Speaking to Clive van den Berg at Spier in December last year, he said an
interesting thing about Andrew Putter’s award-winning Secretly I Will
Love You More
. Van Den Berg asserted the work’s importance because, he
said, it shifted the emotional register of much SA contemporary art,
especially work that dealt with race-based issues, into one of tenderness
rather than the more frequently-plumbed depths of prejudice, guilt and
recrimination. This month, our ARTBIO
focuses on Putter’s career to date,
rightfully inserting him into our mini-pantheon.
The downside of Charles
Saatchi’s seemingly endless series of ‘The Triumph of Painting’ shows is,
of course, that the discipline becomes somewhat artificially separated
from other forms of contemporary practice. Locally, and on a much smaller
scale, the mercurial Robert Sloon curates a show of painting at
Whatiftheworld. On ArtHeat, Sloon states that ‘Painting tends to be hemmed
in and misunderstood both by a conservative mainstream and by other
artists who see themselves as conceptual’. One wonders whether creating
yet another ‘Special Olympics’ for painting is the way to remedy
Speaking of painting, Capetonian Andrzej Nowicki is the subject of
a solo up Jozi, at David Krut Projects. One unnamed observer called
Nowicki’s works ‘fun-sized Neo Rauchs’. You be the judge.
occasional STUDENT REVIEWS section, Lauren Reid looks at Ernest Cole's
'Chronicler of the House of Bondage', at Iziko SANG. This is quite a sharp
piece of writing, which will hopefully serve as a bit of a challenge to
other student writers out there. Stop debating Lacan over lattés or
Baudrillard over bagels, and get scribbling! We want your rants solidified
into typed words. ArtThrob would especially appreciate reviews of smaller,
possibly entry level shows that you think the SA art scene should know
At ArtThrob we hope the well-heeled amongst you are saving some
of that green for the Joburg Art Fair, which is now little more than a
month away. Also, check out the reciprocal link between Joburg Art Fair’s
site and ours.
NEXT UPDATE: March 2.
Having endured Blue Monday, it should come as no surprise that February's
offerings are underpinned by rather morose themes. The prodigious Diane
Victor explores a topography of fear and paranoia at Goodman Gallery Cape,
whilst Lyndi Sales continues to contemplate death at the Bell-Roberts.
Elsewhere Artheat editor Robert Sloon turns curator with 'Fresh Meat', an
exhibition of contemporary painting.
Jo'burg slowly gets back up to speed with a show of work by African and
Diaspora artists, including Rotimi Fani-Kayodé, Moshekwa Langa and
Lorna Simpson, at the Goodman Gallery. David Brodie's Art Extra presents
'The Trickster' featuring Alan Alborough, Nandipha Mntambo, Anthea Moys
and Kathryn Smith amongst others, while Capetonian Andrzej Nowicki shows
at David Krut Projects.
The KZNSA presents a solo exhibition by Michael MacGarry who, although
based in Johannesburg is a Durbanite, and this is his first major showing
in the city. The opening will present an opportunity for performance as it
is teamed with the 'Isis X' group and the gallery walls have already been
painted by well-known rapper and graffiti artist Ewok, who will be part of
the evening's performances. Paul Weinberg's exhibitions are always a
highlight, and the Durban Art Gallery's show 'Then and Now', which
features both his own and others' work, promises not to disappoint.
Kyle Kauffmann presents a range of South African artists on 'Regeneration'
in New York. SAarts Emerging exhibits on 'Project(or)' at the Rotterdam
Art Fair and Nathaniel Stern presents virtual prints on 'Second Life'.
'Scratches on the Face', featuring work from Iziko SANG's collection,
moves to Mumbai in India.
Editor Michael Smith addresses City Press art journalist Carl
Collison's relentless critique of artist and ArtThrob writer Ed Young's
recent (November 2007) work in Miami, concluding that his ill-informed and
factually inaccurate opinion falls victim to the same reductionism of
which he accuses Young.
Carol Brown interviews Henrietta Hamilton, co-owner and director of
Durban's Bank Gallery.
In 'Intersections Intersected', acclaimed photographer David Goldblatt
juxtaposes pre- and post-apartheid images. Often this allows viewers to
reflect on the changes our country has undergone, but sometimes a more
fluid interpretation of the twinned images is called for. Clearly
underlying all of this is a steady cynicism of dominant political power
and a critical dissection of the values people impose, endure and
negotiate. Tavish McIntosh reviews. On occasion of John Bauer's
exhibition at art. b, Lloyd Pollack visited the ceramic artist. Here he
describes the universe and cosmology this apparent 'Outsider' has created,
reflecting on the reasons for his retreat into the world he creates and
the work that necessitates its existence.
In reviewing the Jacki McInnes-curated 'A Legacy of Men' at the JAG,
Anthea Buys suggests that a 'morally outspoken project such as this one
treads a precarious line between providing viewers with a contemplative
space or provoking them to act (or refrain from acting) in a certain way'.
She questions the success of pitching a show such as this only at a
Gallery-going audience. Michael Smith reviews Allison Kearney and Emily
Stainer's joint showing at the Goodman Gallery, concluding that although
'there was much there, both visually and conceptually, to stimulate
initial debate and sustain further exploration, one's sense of the bodies
of work that made up the show is that it represent steps towards bigger
things rather than great stuff in its own right'.
AVA Director Kirsty Cockerill visited 'Light Show' at Bank Gallery in
Durban. South Africa's current energy crisis throws the show's theme into
deep relief as works by Jeremy Wafer, Siemon Allen and others interrogate
the exhibition's premise in an intelligent, relevant and evocative
Lauren Reid reviews Ernest Cole's 'Chronicler of the House of Bondage' at
Iziko SANG, which, while doing great justice to the images he produced in
the early 60s in South Africa, does little to flesh out his entire life as
a professional photographer.
The Michael Stevenson Gallery is set to move to Woodstock. The Joburg Art
Fair opens next month in Johannesburg, as Carol Brown reports, and it
looks set to capitalise on a booming art market, as Rat Western
investigates. Also in Johannesburg, 'Marlene Dumas: Intimate Relations'
opens at the Standard Bank Gallery.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Ed Young facilitates.
Sue Williamson profiles Andrew Putter, who won one of the prizes at the
inaugural Spier Contemporary late last year with his extraordinary
Secretly I will love you more.
Ed Young visits the competition - Art South Africa online.
In a rather busy month for Exchange, the Goodman Gallery Cape seeks a Store
Supervisor and Greatmore Studios presents a workshop. The Arts and Culture
Trust invites enquiries towards applications, and there are studio and
residential spaces available in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
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Next print up will be from Lisa Brice. Watch this space for her stunning new print, made especially for ArtThrob.
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