Archive: Issue No. 118, June 2007

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03.06.07 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Johannesburg Art Gallery
03.06.07 Frances Goodman at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
03.06.07 Churchill Madikida at Standard Bank Gallery
03.06.07 Twisting Sisters: the art of master weaving sisal at Standard Bank Gallery
03.06.07 Colleen Alborough at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre
03.06.07 Etienne de Kock at Amoeba
03.06.07 Jürgen Schadeberg and Linda Shongwe at Seippel Gallery
03.06.07 Robyn Magowan at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Civic Theatreg
03.06.07 Julian Opie at David Krut Projects
03.06.07 Landi Raubenheimer at gordart Gallery's Rainforest Project Room
03.06.07 Richard Smith at Artspace Fine Art Gallery Johannesburg
03.06.07 Sue Pam-Grant at University of Johannesburg Art Gallery
03.06.07 Dark and Lovely and Sybrand Wiechers at gordart Gallery

06.05.07 Carl Roberts at Gallery on the Square
06.05.07 Happy Dhlame at the Johannesburg Art Gallery Project Room
06.05.07 Majak Bredell at Fried Contemporary in Pretoria
06.05.07 Harold Rubin at Goodman Gallery
06.05.07 Dungamanzi/Stirring Waters at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

04.02.07 Various exhibitions at the Pretoria Art Museum


Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

'Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent' features the work of more than 85 artists from 25 countries on the African continent and the Diaspora. Considered to be the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe, it includes painting, sculpture, installation, video, drawing, photography and design.

'Africa Remix' explores the themes of city and land (the contrasting experiences of urban and rural life), identity and history (including issues of tradition and modernity and the relation of the individual to the community), and body and soul (religion, spirituality, emotion and sexuality).

Cameroon-born, Paris-based curator and critic Simon Njami curated the exhibition, which was launched at the Museum Kunst Palast, Düat;sseldorf, in 2004. The show subsequently travelled to the Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. 'Africa Remix' will be open for the first time in Africa at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Opens: June 24
Closes: September 30

Frances Goodman at Goodman Gallery

Rising star Frances Goodman presents as show entitled 'Wishful Thinking' at the Goodman Gallery during June and July. In this show Goodman continues her exploration of character construction through elements of language and narrative. She examines how people present themselves to the outside world and how words manage to 'perform' and expose people's anxieties and vulnerabilities.

The exhibition comprises three new sound installations and two sculptural series. Among these is a large-scale video/sound installation entitled Young Guns, which follows two bodybuilders on their quest for perfection, success and ideal beauty. Goodman examines the blurring of boundaries between intense preparation and narcissism, investigating the 'slip between definition of self and judgement by others'.

Also on the show is a work entitled I know what you're thinking..., a sound installation that considers the very act of judging others. The endless quips and comments on a range of subjects create an atmosphere of prejudice. With this work Goodman looks at the moment when politeness and sensitivity break down and we all potentially become the subject of others' judgement and prejudice.

Opens: June 23
Closes: July 14

Churchill Madikida at Standard Bank Gallery

Churchill Madikida was the 2006 winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. This show, entitled 'Like Father Like Son?', offers insights into the difficulties of growing up without a biological father. Madikida grew up believing that his father had passed away when he was very young. Yet, he found that this was not true, and recently met the man. The show is a multi-media installation exploring the artist's complex family history.

Opens: June 12
Closes: July 14

'Twisting Sisters: the art of master weaving sisal' at Standard Bank Gallery

In recent years women in Swaziland have transformed their traditional craft of basket weaving into a vehicle for artistic expression. At the forefront of this transformation has been Tintsaba Crafts, who have trained over 750 craftswomen. Tintsaba grades each basket according to its technical and artistic qualities and only a few weavers - the Master Weavers - produce collectors' grade work. The exhibition comprises a selection of collectors' grade baskets, as well as natural and silver jewellery.

Opens: June 12
Closes: July 14

Colleen Alborough at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre

Colleen Alborough presents a show at The Premises which includes an interactive video installation called Night Journey. This is accompanied by the artist's limited edition book Before the Time (2007). This concertina book reveals the exploration of a solitary journey along a melancholic yet painterly stretch of road. The images search into the distance, trying to see beyond the isolation and apparent silence of the passing veld. The work attempts to capture traces of life in the land that momentarily reflect within our field of vision whilst on such journeys.

Opens: May 26
Closes: June 9

Etienne de Kock

Etienne de Kock
Balancing 2004
bronze, stone steel
26 x 18cm

Etienne de Kock at Amoeba

Amoeba in Parkhurst hosts a show of work by established Cape Town-based sculptor Etienne de Kock. The show is titled 'Metanomes and Metaphors', and it continues the artist's interest in movement as an integral part of his work.

De Kock works in bronze, wood, forged steel and stone, but also considers movement and human intervention as important to his work. His work is said to delight the viewer with its element of random movement, commanding attention and stimulating contemplation.

Amoeba's regular fare of 'aesthetic pleasure and enjoyable functionality' will be on show as usual along with the exhibited pieces. The leatherwork, ceramics, metal design, jewellery, art and sculpture found in the Amoeba space serve to 'pay homage to South African talent and make statements about the creative capacity of South Africa'.

Opens: June 14
Closes: July 15

Jürgen Schadeberg and Linda Shongwe at Seippel Gallery

Jürgen Schadeberg and Linda Shongwe present two separate shows at Seippel Gallery in the east end of downtown Johannesburg. Both bodies of work take impetus from the city of Johannesburg. Schadeberg's photographic works are collectively entitled 'Jazz and Jozi', and they document a perceived clash between nouveau riche black culture and the history of Jazz in Johannesburg.

Shongwe is a painter, and he presents his body of work entitled 'Street Scenes' in the Seippel Gallery's project space.

Opens: May 17
Closes: August 31

Robyn Magowan at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre

Robyn Magowan presents a show entitled 'Social Masquerade' at the Premises Gallery. In the works Magowan endeavours to address the failure of masquerade to avert battery of women in the private domain. Taking into account the information garnered through interviewing and speaking to victims of battery, Magowan looks at clothing, accessories and pastimes to convey the physical and emotional damage inflicted by the male perpetrators of domestic battery. The works thus aim to express, through medium and visual effect, the psychological experience and physical effect of battery on women. In this way Magowan hopes to raise awareness of the prevalence of wife battery in our society, which 'so often goes unreported and is shrouded in secrecy and shame for the victim'.

Opens: June 15
Closes: June 23

Julian Opie

Julian Opie
Ruth Smoking 4 2006
from a set of 5 screenprints
121 x 82.2 cm
� Julian Opie and Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Julian Opie at David Krut Projects

During May and June David Krut Projects will show portraits from three of British artist Julian Opie's most recent series of prints. The series are entitled Ruth Smoking, Ruth With Cigarette and This is Shahnoza. These large works show Opie's clarity of bold black line and primary colour to startling effect. They also demonstrate Opie's facility with different surfaces so that images produced as Lambda prints leap from the frame and screenprints on paper have all the desired tactility of their medium.

Opens: May 16
Closes: June 16

Landi Raubenheime

Landi Raubenheimer
Dooki in the floating world 2007
invitation image

Landi Raubenheimer at gordart Gallery's Rainforest Project Room

Landi Raubenheimer presents a show of small-scale paintings and miniature watercolours at Gordart's Project Room. Entitled 'Dooki in the floating world', it follows the activities of Dooki, a fictional animé character that Raubenheimer developed from doodles made at work. The show combines elements of figurative painting with classic animé visual references, but also delves quite smartly into the rich history of Japanese art and illustration. A light-hearted take on the subject, it nonetheless explores its chosen area in a nunaced manner.

Opens: May 23
Closes: June 9

Richard Smith

Richard Smith
The man who took us up the river 2007
mixed media on paper
151 x 128cm

Richard Smith at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

Richard Smith presents a new show of work at Artspace, his second with the gallery. The first, entitled 'Dialogues', was also shown at Constitution Hill. The work continues his practice of overlaying large-scale charcoal portraits with small, unexpected elements. However, this body of work sees a number of developments from the previous one: the portraits no longer depict expressionless faces, but rather faces scowling, smiling or laughing at the viewer. The smaller items floated over the top of these portraits have been shifted into more geometric formations. The interplay between the naturalistic portraits and the grids of objects is what gives the works their primary tension: the objects draw attention to the surface, which pulls against the illusion of depth generated by the subtly rendered faces.

Scottish-born Richard Smith worked for South African and British newspapers as a cartoonist for a number of years. He held his first solo exhibition in 1972. An opening address will be delivered by Michael Coulson.

Opens: June 9
Closes: July 7

Sue Pam-Grant

Sue Pam-Grant
Cup Cakes 2007
assemblage, found objects
dimensions variable

Sue Pam-Grant at University of Johannesburg Art gallery

Established artist and theatre and television personality Sue Pam-Grant exhibits a body of work entitled 'Inner Lining' at the UJ Art Gallery in June. In this show she addresses the fragility of living through sculptural assemblages created from excavated objects.

Her quest to create has always been sparked by excavations - from Joubert Park to a municipal dump in Smithfield - digging for treasures, pulling out narratives, searching for new portraits in old stories. She explores the function of memory and how it evokes nostalgia for that which has passed, in the school child archetypes. It is in these forms that childhood vulnerability and idiosyncrasies are exposed and realised.

In finding the monologue in the found object, she engages in a dialogue that crisscrosses and intersects our interior world, in a visceral exchange, an enlivened conversation. Says Pam-Grant, 'Tactile narratives bearing our markings, our life scars, our unique identities, our line drawings deeply etched into our skin canvas, our inner linings.'

A lecture/walkabout will be hosted by the artist on Saturday June 9 at 10am. Call (011) 489 2556 to book.

Opens: June 6
Closes: June 27

Dark and Lovely

Dark and Lovely and Sybrand Wiechers at gordart Gallery

Michelle Harris, Same Mdluli, Musha Neluheni, Lerato Shadi and Mary Sibande present a group show at gordart Gallery during June. 'Dark and Lovely' , billed as 'one of the first to showcase young black female artists exclusively', deals in humour, cynicism, empathy and understanding of identity within a contemporary world and art context.

The exhibition will be opened by Pumla Dineo Gqola an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand 's School of Literature and Language whan occasional column for the Mail & Guardian.

In the second space, scupltor Sybrand Wiechers presents a show of new works entitled 'Just a Position'. Wiechers' show reveals a sensitivity to the space of the gallery, and also deals with personal themes.

Carl Roberts at Gallery on the Square

Sculptor Carl Roberts presents a show of work at the Gallery on the Square this month. Roberts works in the vein of automatic Surrealism in the sense that he trusts his subconscious to generate ideas, emphasising the magical, the accidental and the dreamlike. Roberts states 'Like the Rorschach (ink blot) test, the material often suggests images, and sometimes presents them in unusual ways. The images made depend ultimately upon what lies in the subconscious, elements of chance and the spirit of the times.'

Opens: May 30
Closes: June 23

Happy Dhlame

Happy Dhlame
The Bread of Christ 2006
mixed media
101.5 x 101.5cm

Happy Dhlame at the Johannesburg Art Gallery Project Room

Employing what JAG curator Khwezi Gule calls 'a counter-aesthetic aesthetic', Happy Dhlame creates works that draw attention to that which lies beneath the surfaces of the gadgets, buildings, macinery and furniture we use every day. Working with paintings and installation, Dhlame reminds us simultaneously of the fragility of the built environment and the transience of existence. Though seemingly playful, this approach operates on a metaphoric level to suggest aspects of our lives that often remain hidden, including memories. Dhlame's work also seeks to reference the many unskilled, underpaid workers of the cities that make comfortable life possible without participating in it.

Opens: April 25
Closes: July 1

Majak Bredell

Majak Bredell
Male Effigy 1985-86
mixed media on canvas

Majak Bredell at Fried Contemporary in Pretoria

Majak Bredell, resident in New York for about twenty years, returned to South Africa in 2002. This month she presents a show of work at Fried Contemporary in Pretoria, entitled �Majak Bredell, 2 Decades +�. This retrospective exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, which contains an introduction written by Fried Contemporary curator Dr Elfriede Dreyer. In it she states that Bredell �abundantly explores the complexities of her subject and manages to evoke a sense of fragility and transience in her depictions of being in the world.� Dreyer also observes that the work on display, which spans twenty years of artistic production, �articulates female experiences of differing disparities, but also transgresses the boundaries of patriarchy from the inside.�

Opens: May 12
Closes: June 2

Harold Rubin

Harold Rubin
Family I 2002
acrylic on paper

Harold Rubin at Goodman Gallery

Veteran South African artist Harold Rubin presents a show of new work at the Goodman Gallery entitled �Diary Pages�. The show comprises both large scale paintings and smaller works on paper based on pages from the diary that Rubin has been keeping since childhood. He describes creating these works as the result of �an urgency to make a mark that will take me into a process of discovery about�the human animal and our amazing spirit for survival.�

This exhibition will be accompanied by the documentary of a one hour film that will be partially filmed on this exhibition. The film, entitled �A Magnificent Failure�, tells the story of Harold Rubin's life and work. After more than 4 decades of artistic creation in Israel, the film follows Harold Rubin back to Johannesburg, the wellspring of his art. This is where he grew up as a man and artist; where he sneaked into Sophiatown to play jazz with the best, printed the �Sharpeville� drawings, and was finally put on trial for�an anti-establishment work called �My Jesus�. In a strange twist of events, this trial pushed Rubin out of South Africa and into Israel. The film�s director is Rubin's daughter, Jasmine Kainy, an Israeli film-maker who grew up on his stories of Johannesburg of the early 1960's. �The film will be on distribution after October 2007.

Opens: May 26
Closes: June 16

Roger Ballen

Dungamanzi/Stirring Waters
catalogue image

Dungamanzi/Stirring Waters at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

Dungamanzi/Stirring Waters� is the tipped as the first exhibition to comprehensively celebrate and showcase Tsonga and Shangaan art, called �some of South Africa�s finest heritage objects�. This show brings an awareness of the richness of creativity, innovation and the high degree of artistic skill in the Limpopo Province and surrounding regions. It represents a geographical and cultural segment of SA�s population that have been largely absent from museum and gallery displays. With the input of artist Billy Makhubele, who collected many of the treasured pieces � particularly the colourful sangoma items � this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue are believed to create a 'living' archive. In particular it presents the Makhubele family whose story is one of resilience and survival through the political turbulence of the late nineteenth century and the difficulties of the apartheid era. Their beaded art works form a permanent record of South African history over the past few decades and capture the joy of liberation after so much suffering.

The curators of the show are Nessa Leibhammer, curator of the traditional collections at the JAG; Natalie Knight, gallery owner and art collector who has researched Tsonga-Shangaan material over the last 30 years; and Billy Makhubele, an artist and experienced field researcher.

Aside form the full colour catalogue, an educational supplement and an accompanying DVD, written by Joni Brenner of Wits University, will be available free to under-resourced schools and art institutions. It is based on the school curriculum, and can be easily integrated into classroom syllabi.

Opens: May 13
Closes: August 19

New exhibitions at the Pretoria Art Museum

The Pretoria Art Museum is holding a number of shows in its various halls during this year. Until February this year is a 'Showcase of South African Art', with work arranged under the themes of portraiture, animals, interiors and landscapes. Works in various media form part of this show.

Also up, this time in the Albert Werth Hall, is an exhibition entitled 'Favourites from the Permanent Collection', catering to the varied tastes of the museum's visitors over the years. This show stays up until April 2007.

In the Henry Preiss Hall until May this year is a show of works from the Lady Michaelis Bequest. These works, donated in the 1930s, initially formed the core of the museum's permanent collection.

Until December this year is an exhibition of works from the museum's permanent collection under the title 'A Story of African Art'. The show tells 'a brief story of South African art from the time of the first San artists', including images from early 20th century painters, works from the period of Resistance art and 21st century contemporary works. This takes place in the museum's South Gallery.

Adding depth to this wide range of exhibitions is the travelling solo show by Andries Gouws, entitled 'Hiding Behind Simple Things', up until March 25. Gouws, an established Durban-based painter, lends an esoteric air to simple, everyday objects through the use of sensitive, highly considered lighting, a là Jan Vermeer.