Archive: Issue No. 97, September 2005

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2.09.05 David Goldblatt retrospective at JAG
2.09.05 David Goldblatt at Goodman
2.09.05 Richard Smith at Constitution Hill
2.09.05 Ruan Hoffmann and Theresa Mackintosh at Franchise
2.09.05 Mandy Conidaris, Sheila Flynn, Cheryl Gage and Monique Rudman at Gordart
2.09.05 Johan Meyer at JAG
2.09.05 Township artists at Uncle Tom's Community Centre
2.09.05 Clive Sithole at Gallery on the Square
2.09.05 Samson Mnisi and Gera Mawi Mazgabu at Afronova
2.09.05 Brian Bradshaw at Everard Read
2.09.05 Henry Symonds at Obert Contemporary

5.08.05 Jurgen Schadeberg at Museumafrica
5.08.05 Kevin Brand and Leon Vermeulen at Gallery @ 157

1.07.05 William Kentridge Retrospective at JAG


2.09.05 Helena Brandt at Café Arté Gallery

5.08.05 Sasol New Signatures at PAM


David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt
Boss Boy, Battery Reef, Randfontein Estates Goldmine 1966 (detail)
Black and white photograph

David Goldblatt retrospective at JAG

'David Goldblatt: Fifty-One Years, a Retrospective Exhibition' celebrates Goldblatt's (b.1930) photographic achievements in documenting the country's informal history for over a half a century. Originally curated by Corinne Diserens and Okwui Enwezor and produced by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in Spain in 2002, this retrospective has travelled to New York, Rotterdam, Oxford, Brussels and Munich.

In 1985, British Channel 4 made the documentary David Goldblatt: in Black and White, which was shown in the USA and Australia and is screened as a part of this exhibition. Goldblatt's work is in many major art collections, including that of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has been shown in several international exhibitions.

Goldblatt's work belongs to the tradition of documentary photography and takes a critical look at South African society. He records the conditions of everyday life experienced by ordinary people. Goldblatt reflects on the gradual deterioration of the urban landscape and highlights the solidarity and spirit of union of social collectives in difficult times.

Opens: August 17
Closes: October 31


David Goldblatt
Asbestos: Blue Asbestos fibres, Owendale Mine, Northern Cape. 26 October 2002
Digital print in pigment dyes


David Goldblatt
Asbestos: The Mill, Pomfret Asbestos Mine, North West Province. 20 December 2002
Digital print in pigment dyes

David Goldblatt at Goodman

An exhibition of new work by David Goldblatt will be showcased at the Goodman Gallery. Goldblatt is renowned for his documentation of the progress of societal changes and how these impact on the landscape and communities of South Africa.

The body of work in this exhibition comprises stark landscapes shot in the Northern Cape, the impact of AIDS on various communities, the increasing roadside memorial sites that one encounters when driving through South African roads, as well as portraits of municipal officials.

Opens: September 3
Closes: October 1

Richard Smith

Richard Smith
Mixed media on paper

Richard Smith at Constitution Hill

'Dialogues', an exhibition of recent works by Richard Smith celebrates a collaboration between Artspace and Constitution Hill. This body of work was produced by the artist during a period of 18 months of near seclusion in the artist's home in Onrus. 'The only people to have seen these works are those that have visited my studio over the past year...' Smith commented, 'This is a completely fresh collection of work'. The exhibition comprises mainly large portraits of real people and smaller portraits of imagined people. Smith uses mixed media on Fabriano paper. Smith began his career as a cartoonist for the Sunday Times in 1966 and served as curator for the inaugural Brett Kebble Art Awards, the country's richest visual art award.

Central to this exhibition is the theme of dialogue and communication, both as a means of hope and a source of tension. The work explores conflict, communication and exchange between the past and the present, between the people depicted and the visual elements within the works.

Owned by curator of the Sasol Art Collection, Teresa Lizamore, and the Rand Merchant Bank Art Collection, Artspace mounts and manages exhibitions that strive to promote local artists. Lizamore comments, 'I aim to continually attract new audiences to the works of emerging and established artists. This means that in addition to mounting shows at Artspace gallery, we need to also take the work to new audiences by showing at various other locations.'

'We approached Constitution Hill with this exhibition for the significance that the space lends to the work. At the core of the site is the issue of dialogue between a painful past and hopeful present. The nature of the programmes run by Constitution Hill also means that the work will be engaged with by scholars, students and tourists.'

The exhibition will be opened by Robyn Sassen, Gauteng contributing editor for ArtThrob, and the artist will conducted a walkabout on September 17.

Opens: September 13
Closes: October 2

Theresa-Anne Mackintosh

Theresa-Anne Mackintosh

Ruan Hoffmann

Ruan Hoffmann

Ruan Hoffmann and Theresa-Anne Mackintosh at Franchise

Theresa-Anne Mackintosh and Ruan Hoffmann present side-by-side solo exhibitions at Franchise gallery. Mackinstosh's work comprises an installation of paintings and ceramic sculptures, while Hoffmann exhibits new ceramic pieces.

Mackintosh's site-specific installation is psychologically layered and deals with human themes of identity, difference/distinction, social sameness and the human phenomenon of hybridised traits. Her approach has been described by Johan van Wyk, creative director of Delapse (a broadcast design and animation company), as 'an unsettling take on the pretty and a knowing, even sinister approach to the naïve'.

Hoffmann's exhibition represents the result of three years working at a ceramic studio and exploring the medium of clay. Hoffmann works with the most conventional of urn shapes, making reference to Chinese pottery. The conventions of shape and medium are subverted by the complexity of surface, dense with image and commentary. 'My works strip the object of its function and uses it for my personal artistic vision exclusively. My pieces are full of various allusions - mostly personal but also mythical and mystical' says the artist.

Hoffmann's contribution to this exhibition includes plates, which he describes as 'circular paintings'. These works trace the artist's exploration of the medium and its possibilities since. His choice of the domestic plate as a support and a medium enables Hoffmann to 'catch the viewer off guard', as the plates embrace weighty concerns that subvert their domestic connotations. The surfaces of the plates have served as a diary would, recording on a daily basis Hoffmann's individual feelings and responses to the world.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, written by Frikkie Eksteen, and was sponsored in part by the National Arts Council.

Opens: September 9
Closes: October 1


Mandy Conidaris, Sheila Flynn, Cheryl Gage and Monique Rudman at Gordart

The four-woman exhibition by Mandy Conidaris, Sheila Flynn, Cheryl Gage and Monique Rudman at Gordart, is collectively entitled 'Forcefield'. Each woman brings to the exhibition her philosophical and gender-related concerns. 'Forcefield' relates to a positive drive or force behind the collaboration, resulting in a production of diverse works.

Conidaris grapples with the issues of life and spirituality through an exploration of eastern philosophy. Her silkscreen prints parallel the life cycle of the rose with that of the practice of the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes.The changes that mark our lives, such as birth, death, loss and rebirth, are explored by Flynn in collographs. She engages with the choices that determine spiritual, mental and physical journeys and the consequences of our choices. Gage develops an understanding of a 'domestic diary' with a series of monotypes and artist's books. She delves into the subject of female folklore and the perceived role of the housewife. Gage links these ideas to those that inform Greek mythology. Rudman's sensual and intimate works in graphite on paper represent seemingly simple objects imbued with personal memories while being juxtaposed with bodily shadows.

Walkabouts will be conducted by Gage and Flynn on September 16, and by Rudman and Conidaris on September 17.

Opens: September 11
Closes: September 24

John Meyer

John Meyer

Johan Meyer at JAG

'Signs/Science of Life' by Johan Meyer and close to 250 collaborators represents explorations into the role of art in non-western cultures. Having worked with multi-media installations since 1990, Meyer now seeks to understand how participants' involvement is interwoven and comes to terms with the significance of the three-fold processes of thinking, production and execution in the art of non-westerners.

In our current cultural context, the proliferation of visual and textual information through cutting edge technologies in microbiology and palaeontology provides fresh options for investigation by artists. Palaeontological and microbiological content, by nature concealed, can serve to stimulate questions regarding our spirituality in place and time. Such subject matter offers possible restoration role options for the arts in the face of questions about ecological sustainability and the future.

The exhibition will be opened by Willem Boshoff and the artist will conduct a walkabout on September 24. The exhibition was funded by the National Arts Council.

Opens: September 10
Closes: October 9

Township artists at Uncle Tom's Community Centre

The Joburg Arts Alive International Festival 2005 features 'The Tribute to Courage Exhibition', a show of work by township artists who have been long neglected and are finally being given a chance to showcase their works before a wider audience. This exhibition is an initiative of the Messengers' Workshop in Soweto. Twenty-five township artists, all over the age of 40, who have independently sustained themselves as working artists for many years, have taken part in this exhibition, curated by Belinda Hlaka and Percy Sedumedi.

The exhibition comprises a three-metre high steel sculpture, a series of murals and a body of paintings. The sculpture has been erected alongside the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum. It represents the world with all its beauty made by God. The murals have been painted at Phefeni, Dube and Orlando East railway stations in Soweto and will be auctioned at the end of the show.

A catalogue of the exhibited works and profiles of the artists has been produced.

Opens: August 30

Closes: September 14

Clive Sithole

Clive Sithole
Vessel 2005
Burnished, smoke-fired clay
Height: 46cm

Clive Sithole at Gallery on the Square

Moving from an illustrious career in fashion design, London International School of Fashion graduate Clive Sithole (b. 1971) was inspired 20 years ago by Philemon Lerata from Pietermaritzburg University, to explore Ceramics. Eleven years later, he moved to Durban and joined the Babumbi Clay Project, co-ordinated by Cara Walters. During the time that he was involved with this project, his potential was noticed by Juliet Armstrong, who invited him to attend classes in the Ceramics Department of Pietermaritzburg University. He developed a love for traditional firings.

Earlier this year, Sithole spent time in Nigeria where he experienced the culture of 'undo' making and playing (undos are clay pots used as musical instruments by Ibo women). Sithole has taken part in numerous competitions and exhibitions, locally and abroad.

Opens: September 14
Closes: October 5

Gera Mawi Mazgabu

Gera Mawi Mazgabu

Gera Mawi Mazgabu

Samson Mnisi

Samson Mnisi and Gera Mawi Mazgabu at Afronova

Afronova is a new Pan African gallery for modern and contemporary art, created by last year's ABSA L'Atelier winner Billie Zangewa and Henri Vergon. Located opposite the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg, Afronova aims to contribute to the cosmopolitan landscape of the city. It offers a specialised bookshop as well as a catalogue of local and international publications on the art of the continent.

Its first exhibition showcases work by Johannesburg-based Samson Mnisi and Gera Mawi Mazgabu from Addis Ababa. Inspired by ritual practises, Mnisi creates sacred spaces with bold paintings and installations, designed to be powerfully evocative of African heritage. Mazgabu is an erudite of the Ethiopian Church, holds a degree in rhetorical poetry and works by realising powerful talismans in the style of the tradition nurtured by the orthodox religion.

Opens: September 16
Closes: October 20

Brian Bradshaw

Brian Bradshaw
Oil on canvas

Brian Bradshaw at Everard Read

Brian Bradshaw was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1923. He studied at the Bolton School of Art and Manchester Regional College of Art. After World War II demobilisation in 1948, Bradshaw won a Royal Scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London. In 1951, his final year, he won a silver medal for work of special distinction, the engraving and architecture prizes, and was awarded the Associateship of the College (First Class). In the same year, he was elected Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (A.R.E). He also won the Prix de Rome and spent two years based at the British Academy in Rome, travelling and working in Greece, Spain, France and Germany.

The first of Bradshaw's solo exhibitions was held at Salford City Art Gallery in 1953. Since then he has held numerous one-man exhibitions in the UK, USA, South Africa, Australia and Zimbabwe, including four retrospectives.

In 1955 he was appointed Vice Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee on Art Education and continued in this post until 1960 when he was invited to South Africa to take the chair of Fine Arts at Rhodes University. His influence on the work of his students yielded a new style of painting from the Eastern Cape. In 1964 he formed the 'Grahamstown Group', who exhibited in their own gallery in Grahamstown and throughout South Africa and Rhodesia. He resigned from Rhodes University and the Directorship of the National Galleries of Rhodesia in 1978.

Bradshaw lives in Calitzdorp, South Africa. He is currently mostly concerned with the representation of indigenous African bush and desert.

Opens: August 25
Closes: September 10

Henry Symonds

Henry Symonds
Axminister 2005
Mixed media


Henry Symonds at Obert Contemporary

Henry Symonds is an expatriate artist who currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand and frequently exhibits at Obert Contemporary. In a review of his exhibition last year, Ashley Johnson of the Business Day commented, 'the most notable aspect is Symonds' attitude to process. The works are constantly in a state of dialogue during construction, so many variations exist that are similar, yet arrived at differently.

'Symonds regards technology as a tool alongside traditional media, thus he has integrated digital processes with pure painting´┐Ż [Symonds] selects common items from his immediate environment and transforms them by putting them through a series of processes until they take on a new significance.'

Opens: September 15
Closes: September 29

Jügen Schadeberg

Jügen Schadeberg
A photograph from Voices from the Land

Jürgen Schadeberg at Museumafrica

An exhibition with photographs from Jürgen Schadeberg's publication Voices from the Land will be opened by the Honorable Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture, with music by McCoy Mrubata.

Opens: August 7
Closes: late 2005

Leon Vermeulen

Leon Vermeulen
Pastel drawing

Kevin Brand

Kevin Brand
Mixed media sculpture.

Kevin Brand and Leon Vermeulen at Gallery @ 157

Kevin Brand and Leon Vermeulen host two exhibitions under one roof, entitled 'Pieces of Eight' and 'Shadow Drawing' respectively, which will be opened by Johannesburg gallerist and artist Gordon Froud.

Brand comments that 'Pieces of Eight' 'is a body of sculptural work that continues the exploration of ordinary objects as valid source references and subject matter. These works are inspired by the little components found on electronic circuit boards, as well as the patterns on the underside. Evocative of foliage, these 'patterns' are formed into types of flora from which the various'fruits', based upon the resistors, transistors and thermometers, etc. sprout.

'Formally the works have a consciously immediate look as there is no attempt to finish off the whittled surface. Initial drawings, subsequently discarded, are present in the realised objects as linear 'ghost' components, allowing the objects to escape their physical and material dimension.'

Vermeulen's 'Shadow Drawing' was motivated by a simple idea. He writes: 'One day I had the idea to draw a piano.I did that and saw that I needed a figure with it. An awkward space then made me put another figure on his shoulders and a technical problem caused this to be a black figure.Now the piano needed some foreign objects to penetrate it. A container with water and a warm background followed. The drawing started to dictate its own outcome, which then gave me ideas for a series of drawings. Only then did the drawings start to suggest possible readings or meanings.

'Drawing gives form to an imagined life for which I have few and inadequate words.The blank paper reveals nothing and as soon as I draw the shadows or darkness, light starts to appear.Then surprising things become visible, tangible and perhaps comprehensible.That is why I draw.I show these works to make a case for the compulsive obsessive act that drawing is for me.'

Opens: September 4
Closes: October 1

William Kentridge

Photo of William Kentridge by Brigitte Enguerand
William Kentridge during rehearsals for Woyzeck on the Highveld, 1992, courtesy of the artist.

William Kentridge Retrospective at JAG

The Johannesburg Art Gallery presents a major retrospective of the work of William Kentridge. It is curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, supported by the City of Johannesburg, BHP Billiton, the Goodman Gallery and Sansui, and begun its international tour at the Castello di Rivoli in Italy.

William Kentridge's art is an expressive attempt to address the nature of human emotions and memory as well as the relationship between ethics and responsibility. Whilst he has throughout his career moved between film, drawing and theatre, Kentridge's primary activity remains drawing. He has gained international recognition for his distinctive animated short films, and for the charcoal drawings based on 'erasure' that he makes to produce them.

Kentridge investigates how our identities are shaped through our shifting ideas of history and place, looking at how we construct our histories and what we do with them. His is an elegiac art that explores the possibilities of poetry in contemporary society, and provides a vicious satirical commentary on that society, while proposing a way of seeing life as process rather than as fact.

This retrospective represents a major survey of all of Kentridge's oeuvre with a particular focus on recent works such as Sleeping on Glass (1999), Shadow Procession (1999), and Zeno Writing (2002). Seven Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003) and Journey to the Moon (2003) are new experiments reminiscent of the world of early film. A unique installation of his drawings and sculptures, designed by the artist, will also be included.

The exhibition is accompanied by a major new publication including the artist's writings, an anthology of critical writings and new essays by the curator and by South African writer and cultural historian Jane Taylor. The exhibition has also travelled to Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal. After its showing at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the exhibition will travel to Miami.

Kentridge participated in 'Documenta X' in Kassel in 1997, and a survey show of his work was hosted by the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, touring to Barcelona, London, Marseille and Graz. In 1999 he was awarded the Carnegie Medal at Carnegie International. In 2001-2002, a survey exhibition of Kentridge's work travelled to Washington, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Cape Town. He was awarded the prestigious Kaiserring Prize in 2003.

Opens: July 3
Closes: October 31


Helena Brandt

Helena Brandt

Helena Brandt at Café Arté Gallery

Namibian artist Helena Brandt presents her solo exhibition, entitled 'A Testimony of Love', which draws from her passion for the grandeur of the Namibian landscape. Trained formally in Cape Town, Brandt is a co-founder of a contemporary arts movement in Namibia and one of its prominent members. She uses printmaking techniques and mixed media in order to convey visual images which go deeper and beyond the pictorial, exposing the ethos of the land and its people.

Her first exhibition in South Africa will be held in the Café Arté Gallery in Centurion, under the auspices of the South African Association of Artists. This exhibition serves to celebrate her late husband who tragically passed away very recently. Thus the work collectively becomes an act of atonement which transcends personal grief to become a testimony of love.

The exhibition will be opened by Professor Marinus Wiechers.

Opens: September 1
Closes: September 30

Sasol New Signatures at PAM

Sasol's 2005 New Signatures Competition promises to once again unearth the creative talent of young, emerging South African artists.This year's competition will culminate in early August when the overall prize winner of R50 000 will be announced, along with the winners of the merit and other awards.

The New Signatures award has evolved into one of the most progressive art competitions in South Africa and presents unique opportunities for emerging young artists to advance their careers and gain local and international recognition. It has also inspired many important and exciting works of art.

A total of 551 entries were submitted via the competition website and at various collection points in Bloemfontein, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Stellenbosch.From these entries, 97 artworks were selected for display. Adjudicators Willem Boshoff, Franci Cronjé, Teresa Lizamore, Churchill Madikida and Kathryn Smith selected the winning works.Walter Oltmann and Khwezi Gule will select the winner of the judges' award of R10 000. Opens: August 3
Closes: September 15