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Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art and South African Fine Wine including Important South African Art from the Property of a Collector and from the Property of a Pretoria Collector 26 - 28 July 2020 +27 11 728 8246 | jhb@straussart.co.za | www.straussart.co.za Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Bosveld (detail)

R9 000 000 – 12 000 000


Modern & Contemporary Art


PRIVATE SALES View a selection of works available for private purchase on our website

visit www.aspireart.net

Gerard Sekoto, In the Beer Hall, 1939/40 Estimate: ZAR 1 500 000 – 2 000 000


CONTENTS Cover: Jenny Parsons, Solid, oil on canvas, 65 x 50cm RK Contemporary

10 CONSOLATION M.O.L 9: Ashraf Jamal 14 NEONISM - ALDO BALDING By Lloyd Pollack   20 LEY MBORAMWE Using colour and form as a tool for memory and future generations 26 ‘SANGOMA’ BONE SCULPTURES Pitika Ntuli’s exhibition debuts at virtual National Arts Festival   32 JENNY PARSONS - GROUNDED The garden as a physical and a symbolic place of refuge   38 THREAD - AN ETYMOLOGICAL MASH-UP By Linda Pyke 44 SETHEMBISO ZULU - IKAYA LIKAMOYA THAT WHICH BINDS US / UKUNXUSA    48 BUSINESS ART Fine Art Auction highlights and results 82 ARTGO July 2020 Exhibition Highlights Aldo Balding, Neon Rose, 60 x 50cm Christopher Moller Art Gallery


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From the Editor


t is an awful fact that sometimes it takes a disaster to drive progress. In the last 2 months we have seen locally dominant auction houses grow in their international reach to command incredible international sales results for local art. In turn, many savvy galleries have reported good online international sales. It seems that the internet has saved the day for the survival of quality local art sold internationally.The real hero during this lock down seems to be the Internet. Imagine trying to sell art during the last horrific 1918 Spanish flu pandemic by means of written and stamped correspondence. Now that pretty much all art fairs are cancelled for most of 2020, I guess the feeling is, what is the new normal? It is no mistake that humans are great at adapting. I believe that after 30 years in this game it is about attitude, as much as resources. I believe that although galleries were struggling before the lockdown, many have kept a great relationship between their artists and clients by handling the online sale of artworks. It is a great pleasure to go to a gallery and see the work, and read this printed word in one’s hands. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but ultimately, I can’t wait to go to a gallery and touch an artwork and read and smell the ink of a physical art magazine. It will be pure magic. Lastly, I would like to thank all our readers and galleries for supporting us through this trying period. Thank you for your belief and support which has really given us so much inspiration.


CONTACT ART TIMES Tel: +27 21 300 5888 109 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town PUBLISHER Gabriel Clark-Brown editor@arttimes.co.za ADVERTISING & MARKETING Eugene Fisher sales@arttimes.co.za DIGITAL MEDIA & EXHIBITION LISTINGS Jan Croft subs@arttimes.co.za ON THE KEYS Brendan Body

Gabriel Clark-Brown

ARTGO CONTENT info@artgo.co.za




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Mr Brainwash | RESCUE MONA LISA (PINK) | Estimate R 22 000 - R 30 000

Cape Town Auction | 28 & 29 July Fine Art, Decorative Arts, Books, Furniture, Silverware, Militaria, Fine Jewellery, Watches & Designer Handbags Preview and register on www.swelco.co.za or contact us for updated information on 021 794 6461 or email info@swelco.co.za


By Ashraf Jamal

Alone, in an artist’s residency in Richmond in the Northern Karoo, I see a painting of a Shaolin monk. The eyes are closed, the shaven head faintly bowed. The mouth conveys a delicate smile. Is this the inclination of all faces at peace – that they smile? Or is this simply an involuntary characteristic, something that faces do. I am inclined to believe that the monk is smiling, though not for good reason, if, as they say, reason plays no part in the business and ritual of prayer. But there he is, smiling ever so slightly. The painting, in pencil, Japanese ink, and watercolour, is by Tracy Payne. It is one of a series, perhaps her most enduring and most loved, titled ‘Sacred Yang’. In Chinese philosophy it is considered ‘the active male principle of the universe’ and associated with ‘heaven, heat, and light’. However, if gender plays a key role, I am not sure if it as cut and dried in Payne’s world. True, the masculine principle drives this series. For Payne, however, gender is fluid. What drew her to paint the monks – from stills taken from a documentary – was their softness and strength. The monks are Kungfu martial artists, yet they are as sleekly sprung as otters. They possess qualities both masculine and feminine. Looking at her monk on that still and quiet Karoo night, lamplit, lit from within, it is the delicacy of the whole that draws me. Payne uses an overhead projector to trace the contours in pencil. She then works with ink and watercolour, which allow more for a pooling than a configuration. The artist’s relationship with fluidity runs deep. Watercolour and Japanese ink are ‘uncontrollable’ she says, and yet they can be ‘controlled’. This is


only possible when ‘becoming one’ with the brush, ‘one’ with the flow of ink. Payne speaks of painting as a ‘meditation’, ‘a single pointed focus’. Prayer and ritual are not only the theme, it is Payne’s condition for making art. While drawn to art’s ability to copy a ‘real world’, Payne is more compelled by what remains inscrutable – love, calm, stillness, prayer. We are well supplied with symbols through which to recognise these states, however, it is not the artist’s intention to guide us thither with any pre-set spiritual compass. We are beckoned unaided. There, in that limpid pool we find ourselves. In an art world jaded and wounded, in which spirituality goes largely unheeded, Payne crosses a strait. She gives us what we most yearn for and rarely find – consolation. Contemplation is the key. But what are contemplating? The face we see, what it contains? Embodies? If the mood is inward, what of the trails of ink and watercolour that run along the soft contours of the monk’s face like rain, mascara, from his closed eyes? Is it there, along a human contour, that the inner and outer worlds meet? Or, is it there that they remain forever separate? Is Payne telling us that art is but artifice, that what we most seek – inner peace – cannot be communicated through art? That art stands at the frontier of a possibility, forever removed from what it yearns for most – truth, love, salvation? There is the artist’s skill. There is the hope she affords us. They are not one and the same, and yet, together, they form a promise. Hers is an invocation. The faces of her monks – the one I see before me – beckons. We go inward as we move outward, as we start to reach.

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I am reminded of my favourite poem, ‘Corsons Inlet’ by A. R. Ammons. Walking along the beach the poet notices how by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek to undercreek: but there are no lines, though change in the transition is clear as any sharpness: but “sharpness” spread out, allowed to occur over a wider range than mental lines can keep

Tracy Payne, Smiling and Crying. Previous Page: Downward looking monk.

“Payne tells me that we need not fear, that we can sense, if never truly know, the undivided divinity within us.” The project is therapeutic. Payne offers us what art rarely provides – grace. On that quiet lone Karoo night, Payne tells me that we need not fear, that we can sense, if never truly know, the undivided divinity within us. Despite all our sorrows, all our failings, we can reach, even touch, the face of grace. Is this not what we avidly seek in the faces of others, in our own, despite all our cynical disregard, our doubt, our gnashing gnawing pain? Consolation? There, in that lamplit face, in that shadowed room, I stood and looked, and thought I saw a grace that otherwise eluded me. There, I found warmth, there, I was becalmed. We are light. We are divine.


It is this apprehension that comes to me on looking at Payne’s monk. The marks or transitions are clear, but it is what they intuit that is the greater goal – a ‘”sharpness” spread out’. There are no lines in nature, Ammons’ reminds us, it is we who place them there. For Payne the line is her point of departure. The goal – the spirit plane – may seem unreachable, but this is only so if we refuse to overcome the limitation that we impose upon ourselves. If Payne’s paintings tell us anything, it is that we can, and must, surpass ourselves. Sfumato is a source of inspiration. Preoccupied with softened colour transitions – from creek to undercreek – Sfumato is the technique used to compose the most famous of all paintings, which is also of a human face. Leonardo da Vinci, its author, describes Sfumato as painting ‘without lines or border, in the manner of smoke or beyond the focus plane’. Something similar occurs in the painting of the Shaolin monk. Payne, however, is not concerned with wholly smoothing out the contours of her face, or with setting it apart from the medium and technique she applies. There is the smokiness one finds in Sfumato, but there is also something else, less manufactured, more natural, which Ammons also sees: ‘the possibility of rule as the sum of / rulelessness: / the “field” of action / with moving, incalculable centre’. If nature is divine, then it is incalculably so. The spirit world which Payne conjures with pencil, Japanese ink, and watercolour, cannot be contained. It exists ‘beyond the focus plane’. The sanctum she gifts us possesses no walls. Grace is groundless. It is boundless. As is the face … an infinite and inscrutable aperture … a consolation for the unconsoled.

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Neonism. Aldo Balding Opens Friday 3 July www.christophermollerart.co.za; @christophermoller_gallery

NEONISM ALDO BALDING Christopher Moller Gallery christophermollerart.co.za By Lloyd Pollack


ictionaries’ define Neonism as a freshly coined word, a neologism, and Aldo employs it to emphasize the innovativeness of his work and differentiate it from his previous output. The suffix ‘ism’ implies a new avant-gardist movement like Fauvism or Expressionism. The ‘Neo’, as in Neo-classicism, designates a revival of a previous historical style, and here the tell-tale word neon, conveys a return to the nocturnal world of brilliant artificial light that ignites so spectacularly in Degas and Edward Hopper.

Although a few paintings are tender, romantic and imply a felicitous consummation, Aldo generally deals with the rough and tumble of contemporary sex and the disappearance of the old rituals of courtship, romance and gallantry that brought out the best in lovers. He sets the scene in modish nightspots, chic cocktail bars or discotheques where people congregate in search of love, fulfilment and romance. Only rarely does the dream come true, and thus Aldo’s principal theme becomes the pick-up and the one-night stand. He is the laureate of loveless, erotic engagements and the loneliness, emptiness and alienation they leave in their wake. Everyone longs for love and commitment, but usually these rapturous expectations are cruelly dashed, and it is this irreparable loss that Aldo’s paintings so poignantly lament.

Los Caracoles IV, 90 x 120 cm


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Above: Red Streets, 60x50cm Opposite Page: Plugged Bar, 60x50cm

There is a complete dissonance between Aldo’s style and his subject-matter. The artist adores completely immersive lighting effects in which the tinctured illumination casts its magical glow over everything within the picture space, unifying the image. His slightly off-focus technique further enhances the seductive effect by suppressing line and replacing absolute clarity of definition with a melting fondant quality in which all is soft, smooth, sheer and as irresistibly tactile as silk or chiffon. Silhouettes and contours dissolve, harsh binding lines vanish and yield to caressingly soft and fuzzy forms so that Aldo’s often blunt sexual realism is off-set by

ethereal, lyrical poetry. The canvases brim with this mercurial blur and a sparkling haze of shimmer, gleam and glow transmute his urban nocturnes into fairylands of dazzle and radiant light. Aldo’s imprimatur is his obsession with tonalism and the dynamic interplay between colour, light, reflections and highlights. Tonalism describes painting in which the principal aesthetic effect is produced not by a variety of different colours, but rather by exploiting subtle variations of tone in a single colour, or a limited range of very few colours. Balding floods the picture space in overall,

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Above: Fluorescence, 60x50cm Opposite Page: Halogen Passage, 60x50cm

misty, colour tones, but instead of employing the dark, neutral greys, browns and blues dear to traditional tonalists, Aldo often hypes up his colour, and embraces hectic, strident and rasping hues with an edgy quality that induce the subliminal disquiet that underscores so many of his paintings where the mood is one of misgiving and unease. Aldo’s paintings pivot around flirtation and depict amorous Romeos hopefully making overtures to lovely women. What will happen next? All Aldo‘s paintings ask precisely the same question. Unresolved suspense and frustrated curiosity are their very essence. Every painting is a puzzle that challenges us to figure out exactly what is happening. We engross ourselves in rapt conjecture and detection, but the facts are withheld, the evidence is lacking. The artist always portrays


the before, and not the after, the prelude but not the climax, so the narratives remain teasingly open-ended and forever unresolved. Aldo’s pictorial construction too is riddled with logical contradictions and irrational paradoxes that further unsettle the viewer, suggesting that something is amiss and not quite what it seems. But the artist supplies no answers, and it is this uncertainty that orchestrates tension and suspense and confers such a haunting and unforgettable quality upon Balding’s imagery which continues to mentally reverberate, provoking lingering speculation and supposition long after we have last clapped eyes upon it. His paintings vigorously stake out a lasting place in our memories and imagination, and is there any surer sign of great art?

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LEY MBORAMWE Using colour and form as a tool

for memory and future generations Eclectica Contemporary eclecticacontemporary.co.za

The bold and energetic colours of Ley Mboramwe’s canvases have become characteristic of the artist’s work, expressing a dynamism and vibrancy that pulsates off the picture plane. Mboramwe’s paintings incite movement, a shifting, jittering and flowing drive of colour and shapes that call towards celebration, urgency and recognition of the figures and themes he presents. Born in Kinshasa, Ley Mboramwe grew up there and went on to study at the Academie des Beaux Arts, known for its rich legacy of artists and cultural workers. Since moving to Cape Town, his work has evolved and he has focused on painting. Having previously trained in stone carving, calligraphy and performance art – his current work is imbued with these varied art practices and the traditions he immerses himself in. Mboramwe’s vigorous burst of lines and colours on canvas activate a kind of energy within the room that calls for attention. As he has both celebrated and grappled with his memories and experiences of the Congo, and the journeys he has taken since, his paintings become a site of processing and reflection on his childhood in the country and the landscape he has had to leave behind. Mboramwe creates a conversation about the journeys he has embarked on, expressed through his work and the dynamics illustrated through the play of abstraction in figurative images. His participation in group exhibitions, art fairs and solo exhibitions over the past four years has traced his creative trajectory from primary colours and monotones, to vast spectrums of colours and vibrancy. Viewing his art encompasses an experience of witnessing the passion of the artist, seeing how the drive to create is so strong that his own excitement takes over his mark making and, as such, the experience of painting becomes mirrored in the viewing too. Kingakati 957, 2019 acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120


Ya Kokamwa, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm 22

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Voice of Congolese, 2019 acrylic on canvas 120 x 120 cm

Atandele, 2018, acrylic on canvass, 110 x 110 cm

(Detail) No More Power, 2018, acrylic on canvass, 110 x 110 cm

Tied into the loose mark making across his pieces is an engaged and subliminal messaging that calls into question the understandings we have about the countries and their languages that neighbor us on this continent. By pointing to politically engaged clues and linguistic signifiers his titles like No More Power and Kingakati 957, puzzle pieces are presented to the viewer that hint to the majestic estates occupied by former Congolese heads of state and the power battles that have occurred in the country’s history. Throughout the lockdown in South Africa, Mboramwe has continued working and finding ways to reflect through his painting. He uses his work to reflect on and remain aware of current social and political circumstances, while not forgetting the socio-political influences of the past. He says, “On the positive aspect, working in isolation has helped in that I have had enough time to think broadly on how to best be creative. It has created a large vacuum of ideas and thoughts on how to best make use of my canvases”. Finding ways to interact and stay active as an artist has pushed him to reflect more on portraiture and ways to capture


moods, expressions and forefront the emotions people are currently going through. “I am working on pieces to do with day to day life especially in the times of this current lockdown”, he explains. Using what happens around him as stimuli, Mboramwe creates a sense of emotional drive and connection both personally and conceptually through his paintings. He demonstrates an eagerness to share and command his own narrative through his work. Present in the forms depicted and in his titling, Mboramwe locates his paintings in a conversation around nationhood, belonging and experience. The vibrancy of his colour palette and the bold movement expression on his canvases offer a tool for engagement through abstraction and emotion. His understanding of the role of artists in society is “to solely create awareness to the public through the use of different media”. Specifically, he explains that “this is important, as it serves as a permanent tool for future generations to learn and make use of the message depicted”.

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Continuing until 31 July +27214224145 | 69 Burg Street | info@eclecticacontemporary.co.za www.eclecticacontemporary.co.za

‘SANGOMA’ BONE SCULPTURES TEST DIGITAL AND ART REALMS Pitika Ntuli’s exhibition debuts at virtual National Arts Festival Curated by Ruzy Rusike themelrosegallery.com

Pitika Ntuli poses with one of his large sculptures. Image courtesy Pitika Ntuli studio. 26

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ixed definitions of ‘contemporary’ and ‘primitive art’ have haunted African art history. Launching on June 25 at the National Arts Festival,  Pitika Ntuli’s novel exhibition Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source), presenting 45 bone sculptures (each with their own praise song) will challenge and test these terms and how art can be enjoyed virtually.  

Ntuli’s chosen material, animal bones, and approach – that of a Sangoma allowing the material to guide him – invokes ancient African indigenous and spiritual knowledge systems. However, the viewer’s engagement with the sculptures will take place virtually on a multimedia platform, where images of them will be seamlessly paired with words, songs and voices. The words and voices of Sibongile Khumalo, Simphiwe Dana, Zolani Mahola, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Gcina Mhlophe, Napo Masheane and other respected musicians, poets and writers, can be heard  and read, while viewing wraparound footage exploring the details of the haunting animal bone sculptures. This makes for an unforgettable visual and audio experience.  The first of its kind, it has been produced and conceived by The Melrose Gallery, Ntuli and curator Ruzy Rusike. It was motivated by the limits Covid-19 and social distancing have placed not only on South Africa’s annual art festival but the viewing of art in person. As a proclaimed healer, Ntuli aims to use the animal bones to explore and ‘treat’ contemporary problems; from issues plaguing the state of the nation to the strife caused by Covid-19.  The eighty-year-old artist has been circling pertinent issues as an academic, writer, activist and teacher but as the title of the exhibition suggests, he is returning to ‘the source’ of his expression.  In turn he is encouraging society to return to the ‘source’ of African spiritualism and knowledge as the means of resolving corruption, greed, slavery and poverty. Above all, the bone sculptures –a result of Ntuli teasing out human features from the animal skeletons – articulate his desire for humankind to reconnect with nature.  

Left: Horny I rise to kiss the stars of love, is the cheeky title for bone sculpture Ntuli has produced for the now virtual National Arts Festival. Right: In Thohoyandou’s Dream, the award-winning Pikita Nutli coaxes out a human face from animal bones. This is one of 45 sculptures, paired with praise-songs, on the virtual exhibition Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source).


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“I do not copy nor work like nature. I work with nature. Bones are vital, as in imbued with life, and it this life that they possess that possesses me when I work. We are partners. Bones, like wood, have definite forms to work with. I do not oppose their internal and external directions, I externalise their inherent shapes to capture the beauty and the truth embedded in them, in other words I empower the bones to attain their own ideal,” observes Ntuli.   Given the novel sculptures and haunting anthropomorphic shapes and Ntuli’s standing as a respected artist, activist and academic – he was awarded the lifetime achiever award in 2013 by the Arts & Culture Trust – Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source) was expected to be one of the main highlights on the visual arts programme at the National Arts Festival, which usually takes place in Grahamstown. When it was announced the festival would have to transform into a virtual one, the Melrose gallery, Rusike and Ntuli worked at delivering more than just a gallery of images of sculptures. Pitika turned to his contemporaries,   inviting 33 thought and creative leaders – which also include Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Homi Bhabha, Albie Sachs, Shado Twala, Ari Sitas,  Nduduzo Makhathini, Ela Gandhi, Buti Manamela, Kwesi Owusu and Lallitha Jawahirilal -  to engage with his art, contributing poems, songs, thought notes, essays and dialogues to compliment the sculptures in the online viewing room.    It is anticipated that these ‘artistic replies’ will greatly enrich the viewers’ experience of the exhibition. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic which is impacting so profoundly it is likely some of the responses will contribute to ongoing discussions and debates about healing. 

Azibuyele Emasisweni, (Return to the Source) was opened on June 25 by Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor at 6.30pm. It will run until August 2. The exhibition can be viewed on www.themelrosegallery.com and other content on www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

“Bones have a special potency and subtle spiritual energies; their endurance is legendary. We know who we are, and where we come from as a result of studying bone fossils. Bones are the evidence that we were alive 3.5 million years ago, and they are carriers of our memories,” says Ntuli. 

Collaborators: The high profile list of collaborators includes the Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Homi Bhabha, Don Mattera, the Deputy Minister of Education Buti Manamela, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Shaheen Merali, Gcina Mhlophe, Sibongile Khumalo, Zolani Mahola, Ela Gandhi, Simphiwe Dana, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Kwesi Owusu, Eugene Skeef, Ahmed Rajab, Napo Masheane, Nalini Moodley, Antoinette Ntuli, Albie Sachs, Florence Masebe, Shado Twala, Juwon Ogungbe, Felix Yaa de Villiers, Ahmed Rajab, Ari Sitas, Lallitha Jawahirilal, Sope Maitufi, Bheki Gumede and Nduduzo Makhathini. These valuable engagements will be presented as poems, songs, thought notes,

Azibuyele Emasisweni doesn’t only lead the viewer back in time but through a unique and original use of material, form and symbolism reflects on the spiritual wasteland that might define this era, thereby collapsing those hard lines that were thought to divide ancient and contemporary concerns and art.  


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Pitika Ntuli at work on one of the 45 remarkable bone sculptures, which are paired with praise songs. Photo Melrose Gallery

essays and dialogues in the online viewing room, and will be transcribed and included in the printed catalogue which will accompany the museum tour in 2021.

numerous solo exhibitions and participated in a myriad of group exhibitions, mostly in London. His works are held in numerous important public, private and corporate collections.

About Ntuli: He was born in 1940 in Springs and grew up in Witbank in Mpumalanga, South Africa. During the apartheid era Ntuli was arrested and made a political prisoner until 1978, when international pressure forced his release. Thus he embarked on a prodigious career in exile. Since completing a Master of Fine Art at Pratt Institute in New York and an MA at Brunel University in London, in 1985 he has lectured art at various international and South African universities including; Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Wits University. He is primarily a sculptor. His stark skeletal structures are created in any physical medium he can find; metal, wood, stone, and bone and can range from small to monumental works in granite that weigh in excess of 19 tonnes. He has held

About Rusike: Rusike is an artist, curator and a social activist she has curated many local and international exhibitions such as, Ubuntuism Re-chanted, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, Italy. This landscape. This landscape! The Quintessential Metaphor For Life Tribute Exhibition to David Koloane, RMB Turbine Art Fair. Alongside Thembinkosi Goniwe, The Art Africa Fair 2017, A Flagrant Arcade in Contemporary Art. Rusike was the curatorial researcher for the touring exhibition Towards Intersections: Negotiating Subjects, Objects and Contexts hosted at UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg and Gordon Institute of Business Science, Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

JENNY PARSONS GROUNDED – solo exhibition 9 – 31 July 2020, RK Contemporary, Riebeek Kasteel www.rkcontemporary.com

“This exhibition explores the significance of the garden as both a physical and a symbolic place of refuge. The garden is a meeting of humankind and nature in a mutually supportive endeavour. It is a place where wildness and the raw force of nature are nurtured, controlled and manipulated to create a space of recreation and contemplation. A trip to India in 2018 inspired me to explore the idea of temple gardens. In this context, the garden wall becomes significant, keeping out not only wildness, but also the pressing intensity of humanity. The existence of the walls implies the presence of an exterior space, an environment beyond the safety of the walls. My trip to India brought up nostalgia for my own childhood in subtropical, colonial Durban. As a child, my family garden, and the gardens of my friends, were an important part of my world.

Above: Walled In, oil on canvas 65x50cm Right: Grounded, oil on canvas 100x115cm



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Above: Curving Path, oil on canvas 65x50cm Left: Solid, oil on canvas 65x50cm

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Yellow Refuge, oil on canvas 65x50cm

I called to mind other artists such as Monet, Matisse, Khalo, Jarman and the Bloomsbury Group, who were intimately involved in the creation of their own gardens as works of art. I had already started this series before lockdown began, and I was a on a happy trajectory of work during the first few weeks, enjoying the uncluttered space that lockdown provided. However, as the restrictions of the lockdown and the severity of the pandemic sank in, I became unable to work. I moved from my studio into my garden where I was able to calm my depression and anxiety with digging, planting and pruning. My garden quite literally became my refuge. Working in my garden, I was able to ground myself and gain a new perspective on a changing world. I found myself back at my easel.


In the paintings, the gardens are imaginary spaces, with an intense colour palette suggesting a hyper awareness of the physical world. Human presence is implied in the structures of terraces, pathways, monuments and follies. The metaphor of the safety and the comfortable mystery within the walled garden, and the fear of the unknown outside of the walls became the perfect metaphor for lockdown and the pandemic. In these works, the garden remains the refuge.� For enquiries art@rkcontemporary.com 083 6533 697 / Social distancing rules apply. Masks compulsory.

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01.07 - 01.08.2020


//THREAD THK Gallery thkgallery.com By Linda Pyke


hread is a flexible word. A signifier in a complicated tangle of signified. Straddling definitions like “a filament, a group of filaments twisted together”, it neatly side-steps into “a continuing element”, and leaps boldly through time and space to form “a series of electronic messages following a single topic or in response to a single message.” Limber and elastic, this etymological mash-up spans both the material and immaterial and has at its core the idea of connection: a restless search, the ever-wandering line. The artists in ‘//thread’ are conceptually and formally connected by this wandering line. From connections woven through society to experimental fabric use, they bring objects and concepts into dialogue: forging connections through a layering of concepts, materials and references. Pierre Henri le Riche is a conceptual artist with a practice spanning many mediums and techniques, and widely recognised for his dynamic use of string and textiles. He uses thread as structural element – both a

Julio Rizhi, Mapping the Now Part 1 Above: Mapping the Now Part 1, (detail)


Pierre le Riche, Labyrinth in Primary Colours, 2020. Opposite Page: Pierre le Riche, Interthread II, 2020, Acrylic thread on canvas, Dimensions: 67 x 51 cm.

Amanda Mushate, Myself Yourself, 2020


Amanda Mushate, Inkanyezi (Star), 2020

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#Thread Installation

connection point, an unravelling, and a space demarcation – and evokes a complex set of ready-made associations through material and colour use: exploring permeable gender roles and liminal identities. Weaving a complex set of associations, the threads running through his practice tap into a rich seam of metaphor and ambiguity.

– plastics, wire – that were manufactured to satisfy a brief consumer need before being relegated to landfill. An obvious critique of our consumer society, the works are laced with a dark humour and subversive beauty, confusing cultural constructs by elevating the humble throw-away, and challenging conventions on aesthetics and value.

Situating a personal search for meaning against a complex web of societal connections and relationships, Amanda Shingirai Mushate’s practice is rooted in identity. Deftly employing both the aesthetic qualities of the line and its abstract connotations, she depicts the complicated tangle of relationships that define us and that we in turn define, as we navigate our daily existence. Restless and suggestive, her abstract compositions evoke a dynamic ebb and flow.

Weaving its way through ‘//thread’, a restless line connects the works, and snakes its way into a complex sea of ambiguous associations. In these divisive times, perhaps it’s the threads – the loose ends that bind and twist us together – that we should seek out.

Defying ready-made references and associations, Julio Rizhi’s tactile assemblages are meticulously crafted from found materials


//thread includes a special collaborative project between Nonzuzo Gxekwa and Pierre le Riche. THK Gallery is currently open by appointment only. Please keep an eye on social media for updates.

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Nonzuzo Gxekwa X Pierre le Riche //thread THK GALLERY 52 Waterkant Street, Cape Town t: +27 (0) 87 470 0178 | e: office@thkgallery.com | w: thkgallery.com/


Ikaya likaMoya / That which binds us / ukunxusa NWU Gallery

Sethembiso Zulu b, 1982, Vosloorus, South Africa


rtist and documentary photographer Sethembiso Zulu in his exploration of his spiritual connection to the Zion Christian Church presents Ikhaya Lika Moya 2019. A Healer and all-round creative person, he uses his photography to educate and inform people about the journeys he and many other people choose into Zion Churches. His work navigates through rituals, performances, symbols and sermons conducted at the Nancefield Hostel in Soweto. Zulus work is deeply autobiographical tied to his calling as a healer, the Zion church is part of his ancestral calling. He says, “In 2005, two months after I left initiation training, I was led to the church where I felt I didn’t need to apologise for my spirituality!” The church became a place of refuge and healing for the artist, he continued to be an active member of the church to this day. His interactions with the church and its members informed his photographic explorations into Ikhaya Lika Moya. In this body of work shot at hostel site in Soweto, Zulu takes us through a journey into what binds the people of Zion Church. Located in a makeshift dwelling outside Nancefield hostel, services take place over Sundays. With no clear time, the prolonged processes of the church are guided by prayer, intersessions into the spiritual realm. Much like Zulus journey, all the congregants have a deeply personal journey which must be realised in these services. Ikhaya lika Moya invites us to bear witness to these journeys.

Outside this shrine in Nancefield, which is a stone throw from the residential hostel, there are markers of the religious sect. Outside the church hangs a white flag, a symbol of purity and entry into transitory spaces. White is also the colour of religious garments. Telling congregants that the service is about to commence, accompanied by various colour flags which have great significance to the church. In the centre of the church a cross, a symbol of the sacrifice of Christ. These signs are important as markers of holy spaces. Water as a cleanser and source of nourishment is one of the cornerstones of the services, always available in drums and containers. White, green and red provide visual language for the services inviting the sprits of your family to accompany you to throughout the service. The state of trance or spiritual awakening is brought about this interaction with one’s ancestors and God. The affiliation with those that have passed, and the Bible is at the centre of the regilous practice amongst the Zion Christian Church. It a process that has no beginning and end, a constant space of shifts and journeys into one’s own world. This is what Ikhaya Lika Moya presents. transitory spaces of becoming, believing reckoning with different aspects of one’s beliefs. Ikhaya Lika Moya is part of a trilogy of documenting Zulus spiritual journey through dreams, prayers, interactions and visions. Zulu continues his work into the trilogy.

“In 2005, two months after I left initiation training, I was led to the church where I felt I didn’t need to apologise for my spirituality!”


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Business Art News

STEPHAN WELZ & C0. Premier Cape Town Auction swelco.co.za


ur July auction in Cape Town has a number of highlights throughout the sale, the following works are a just few from the fine art department.

A summery gouache painted by Irma Stern in 1933 captures the popular Cape Town walking spot, the Sea Point promenade and in the distance the Mouille Point lighthouse, a wellknown landmark of the area erected in 1924, distinguishing the site, as well as the distinct shape of the streetlamps. From 1950 Tretchikoff began experimenting with capturing sportspeople in motion. He was fascinated by the dynamic efforts involved in rugby playing and horseracing, indicating the directions of the movement with bright lines. Tennis Player, the oil on canvas work on offer is an excellent example of his ‘action paintings’. Another important work is Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky’s Sac d’Acidulites, which demonstrates his use of lyrical abstraction. Alechinsky was a devoted member of the Cobra group, a collection of artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam who were influenced by the bold expressiveness of folk and children’s art. The etching Norwegian Landscape by Edvard Munch was produced after his nervous breakdown in 1908, the stark landscape and harsh lines allude to the loneliness and difficulty often experienced during a crisis. Stephan Welz & Co is proud to be the first auction house in South Africa to offer an artwork by this legendary artist. Andrew Verster’s unfortunate death earlier this year saw South Africa lose a cherished local artist. In his 25 year career Verster produced work in a variety of media. We are fortunate to have a few of his artworks included in our sale, including Portrait of a Man With an Eagle on his Chest, a delicate graphite and watercolour portrait rendered with the tenderness that Verster was so capable of portraying. The auction takes place on July 28th and 29th, please watch our website, Instagram and Facebook pages as well as your inbox for more details. Irma Stern, (South African 1894 – 1966), Lighthouse, signed and dated 1933, gouache on paper, 36 by 48,5cm, R 800 000 – R 1200 000

Vladimir Griegorovich Tretchikoff, (Russian 1913 – 2006), Tennis Player, signed, oil on canvas, 65 by 120cm, R 1 200 000 – R 1 800 000


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Above: (Congolese 1974 - ), MBULA MATARI I Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, C-Print, edition of 5, 104 by 154cm, R 50 000 – R 80 000. Opposite Page: Andrew Clement Verster, (South African 1937 – 2020) Portrait Of A Man With An Eagle On His Chest, graphite and watercolour on card, 49 by 37cm, R 8000 – R 12 000

The art world has unfortunately also lost another well regarded creator recently, the Bulgarian artist known as Christo died on the 31st of May. Christo was known for his large scale, often environmental, installations that he began to produce in the 1960s along with his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude, who was uncredited until the 1990s. The artists’ installations often began as drawings before all of the bureaucracy required of public art installation could take place. Christo insisted these were part of the artwork. The poster for Package on a Hunt evidences these elements as well as a large wrapped object, which was a recognisable part of the duo’s practice. From his second solo show at Gallery MOMO, Maurice Mbikayi’s Mbula Matari I and Mbula Matari II are two C-prints, each an edition of 5, which reference the mining industry stripping his


home country the DRC of cobalt to engineer and power computers and smartphones. The artist constructs suits out of discarded technological matter in which he poses. The pig masks and elite colonial clothing reference the dictators of the past and their ever present after effects. In Rescue Mona Lisa (Pink) Mr. Brainwash pushes the envelope once again by juxtaposing the iconic Renaissance image of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa with one of Jeff Koon’s mass produced sculptures of a poodle in his lap. In this way the artist claims both the appreciation for the art historical and the contemporary, and how they are connected while also available for his own appropriation.

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STRAUSS & CO Three-day July sale climaxes with impressive survey collection of art straussart.co.za


trauss & Co is pleased to announce details of its high-quality offerings from its forthcoming virtual auction, which will be led by auctioneers in studios in Johannesburg and Cape Town and live-streamed through Invaluable. com over three consecutive days in late July. The sale commences on Sunday 26 July with a session devoted to fine wines from three esteemed Cape winemakers – Boekenhoutskloof, Klein Constantia and Kanonkop – and climaxes with the offering of two notable single-owner collections on Tuesday 28 July. “We are delighted by the range and depth of the wine and art on offer,” says Strauss & Co executive director Susie Goodman. “The two single-owner collections, one from a Pretoria collector, the other from a large survey collection of South African art, affirm Strauss & Co’s leading role in handling properties assembled by discriminating collectors and patrons of the arts. Given the circumstances of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to say that the July sale also includes various lots being sold in support of deserving charities in the arts and the community more broadly.”

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Sacred Versatile Queen and Autocrat of all Azania, wool and thread on tapestry canvas, 405 by 140cm, R 700 000 - 1 000 000 Right: Alexis Preller, Temple of the Sun, oil on canvas, 125 by 136cm, R 1 000 000 - 2 000 000


Irma Stern, Congo Forest Scene, oil on canvas, 69 by 68cmm R 4 000 000 - 6 000 000, From the Property of a Collector. Opposite Page: Georgina Gratrix, The Advocate, oil on canvas, 60 by 45cm, R 70 000 - 90 000.

Strauss & Co’s art offering includes important works by Robert Hodgins, J.H. Pierneef, Alexis Preller, Athi-Patra Ruga, Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, Gerard Sekoto, Penny Siopis, Irma Stern and Edoardo Villa. Notable highlights include J.H. Pierneef’s Bosveld (estimate R9 – 12 million), a bushveld landscape from 1953 painted in the artist’s monumental style, and Irma Stern’s Congo Forest Scene (estimate R4 – 6 million), a sensorial portrayal of a plantation made during the artist’s second visit to the Belgian Congo in 1941. Both these works originate from the same 56

private collection, which will be sold in the final evening session on Tuesday 28 July. “This collection was assembled over many decades and includes top-quality examples of works from a range of periods and locations,” says Alastair Meredith, a senior art specialist and head of Strauss & Co’s art department. “The 45 lots on offer are drawn from a larger survey collection. The selection includes a number of important works by Gregoire Boonzaier, Alexis Preller, Gerard Sekoto, Edoardo Villa and Pieter Wenning.”

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Sekoto’s The Visitor, Eastwood (estimate R3 – 4 million), which depicts a cyclist pausing to converse with a mother and child, was painted during his important pre-exile residency in Eastwood, Pretoria (1945–47). Painted a decade earlier, in 1938, Boonzaier’s energetic Street Scene, District Six (estimate R500 000 – 700 000), dates from the year he participated in the formation of the New Group. The highlight of the Property of a Pretoria Collector is Anton van Wouw’s well-known bronze of a crouching Boer soldier, The Scout (estimate R900 000 – 1.2 million). The work bears the inscriptions of the Massa foundry in Rome. Other notable modern and post-war art consigned to this sale include Alexis Preller’s magnificent abstract from 1963, Temple of the Sun (estimate R1 – 2 million), which once enjoyed pride of place in the artist’s Dombeya home, and Christo Coetzee’s nearly contemporaneous assemblage painting from 1960, After Japan (estimate R350 000 – 500 000). Strauss & Co is particularly fortunate to be presenting on auction a wonderful selection of sculptures by the master sculptor Edoardo Villa. Among these are two outstanding largescale works, both bearing the same title. Villa’s Mother and Child from 1974 (estimate R1.5 – 2 million) is a painted tubular steel sculpture measuring nearly 5 metres high. It is one of the most significant Villas ever to come to auction. The other Mother and Child dates from 1983 (estimate R900 000 – 1.2 million) and was cast in bronze by Luigi Gamberini at the Vignali Foundry in Pretoria. Leading the contemporary art selection in Strauss & Co’s sale is Athi-Patra Ruga’s large textile piece, The Sacred Versatile Queen and Autocrat of all Azania (estimate R700 000 – 1 million). The work elaborates on his queerpositive cosmology of a fictionalised South Africa ruled by female monarchs and was acquired at an art fair in Basel, Switzerland. The sale also includes lots by two important contemporary Zimbabwean painters, Portia Zvavahera and Misheck Masamvu. Both artists work in a colour-drenched expressionist mode dominated by figures and have been widely exhibited internationally.


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Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, A Lowveld Landscape with Trees, oil on board, 45 by 59cm , R 1 800 000 - 2 800 000

Notable contemporary paintings by South Africans include a dramatic cityscape by Robert Hodgins from 2005. Titled Memo Painting #1 (estimate R1.2 – 1.6 million), the work reimagines elements of the 1994 film collaboration between Hodgins, Deborah Bell and William Kentridge. Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi’s mythical oil, Horse Spirit (estimate R600 000 – 900 000), was presented on her 2019 survey exhibition at Cape Town’s Norval Foundation. This same institution will in 2021 survey the work of painter of Georgina Gratrix, who is represented in the sale by The Advocate (estimate R70 000 – 90 000). Strauss & Co’s three-day sale commences on Sunday 26 July at 11am with its themed selection of South African fine wine. Pick of the crop from Kanonkop is a single lot of 19 bottles produced between 1988 and 2006 (estimate R200 000 – 250 000). The sale includes two superlative examples of this estate’s red wines, each offered in non-standard volumes: the 1994-vintage Pinotage (estimate R25 000 – 30 000) presents in an 18000 ml bottle, and the 2006-vintage Bordeaux blend Paul Sauer (estimate R25 000 – 30 000) comes in a 12000 ml bottle. The 1987 vintage of Klein Constantia’s flagship Vin de Constance, produced entirely from Muscat, is regarded as one of the finest vintages produced in the 1980s and 90s. A single 500 ml bottle of the 1987 vintage carries an estimate of R25 000 – 30 000. At 25 years of age, Boekenhoutskloof in the Franschhoek Valley is the youngest of the three winemakers profiled. Its Platter five-star 1997 Syrah helped establish its reputation. The sale includes a three-bottle lot of this celebrated vintage (estimate R9 000 – 11 000), as well as two lots of its lauded 2005-vintage Bordeaux blend, The Journeyman (estimate R10 000 – 12 000 each). Philanthropy has acquired pointed meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sale includes a single lot of six paintings by Keith Alexander depicting Old and New Testament scenes (estimate R600 000 – 900 000) that were painted for and donated to


Robert Hodgins, Memo Painting #1, oil over Indian ink and stamping on canvas, 200 by 90cm, R 1 200 000 - 1 600 000.

St George’s Anglican Church in White River by the artist, a member of the congregation. Proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit the Keith Alexander Fund administered by the church. Proceeds from the sale of two works on paper by William Kentridge will benefit Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg, and another will be sold in support of Lefika La Phodiso Community Art Counselling and Training Institute. In addition, the sale of two lots by Maud Sumner will benefit the Walter Battiss Art Museum, Somerset East.

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Gerard Sekoto, The Visitor, Eastwood, oil on canvas laid down on board, 45,5 by 40cm, R 3 000 000 - 4 000 000 From the Property of a Collector

The schedule for Strauss & Co’s upcoming sale on 26 – 28 July 2020 is as follows: Sunday 26 July 2020 Session 1: 11am: South African Fine Wine

Tuesday 28 July 2020 Session 4: 4pm: Modern and Post-War Art, including from the Property of a Pretoria Collector

Monday 27 July 2020 Session 2: 4pm: Post-War and Contemporary Art

Session 5: 7pm: Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, including from the Property of a Collector

Session 3: 7pm: Post-War and Contemporary Art

Business Art News

A MATTER OF NATIONAL HERITAGE: Early Gerard Sekoto painting considered too significant to leave South Africa.



spire Art Auctions recently unveiled an early painting by celebrated South African artist, Gerard Sekoto. Titled In the beer hall and painted in c.1939/40, the work was initially intended for auction in Paris as part of the Modern & Contemporary African Art sale, in collaboration with the French auction house Piasa, in June. However, after careful consideration and in discussion with the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), In the beer hall will now remain in the country and be sold by Aspire in August. Painted before Sekoto left South Africa for France, In the beer hall shows a scene of patrons inside an informal beer hall; men gathering at the end of the day, the slowly setting sun casting long shadows where they stand or sit together as they enjoy a flask of beer. Sekoto moved to Sophiatown in 1938, and it is likely he depicted a beer hall in this bustling, cultural hub of Johannesburg. “It is this place and this time that Sekoto brings to life in this exquisite painting, evoking the lives lived there in the late 1930s”, says Senior Art Specialist and Director Emma Bedford. “Alive to the scene before him, Sekoto depicts his fellow human beings with sensitivity, warmth and empathy”. Ultimately, this painting is one of the earliest images of black people, painted sympathetically by a black artist. Born in Mpumalanga in 1913, just as the Land Act was implemented – an act which segregated South African citizens on the basis of their race – Gerard Sekoto was one of the country’s many black intelligentsia who were driven into selfimposed exile in the hopes of pursuing a better life and successful career abroad. Gerard Sekoto, In the Beer Hall


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Sekoto left South Africa for Paris in 1947, where he lived and worked as an artist until his death in 1993, sadly never returning to South Africa. While Sekoto gained recognition in Europe, and continued to exhibit in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the artist’s works produced in South Africa from 1938 until he left the country are today considered to be his ‘golden era’ and regarded as the most important. His first exhibition took place at the Gainsborough Gallery in 1939, and in 1940 the Johannesburg Art Gallery purchased one of his paintings for the gallery’s permanent collection – a momentous occasion as this was the first work by a black artist to enter the collection of any South African museum. In the beer hall carries great significance and, having been included in one of the artist’s first exhibitions, may well be one of his earliest oil on canvas works to come to market. Established in 2000, SAHRA is mandated to protect South Africa’s cultural heritage. In accordance with the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA), SAHRA is responsible for the management and promotion of the country’s diverse heritage resources. In line with this, and in recognition of In the beer hall as: “...of outstanding significance by reason of its close association with South African history [and] culture, its aesthetic qualities, [and] its value in the study of the arts…”, SAHRA has ruled that the painting may not be exported from South Africa. SAHRA’s view is that the painting: “…is of such a degree of national importance that its loss to South Africa would significantly diminish [the] national heritage”. Sekoto’s portrayals of people in Sophiatown, District Six and Eastwood from the 1930s and 40s provide a unique and rare insight into the experiences of his subjects and are as such deemed to be of great importance to the National Estate. “Handling this exceptional national treasure by the father of black modernism in South Africa is not only a great privilege and responsibility for Aspire, but indeed an honour for which we are perfectly positioned and well-equipped” comments Ruarc Peffers, Aspire’s Managing Director. Aspire has achieved great success in its strategic approach to develop appreciation and value for rare and increasingly sought after artworks by black, largely under appreciated artists from the twentieth century.


Dumile Feni, Children under Apartheid Opposite Page: Gerard Sekoto, Lady in Red

In 2019, Aspire sold another early Sekoto painting, Lady in Red, for over R1.1 million in Johannesburg. The company has established itself as a champion of this specialised collecting segment over the past four years of its operation and has achieved notable success in developing value and building market knowledge in what is becoming a much better understood and more venerated area of South African art. Aspire holds a number of global and South African records for sales in the black modernist segment of South African art. These records include obtaining the highest price for a drawing by Dumile Feni, Children under Apartheid  (1987),  which achieved over R1.2 million in 2017 and the highest price ever fetched at auction for a work by sculptor Sydney Kumalo,  Mythological Rider  (1970),  which reached above R1.9 million, also in 2017. The painting, In the beer hall is currently in Johannesburg and can be viewed by appointment. The work will form part of Aspire Art Auction’s next sale of Modern and Contemporary Art in August 2020.

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Business Art News


Strong performance for Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa at auction in Paris.



spire Art Auctions and the French auction house Piasa collaborated for a second time to present a large scale auction of Modern and Contemporary art – this time in Paris. The auction took place on Wednesday 24 June, and although the fallout of COVID-19 has resulted in extraordinary social and economic changes and challenges the world over, the exceptional performance of the auction demonstrates that despite present difficulties, the art market remains robust. Devoid of bullish prices that have dominated the market on occasion, and which often obscure the sector’s actual buoyancy, the evening’s firm results speak to the market holding steady and healthy and that, moreover, art trading is resuming successfully as borders slowly reopen and restrictions begin to relax amongst countries and people. An impressive collection of 173 artworks by 85 artists from 19 countries on the continent went under the hammer and the auction saw 77% sold in value with 63% in lots. TOP LOTS: The auction was led by the cover lot; William Kentridge’s important 1989 drawing from Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris (Soho Eating) which sold for €234,000. Another mixed media work by Kentridge Electrical Industries (Rodchenko), Alphabet Coloré sold for €18,200, almost three times its high estimate. Joseph Ntensibe’s large-scale dreamlike depiction of tropical greenery stole the show when it sold for more than double its high estimate at an impressive € 67,600, the second highest price achieved at auction. The Ugandan artist’s concern with ecology and the changing environment, and in particular the disappearing forests in rural Uganda, resonated with many bidders.


Irma Stern’s exquisite 1943 portrait of Dora Sowden, the eccentric music and arts critic for the Johannesburg-based progressive newspaper The Rand Daily Mail during the 1940s and 1950s achieved €182,000 and the early bronze sculpture Figure with Drapery by Edoardo Villa attracted substantial interest realising a stellar €54,600. RECORDS: A new world record at auction (for a single work) was set for David Goldblatt’s rare platinum print A miner waits on the bank to go underground, City Deep Gold Mine, 1996 which sold at €32,500. Zimbabwean artists fared well. Kudzanai Chiurai’s mixed media work Untitled VIII (Auto and the Workers Movement) sold for €22,100 and Fountain by painter Misheck Masamvu sold for €20,800 toppling his previous auction record also set by Aspire. Further records were set for Senegalese artist Omar Ba’s intricate work This Way is Not Easy which sold for €44,200, Kenyan artist Dickens Otieno’s intriguing wall-hanging of woven metal strips which sold for €14,300 – well above its high estimate – and Ugandan artist Sanaa Gateja’s, paper tapestry titled Twitter and the Ostrich, which also sold for €14,300. In their debut appearances in an international auction records were established for young South African artist Siwa Mgoboza (€7,800) and British born Tomi Olopade (€3,900). HIGHLIGHTS: Peter Clarke’s powerful triptych The Crossing from1987, impressed serious collectors and achieved a firm €37,700. This was the first time that a work by this prominent South African artist appeared on auction in mainland Europe.

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Peter Clarke, The Crossing: Africa; Crossing the Atlantic; America (from the Fence series), 1987.

David Golblatt, A miner waits on the bank to go underground, City Deep Gold Mine, 1996

Omar Ba, This Way is Not Easy 2, 2011

Sanaa Gateja, Twitter and the Ostrich, 2019

Dickens Otieno, Untitled, 2020

Joseph Ntensibe, Tropical garden 4, 2019


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Eddy Kamuanga, Untitled, 2018.

Paintings by renowned Congolese painter Chéri Samba sold well with his Lutte Contre Les Moustiques that sparked competitive bidding, achieving €58,500 – almost double its high estimate. Appearing on an international auction for the first time, both works by the up and coming South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube sold for an impressive €23,400 and fellow artist Mary Sibande’s photograph Her Majesty, Queen Sophie achieved €13,000. Young star Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga (from the DRC) proved once again that he is the one to watch on the international circuit when his impressive large scale painting sold for €50,700.


In defiance of all expectations and challenges, this landmark auction echoes the outstanding results and pioneering spirt of the first collaboration between Aspire Art Auctions and Piasa. At a time when the world seems once again to be larger and more separated than before, this auction serves as a stellar example of what can be accomplished in these trying times, especially in the hands of industry collaboration. Not only did it further Aspire’s status as being the first auction house on the African continent to collaborate with a European partner to champion modern and contemporary art from Africa internationally, but also provides an unmistakable reminder that the art market remains resilient in the face of much adversity.

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Business Art News

IN THE DISINFORMATION AGE, WAGING ART AMID THE ALGORITHMS First Published on Washington Post By Kelsey Ables Jun 20, 2020


he verb “to Google” has become almost synonymous with “to know.” How’d you know that the Louvre is 652,300 square feet? Or that Andy Warhol had 25 cats? Or that the “Salvator Mundi” is one of the ugliest paintings ever sold?

At its core an indexer of information, Google has become a producer of information in its own right. Yet, despite its sleek interface and authoritative design, it is as malleable as wet clay.

Andrew calls herself a “search engine” artist - more broadly, her work falls into the category of net art, which has become a catchall term for art that lives online. Many net artists, like Andrew, use the internet as a medium to infiltrate public space and challenge the corporate tech hegemony through digital interventions. Just as Andy Warhol critiqued the media of his time by reproducing sensational news images in silk-screen prints, and as Duchamp subverted the conventions of the art world by placing his urinal-turned-artwork “Fountain” in the sanctified gallery space, these net artists look to our digital world to elucidate its distortions and confront its hierarchies.

Try searching for information about malignant epithelial ovarian cancer, or who won the Turner Prize last year. Among the medical diagrams and prizewinning art that pop up in your search returns? Work by Los Angeles-based artist Gretchen Andrew, who has never won the Turner Prize and whose work offers little insight into cancer.

At their foundation, many of Andrew’s works are paintings: pastel, Expressionist-inspired depictions of somber figures. But the works extend beyond what a frame could hold: The websites she creates to manipulate Google’s algorithms echo Sol Lewitt’s instruction-based artworks, and the search results themselves might be seen as performance

“I Googled it,” you might reply, as if to say, “I learned it and now, I know it.”


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art, presented anew each time a viewer conducts the search. For Stuart Comer, curator of media art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this multifaceted, genre-bending quality is characteristic of net art, which has existed since the early days of the internet. “Traditionally, art has been thought of as an image or an object or both,” Comer says. “You can’t locate the art in one aspect of net art. It’s a constellation. It’s the image, the terminal, the viewer, the conversation. It’s all of the above.” This makes net art akin to the information ecosystem we find ourselves in - where a news story doesn’t exist on a single page, but is strung together by videos and tweets and endless layers of commentary, regurgitated by algorithms. Where images are edited, re-edited and so widely dispersed that their origin becomes irrelevant and their veracity shaky. As disinformation continues to circulate, even more so amid a pandemic and presidential election year, the mission of net artists has ever-escalating urgency. Be it Constant Dullaart, creating armies of fake Twitter accounts, or Bill Posters, disseminating heavily edited videos (deepfakes) of politicians on Instagram, net art is built from the material of our time, and perhaps the form most fit to challenge it. Artists as digital interventionists share in the prankster spirit of such guerrilla street artists as Banksy. They jump into the mess of the internet and leave their art behind, alongside legitimate posts and accounts. But while Banksy himself has become a brand, and fodder for art news stories, these artists explode the idea of the personal brand, revealing its insidious innards. Michael Connor, artistic director of Rhizome, the New Museum’s digital art affiliate, points to a fundamental shift in the Internet in the 2000s, when data collection became the currency of increasingly dominant Web giants. “Since the rise of platforms, so much net art has been about trying to negotiate a life in which so much of your social existence is determined by these spaces,” he says. “What kind of subjectivity does that allow? What kind of communication? What kind of self-expression?” Connor notes that one of the first impulses people have when encountering a computer is to create. “When you talk to people about their first use of

a computer, they might have used it to draw a picture or make a collage. I think that desire to see the computer as an expressive tool is really fundamental.” That impulse has been captured in wacky, defunct GeoCities pages and projects such as “The Web Stalker” (1997), where art collective I/O/D railed against the forced passivity of mainstream browsers such as Internet Explorer by producing their own browser that left the HTML code exposed. If I/O/D strove to keep visible the ingredients of the Web, Andrew reveals how those ingredients can make an entirely unexpected product. She exposes the wiring of the Internet not in and of itself, but through a jarring end result: Search for “the next American president” and you’ll find flowery collages living next to photos of familiar politicians. To make such a project come to life, Andrew posts images of the art to social networks and websites that she has created and flooded with keyworddriven text about her goals - in this case, to “manifest the qualities, values and attributes of the next American president.” Eventually, the artworks surface in search results. “I talk about how I really want these things, and then Google gives them to me because it doesn’t know about desire,” Andrew explains. “It highlights what the human brain can do with nuance that the binary brain of computers completely fails at.” Having worked at Google, Andrew comes to the search engine with the scrutiny of a renegade insider. “A lot of my work is a personal power trip,” she says. “It’s a very feminist thing to say: ‘If the internet is going to show somebody’s view of the world it may as well be mine.’ “Central to Andrew’s work is fluidity among genres - painting, performance, net art. But, she says, there is “a demand from the art world and from the market to say where the art is and what the finished piece is.” At art museums, that demand is a matter of pragmatism - how to display and contextualize work in a setting designed for more traditional art forms? When MoMA reopened in October after renovations, it set an example by devoting an entire wall to “My%Desktop” by JODI, a four-channel video installation - or “desktop performance” - of messy folders and multiplying computer windows, upending the computer’s semblance of tidiness.

The museum also recently acquired Petra Cortright’s “VVEBCAM,” a YouTube video in which Cortright looks into her webcam apathetically as cartoonish effects float in front of her face. Comer notes that the comments, which include hateful remarks that capture the trolling culture that women face online, are also a part of the piece.

“Today, I think artists are much more explicit about taking a stance and careful about not creating fiction or circulating a deepfake without contextualizing it,” Paul says. “They don’t want to feed a right-wing machinery or engage in trolling.”

For Bill Posters, who went viral last June after circulating a deepfake video of Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, how one should process net art is the wrong question.

That’s exactly what Dullaart was wrestling with amid the throes of the 2016 primary elections. At the time, Dullaart found himself with an army of 13,000 fake Facebook accounts he had modeled after Hessian soldiers. But overwhelmed by the weight of 13,000 voices, Dullaart decided not to post anything on any of the accounts and titled the work “The Possibility of an Army.”

“I want to make the case that art is more than an aesthetic commodity and form of consumption,” he says. “I see creativity and disobedience as twin strands in the DNA of activism.” In that regard, the response to Posters’s video - the media coverage, its mention in a Senate hearing on deepfakes - is part of the art, too.

“I felt like I built a weapon, but I didn’t fire it,” he recalls, adding that as he watched that very weapon fire in elections around the world, he struggled with ethical questions: Can artists make purely symbolic work? Or do they have a responsibility to advocate specific political ideologies?

Following revelations about the data firm Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 election, Posters shifted his focus from public space, where he parodied corporate ads as a street artist, to digital space, where he manipulates videos of public figures to call attention to the ease with which false information travels online and major tech companies’ lack of accountability.

Yet as net art evolves in response to an increasingly hostile, high-stakes digital environment, Paul notes, “less subversive does not mean less interesting.” With the whole world watching on the corporate stage that is the 2020 internet, the potential for impact is certainly higher.

Net art is decentralized, he says, and “that’s what makes it so hard for people to grasp.”

In Posters’s Zuckerberg video, which he created with Daniel Howe, the tech tycoon seems to be describing himself as “one man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures.” Posters has come to realize that online, where misinformation spreads, often uninhibited, his works can have real-world consequences in a way artwork in a museum cannot. Christiane Paul, curator of new media arts at the Whitney Museum in New York, says that in its early days, net art was even more radical and directly interventionist. She points to the Yes Men, who, in 1999, made a satirical government website that was so convincing that they were invited to make public appearances on behalf of the World Trade Organization. (They did so for years.) Another example: Vote-Auction, a platform created by art duo Ubermorgen that claimed to allow Americans to auction off votes during the 2000 presidential election.


In 19th-century Paris, rapid industrialization changed the urban landscape - trains whirred at unfathomable speeds, widened streets buzzed with Parisians, illuminated by electric light. Such changes also gave rise to lauded Impressionist artworks - from Caillebotte’s kinetic street scenes to Monet’s hazy train paintings. If Impressionism set out to reckon with the changes of the machine age, to get at the fragmentation, the heightened speed and the changing nature of sight, perhaps net art is not so different. By calling out the governing forces we cannot see in the platforms we use every day - the algorithms and policies and the unchecked power that shapes them - these artists capture our sprawling, messy digital reality. And over time, they might even manage to change it. The Washington Post

Oriogional Link: https://www.iol.co.za/technology/softwareand-internet/in-the-disinformation-age-waging-art-amid-thealgorithms-49611510

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Irma Stern (SA 1886 - 1966) Gouache

On Auction: 19th July 2020 Now accepting entries

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By Marija Canjuga

See the complete article at dailyartmagazine.com/cocktails-inspired-by-art Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,1882, Courtauld Gallery,London.

Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,1882, Courtauld Gallery, London.

Most of us have now plenty of time to take some “me time” and enjoy a long bubble bath, read a good book, work out, or perhaps just contemplate the works of our favorite artists. However, if the last one is your choice I would recommend adding some fun mixed drinks. Here is my list of cocktails inspired by art for artsy drinking. Kazimir Malevich

Black Square and Red Square. Kazimir Malevich, Black Square and Red Square, 1915, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Put one teaspoon chocolate syrup at the bottom of a glass. Refrigerate. Fill a cocktail shaker with


ice, add1 oz cake-flavored vodka, 1 oz crème de cacao, 3 tablespoons buttermilk,and 1- 2 drops red food color to the shaker. Shake well and strain into your chilled glass.

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Mark Rothko

Orange and Yellow. Mark Rothko, Orange and Yellow, 1956, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, wikiart.org. The Tequila Sunrise is a slightly more complicate cocktail to make. Take a chilled highball glass. First, add 2 oz Blanco tequila, next add 4 oz fresh orange juice, finally float 1/4 oz Grenadine on the top. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Tamara de Lampicka

Mrs. Boucard. Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait of Mrs. Boucard, 1931, private property,kingandmcgaw.com. Add 1 1/2 oz citrus vodka, 1 oz Cointreau, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, 1 dash cranberry juice with ice to a shaker. Shake! Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Paul Gauguin

The Zombie Cocktail. Paul Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?), 1892, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, wikidata.org. The Zombie Cocktail is a tiki cocktail. Pour 1 oz dark rum, 1 oz white rum, 2 oz lime juice, and 6 oz pineapple juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake hard. Strain the mixture into a tall glass with ice. Slowly pour 1 tbsp grenadine to color the drink. Garnish with mint sprigs and fruit.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Oriental Poppies. Georgia O’Keeffe, Oriental Poppies, 1927, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, imgc.artprintimages.com. Georgia O’Keeffe’s mesmerizing flowers are perfect contemplation material. The Aperol Spritz is one of the most popular Italian aperitifs. Add 3 oz prosecco, 2 oz Aperol, and 1 oz soda water to a wine glass with ice, and stir. Garnish with an orange wheel and enjoy.

Vincent van Gogh

Death in the Afternoon, Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1887, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, en.wikipedia.org. What would be an artsy cocktail list without Absinthe? And who is more familiar with that magic drink then Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec? Obviously Vincent van Gogh.If you have Absinthe at home, try pouring 1 1/2 oz of it into a coupe glass and add 4 1/2 oz Champagne. It is called Death in the Afternoon and was invented by Ernest Hemingway. Enjoy!

Victor Patricio de Landaluze

Cuba Libre. Victor Patricio de Landaluze was practicing costumbrismo in the 19th century, depicting Cuba peasants, landowners, and slaves. In his works, he is doing a great job documenting life in Cuba. For example, we have a depiction of traditional customs here. Cuba Libre is probably the easiest tasty cocktail to make. Add 1 oz rum and 3 oz Coca-Cola to a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Frida Kahlo

Mojito & Self-Portrait with Monkey. Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, amazon. com. Frida Kahlo depicts herself in many of her self-portraits in front of green leaves.The Mojito is my favorite cocktail. Muddle three mint leaves in a shaker. Add 2 oz white rum, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz Simple syrup and ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Add a dash of club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and lime wheel.

Edward Hopper

Nighthawks. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Wikimedia Commons, Edward Hopper’s silent and melancholic scenes are maybe not the best you can choose nowadays. First, add 1 tsp sugar, then 3 dashes Angostura bitters, and 1 tsp water into a rocks glass. Stir it until the sugar is almost dissolved. Fill the glass with large ice cubes, add 2 oz bourbon, and gently stir. Express the oil of an orange peel over the glass, and drop it.


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Jeff Koons

Balloon Dogs. Jeff Koons, Baloon Dog, 19942000, Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Los Angeles, independent.co.uk. Jeff Koons Balloon Dogs are the most fun thing to look at. They are like a child’s dream (or nightmare) come true. Just add some unicorns and cotton candy. And grab a Diamond Blue to enjoy watching with. The Diamond Blue is delicious. Add 3/4 oz Hendrick’s Gin, 3/4 oz crème de violette, and 1/4 oz Blue curaçao to a mixing glass. Squeeze a lemon wedge into the glass. Fill with ice, stir, and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the 3 oz Champagne and garnish with a light dusting of edible silver powder.


This Months ArtFlix Highlights Go to arttimes.co.za/artflix to view more Clips Artwork: Pitika Ntuli, Medium on Fire




2020 Ceramics SA WC Regional Exhibition



Lionel Smit Studio Walkabout

Pitika Ntuli Launches Solo At 2020 Naf



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Pierre le Riche, Sunrise on Repeat, 2020, (detail), THK Gallery


Conrad Botes, Martyr


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Hennie Meyer, Pots with Attitude


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Artwork: Forbidden Fruit by Marike Kleynscheldt

Home is Where The Heart is Winter Solstice Group Exhibition 22 June - 24 July On View Online or in person between 10am and 4pm Artists: Di Johnson Ackerman, Tania Babb, Rachelle Bomberg, Kit Dorje, Margot Hattingh, Marike Kleynscheldt, Lambert Kriedemann, David Kuijers, Simon Jones, Christopher Langley, Drummond Murphy, Sheila Petousis, Tanya Swiegers, Jan Uitlander, Peter Van Straten, Elsa Verloren Themaat Klump, Annari Van der Merwe, and Judy Woodborne THE CAPE 60 Church Street, GALLERY Cape Town, 021 423 5309, web@capegallery.co.za Saturday 10am - 2pm, weekdays 9.30am - 5pm


Rosie Mudge, Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see


Mark Odonovan, Vacant Land I and Vacant Land II, 2020


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Pierre le Riche, Almost Gold, (Detail)


Robyn Pretorius, lucky charms 90

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THE LOCKDOWN COLLECTION A collection of 21 extraordinary works of art - everything from drawings, to prints, sculptures and photographs - created by some of South Africa’s most respected artists. www.thelockdowncollection.com

Themba Khumalo - Waiting for Food Parcels - 2020 (detail)

Christiaan Diedericks - Saint Corona - 2020 (detail)

Lebohang Motaung - And Yet I Smile - 2020 (detail)



Lwando Dlamini, Triumph


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The Heather Auer Art Studio Visit us at Glencairn, Simonstown (By Appointment Only) South Africa: +27 (0)82 779 2695 Email: info@heatherauer.com


Jenny Parsons, Curving Path (Detail)


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131 A GALLERY GROUP SHOW 09/07/2020 UNTIL 31/07/2020

Daniel Levi, Fake President


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HARDY BOTHA SA Print Gallery 109 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town Tel 021 300 0461 gabriel@printgallery.co.za www.printgallery.co.za

Hardy Botha, The Circus, 1986, Etching

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Ever Promised Erection R120 000 – 180 000

Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art and South African Fine Wine including Important South African Art from the Property of a Collector and from the Property of a Pretoria Collector

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