Johannesburg Art Gallery

The Foundation Collection of the Johannesburg Art Gallery

Various Artists
The Foundation Collection of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Exhibition Invitation ,

SEE LISTING Blindfolded Line Dancing through Time

Liza Grobler
Blindfolded Line Dancing through Time, Performance ,

SEE LISTING Another Country

Reiner Leist
Another Country, Invitation image ,


Stephen Hobbs
Jag Snag, Intervention ,

SEE LISTING Johannesburg Art Gallery

Johannesburg Art Gallery, Digital image ,


King George Street, between Wolmarans and Noord Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg

Hours: Hours: Mon - Sun 10am - 5pm


Various Artists at Johannesburg Art Gallery

The magnificent foundation collection assembled by Sir Hugh Lane for the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) has been reassembled in its original home for the first time in many decades, to huge anticipation.  The exhibition will be held from 14 September 2014 until February 2015.  The most celebrated art collection of the 20th century in South Africa was established in 1910 by Sir Hugh Lane, as advisor to Lady Phillips, the founder of JAG and wife of the mining-magnate, Sir Lionel Phillips. ? 

The JAG foundation collection is the largest art collection created by Sir Hugh Percy Lane (born 6 November 1875, Cork, Ireland – died 7 May 1915, at sea off the Cork coast), a renowned art collector, dealer and connoisseur of Old Master paintings. . JAG is the second modern art collection put together by Lane, after he had collected works for the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, now known as the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, which opened in 1908. Thereafter Lane fashioned his third collection, the Michaelis Collection in Cape Town in 1914, consisting of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings. ? 

Lane was one of the most important curators of his time because he was the first to curate displays showing the development of modern British art and the earliest to collect French Impressionist paintings for British public collections.  He was knighted for his services to Irish art in 1909 and is renowned for his contested Lane Bequest of 39 French Impressionist paintings to the National Gallery in London. ? 

Lane first met Lady Phillips in 1909, after which she attempted to find suitable accommodation for the planned foundation collection.  Lane was responsible for curating and mounting the foundation collection’s first exhibition at JAG, and also for producing its first accompanying catalogue, dated 1910.  Sadly he drowned with others on board the RMS Lusitania, off the Cork coast, after the Germans torpedoed it.   ? 

JAG’s foundation collection includes primarily works in different media by famous British and French 19th century artists, as well as by some lesser-known European artists.  Famous names in the collection include Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Dame Laura Knight, Sir John Everett Millais, Henry Moore, Sir David Wilkie, Augustus John, and Alfred Sisley, amongst many others.     ? 

The Hugh Lane Collection exhibition will recreate the foundation collection’s original splendour and will act as inspiration to all those who admire art.  It will be exhibited at JAG accompanied by a facsimile copy of the original 1910 illustrated catalogue, with Lane’s Prefatory Notice.

14 September 2014 - 28 February 2015

Liza Grobler at Johannesburg Art Gallery

The moment a point is set in motion, a line is created. This line multiplied, creates a web or a network that constructs images or connects objects, people and places.

Line is a basic element of traditional image making. When multiplied on a flat surface, it creates shape and once freed from the picture plane, it can construct 3 dimensional form. In the medical profession it results in graphs that demonstrate invisible occurrences such as internal body rhythms – thereby signaling the presence or absence of life. In science, line represents trajectories and progressions, thus suggesting cause and effect over time. Line therefore maps routes and connects things across space and time.

'Blindfolded Line, Dancing through Time' is a site-specific mixed media installation and a playful investigation of the dichotomy that exist between inner and outer landscape. The 'blindfolded line' suggests the creative process as an ongoing journey: a continuous exploration driven by free association, inadvertent connections, interdisciplinary collaboration and repetitive actions. Whereas this exhibition is on the one hand an attempt to visually manifest the above points, it is more importantly an exploration of the creative process itself; a search, in the manner of many an explorer: With blind faith and vague direction. The line strives to dance, but mostly stumbles ahead into unknown territories. As with most explorations the outcome is often a surprise

27 July 2014 - 09 November 2014

Reiner Leist at Johannesburg Art Gallery

Photographer Reiner Leist emigrated from West Germany to South Africa in 1988, where he stayed until he took up residence in the United States in 1994. During his time in South Africa – which constituted a significant period of transition to democracy – he started taking portraits of ordinary and extraordinary South Africans. Fifteen years later Leist returned in search of these individuals to take a second set of images for the photographic essay ‘Another Country’.

According to the artist: 'Since 1988, more than 200 South Africans have shared their perspectives on the country and their personal histories with me. These narratives have had a large impact on my view of the world, and influenced me in my professional capacity. In 1993, one year before the nation’s first democratic elections, the participants were invited to collaborate with me in the publication ‘South Africa: Blue Portraits’ which was published in the same year. Each person was asked to choose a background for a portrait in black and white; 73 of these were included in the final publication. In 2009 I began to revisit the participants in order to find out how their living circumstances had changed since our last discussion sixteen years ago, through the lens of the original photographs. The new narratives form the content and the inspiration for ‘Another Country’, the follow up publication. In ‘Another Country’, black-and-white portraits are followed by new colour portraits of the participants or, in some cases, of surviving sons or daughters, a grandson, a new bearer of an office or position, or a visitor to the same site. The images are accompanied by edited versions of new interviews. In the editing process, I tried to preserve a sense of the words as spoken, and to offer the reader an experience as listener, in a bound collection of the visual and verbal stories of many of my teachers. I remain a student of their humanity and of the South African landscape.'

‘Another Country’, is published by Jacana and accompanies the exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

18 April 2014 - 13 July 2014

Stephen Hobbs at Johannesburg Art Gallery

Following 3 years of research and discussion, with Chief Curator, Antoinette Murdoch, into the historical and physical properties of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Stephen Hobbs will present a series of small, medium and large scale architectonic responses to the Meyer/ Pienaar Gallery - extension. 

Given that this part of the Johannesburg Art Gallery has been closed until major renovationstake place, Stephen Hobbs’s intervention into the building will evolve over a 4-month period, with a series of project milestones advertised at various points, to highlight the research and nature of the work. 

Through a combination of collapsed exhibition screens, structural props and special lighting; the installation will suggest alternative spatial design possibilities for the gallery. 

Additional exhibits about the 100 year life of the gallery, its various heritage attributes, important art historical references and so on, will engage existing and new audiences with the significance of the building and the role it has played in promoting art and culture in the city. 

The Jag Snag project originates from Antoinette Murdoch’s sustained efforts to improve the gallery’s built condition as the original Lutyens building reaches its centenary in 2015.

For exhibition information please contact Tiny Malefane at

King George St, between Woolmarans & Noort St, Joubert Park, Johannesburg

T: +27 (011) 725 3130/ 3152. Secure parking is available

16 March 2014 - 27 July 2014

Various Artists at Johannesburg Art Gallery

Conversations is an exhibition which explores the role of applied arts that form part of the Johannesburg Art Gallery collection. Whilst this exhibition consists of many of the decorative arts which form part of the collection, the selection of the objects was aimed at bringing to light the seldom seen furniture collection.

Often the obligation of furniture is to hold bums and elbows while sipping tea, wrench beer, business meetings and where gossip is shared. In the gallery, the furniture is not filled with warm bodies, the viewer starts looking at the table, chair, armoire and chaises as art pieces, seeing as the pieces were dreamt up and designed by well-known artists, architects and artisans. Questions arise about the so-called decorative arts, in this case also including some of the exquisite lace collection of the gallery. While backdrops are created for many of these social (or not so social) settings, sometimes in harmony and other times in contrast, the intention is for the various elements and the viewer to have conversations with one another, a chore not unusual for the gallery dweller. 


Participating artists include: Albert Adams, Marc Edwards, Albert Munyai, Anthony Caro, Beverley Price, Charles Rennie MacIntosh, Charles-Edouard-Jeanneret Le Corbusier, Claudette Schreuders, Clive Van den Berg, Elizabeth Margaret Vels, Fred Page,  Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Jacques Coetzer, Jan Schoeman (Outa Lappies), Jeremy Wafer, Johannes Frederik Potgieter, Johannes Phokela, Keith Dietrich, Luan Nel, Moses Seleko, Nandipha Mntambo, Penny Siopis, Peter Bernd Schutz, Richard Hamilton, Robert Griffith Hodgins, Sam Nhlengethwa , Zwelethu Mthethwa, Sandile Zulu, Steven Cohen.

03 December 2013 - 11 May 2014