Archive: Issue No. 98, October 2005

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7.10.05 Churchill Madikida and Diane Victor at Michael Stevenson Gallery
7.10.05 David Koloane and Madi Phala at the AVA
7.10.05 Esther Mahlangu at 34 Long
7.10.05 Dorothee Kreutzfeldt at João Ferreira Gallery
7.10.05 The Keiskamma Tapestry at the Alliance Française du Cap
7.10.05 Paul Edmunds at João Ferreira Gallery
7.10.05 Jonathan Basckin, Adriaan van Zyl and Wonder at the AVA
7.10.05 Sanell Aggenbach at Bell-Roberts
7.10.05 David Robertson at UCT Irma Stern Museum
7.10.05 Manfred Zylla at Erdmann Contemporary
7.10.05 Bryan Devlin at The Bin
7.10.05 Spring Fling at what if the world...
7.10.05 Blood Sweat and Tears at Blank

2.09.05 Willie Bester at 34 Long
2.09.05 Tracy Payne and Doreen Southwood at Michael Stevenson Contemporary
2.09.05 Gavin du Plessis at Sanlam Art Gallery
2.09.05 Cameron Platter at Bell-Roberts Contemporary
2.09.05 'ReVisions: A Private Narrative of SA Art' at SANG
2.09.05 Jenny Parsons at 3rd i Gallery

1.07.05 Advance Notice: Dumile Feni: A Retrospective Exhibition at the SANG


Churchill Madikida

Churchill Madikida
Status, 2005 (installation detail)
work in progress

Diane Victor

Diane Victor
Smoke Portrait, 2005
smoke on paper

Churchill Madikida and Diane Victor at Michael Stevenson Gallery

Video artist Churchill Madika and printmaker, Diane Victor present solo shows concurrently at the Michael Stevenson this month.

In 'Status' Madikida explores the theme of HIV/AIDS through new video works and installations. The artist writes that his response to HIV/Aids is both a campaign to intensify national awareness and an intensely personal response to living with his sister as she struggled with AIDS for nine years, passing away earlier this year. The word 'status' is commonly used to indicate people's position in society; it is also used to denote whether or not someone is HIV positive. In choosing this as the title of his exhibition, the gallery tells us, Madikida plays on this ambiguity to point out that 'the deadly virus does not care about class, and transcends boundaries such as gender, race and sexuality'.

Diane Victor's 'Smoke Portraits' is a series of drawings comprising 40 portraits made from photographs taken by Victor, documenting patients at the St Raphael HIV/AIDS Centre day clinic in Grahamstown on a single day in October last year. The portraits are made with the deposits of carbon from candle smoke on white paper. They are exceedingly fragile and thus mirror the fragility and transience of the human life they document.

Madikida will conduct walkabouts of his show at 11am on Thursday October 27 (cost R30, proceeds to Friends of the South African National Gallery), and on Thursday December 1 (World AIDS Day, attendance free) at times to be confirmed.

Opens: October 6
Closes: December 3

David Koloane

David Koloane
Classified, 2003
Mixed media on canvas
98 x 92cm

Madi Phala

Madi Phala
Spirits Descending 2005
Mixed media
100 x 50 x 5cm

David Koloane and Madi Phala at the AVA

Veteran Johannesburg artist and curator David Koloane holds his first solo exhibition at the AVA in the main and long galleries. Koloane has served a rich and active role in the history of South African art. He was an early proponent of township realism, co-founded Johannesburg's first black art gallery in the late 1970s and, more recently is credited with co-founding the Bag Factory, a studio and exhibition space in downtown Johannesburg. The show will comprise new works in mixed media, primarily paintings, drawings and watercolours.

Madi Phala will hold his second solo at AVA, entitled 'Herdbooyz'. His work, in mixed media on paper and canvas, deals with rural culture and often features herd-boys and cattle in an attempt to highlight the contrast between the urban and the traditional in contemporary South Africa.

Opens: October 3
Closes: October 22

Esther Mahlangu

Esther Mahlangu's house in Mabhoko

Esther Mahlangu at 34 Long

Esther Mahlangu, who is possibly most famous for her 1991 painting of a BMW in Ndebele style, returns to Cape Town to exhibit after a very busy two years in which she has shown in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA. New two-dimensional works in a wide range of media from beads and dung to paint will be on view along with some sculptural installations. The ever ambitious artist will also produce a large mural in the gallery before opening night.

Opens: October 18
Closes: November 5

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt
1970Aunt Sally, 2005
Mixed media on Canvas
50 X 64 X 4 cm

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt at João Ferreira Gallery

In 'Like Nine Pin', her fourth solo show at João Ferreira Gallery, Kreutzfeldt exhibits a series of paintings which explore the emotional and political dimensions of games and sports. Kreutzfeldt's images are drawn from stock photography, internet images, national sports magazines and newspapers and the works apparently question the capital and personal involvement in sport, and how our national sports begin to speak about 'us'.

Opens: September 21
Closes: October 29


Keiskamma tapestry (detail)

The Keiskamma Tapestry at the Alliance Française du Cap

The Keiskamma Tapestry, an embroidery done in the tradition of the world renowned Bayeux Tapestry, tells the history of the Eastern Cape Frontier, from the Khoi San to the first democratic elections, as seen from the perspectives of the women in the area. Created by over 100 women from Hamburg and neighbouring villages, the 120 metre long tapestry represents an interaction of understanding and relationship development in the region.

Opens: October 6
Closes: October 26

Paul Edmunds

Paul Edmunds
Sieve, 2005, (detail)
Cut paper and silkscreen
188 x 105cm

Paul Edmunds at João Ferreira Gallery

Paul Edmunds' new body of work for this exhibition entitled 'Phenomena' takes as its starting point a variety of natural phenomena such as light, surface and structure. According to the artist, 'simple iterations of regular forms and processes result in complex works which evoke the rich, sensual nature of their sources'. The works range from Edmunds' signature cut paper to assembled acrylic constructions and are typically labour-intensive and visually dense.

Opens: October 5
Closes: October 29

Adriaan van Zyl

Adriaan van Zyl
Hospital Diptych I
Oil on canvas
41 x 30cm each

Jonathan Basckin, Adriaan van Zyl and Wonder at the AVA

In 'Abstract by Nature', Jonathan Basckin's first solo exhibition, the artist shows limited edition colour digital prints taken while flying an aeroplane over a variety of contrasting dramatic landscapes in the main gallery.

In the long gallery Adriaan van Zyl will exhibit new paintings in his first solo in Cape Town for more than a decade, entitled 'Hospitaaltyd'.

Upstairs, Wonder, having returned from a three month stay incorporating art workshops in Germany earlier this year, will hold a solo exhibition of paintings and mixed media works. Wonder has exhibited at AVA on several occasions, both on solo and group shows.

Opens: 6pm, October 3
Closes: October 29

Sanell Aggenbach

Sanell Aggenbach
North By Northwest, 2005
Laminated wood and paint

Sanell Aggenbach at Bell-Roberts

Absa l'Atelier Award winner Sanell Aggenbach exhibits 'Fool's Gold', an amalgamation of private narratives and historic references. The body of work is an extension of 'Hoogwater/High Tide', which was presented at the KKNK in April 2005 and was nominated for a Kanna Award. In the show Aggenbach makes use of maritime themes of discovery and exploration and comments on a society preoccupied with issues of self, identity and the need to belong using quiet humour to underline issues of cultural heritage.

Opens: October 26
Closes: November 26

Brian Devlin

Brian Devlin
Untitled, 2005
Pen drawing

Bryan Devlin at The Bin

The Bin Gallery is run by those young trendy folk from Circus Ninja, better known for their street art. Thus far their exhibitions have been edgy group shows of young Cape Town artists. This month they hold their first solo show of work by frenetic illustrator Bryan Devlin.

Opens: September 24
Closes: October 14

David Robertson

David Robertson
Fast Food, Jozi '03, 2003
hand - coloured photograph

David Robertson at UCT Irma Stern Museum

Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH) is a Catholic Welfare and Development programme which provides a model of housing and services for the poorest older people of the Western Cape. They will be celebrating Grandparents' Day with an exhibition at Irma Stern by Cape Town photographer David Robertson. Robertson is well known for his hand-coloured photographs of townships and rural areas of South Africa. He says 'Grandparents are the keepers of our nation's history. I wanted to capture this somehow by using a panoramic camera manufactured in the 1960s.'

Opens: October 4
Closes October 22

Manfred Zylla

Manfred Zylla
Bad Boi, 1988
Pencil crayon on paper

Manfred Zylla at Erdmann Contemporary

Manfred Zylla is a German-born artist who came of age during World War II. He arrived in South Africa in 1970 and began making work that criticised the apartheid state. He is best known for a series of woodcuts about the 1976 Soweto uprising, as well as large scale drawings, prints and paintings from the 1980's. During the 1990's Zylla shifted his focus to include issues of global concern.

'Work on Paper from 1961 - 2005' includes a wide range of woodcuts, etching and paintings on paper.

Opens: September 28
Closes: October 29

Chloe Townsend

Chloe Townsend
birdy num-num, 2005
ink on wood
20 x 35 cm

Tamsin Relly

Tamsin Relly
Meg, 2005
ink on canvas
11 x 17cm

Spring Fling at what if the world...

New exhibition space what if the world... is a community-based initiative formed to represent and recruit an ever-evolving database of creative talents, functioning as an exhibition space, design collective, and creative agency. 'Spring Fling ( *holadrioha, holadrio )' is a playful spring collection of new work by young artists Jan Henri Booyens, Chloë Townsend, Tamsin Relly and Carmen Ziervogel. The show will feature affordably priced art in a variety of sizes, media and styles.

Tamlyn Blake

Tamlyn Blake
Working sketch for Blood Sweat and Tears, 2005

Blood Sweat and Tears at Blank

Tamlyn Blake will be exhibiting the work in progress, Blood Sweat and Tears at Blank. The piece is a finely beaded portrait of a lamb carcass. The medium of beading and the wide reaching symbolism of the lamb appear to suggest that the work is a commentary on South African multi-culturalism.

Opens: October 5
Closes: October 26

Willie Bester

Willie Bester
Security Guard, 2005 (detail)
Recycled metal, life size

Willie Bester at 34 Long

Willie Bester is holding his latest solo show called 'METALized' at 34 on Long this month. The exhibition is essentially a survey of sculptural work from the past five years, produced by one of South Africa's best known contemporary artists.

Bester's focus over the last decade has shifted to combine fresh conceptual directions with familiar themes and materials, according to 34 Long. The works on show are assembled primarily from waste metal and other debris of industrial, agricultural and domestic activity. The works comment on diverse socio-political issues both South African and international.

Bester also combines in his recent work see-through sections that reveal inner worlds with a new emphasis on detailed surface articulation. Security Guard, for example, re-contextualises utilitarian objects into a monumental free-standing sculpture with a forceful message.

Opens: September 6
Closes: October 8

Doreen Southwood

Doreen Southwood
Untitled (sketch for painting), 2005

Tracey Payne

Tracey Payne
Toward Late Spring, 2005
Oil on canvas (six panels)
208 x 180.5cm

Tracy Payne and Doreen Southwood at Michael Stevenson Contemporary

Each of Tracy Payne's paintings in her new series is made up of six triangular panels forming a hexagon, with elements that mirror each other. According to the gallery: 'Sacred geometry emerges with the balancing of feminine (inverted) and masculine triangular forms integral to the structure... The paintings combine seductive beauty with an intimate knowledge of the trauma that precedes new life.'

The new series follows on from Payne's recent paintings that took inspiration from a trip to Japan. They featured the cherry blossom (sakura) as well as the art of kinbaku or erotic rope bondage. As with the new series, Payne employs photographic realism and abstract washes in her distinctive style.

Alongside, Doreen Southwood exhibits a series of paintings. A key work is a large-scale triptych. It reprises the theme of the swimmer, for which Southwood became famous when her sculpture The Swimmer won the Brett Kebble Art Awards in 2003. This time, the individual figure is multiplied and repeated in different poses across a breadth of water.

This theme of inner struggle (ongoing competition with the self) is common to many of Southwood's works. The gallery says: 'Extraordinary attention is paid to the refined quality of the surface, emphasising the painting's status as object; at the same time, paintings interact with each other and their surroundings, highlighting the dynamics of their installation.'

Opens: September 21
Closes: October 22

Gavin du Plessis

Gavin du Plessis
Juengling in Hades

Gavin du Plessis at Sanlam Art Gallery

'Perceptions of an Outsider' is an exhibition of digital video films, drawing and light-box installations spanning the last few years of Gavin du Plessis' work. He has been active as an artist for almost 30 years, investigating 'the psychic underbelly of the society that formed him and that he now works in'.

According to Sanlam Art Collection curator Stefan Hundt, Du Plessis' endeavours have always stood outside of normal modus operandi of the art establishment. Hundt says: 'His early experiments as a student in the 1970s, using an 8mm cine camera and following in the footsteps of Warhol and Brackage, were flippantly rejected by an insular and arrogant art establishment.'

Hundt says Du Plessis' use of figuration and traditional media make him tread an unappreciated path in contemporary art. He adds: 'Combining a well-honed skill for drawing with an intimate knoweldge of Jung's philosophy, Du Plessis' films and drawings are not simplistic musings on the conditions of life but intricate symbolic constructions that require a deeper inquiry by the viewer'.

The artist will present guided tours of the exhibition every Wednesday at 11am and 12.45pm. Booking is essential.

Opens: September 22
Closes: October 28

Cameron Platter

Cameron Platter
Space ship 2005

Cameron Platter at Bell-Roberts

Cameron Platter presents an exhibition called 'Life is Very Interesting' in a multi-storey spectacle. It boasts some grand themes - crime and punishment, sex and sin, love and revenge, corruption and betrayal, power and glory, blood and guts. The story is told through a combination of media, including giant drawings, a series of prints, and a hardcover limited edition illustrated book. They are dubbed the trailers for Platter's upcoming third movie, described as a gangster-caper.

The intriguing sub-title reads: 'Starring Cat Blofeld and the World Dominatrix and Dirty Harry the Croc, with a cameo by John Muafangejo, stunts by The Zebras (from Outer Space) and The Yakuza Penguins and introducing Desiree the Femme Fatale go-go girl.'

Opens: September 29
Closes: October 22

Billy Mandindi

Billy Mandindi
The Death of Township Art 1989
Oil pastel on paper

'ReVisions: A Private Narrative of SA Art' at SANG

This exhibition at the South African National Gallery claims to be drawn from one of the most impressive private collections of South African art assembled by an individual. Bruce Campbell-Smith started collecting in the mid-1980s and the result is a collection of work by almost 90 artists, mostly black South Africans, working from the 1920s until 1994.

Hayden Proud, curator at Iziko, says the collection is impressive because of its scope, its items of rarity and the fact that the collector has had a fine arts training himself, which has informed many choices. He says the collection contains works by well-known and now historical figures the public have never seen before. It is focused on artists working in the figurative traditions of painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture, with a strong Natal bias.

Artists represented include Gerard Bhengu, Trevor Makhoba, Sthembiso Sibisi, Maggie Laubscher, Amos Langdown, Arthur Butelezi, Mizream Maseko, George Pemba, Gerard Sekoto, Dumile Feni, Billy Mandindi, Peter Clarke, Neville Lewis, Gregoire Boonzaier, Marianne Podlashuc, Selby Mvusi, Irma Stern, Gladys Mgudlandlu, Sydney Khumalo, Louis Maqhubela, Tommy Motswai, Alfred Thoba, Noria Mabasa and Johannes Segogela.

Opens: September 24
Closes: March 19, 2006

Jenny Parsons

Jenny Parsons

Jenny Parsons at 3rd i Gallery

'Paradise Found' is an exhibition of vibrant paintings that are described as a response to Cape Town, the city in which the artist Jenny Parsons lives and works.

Parsons says of her own work: 'The act of seeing and drawing led me to a painting experience where choice of colour and shape is based on observation, intuition and memory. The painting of the surface of the canvas has a similar history to that of the landscape... Painting has depths of history, where the action of the artist and the nature and substance of paint create a landscape for the eye and mind.'

Opens: September 5
Closes: October 15

Dumile Feni

Dumile Feni
'Untitled', pen and ink

Advance Notice: Dumile Feni Retrospective at the SANG

The Dumile Feni retrospective comes to Cape Town's National Gallery this month from the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Feni's drawings, which depicted township life and its values, won acclaim as South African social commentaries. His work has won numerous awards and in 1967 he represented the country at the Sao Paulo Biennale.

Feni's artistic ability was nurtured from 1964 when the artist Ezrom Legae encouraged him to draw and several artists later assisted him in his career, including Cecil Skotnes. In 1968, he went into exile and lived in London for many years. In the 1980s, he moved to New York after teaching art in Boston. He died in 1991.

Curator Joe Dolby will present a walkabout of this exhibition on September 18 at 10.30am. The cost is R25 for walkabout and refreshments or R10 for walkabout only.

Opens: August 11
Closes: November 5