Archive: Issue No. 124, December 2007

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CAPE TOWN

02.12.07 'Spier Contemporary Art Awards' at Spier
02.12.07 'About Beauty' at Goodman Gallery Cape
02.12.07 'Sasol Wax Art Awards Exhibition' at Iziko SANG
02.12.07 Kathryn Smith at Goodman Gallery Cape
02.12.07 Willie Bester at Iziko SANG
02.12.07 Tracey Derrick at João Ferreira
02.12.07 Tom Cullberg at João Ferreira
02.12.07 '16th Art Salon' in Camps Bay
02.12.07 Colijn Strydom, Barbara Wildenboer and Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi at AVA
02.12.07 Berco Wilsenach at Bell-Roberts
02.12.07 Michaelis Graduate Exhibition at Michaelis
02.12.07 Andre Villers at Focus Contemporary
04.12.07 Julia Rosa Clark at blank projects
04.12.07 'Work on Paper' at blank projects
02.12.07 'Surface Tension' at the Photographer's Gallery
02.12.07 Takashi Murakami at 34 Long
02.12.07 'Francois van Reenen at Whatiftheworld / Gallery
02.12.07 Adrian Köhler at 34 Long

04.11.07 Marlene Dumas at Iziko SANG
04.11.07 Moshekwa Langa at Goodman Gallery Cape
04.11.07 Svea Josephy at Bell-Roberts
04.11.07 'Africa South' at AVA
04.11.07 'Is there Still-life?' at the Old Town House
04.11.07 'Summer 07/08' at Michael Stevenson Gallery

04.09.07 Ernest Cole at Iziko SANG

SOMERSET WEST

02.12.07 Vladimir Tretchikoff at Bell-Roberts Lourensford

STELLENBOSCH & PAARL

04.11.07 'Graduate Exhibition' at Skone Kunste Gebou
04.11.07 Clare Menck at the US Art Gallery

CAPE TOWN


'Spier Contemporary Art Awards' at Spier

At the tailor-made gallery on south bank of the Spier Estate the exhibition of the top 100 entries for the Spier Contemporary Art Awards will be displayed. Selected by the Spier Contemporary panel, this exhibition promises to showcase some of the most exciting and innovative of contemporary art. The focus on sourcing art from across South Africa through an intensive selection process means that this will not be merely an outing of the usual suspects. And with no imposed theme, the exhibition is sure to highlight current artistic concerns.

Co-curator and selector Jay Pather remarked 'choosing 100 art works was both arduous as it was humbling. It was made more daunting in that there were so many performing arts entries together with the wealth of visual art. I found there was a fiercely established and assured sense of context in the work submitted. These works speak to the African and South African reality with voices that ranged from the intensely personal to the astutely political. If there was evidence of any lack, it spoke to lack of facility and opportunity. There was however, no lack of talent, vision and scope.'

Each of the 100 artists selected will qualify for a fee of R3 000 and in December five award-winners will be chosen by a panel of judges - they will share R700 000 in award monies to advance their artistic careers. The winners will be announced at the launch of the Spier Contemporary 2007 on December 12 at an opening event on the Spier Estate where the exhibition will be hosted.

Opens: December 12
Closes: February 29


 

Nontsikelelo Veleko

Nontsikelelo Veleko
Trio I 2007
archival pigment print on cotton rag paper
48 x 33cm

Joy Gregory

Joy Gregory
Plaza de Espana, Seville
c-print
40.6 x 50.8cm

NVivienne Koorland

Vivienne Koorland
House Sutra: From Cape Town to Kathmandu 2006
oil on canvas
81 x 91cm


'About Beauty' at Goodman Gallery Cape

Exploring the complex mythology surrounding beauty, the artists exhibiting in 'About Beauty' suggest that beyond beauty's allure lies a darker and complex history of ideas and practices that are the very antithesis of beauty. How beauty operates, how judgements are made and how these impact physically, psychologically and politically are explored in a wide range of ways. 'About Beauty' takes its cue from 'Beautiful Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics', the award-winning collection of essays by leading African artists and authors, edited by Sarah Nuttall. Like the book, the exhibition explores the radical transformations that are shifting perceptions of beauty as well as particular challenges offered by African and Diaspora artists to the world's predominantly Eurocentric ideals.

Lolo Veleko's presentation of 'young, gifted and black' youth who are refashioning the reception of African beauty epitomises a seismic generational shift of power from an old order to a new culture, exerting the power of the observed to challenge an historically white, Western gaze. In two very different series British photographer Joy Gregory invests ordinary objects of beauty with the iconic power to represent the horrors of apartheid South Africa and the circulation of lives, wealth and Diasporic memory between Europe and the Caribbean. New York-based South African painter Vivienne Koorland, whose exhibition 'Reisenmalheurs' was recently seen at the Freud Museum in London, draws from children's images of the Holocaust and forced removals to explore the traumatic and transformative potential of travel. William Kentridge's drawing and prints at once reference colonial expansionism and genocide in Africa, the enduring pleasures of the body and the resilience of spirit that refuses to be crushed by them.

Robert Hodgins' paintings and monoprints explore social constructions of beauty inflected by assumptions about cultural and class distinctions. Mixing seduction and aversion, Kathryn Smith reflects on the interrelationship of Empire, decadence and gendered violence in her exquisite Victorian jewellery boxes.

Sue Williamson investigates the exhaustive and sometimes absurd demands of grooming, while Frances Goodman examines the prejudicial judgements that expose society's dual fascination and revulsion with others as well as the ways in which anxieties and vulnerabilities are performed through language. Penny Siopis' recent paintings traverse the knife-edge between extreme experiences of beauty and trauma.

Opens: December 13
Closes: January 5


 

Walter Oltmann

Walter Oltmann
Unearthing (detail) 2007
cast metal installation


'Sasol Wax Art Award 2007' at Iziko SANG

The prestigious Sasol Wax Art Award is aimed at established, professional artists who are required to use this material as part of their process, medium or concept for their works. The award for 2007 went to Walter Oltmann for a metal cast installation, using the lost wax method. Choosing to title his work Unearthing, Oltmann observes that this 'underpins the notion of uncovering or bringing to light by digging, searching or discovery. It reflects the post-Apartheid era impulse to uncover our history. The hands with dowsing tools suggest practices associated with finding water and settlements as much as digging and mining; as a means of survival, as well as exploiting the land for its riches and also denying access and agency to others.'

The 2007 Sasol Wax Art Award exhibition also includes the work of finalists Wayne Barker, Usha Seejarim, Andrew Verster and Sue Williamson. Barker's investigations into the activities of bees have led to an installation that is, 'a discovery of the possibility of healing with nature and ultimately, the whole of society'. Sue Williamson's split screen video explores the secret world of waxing behind the beauty parlour door. A recreation of a bedroom and a bathroom in fragile wax paper, by Usha Seejarim, suggests a dream-like world and, our own transience as human beings, while Andrew Verster explores ritual and body markings in his powerful installation of suspended panels constructed from layers of tissue paper held together by wax.

Opens: December 5
Closes: March 9


 


Kathryn Smith at Goodman Gallery Cape

For her first solo exhibition in Cape Town since the Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition at Iziko SANG in 2005, Kathryn Smith sets up a controlled, immersive environment of light, sound, drawing and photography to explore the media circulation of images of violence.

Opens: January 10
Closes: March 1


 

Willie Bester

Willie Bester
The Missing Ones


Willie Bester at Iziko SANG

Bester's capacity to work with found and rejected objects and scraps of metal, and to transform them into extraordinary sculptures filled with social and political meaning, has gained for him a national and international reputation. Added to this is his individualistic application of the medium of oil paint. His source of inspiration is his own environment and experience, but he succeeds in speaking to a bigger audience and in making his ideas and intentions universally applicable.

The exhibition comprises sculptures and paintings and offers a glimpse into Bester's early paintings of the 1980s, which have seldom been seen in public. Of particular interest is the series of portrait studies, specially created for the show and on permanent loan to the Montagu Museum. This exhibition offers the public a rare opportunity of seeing the evolution of Bester's work from its early beginnings through to the recent paintings and sculptures.

This exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Iziko South African National Gallery and the town of Montagu in the Western Cape, where Bester grew up. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with contributions from Professor Michael Godby and Professor Sandra Klopper.

Opens: December 5
Closes: April 13


 

Tracey Derrick

Tracey Derrick
Washing Line 2006
Fibre Base silver gelatin hand print
50 x 60 cm


Tracey Derrick at João Ferreira

'Eye Inside' is a new body of work by photographer Tracey Derrick, documenting more than a year in the lives of the women inmates at Malmesbury Prison. Walking the tight-rope between empathetic portraiture and objective documentary, it is an intimate portrait of a community normally hidden behind prison walls. Echoing the issues raised by Mikhael Subotsky's work, Derrick documents the boredom, isolation and the alienation of prison life whilst also touching on the friendships, community, creativity and fun that the women create within it.

'From an initial shyness around me and my camera grew a warm and intimate experience between us. These women shared their life experiences with me.' Derrick's work always has moments of raw connection with her subjects, but in the world of the prison it took longer than usual to establish and capture that rapport. Alongside Derrick's will be photographs taken by a group trained in photography by Derrick herself.

Derrick is a freelance photographer focusing on social documentary, working mostly in black and white and based in the Swartland, which inspires much of her work. Her work has received many accolades and has been exhibited in Germany, Paris, London, Brazil and Tokyo.

Opens: December 5
Closes: December 29


 

Tom Cullberg

Tom Cullberg
Skateboarders (in different minds) 2007
oil on board
30 x 42cm


Tom Cullberg at João Ferreira

Tom Cullberg's painting is charged by the action of the portrayed subject, a subject whose movements entertain and intrigue the eye of the viewer. In 'Small Moments', Cullberg's ninth solo exhibition, the paintings are coloured by the desires and discomfort inherent in many of our day-to-day interactions. A relationship is set up between his characters and the viewer speaking both of intimacy and alienation, and at times giving rise to a disquieting voyeuristic sensation.

The figures depicted seem to vibrate into the background and in this way lose their solidity as the air thickens around them in mid-action. Even his architectural subjects resonate with the history of the 'Small Moments' which they contain. There are shadows present in these works, shadows that allude to the uneasiness within the moments. Cullberg uses found images as well as his own snapshots as a starting point for the figures, objects and places that feature in the paintings. Through adding and subtracting visual and emotional layers, an altered reality emerges that presents us with both the tangible and the intangible. The blurred faces and abstracted landscapes display few traces of their origin and identity. Their specificity belies in their gesture and location imbedded in the brushstrokes. The images bring forth questions: who are these people, what are these houses?

Tom Cullberg has exhibited in South Africa, Sweden and Italy, and is represented in several public and corporate collections.

Opens: January 2
Closes: January 26


 

Pamela Stretton

Pamela Stretton
Covergirl 200
digital inkjet print on foam
122.5 x 92cm


'16th Art Salon' in Camps Bay

Art consultant and curator, Rose Korber, is hosting the '16th annual Art Salon' this year, with works on show from a selection of some 75 leading and emerging, contemporary South African artists, working in a variety of media. Since its inception in 1992, the Art Salon has aimed to present a comprehensive and varied overview of the current state of South African art. Artists featured include William Kentridge, Willie Bester, Sam Nhlengethwa, Robert Hodgins, Wayne Barker, Beezy Bailey, Conrad Botes, Colbert Mashile, Robert Slingsby, Deborah Bell, Claudette Schreuders, Nina Romm, Stephen Inggs and Richard Smith.

This year's Salon will see a subtle shift towards more cutting-edge art, while still maintaining its backbone of 'classics' such as John Kramer, Erik Laubscher and Walter Meyer. In keeping with the current trends towards the contemporary, younger artists - such as Peter Eastman, Pamela Stretton, Sanell Aggenbach, Kate Göttgens, Alastair Whitton, Dan Halter, Francois van Reenen, Jaco Sieberhagen and Roxandra Dardegan - are well represented. The Art Salon will also feature photography, sculpture and ceramics.

Opens: December 17
Closes: January 13


 

Ndikumbule Ngqinambi

Ndikumbule Ngqinambi
Umthombo Wegazi 2007
oil on canvas


Colijn Strydom, Barbara Wildenboer and Ndikumbule Ngqinambi at AVA

Colijn Strydom employs the main gallery with Tell Yr Daddy I Say Hello, a series of large mixed media works. Strydom draws on the stories of Racheltjie de Beer and blends these established narratives from Afrikaner folklore with a personal critical reflection in order to interrogate notions of contemporary Afrikaner identity and masculinity. Strydom, a recent Master's graduate from Stellenbosch University, has participated in group exhibitions across the country.

Barbara Wildenboer will be exhibiting 'Vanitas' in the Long Gallery. This body of work interrogates the notion of fragility and evanescence. She draws on Julia Kristeva's writing in the Black Sun, asking 'Can the beautiful be sad?... Or else is the beautiful object the one that tirelessly endures following destructions and wars in order to bear witness that there is a survival after death, that immortality is possible?'

Wildenboer collects different indigenous South African flowers. They are photographed and pressed in an attempt to preserve them. They are then sewn and pinned onto photographically printed images that act as a constant reminder of their transient nature. Though the photographs will stay, in time the flower will wither away and serve to emphasize the futility of any attempt to permanently preserve beauty.

Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi exhibits 'Smells and Shadows' in the Artstrip. These evocatively rendered oils on canvas explore the way the past invades the present. He says: 'I find myself looking back on my footsteps. I still feel the faint sounds of those songs they sang then, and so I went back there, not so long ago to the forgotten land. As I stand looking at the valleys, I feel the smell of the plants and the moist red soil. I was not alone, though there was no one. Shadows running faster than the speed of time, you feel their existence but you cannot see them.'

Opens: January 7
Closes: January 25


 


Berco Wilsenach at Bell-Roberts

Winner of the Absa L'Atelier Award 2005, Berco Wilsenach exhibits new work as part of a comprehensive 'Project for a blind astronaut'. In this exhibition, entitled 'In die sterre geskryf' Wilsenach examines the accessibility of language as a medium, be it information resulting from of a lack of necessary information to the understanding thereof, or on the other hand the inadequacy of language to adequately describe concepts.

The similarities between braille and a star chart are quite obvious. The same system of symbols is used to code and interpret two completely different information systems. Wilsenach draws parallels between the apparently chaotic placing of dots on star charts and the strict patterns of braille. The concept of a blind astronaut plays on a double irony where although a measure of information is provided; he does not have access to the visual embodiment of the information. The seeing observer, on the other hand, does not have access to the information required to unlock the visual image. Both therefore remain in the dark.

Charts are abstractions and simplifications of reality. Especially in the case of the stars, a cultural norm has been placed over nature in order to make it comprehensible. The naming of the constellation follows a complicated mythological storyline. These charts have however fallen into disuse as navigation no longer takes place according to the stars; on the contrary, one can hardly even see the stars from some of the world's large cities.'

In the work In die sterre geskryf, Wilsenach has developed a tangible coding system presenting star charts as pincushions. All symbols are cartographically accurately represented to reveal the constellations to the blind astronaut (when he is found).

Opens: January 12
Closes: February 2


 

Esti Strydom

Esti Strydom
Whale 2007

Ingrid Nuss

Ingrid Nuss
Urban Zoo 2007

Robyn Turner

Robyn Turner
Cones and Clanwilliam Dam 2007


Michaelis Graduate Show at Michaelis

An increasingly important event on the local and national arts calendar, the Graduate Show at the Michaelis School of Fine Art is a unique opportunity to view the emerging talent graduating from one of South Africa's top art schools and to get a first glimpse of the new face of art that will, if previous shows are anything to go by, dominate the market.

Many past graduates have gone on to have significant solo shows and gain international exposure. Institutional and private collectors make a point of attending the show to see what new and fresh faces may be out there.

This year's show will be accompanied by a lavish catalogue that will contextualise the work on display. Theory lecturers Nasan Pather and Andrew Lamprecht will conduct a walkabout on Saturday December 8 at 11 am. This year's opening will be followed by an auction of works by major South African and international artists as well as up-and-coming artists, the proceeds of which will be used for student bursaries and School projects.

Opens: December 5
Closes: December 15


 

Andre Villers

Marlene Dumas
Het kwaad is banaal (The banality of evil) 1984
oil on canvas
125 x 105cm


Andre Villers at Focus Contemporary

This exhibition will feature Andre Villers' well-known portraits of his good friend Pablo Picasso as well as collages which combine his photography with cuttings of prints by famous 20th century painters like Chagall, Picasso and Cézanne.

Villers is highly regarded for his portrait photography and has immortalised many true icons of modern 20th century Europe - poets, artists, architects and writers such as le Corbusier, Cesar, Jean Arp, Fernand Leger, Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali. In addition to his portrait work, Villers explored a variety of artistic impressions through photography - collages, foldings, photogrammes, photo montages and superimpositions.

Opens: November 24
Closes: January 10


 

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
Feverlips (detail) 2007


Julia Rosa Clark at blank projects

Fever Jubilee is a new installation and performance by Julia Rosa Clark. The artist will turn the gallery into a recuperative grotto-like space. The audience will be invited to just come and relax in this contemporary urban folley, or to grow the space from the inside, with the help of the artist. It is a festive holiday piece: a place in which the artist will spend some quality time resting, with friends and family.

The artist says, '2007 seemed like a long and difficult year for many people close to me. It is finally drawing to a close and it is time to take stock and clear out surplus'. A jubilee marks the passing of a period of time, emancipation and a celebration. In this case, the artist celebrates sensuality, colour, music and a move away from sadness and fear. It is a corollary to 'Hypocrite's Lament', her solo show earlier this year. Whereas Lament was, in part, driven by a response to cycles of addiction and destruction, the artist is now excited by growth and restoration. As is often her process, Julia will use leftovers, clutter, collections of bits and pieces and lots of paper to make up the space.

Opens: December 13
Closes: January 5


 

Lindele Magunya

Lindele Magunya
Untitled
archival print on cotton rag


'Work on Paper' at blank projects

'Work on Paper' is a group exhibition of nine well-known South African artists including Sanell Aggenbach, Wayne Barker, Jacques Coetzer, Jeanne Hoffman, Lindele Magunya, Thando Mama, Andrzej Nowicki, Johan Thom, Kemang wa Lehulere, Linda Stupart.

Opens: December 13
Closes: January 31


 

Christoph Martin Schmidt

Christoph Martin Schmidt
11am 2006
100 x 90cm

Christoph Martin Schmidt

Christoph Martin Schmidt
1pm 2006
100 x 90cm


'Surface Tension' at the Photographer's Gallery

'Surface Tension' is a multi-media group exhibition of paintings and photographs. Artists include Roger Ballen, Mxolisi Sapeta, Cobus van Bosch, Johann Louw, Pamela Stretton, Jan Neethling, Bronwen Vaughan Evans and introduces German photographer, Christoph Martin Schmidt.

Opens: December 10
Closes: February 2


 

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami


Takashi Murakami at 34 Long

Newly acquired limited edition works by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami will be on view at 34 Long during the December season. He holds a PhD in modern Japanese ink painting, and is the originator of the visual concept of 'superflat', his theoretical analogy between the flat perspective of traditional Japanese art and post-war consumerist culture in Japan. From developing his art as a brand to curating and staging GEISAI, a fine art 'bazaar' of astounding proportions, Murakami is an artist to keep an eye on.

Opens: December 4
Closes: January 26


 

Francois Van Reenen

Francois Van Reenen
Dog Boy 2007
enamel on polyester resin
130cm tall


Francois Van Reenen at Whatiftheworld / Gallery

A pioneer of Flash animation filmmaking in the 90s and an accomplished sculptor, van Reenen extracts sentimentality and nostalgia from his toy and comic collection, transferring dilemmas of taste and emotion onto his prints and sculptures. The artist's wry sense of humour and self-consciously ironic take on the world combine with autobiographical references to form the basis of his conceptual and aesthetic approach.

Opens: December 7
Closes: January 12


 

Adrian Köhler

Adrian Köhler
Swiss Army Knife 2007
wood
18 x 4.5 x 35cm


Adrian Köhler at 34 Long

A cup of tea, a light bulb, a Swiss army knife, a diamond ring. These are among a selection of sculptures presented by Cape Town artist Adrian Köhler for his solo exhibition at 34 Long. The objects, finely crafted in different kinds of wood, assume a strange hyper-materiality; a physical presence sharpened by their stubborn silence, their deadpan polished wooden patina. They appear to be straightforward replicas of the real thing; yet they are not, they are slightly altered, and in this subdued deception they reveal layers of metaphoric meaning. They call into question not themselves, but the objects they represent.

His chosen material, wood, has a presence which Köhler believes to be loaded with subversive symbolic power. Something wooden is frustrated, he says. The opposite of playful, one step away from being petrified, fossilised. Wood is omnipresent, physically and metaphorically: it is the material of model aeroplanes, of hobbyists and garage handymen; of roadside curios, priceless antiques and great artists.

Köhler, previously a model maker for film and advertising , now works at his art full-time.

Opens: December 4
Closes: January 26


 

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas
Het kwaad is banaal (The banality of evil) 1984
oil on canvas
125 x 105cm


Marlene Dumas at Iziko SANG

'Marlene Dumas: Intimate Relations' is the first solo exhibition in South Africa by Marlene Dumas, one of the world's most renowned contemporary artists. The South African art community has been waiting for a comprehensive showcasing of Dumas' work since she rose to prominence on the international art stage. The exhibition and its related publication will cover a broad selection of her work, ranging from early conceptual pieces from her student years at Michaelis to very recent paintings and drawings dealing with contemporary global issues. The works, curated by Dumas herself and Emma Bedford, will be drawn from a variety of public and private collections in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Dumas chose 'Intimate Relations' for the exhibition's title as a way of framing the curatorial vision and selection of work to focus thinking around questions of what constitutes intimate relations between people, places and paintings. According to Bedford, Dumas' work 'deals with the cycle of life, and with issues of gender, sexuality, pleasure and pain, amongst others. While intellectual, ethical and moral questions stimulate and absorb her, it is her awareness of how these are experienced in and through the body that is central to her work.'

Dumas was born in Kuilsriver near Cape Town in 1953. After graduating from Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, she left South Africa in 1976 to complete a post-graduate degree in visual art at the Atelier '63 in Haarlem. She now lives in Amsterdam.

Dumas has participated in many biennales and has twice been invited to show at Documenta in Germany. She represented The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 1995. Dumas has held solo exhibitions at prestigious venues in many centres of the world, such as the Tate, London (1996); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2001); the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2003); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2007).

Opens: November 8
Closes: January 13


 

Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa
I who have nothing 2007
mixed media on paper
106 x 78cm

Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa
Untitled VII 2007
mixed media on paper
140 x100cm

Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa
Untitled VIV 2007
mixed media on paper
77 x 57.5cm


Moshekwa Langa at Goodman Gallery Cape

This collection of Moshekwa Langa's new and recent work will be his first solo exhibition in Cape Town since his Fresh residency at the SANG. The work, often densely layered with a range of media and meanings, is characteristically both figurative and conceptual. Acute observations of human foibles and poignant evocations of memory, longing and loss reflect the frame of mind and experiences of an African artist and intellectual in Europe. Texts in speech bubbles and colour fields map complex social relationships and political histories with which the artist wrestles. Whether sourced from popular songs, literature or art history, lines of text, doodled in apparent abandon across drawings or collaged works, offer oblique, humorous or ironic commentary on contemporary life.

Born in Bakenberg in 1975, Langa has been resident in Amsterdam since 1997 when he was selected for the prestigious Rijksakademie programme. Recent solo shows include 'Moshekwa Langa' at MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI Secolo), Rome, 2006 and 'Encounters: Moshekwa Langa - Homeland' at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, United Kingdom.

His work has also been included in a number of major international group exhibitions, including 'Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography' curated by Okwui Enwezor, New York, 2006; 'Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti' at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2003 and the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.

Opens: November 17
Closes: December 8


 

Svea Josephy

Svea Josephy
Lavender Hill, South Africa
photograph

Svea Josephy

Svea Josephy
Lavender Hill, London, United Kingdom
photograph


Svea Josephy at Bell-Roberts

Barcelona, Delft, Sun City, Athlone: have we really thought about the ironies inherent in the way South Africa's suburbs and informal settlements have been christened? Svea Josephy has spent months photographing places that are identically named yet worlds apart, and the provocatively named 'Twin Town' exhibition at the Bell-Roberts gallery is the fruit of this labour. Focussing on the largely impoverished settlements surrounding Cape Town, Josephy traces a complex set of relationships - both differences and parallels - with places or events after which South African settlements are named. 'Twin Town' throws up unexpected trans-national connections and provides a fresh perspective from which to view the old issues of migrancy, forced removals and resettlement.

Josephy's explorations draw on euphemistic naming (Grassy Park, Lotus River, Ocean View and Lavender Hill), naming inspired by the colonial past (Delft, The Hague, Athlone and Stratford Green) as well as post-apartheid naming, so preoccupied with disaster (Tsunami, Kosovo, Rwanda, Harare, Vietnam, and Beirut).

Josephy is aware that in this country, the naming and renaming of land is a profoundly political as well as emotional act - naming is, after all, inextricably bound up with claiming. In some cases the one who names is the one who holds authority, power and mandate to name; in other cases, naming is playful and subversive - even, one might suspect, tongue-in-cheek (Beverley Hills? Bermuda Triangle? Hyde Park? Lost City? Lapland? Europe?). Included alongside the photographic pairings are texts, which elucidate the naming of the land. A publication which accompanies the exhibition provides more insight into the linguistic aspects of the project.

Svea Josephy is a lecturer at Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town.

Opens: November 14
Closes: December 22


 


'Africa South' at AVA

'Africa South', curated by Mario Pissarro, creates a space to engage with evolving and overlapping geo-political identities, from the 'local' to the 'international'. The exhibition privileges the perspectives of artists residing in the southernmost part of the continent, including more recent migrations, both permanent and temporary. As a curated space 'Africa South' enacts broader questions of place: who has it; how has it been constructed; and how does it facilitate or impede mobility as individuals, 'communities', and as artists?

'Africa South' features both emerging and well known artists, including Omar Badsha, Peter E. Clarke, Garth Erasmus, Mambakwedza Mutasa and Donovan Ward, and is curated by Mario Pisarro for the Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI). Most works have been produced especially for the exhibition.

'Africa South' will be opened by Premesh Lalu, post-colonial studies scholar based at UWC. The curator will lead walkabouts every Saturday morning, from 11am.

Opens: November 26
Closes: December 14


 

Frans Oerder

Frans Oerder
Still Life
oil on canvas


'Is there Still-life?' at the Old Town House

After the Cubist revolution in art in 1907 and the proliferation of academic art schools, the genre of 'still life' painting, in South Africa as elsewhere, tended to lose the symbolic and moral meanings it had attained in 17th century Holland and 18th and 19th century France. It came to be associated primarily with the idea of representation. In a sense, still life now represents the idea of art itself, and artists in any medium are drawn to it to define themselves as artists. More recently, the very neutrality of the genre has presented opportunities for the introduction of new symbolic forms, especially from cultures that attach great significance to objects.

This exhibition, curated by Professor Michael Godby, combines examples of historical still life paintings from the Iziko Collections with a survey of South African still life painting, from its origins as an imitation of European practice to works from our own day. Stylistic trends that have been applied to the genre over the course of the 20th century are represented. Different methods that have been used to 'Africanize' still life are shown; highlighting works by a new generation of young artists who have appropriated the genre, not only to proclaim their identity as artists, but also to reinvest the subject with powerful new social meanings.

Opens: November 19
Closes: March 31


 

Doreen Southwood

Doreen Southwood
The Dancer (detail) 2007
bronze, steel, enamel paint, fabric
176 x 190 x 292cm


'Summer 07/08' at Michael Stevenson Gallery

Michael Stevenson's 12th annual summer exhibition promises once again to bring together new works from the gallery's artists, many of whom have enjoyed international exposure and critical acclaim in the past year. Photographic work came to prominence this year, with Berni Searle selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for its annual New Photography exhibition in September. Searle will show a new video work, Spirit of '76, commissioned by the Philagrafika initiative in Philadelphia, USA - a meditation on the ebb and flow of history, from the signing of the US Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the student uprisings in Soweto two centuries later.

This year the gallery expanded its horizons to include artists from beyond South Africa's borders and these artists (including Meschac Gaba and Youssef Nabil) will participate in the annual exhibition. The summer exhibition will also showcase new works by David Goldblatt and Guy Tillim, both of whom were included on Documenta 12 in June, and Pieter Hugo, this year's Standard Bank Young Artist for visual art who has solo shows scheduled in New York, Rome and Geneva. A new series of portraits of lesbian women by Zanele Muholi will be shown for the first time in South Africa; this series is also included in the prestigious Camera Austria 100th issue exhibition in Graz, Austria.

A major new four-figure bronze sculpture by Doreen Southwood entitled The Dancer will be seen for the first time on this summer exhibition. The exhibition will also include new sculptural installations by Wim Botha and Nicholas Hlobo. A large new painting by Deborah Poynton will be shown prior to her solo show in Berlin next April. The exhibition will also include new paintings by Mustafa Maluka who has just had a successful exhibition in Geneva and has a solo show in Berlin next year. New works by Conrad Botes and Anton Kannemeyer of Bitterkomix fame can also be seen. And, as always, a selection of quirky and irreverent ceramics by Hylton Nel will be on show.

Opens: November 28
Closes: January 12


 

Ernest Cole

Ernest Cole
At assignment desk, clerk's rubber stamp dictates mine where man will work, 1960-66

Ernest Cole

Ernest Cole
At the end of train ride comes a big squeeze as passengers must show their tickets before passing through narrow exit gates, 1960 - 66


Ernest Cole at Iziko SANG

Ernest Cole was a courageous young photographer who spent five years documenting everyday experiences of black South Africans under apartheid in the 1960s. Simply titled 'Ernest Cole', the exhibition is a commentary on many manifestations of apartheid, as seen through Cole's lens: the lives of migrant labourers recruited to the mines and the indignities that they were forced to endure, pass raids and arrests, the plight of domestic workers, 'Bantu' education, inadequate health care and poverty. The project culminated in the publication of House of Bondage in New York in 1967, negotiated by Magnum Photos, after Cole fled South Africa with a suitcase of his photographic prints.

The immediate banning of the book in South Africa imposed permanent exile on the photographer, who was then only 27. In the United States he undertook a project funded by the Ford Foundation, but this never reached completion and Cole finally gave up taking photographs. He died in New York in 1990, shortly before his 50th birthday and a few days after the release of Nelson Mandela.

Although the negatives for his South African images were smuggled out by fellow photographer Struan Robertson, with whom Ernest Cole had shared a darkroom in Johannesburg, their current whereabouts is unknown. In 2005, the Iziko South African National Gallery was granted funding by the National Lotteries Board to acquire a small collection of his photographic prints, possibly made in preparation for the re-publication of House of Bondage.

Opens: September 4
Closes: December 31


 
 
SOMERSET WEST

Vladimir Tretchikoff

Vladimir Tretchikoff
Balinese Girl


Vladimir Tretchikoff at Bell-Roberts Lourensford

Self-taught artist Vladimir Tretchikoff was born in Russia in 1913 and in 1946 he moved to South Africa. Tretchikoff made a mark on the art world with his works in oil, watercolour, ink, charcoal and pencil. But what really characterised his works were the reproductions of his work which sold worldwide - enjoying enormous popularity and also earning him the title of being the wealthiest living artist after Picasso. His most famous painting Chinese Girl, which he started in Java in 1946 and finished in 1952, sold millions around the world. It is rumoured that more prints were made of it than of Leonardo's Mona Lisa or van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Tretchikoff exhibited extensively in South Africa, Russia, UK, USA, China and Canada. However, he never enjoyed recognition as a serious artist in this country; his work was considered to be too commercial by the art critics and art museums or galleries alike. This despite the fact that in 1961 a record 205 000 people queued around the block to view an exhibition of his work at Harrod's in London. In Cape Town he drew a crowd of more than 6100 people visiting an exhibition.

Tretchikoff died in Cape Town on August 26 last year. On exhibition at the gallery will be a series of 50s vintage prints (which will be for sale) together with a selection of the original works from a private collection.

Opens: December 8
Closes 22 December 22


 
 
STELLENBOSCH & PAARL

Stellenbosch


'Graduate Exhibition' at Skone Kunste Gebou

Graduate students of the Stellenbosch University Visual Arts Department will be holding an exhibition of works from their final year. The exhibition will take an interdisciplinary approach and will showcase a diverse range of works from Jewellery Design, Visual Communication Design and Fine Arts. Held for the first time in the historic and recently renovated departmental building, 'Graduate Exhibition 2007' promises to showcase fresh talent. The catalogue and selected works will be on sale.

Opens: November 30
Closes: December 12


 

Leora Farber

Clare Menck
Camilla on her throne (detail) 2007
oil on board
35 x 38cm


Clare Menck at the US Art Gallery

The generally intimate and small easel paintings of Clare Menck are often characterised by their autobiographic content as she most frequently uses herself and those around her as her subjects. In her latest solo show 'Vignette', she focuses on figures in interiors evoking the Dutch and Northern European tradition of interior genre painting. The exhibition includes some striking female and male nudes in spaces familiar to the artist, but her popular swimmers and Karoo house-scapes will also feature.

'Vignette' marks Menck's return to Stellenbosch, a decade after the completion of her Master's degree in Fine Art at the University of Stellenbosch.

Opens: November 27
Closes: January 5


 
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