Jack Shainman Gallery

Hope Chest Series

Zwelethu Mthethwa
Hope Chest Series, Photographic Print ,


Anton Kannemeyer
A Black Woman, Lithograph , 19 1/8 x 29 7/8 inches
Image courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery

SEE LISTING Installation View of Schreuders' 2007 exhibition 'The Fall'

Claudette Schreuders
Installation View of Schreuders' 2007 exhibition 'The Fall' , Wood and enamel paint ,
Image courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery


513 West 20th Street New York NY 10011


Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm


Zwelethu Mthethwa at Jack Shainman Gallery

Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce Zwelethu Mthethwa’ssixth solo exhibition with the gallery. The show will include photographs from three new series of work including 'The Brave Ones', 'Hope Chest' and 'The End of An Era'. Mthethwa, known for his large scale photographs, continues to engage the history of photographic portraiture with painterly composition, vibrant color and subjects with a commanding gaze.

The most recent series, 'Hope Ches't, explores the relationship between a woman and her prized object used to house valued possessions. The chests are gifted to a woman on the occasion of her marriage, stay with her throughout her life and are traditionally the last gift she will receive from her family before her new identity as a married woman is assumed. The object represents a psychological time capsule filled with goods specific to the woman’s life as it was, is, and is hoped to become. While the series is photographed in South Africa, the tradition of the 'Hope Chest' manifests itself cross culturally in varying forms. These portraits examine autonomy, ownership, gender and the relationship we cultivate with our belongings.

In the equally gender specific body of work, 'The Brave Ones', Mthethwa has photographed young men who are devotees of the Nazareth Baptist Church or Shembe. The subjects are separated from the implied ritual and situated within lush pictorial landscapes. Mthethwa’s interest lies less in the religious organization and remains focused on the role of the uniform in the construction and expression of male identity in this multilayered context. By picturing young men in a uniform of pleated skirts, button-down shirts, bowties, athletic socks and decorative headwear, as in the practices of the church itself, amalgamations of influences including the residue of colonialism come together in a patchwork that redefines the individual parts and acts to affirm its members as a collective body.

In 'The End of An Era', Mthethwa returns to the interior space, removing the human subject and examining the objects and ephemera left behind. The interiors are hostel rooms which house migrant workers traveling to Johannesburg and Durban from Mozambique and Zimbabwe in search of better wages. While drawing attention to socio-economic and political conditions, Mthethwa also focuses on the detailed still lifes that surround the workers and the manner in which they arrange their private spaces. Mthethwa’s full trajectory, whether of exterior vistas or intimate interiors, is anchored in a visual poetic and engagement with art history and the history of representation.

24 January 2013 - 23 February 2013

Anton Kannemeyer at Jack Shainman Gallery

It is no wonder that Kannemeyer’s art makes viewers uncomfortable about definitions of black and white, European and African. He paints post-colonial Africans as the hell-bent illegitimate children of violent historical rape, both victims and perpetrators. He implicitly asks how the clear-cut categories and neat names expressed by political correctness could accurately describe the violent mess that has spawned the likes of Apartheid, Idi Amin, and the genocide in Rwanda. On the other side, he confronts the affluent South African suburbia where Western luxuries are lined with apocalyptic fear and xenophobia.
Savage indignation about bigotry and the abuse of power has always been at the core of Kannemeyer’s work, but the point of departure was not that of the concerned citizen or philanthropist. His scathing and often self-effacing art comes from an ambiguous and darkly personal place. It does not have any pretense to a God’s-eye view, but frequently places the artist within his own twisted sociopolitical landscape.
Kannemeyer has, however, broadened his satirical scope significantly in recent years. After meticulously drawing the anatomy of white fear and loathing, he started wrestling with the social issues plaguing his own country and the continent as a whole. His latest work urges one to look again at imperialism and the racial and cultural identity that has become synonymous with post-apartheid South Africa.

13 October 2011 - 12 November 2011

Claudette Schreuders at Jack Shainman Gallery

'Close, Close' is a continuation of a narrative that began with 'The Fall', an earlier group of work exploring the trajectory of a couple’s relationship using biblical imagery. 'Close, Close' continues the couple’s story by delving into the complexities of family life. Where Schreuders’ work previously consisted mostly of single figures, these sculptures predominantly include two or more figures carved from a single block of wood. In Eclipse a mother holds up her baby so that he can see and be seen, obscuring herself from the viewer. In One a father considers with both love and detachment an infant grasping his legs. The vein connecting these works is the idea of the individual being threatened by the very thing he or she desires. For Schreuders, the craving for children and motherhood holds many of these contradictions.  Schreuders calls upon family photographs and literature as source material, exploring her personal experience as a white descendent of colonial settlers in apartheid-era South Africa. While many of the works in 'Close, Close' plumb the depths of individual emotion, Schreuders also approaches the realities of South African racial relationships and the way they permeate family life, as in Abba, where a black woman carries a white baby on her back.

17 March 2011 - 16 April 2011