Vuuren
Untitled, 2005
Oil on linen, 122x91cm

Andre van Vuuren

Andre van Vuuren
Untitled, 2005
Oil on paper, 70x100cm
 


Andre van Vuuren at Obert Contemporary

Andre van Vuuren presents 'Abstracts', an exhibition of new work. Last year he exhibited at Obert Contemporary, with a body of abstract works, yielding the following comment from Michael Coulson: 'Van Vuuren's works on paper are soft and gentle, with the contemplative tranquility of classical Chinese watercolours. They're predominately in subdued blacks, blues and earth colours, and the one work with slashes of red stands out startlingly. They're rightly described as abstracts, but your mind identifies a standing figure here, a face in profile there. Like all good art, the longer you look, the more you see.' Opens: June 9
Closes: June 19


Rorke's Drift

Cyprian Shilakoe
Follow her footsteps and you will find her sleeping, 1970
Etching
 


Rorke's Drift at Warren Siebrits

In its fourth exhibition for the year, Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary presents a selection of work from the Rorke's Drift Art Centre (1968-1982). Comprising artist's proofs from linocuts and etchings produced in the early years of the centre's existence, tapestries, ceramics and wooden sculptures, the exhibition showcases work of John Muafangejo, Azaria Mbatha, Cyprian Shilakoe, Dan Rakgoathe, Eric Mbatha, Vuminkosi Zulu and Charles Nkosi.

Opens: May 24
Closes: June 15


Lizza Littlewort

Lizza Littlewort
 


Lizza Littlewort at Gerard Sekoto

'RAW' is the acronym that forms the name of a wrestling programme on e-tv. It is also a term used by anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss to contrast nature with culture in his book The Raw and the Cooked. The term 'over-cooked' has been used here by painter Lizza Littlewort to describe wrestling, where the stage-managed events of the game are far from natural and the game presents itself as a spectacle of manufactured obviousness.

Opens: May 27
Closes: June 15


William Kentridge

William Kentridge
Drawing from 'The Magic Flute', 2004
Charcoal and pastel on paper
 


William Kentridge at Goodman

Late April this year saw the Brussels opening of William Kentridge's interpretation of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, a production commissioned by La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels, which will also travel to several other cities - including, with luck, Johannesburg.

For his exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, entitled 'Preparing the Flute', Kentridge brings the Brussels theatre in miniature (the working model used in preparation for the opera) into the gallery. Animated sequences from the full-scale production of The Magic Flute will be projected on screens inside the theatre, in similar fashion to the way they will appear on the real stage. Alongside this mini-theatre, the exhibition will include many of the working drawings and fragments used in creating animation for The Magic Flute.

January 2004 marked the opening of a Kentridge's new survey exhibition which travels to museums in Turin, Düsseldorf, Sydney, Montreal and Johannesburg. Current projects include a commission for the Berlin Guggenheim, to open in October 2005.

Opens: June 4
Closes: July 16


Kirsten Miller

Kirsten Miller

Kirsten Miller
 


Kirsten Miller at Unity Gallery

Writer and artist Kirsten Miller's exhibition, entitled 'Fragments', features fabric art and paintings, in the form of hand-crafted quilts and watercolours, collages and wall hangings. Much of Miller's work is inspired by the written word, including poetry by her brother, Johannesburg writer and poet, Andrew Miller.

Miller's work is quite literally fragmentary in nature. Much of her material consists of off-cuts, discardables and occasional found objects. Miller's work also explores the crossover between craft and art, or functional art - her quilts, for example, have an immediate aesthetic appeal as well as being items of warmth and comfort. As a professional writer, Miller has a strong connection to the written word. Thus each of the pieces on display is themed around a poem written by her brother. The launch of the exhibition will feature spoken word performances by Prophet JD (a leading Jozi spoken word poet) and Andrew Miller.

Opens: June 9
Closes: June 23


Geraldine Fenn

Geraldine Fenn
 


Geraldine Fenn at Franchise

Using her skills as a jeweller, artist Geraldine Fenn creates tiny objects and sculptural vignettes from materials as varied as gold, silver and plastic. These intricate, jewel-like sculptures play on the paradoxes of fairytale expectations and their translation into objects and imagery for consumption. The artist engages with relative values of scale and worth, subverting the conventions of her subject with humour.

For this exhibition, entitled 'Marriage Material', Fenn has created a world out of textual and visual elements which play on each other. Fenn is based in Johannesburg. She forms part of the Contemporary Jewellery Collective (CJC) with fellow jewellery artists, Verna Jooste and Beverly Price and her work has been exhibited extensively in South Africa.

Opens: May 20
Closes: June 4



Minette Varì at Momo

In her first solo exhibition in Johannesburg since 2001, Minette Varì presents a selection of new and recent work. It includes a new video-based print series, a video installation, amongst other work never seen before in South Africa.

Varì's work has, over the last several years, focused on connections between the overtly political and the contemplatively personal. Despite frequent travels, she remains a committed resident of Johannesburg, which she refers to often in her work.

Global media has held fascination for Varì over an extended period. She comments: 'We gather in the glow of another, more mundane lens: the hypnotic eye of television, a messenger caught in the labyrinths of ideology and economic allegiance, while trading in visions of the future in the name of truth. Is truth still naked in a world simultaneously blinded and lit up by the sight of its own horrors?' Opens: May 26
Closes: June 20



Universal Declaration of Human Rights print portfolio at University of Johannesburg

An international print portfolio, based on the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), will be exhibited for the first time in Gauteng at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Artists from 30 countries were invited to produce a monochrome wood/linocut print based on a selected article of the UDHR, and produce an edition of 50 original prints plus six artist's proofs. This project gave the participating artists an opportunity to express in visual terms the human rights situation in each of their respective countries.

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed by the UDHR on December 10, 1948.

This is an Artists for Human Rights Trust initiative and has been endorsed by a number of international leaders including Dr Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, and Wole Soyinka, African Poet Laureate. South African dignitaries endorsing the project include Breyten Breytenbach, Helen Suzman, Justice Richard Goldstone and Justice Albie Sachs.

Opens: May 4
Closes: June 22


Ian Waldeck

Anita

Ian Waldeck

Baines Series: No 11 in a series of 12

Ian Waldeck

Picasso Study
 


Ian Waldeck at Artspace

In a new solo exhibition at Artspace, in collaboration with Gallery @ 157, Ian Waldeck violates famous paintings by masters of modern art. Characteristically anarchic in his approach, Waldeck here challenges codes of exhibition, juxtaposition and preciousness, in a body of work which bills itself as unsettling but revealing.

Art history and art practice boast a long tradition of artists paying homage to their predecessors: Pierneef was influenced by Mondrian and Van Gogh copied Millet while Kentridge has dabbled with Baines.

Paintings by European greats are raw material for Waldeck, who plunders images at will. One of his works quotes Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon. Waldeck cuts it, crunches and folds it until the violated painting is three-dimensional. He then mounts this image, which portrays French whores with African masks, on top of an image of casual workers in suburban Johannesburg similarly plying their trade. The result is a shocking social comment: the black males are selling their physical strengths just as the white females are selling their sex.

Waldeck explains that defacing the preciousness of the paintings that have long captivated him is liberating. Like a surgeon, he reveals the anatomy of a painting, its ideological entrails, political bones and social heart. He has always felt oppressed by the masters looking over his shoulder as he is making his own art. These painters have used and abused Africa to their own ends by colonising its cultures.

Opens: May 15
Closes: June 11

Walkabout: 11am, May 21



Porn Again at Merely Mortal

Gordon Froud, director of gordart Gallery, has curated an exhibition called 'Porn Again'. It comprises works by artists examining the presence of the erotic and the pornographic in contemporary fine art in South Africa.

In 1997, Froud was responsible for curating a major exhibition of erotic art, entitled 'A big little thing', at the Thompson Gallery. This was the first exhibition of its kind in a democratic South Africa. Confronting all that was taboo and censored under the old government, it was received with delight by visitors.

This exhibition was inspired by a book of art images published by Taschen called Porn. Froud comments: 'In this book various artists responded to the word 'porn', and in a very sophisticated and non-crude way, created works of art. ... What struck me in this magnificently constructed book, was the level of sophistication and beauty in the images, very few of which relied on the obvious.'

'Porn Again' takes its premise from the understood permissiveness of a democratic South African audience and arts industry, toward erotica and pornography as a means of sexual expression, but also on the type of beauty Froud discovered in the Taschen book.

Opens: April 20
Closes: June 4


Belinda Zangewa

Belinda Zangewa
Photograph by John Hodgkiss

Belinda Zangewa

Belinda Zangewa
Freedom Road silk tapestry
Photograph by John Hodgkiss

Belinda Zangewa

Belinda Zangewa
Billie Photograph by John Hodgkiss
 


Belinda Zangewa at Alliance Francaise

As an adjunct to the Absa Atelier Awards, the French Embassy, French Institute and Alliance Francaise introduced the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist for the first time in 2004. The award comprises a return ticket to Paris, three months' stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts, a nation-wide touring exhibition, French language classes and a catalogue for the exhibition.

This award was won by Rhodes graduate Belinda Zangewa, with Faith, Love and Hope, a mixed media triptych of clutch bags depicting city scenes of Johannesburg. They celebrate the contradictory nature of the CBD: beautiful and at the same time, dangerous, whilst asserting the artist's femininity through the chosen media.

The upcoming exhibition entitled 'Hot in the City' explores this further. The city is a setting for stories with the action taking place in its streets and building interiors. The cityscapes introduce the story about to be told, as well as telling their own stories by appearance alone.

As with Faith, Love and Hope , she has worked on a raw silk 'canvas' forming images and words in silk collage, embroidery and beading to create these tapestries. The combined use of illustration and text communicates with the viewer on visual, conceptual and emotional levels, with things left unsaid to allow the viewer to participate in the story-telling.

Opens: April 9
Closes: July 8

PRETORIA

Dirk Meerkotter

Dirk Meerkotter
'City Jigsaw'
 


Dirk Meerkotter at South African Association of Arts

Dirk Meerkotter, the acclaimed South African artist with more than 80 solo exhibitions behind him, presents a retrospective exhibition, reflecting on work made between 1950 and 2002. Meerkotter is a versatile artist, working in acrylic, oils, watercolour, etching, glass and ceramics. He comments: 'My works are not illustrations of what I see.They are my personal experiences of the forms which I observe daily around me'.

Opens: May 15
Closes: June 2


Penny Baillie

Penny Baillie
Land of Hope and Glory
 


Penny Baillie at South African Association of Arts

'Kaleidoscope', an exhibition of oil paintings by Penny Baillie, collectively embraces traces and cameos which are indelible in the mind of the artist. In these works, Baillie revisits old sketch books and relives memories of drawing and painting in Cape Town, Namaqualand, the Transkei and in the old Transvaal. She draws on her fascination with people - people of all shades and in all moods, people at play and people in repose. She especially enjoys representing houses and homesteads in her work, as they assume the character of their inhabitants.

Baillie is a Wits fine arts graduate, who has taught for many years. She exhibits regularly in both group and solo exhibitions in Pretoria and Johannesburg and at the Grahamstown and Knysna festivals.

Opens: May 22
Closes: June 2


Past University of Johannesburg Students

Past University of Johannesburg Students

Past University of Johannesburg Students

Past University of Johannesburg Students
 


Past University of Johannesburg Students at South African Association of Arts

The exhibition 'Past Students - Present Work' showcases the work of graduates in Ceramic Design from the University of Johannesburg (former Wits Technikon). Eugene Hön, Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg will open the exhibition.

The Ceramic Design Programme at the University of Johannesburg has produced many significant contributors to contemporary South African ceramics, including Clementina van der Walt, Gerhard Swart and Peter Mthombeni.

Opens: June 5
Closes: June 15



The River Project at Pretoria Art Museum

A group exhibition of global artists musing on the power of the presence of live water, curated by Vivienne Lassman, currently features at the Pretoria Art Museum.

Lassman comments in the catalogue: 'Since ancient times, rivers have been a critical course of life, providing the most essential elementary needs of humankind, whether through fish from their waters or nutrients deposited on the earth for crops. Rivers continue to be a conduit for transportation across manmade boundaries allowing the flow of new ideas, goods and innovations that are absorbed and distilled into fresh sources of experimentation. These received influences have enriched the cross-pollination of religion, architecture, art and artefacts that have resulted in gradual or cataclysmic change through metamorphosis'.

Exhibiting artists include David Carlson (USA), Ruza Spak (Germany), Mansoora Hassan (Pakistan), Ashraf Fouad (Egypt), Nicholas Hlobo (SA), Sharlene Khan (SA), Churchill Madikida (SA) and more.

Opens: May 25
Closes: July 3


Siphiwe Sebeko

Siphiwe Sebeko
'Woman and hoe, Limpopo Province'

Fanie Jason

Fanie Jason
'Children on railway line, Hankey, Gamtoos Valley District, Eastern Cape'
 


South African Photographers at National Cultural History Museum

'The impact of land dispossession on the rural poor, in particular, at a spiritual and emotional level, is phenomenal and is the most dehumanising feature of South African life', Mark Weinberg quotes Dr. Mgoqi, former chairperson of the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE), in M&G Leisure. He cites a number of initiatives that have been implemented in the quest to address poverty issues, one of which is the exhibition 'Our land ... our life ... our future', aimed at building a bridge between urban and rural communities.

'A key element of the exhibition is public dialogue', Weinberg continues, 'Various seminars and workshops have been held with the stakeholders in rural and other sectors... This exhibition creates a space for rural leaders to speak out in a public domain, and for all South Africans to gain insight into the lives and struggles of the rural poor.'

Opens: April 27
Closes: June 10

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