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OCTOBER 2020 ARTTIMES.CO.ZA


An Ardmore Dish, 2010 | Estimate R 18 000 - R 20 000


Cape Town Auction 27 & 28 October Fine, Decorative & African Art, Books & Maps, Furniture, Silverware, Fine Jewellery, Watches & Collectables

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SOUTH AFRICAʼS LEADING VISUAL ARTS PUBLICATION


Art Times October 2020 Edition

CONTENTS Cover: Clint Strydom, Series 2, The Self / Spear, 2020

10 M.O.L. 12 - GOD’S GREAT CHAPEL Ashraf Jamal Column 16 IINyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra Ruga Norval Foundation Atrium 20 THE RUPERT MUSEUM Doors Open Again To The Public 30 CONFESSIONALE - HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN By Ashraf Jamal 36 MASQUERADE The sudden mass adoption of personal protection equipment 40 JOAO LADIERA Crossing Over, solo exhibition 46 HYBRID SPIRIT Adejoke Tugbiyele’s much anticipated solo exhibition 52 ARTS TOWN RIEBEEK VALLEY Bookings now open 58 UJ ART GALLERY GOES ONLINE WITH CURE A new level of planetary civilization 64 CLEMENT MOHALE The creative adult is the one who survived 66 BUSINESS ART Art auction highlights galore 82 ARTGO October Exhibition Highlights André Stead, Mask I, stainless steel, 14 x 15 x 18 cm Christopher Moller Gallery


Editors Note

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aving arrived at level 1 Covid19 lock down this month, my hope is that we are closer to the end rather than the beginning of this challenging time- and that this may create a small perspective to this editorial.

Having lived in Cape Town during the water shortages with Day Zero, reminds me that although many people tragically died in this pandemic, life, money and the force for survival will go on and folk will forget this trauma almost too easily, like Day Zero just 2 short years ago (April 12, 2018). It seems from my experience of the art community - the people and places least hit are larger institutions and those folk lucky enough to earn a salary. Unfortunately most of our creative industry is at risk, as few receive salaries and mid to small galleries have enormous rentals to pay- despite pushing themselves online more. Middle sized galleries may well have reduced the amount of staff, or have had a pay cut and smaller galleries might well have closed without too much online trade – but all in all I believe most have cut into their life savings. Either way despite the awful loss in the industry, I am confident that new galleries- even home galleries and dealerships will sprout up in early next year. The real hero during this time is the Internet and it feels like for the first time, one can live ones life on it – besides Minecraft and Netflix. For the first time we used Online to maintain a sense of ‘normal’ and despite some lockdown critics bemoaning its flatness of media, it came to the rescue well. I really believe that these past 8 months have accelerated the amount of usage of the internet by many years. My guess is that we will still will have Zoom Talks, Movies, Viral shows and paid premier blockbuster movies. Despite the lockdown and awful loss of life, these forced advancements have made our lives easier, more broad and has united us as a community, with access to new markets like no other time before. It has also given us a huge amount of personal detachment, fake news and time away from tangible reality. Maybe physical galleries and museums could capitalise by pushing their lifestyle centers, food, wine, gallery shops and group hugs with curators to get feet through the door, something click through can’t do just yet.

SOUTH AFRICA’S LEADING VISUAL ARTS PUBLICATION

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 ARTGO CONTENT info@artgo.co.za Rights: the Art Times magazine reserves the right to reject any material that could be found offensive by its readers. Opinions and views expressed in the sa art times do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint of the editor, staff or publisher, while inclusion of advertising features does not imply the newspaper’s endorsement of any business, product or service. Copyright of the enclosed material in this publication is reserved. Errata: Hermanus FynArts - would like to apologise for omitting the name of Karin Lijnes from the list of artists who are exhibiting at Sculpture on the Cliffs - 2020. Her work, Freedom Tree comprises of a large steel mobile of five ceramic bird forms.

Gabriel Clark-Brown

@ARTTIMES.CO.ZA

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An open invitation to all artists to take inspiration from the monumental 16 meter artwork in the Rembrandt van Rijn Collection - COLOUR SYMPHONY by MICHÉLE NIGRINI. This is an open call for responsive artworks to be submitted for possible inclusion in a group exhibition to be showcased in the Jan Rupert Art Centre, Graaff-Reinet, during the first quarter of 2021. Colour Symphony will be open for viewing until 25 October 2020 at the Rupert Museum. Submissions of artworks will close on Monday, 18 January 2021.

More Information www.rupertmuseum.org


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GOD’S GREAT CHAPEL Ashraf Jamal

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e are not humans on a spiritual path, but spirits on a human path. My late wife’s words have remained with me these seventeen years. Words sometimes stay, flood black, as these did on a glorious Saturday afternoon. I was seated in the Norval Sculpture Park, beside Nandipha Mntambo’s work, Ophelia, a figure of a bronze woman in a bronze vat filled with bronze lotuses, accompanied by the hiss and gurgle of water. I’d seen it years before at the Stevenson Gallery, thought it absurd, never knew that a different iteration would alter me. The park is in a wetland. Earlier, I watched a duck glide elegantly by, pads paddling furiously in the hidden deep. Slumped on a bench, in a landscape perfectly crafted, indigenous plants all about, backed by mountains, a flawless blue sky overhead, along with warnings to look out for snakes, my wife’s words returned. It is humanity, or lack of it, that requires attention. Spirit is given. In three astonishing exhibitions at the Norval Foundation it is humanity we are asked to ponder – what it is, why it fails us, how it can be regained. The atrium separating the galleries potently brought to the fore a commanding work, in vinyl, by Athi-Patra Ruga. ii NyangaZonyaka, echoing church glass paintings. The wall text explains that the artist’s response ‘to contested histories as well as the contemporary context’. As is the case in all Ruga’s works, his luminous frieze asks us ‘to view the traumas of colonial history without the obstruction of personalised grief and subjective defensiveness’. This caveat is huge. We are too glibly, nastily, exercised by rage, the core of oppression, at the expense of grace. Ruga’s frieze counters predictive rage, ‘soulless and unrooted’, that thrives on an Azanian vision that is utopian, a ‘sacred revolution’, where ‘God is listening’.

The art museum as temple is a familiar notion too easily scorned in a cynical turn against grace. But surely, now, in acute despair, confusion and fear, it is the consolatory power of art which we must hold fast? As John Armstrong and Alain de Botton remind us, art is therapy. ‘Art reminds us of the legitimate place of sorrow in a good life, so that we panic less about our difficulties and recognise them as parts of a noble existence’. This is Ruga’s view too. He commemorates, gives hope, echoes and dignifies suffering, rebalances and guides, expands horizons and inspires appreciation. One cannot but stand in awe before Ruga’s frieze. The scale is magisterial, the colours psychotropic. One plunges into mysterious depths, buoyed by romance. The human and elemental worlds converge. Staggered, yet grounded, I turned left and entered the Zanele Muholi retrospective, And Then You See Yourself. This is an introspective and deeply personal expression. Remarkably, it conveys none of the narcissism typically associated with self-portraiture, the giddy me-me-me world. Instead, what we get is self-examination. Tenderness prevails. Love. Because what Muholi captures better than any other contemporary South African artist, and which justifies the artist’s global reign, is the ability to capture the precarity and triumphalism of being. In a world in which the abstraction, subtraction, and objectification of blackness persists, Muholi never loses sight of the powers of self-invention. The artist self identifies as gender neutral, a world that compels her to rethink far more than the nullification of the black body. Gender too is skewered. Muholi understands the power of performance, seizes when truth slips the knot of fakery, and, so doing, the depths of a being’s complex singularity.

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Muholi does cast and recast gender. She is never neutral, despite claims to the contrary. In two photographs the artist – ‘they’ – is cast as housemaid. In the one Muholi scrubs the floor while gazing at us through the pale calves of a passing madam. In the other the artist is seated on a freshly made bed, clutching a white pillow with one hand, the other pressed to the chest, gaze inward, bathed in a beneficent light pouring through the bedroom window. In that moment, it is the inner life of a being, far removed from slavery, that endures. In another series Muholi poses as a beauty contender. Three images reconstruct the objectification of women. In none of them, however, is the artist contritely subjected to the male gaze. Muholi owns the space, sets up the condition of enslavement, and its refusal, never unconcerned by persistent inequality on the basis of race, gender, elective association. It is Muholi’s ability to reframe unthinking power, shift its narrow optic, that allows for a liberatory vision. On the opposing wall the artist presents a strident counter to the faux beauty pageant, with fists raised, muscles pumped, gaze unflinching. It is not the idea of transformation and empowerment that dominates, but the artist’s ability to hold us within the complexity of a photograph – what it says, inflects, disturbs. For me, the most potent is a series of two women, white and black, in a tender embrace. It is their softness and gentleness that consoles, love one senses, mutual care. In a remarkable triptych the artist’s braided hair is being played with is carried along, the mood calm, intoxicating. If Ruga’s frieze is elegiac, Muholi’s clinically effective, the next body by work by Jackson Hlungwani, Alt and Omega, was equally masterful. I cannot recall when last I’d seen such consummate combinations of creative expression. Months of isolation may have contributed to my enthusiasm, but I think not. The credit should go to the Norval Foundation. They orchestrated a threefold event that would be uniquely inspiring anywhere in the world.

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Given that we are all asking the same question – What next? What must art do and become in a world split from its axis? – Norval’s answer is genius, for what they have foregrounded is art’s consolatory power. If, as Armstrong and de Botton remind us in Art as Therapy, ‘the main point of engaging with art is to help us lead better lives – to access better versions of ourselves’, then the Norval Foundation has answered this need. ‘A great artist knows how to draw our attention to the most tender, inspiring and enigmatic aspects of the world’, Armstrong and de Botton note, and this is precisely the goal which Norval aspires to. They hold fast to ‘the lessons of love at the front of our minds’. The Hlungwani retrospective is restorative. Curated by Amos Letsoalo, Nessa Leibhammer, and Karel Nel, it returns us to what we sorely require – humanity. Infused with an ‘Africanbased Christianity’ whose roots lie in Ethiopia, Hlungwani’s wooden sculptures explore the agony and ecstasy that afflicts and transfigures all life. Wooden panels, thrones, staffs, fish, images of God and Christ, return us to the power of theology, or, more loosely, faith, without which life is unsustainable. Roughly hewn, makeshift and calculated, Hlungwani’s sculptures reveal the indissoluble connection between the natural and spiritual worlds. Ruga’s frieze echoes this vision. In Hlungwani’s case, however, the dialogue between nature and God is more immersive and enigmatic. For him, art is a conversation with God, and, as is the case in deeply private dialogues, mystery engulfs the works hewn out of that dialogue. ‘God’s leg with Eggs’ echoes the artist’s personal affliction – the lesions in his own leg which he suffered – but the pain is also generative, ennobling, empowering. Transfiguration is the key to all that Hlungwani creates. His crucifixes – Christ on the cross replete with wings and serpent – convey the span of earth and sky, this world and the next. But it is our place between worlds that is most forcefully conveyed. It is this betweenness, caught at a strait, which expresses the mortal coil that binds Hlungwani’s sculptures. Grace and suffering are consorts.

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‘It is a longstanding problem of the human condition that we find it hard to form an accurate and bearable view of ourselves. We are beset by narcissism and self-loathing. Ameliorating this psychological frailty is one of the most important undertakings, and one in which we need the help of our contemporaries and our culture’. This view, Armstrong and de Botton, is a fitting reply to my experience at the Norval Foundation, for what Hlungwani, Ruga, and Muholi have given us, in differing ways, is an answer to frailty.

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Alarmed and inspired by all that I saw and felt, I quit this chapel and ventured outward into the garden and wetland, past a scuppering duck, to resettle myself and recuperate in God’s greater chapel of earth and sky. There, my wife’s words returned to me. There, I reflected on what it means to be human, and how important our artists are in helping us in this pursuit.

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André Stead, ‘Mask IX - Covid 19’, stainless steel, 13 x 18 x 20 cm

Christopher Moller Gallery www.christophermollerart.co.za; @christophermoller_gallery


IINYANGA ZONYAKA: ATHI-PATRA RUGA Norval Foundation Atrium 2 September 2020 – 26 July 2021 Photos. Michael Hall www.norvalfoundation.org

Installation View 7, iiNyanga Zonyaka, Athi-Patra Ruga. Opposite Page: Installation View 1, iiNyanga Zonyaka, Athi-Patra Ruga

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thi-Patra Ruga, born in Mthata, Eastern Cape in 1984, uses myth, of his own invention and in public circulation, in order to respond to contested histories as well as the contemporary context. Ruga creates “avatars” and alternate realities as a means to view the traumas of colonial history without the obstruction of personalised grief and subjective defensiveness. He uses these constructed narratives as a lens to process the past, to critique the present, and to propose humanist visions of the future. He lives and works between Cape Town and Hogsback, Eastern Cape.

In the first iteration of Athi-Patra Ruga’s iiNyanga Zonyaka — The Lunar Story Book — his story world takes the form of a window vinyl, permeating the space like the mouth of the universe, opening out of the atrium. Inspired by the stained glass of a church, the translucent film depicts a visual narrative which cross-pollinates through various time zones. 16

The central figure of Ruga’s story world, Nomalizo Khwezi, draws from the Lovedale Press collection. Established in 1823 in Alice, Eastern Cape, the printing press was founded to promote African literature. The avatar was inspired by Noni Jabavu, born in the Eastern Cape in 1919. She was a journalist and writer, publishing autobiographical books, and was one of the first Black, African women to pursue a successful literary career. The name Khwezi is a reference to the planet Venus, the ‘Morning Star’, named iKhwezi in isiXhosa. It is also a reference to human rights activist Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo under the alias ‘Khwezi’, who pursued charges against Jacob Zuma in 2005, before his presidency, for raping her. Despite the alias, she was victim to backlash and harassment from the public. As a result Khwezi was forced into exile, returning in 2011. The narrative also derives from Ruga’s own lived experience between the Eastern Cape and Cape Town. Nomalizo is mythical and real, she embodies all these intersections of her duality as iqaba (‘the red people’, adherents of traditional Nguni cultures) and negqoboka (Christianised, modernized Africans).

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Installation View 6, iiNyanga Zonyaka, Athi-Patra Ruga

The location of Ruga’s story world is Azania, a reference to Azania as the land of metaphor and ambition, and a sacred revolution. In Hebrew it means God is listening or God listens. It is an alternative name for South Africa, proposed in the time of apartheid by supporters of majority rule for the country. Ruga’s story world interrupts linear historical understanding, blurring mythology and reality by presenting us with counter-narratives and a cosmological recounting of time. Time as a cosmological recounting is etched onto the windows as visible light, invoking propagation and intensity, and absorbed as frequencies and wavelengths, expressed inside the atrium like a hymn in the book of Psalms. The viewing experience is like gazing into the South African rainbow and noticing the fracture, the distortion, the erasure, the violence, the fallacy, and the silences. Between the blue hues, the

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seas of green, the ochre reds, the sunlit yellows and earth browns, we are made to realise that plants are a sacred symbol. EyeKhala, the month of the Aloes is fierce, war-like, medicinal and beautiful. EyeThupha, the month of budding flowers, is the awakening. EyoMsintsi, the month of the coast coral tree, is royal, medicinal and powerful. The seasonal plants are umlibo (genealogy), tracing Nomalizo’s lineage thus providing us with a doorway to the past and as well as acting as a connection to the present and future. Light travels as a constellation of seasonal transitions and a procession in time. Through the vinyl we enter into myth which transforms reality, thus we are presented with counting time in a way that centres Black, femme and queer narratives.

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01 October 2020

Crossing Over JoĂŁo Ladeira

+27214224145 | 69 Burg Street | info@eclecticacontemporary.co.za | www.eclecticacontemporary.co.za


THE RUPERT MUSEUM Doors Open Again To The Public www.rupertmuseum.org

Exhibition view of ‘Nature Morte – The Still from Life’ Artists include Irma Stern, Nita Spilhaus, Otto Klar, John Newdigate, Ian Garrett and Nadine Greeff.


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he Rupert Museum is glad to have our doors open again to the public, after this lockdown period. Now that all are able to visit their favourite cultural institutions and spots, we would like to invite you to come and enjoy the museum with new exhibitions, exciting projects, the return of Museum Saturdays, other public programmes, seasonal menus from the café as well as a newly launched website - go have a peak www.rupertmuseum.org The ever-popular Museum Saturday’s, presented on the last Saturday of each month, has returned as of September. Look forward to art workshops for young and old, talks, walkabouts, special inspired menus and tastings. This year’s Museum Saturday’s will take place on 31 October and 21 November, to return again in January 2021. For those looking to get more active as spring is in the air – Yoga Thursday’s might just be the thing for you. Presented from the MakerStudio every Thursday, 13h00 – 14h00 (bookings essential), if you are working from home or not close by, no problem, these classes are also streamed live. Find out more by visiting our social media pages. Current exhibitions THE ACTIVE ARCHIVE – UNVEILLING COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT on exhibition until February 2021 Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes managing an art collection? Well this exhibition presents a view into Collection Management and Archiving of a private art collection. Various aspects, disciplines and general practice will be explored, by using artworks from the permanent collection as examples to illustrate, demonstrate and physically engage with. This exhibition is a physical working exhibition as all demonstrations, workshops and talks planned aligns to working projects - restoration, framing, digitization, acquisitions and deaccessions to mention a few. Keep an eye on the WHAT’S ON section on the website.

Exhibition view of ‘Nature Morte – The Still from Life’ Artists include Cecil Higgs, Clement Serneels, Jean Welz, John Newdigate & Ian Garrett and Claire Gunn. Following Page: Join us at the Rupert Museum Cafe | 021 888 3341 | cafe@rupertmuseum.org


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THE JOHANNESBURG STATION PANELS on permanent exhibition Artist JH Pierneef’s most acclaimed public commission was completed between 1929 and 1932. The Johannesburg Station Panels have been characterised as the epitome of the South African landscape genre. Since 2002 the complete set of thirty-two panels – twentyeight landscape and four tree scenes, is on long term loan from the TRANSNET Foundation to the Rupert Art Foundation. Being exhibited up to 2009 in Graaff-Reinet, the panels now find themselves home to Stellenbosch. NATURE MORTE – THE STILL FROM LIFE on exhibition until August 2021 Still lifes and interior scenes are a well-practiced genre in the visual arts. The significance of which is particularly relevant at this time, as we have experienced confinement to our domestic spaces the world over. By mainly including works from the permanent collections - the mediums of drawing, painting, print, sculpture and ceramics portray the South African stylistic movements of the 20th and 21st century. Prominent artists like Irma Stern, Jean Welz, Cecil Higgs, Alexis Preller, Erik Laubscher, Christo Coetzee, Penelope Siopis, Derrick Nxumalo, Karel Nel, John Newdigate and Hennie Meyer, amongst others, are included. The 17th century Flemish paintings from the Iziko SANG - Michaelis Collection start the conversation of Still Lifes as conventional and traditional but food and still photography by local photographers Claire Gunn, Michelle Parkin and Nadine Greeff feeds from this inspiration and blurs the lines between fine art and the commercial. Exhibition view of ‘Nature Morte – The Still from Life’ Artists include Cecil Higgs, Clement Serneels, Jean Welz, John Newdigate & Ian Garrett, Claire Gunn


OPEN CALL TO ARTISTS on show until 25 October 2020 Colour Symphony, was created by artist Michéle Nigrini in 1993. Taking a Modernist approach to observe and explore the reactions of colours to each other, how scale can influence colour and marks, and how a combination of line, colour and form activates and creates energy and flow. Through this ‘showcase’ of colour from purple to yellow, the artist used her familiar surroundings of a garden and its elements to visually and aesthetically portray the thought process and relationships between colour. Initially displayed as a 16-meter strip comprising out of 395 panels of oil paint on chipboard.

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We now call on artists across South Africa to produce responsive artworks to this monumental artwork part of the Rembrandt van Rijn Collection. Successful applicants’ artwork will be included in the group exhibition to be showcased at the Jan Rupert Art Centre in Graaff-Reinet from March – September 2021. *More details on www.rupertmuseum.org

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confessionale h e n k s e r f o n te i n wilma cruise m a r i e ke k r u g e r

24 Oct – 6 Dec

deepestdarkestart.com

DEEP EST DARK EST


CONFESSIONALE Deepest Darkest 24 Oct – 6 Dec 2020

Crucible Bodies I - IV, 330 cm x 124 cm (Per Panel), Charcoal on Hahnemuhle Paper, 2020

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HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN Ashraf Jamal

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n the documentary, The Secret Life of Chaos, Jim Al-Khalili reminds us that we are made of chalk, coal, water, air, the ‘debris of annihilated matter’. In the work of three artists on show at Deepest Darkest, Marieke Kruger and Henk Serfontein who work with charcoal, Wilma Cruise with clay, it is annihilated matter that is embodied. The works are of bodies, about bodies, in their fragile human form.

Cruise’s lone sculpture is a blunt instrument, roughly hewn. The torso echoes ancient forms, the Venus of Willendorf, but the head, a bald nub with gouged eyes, possesses sinister currency. Little is reassuring in this drilled stub of fired mud. The echo may be ancient, but this is no fertility goddess. As for the Greek ideal, apex of a Western conception of beauty? It is nowhere to be found. A rudimentary block with vacant holes, Cruise’s sculpture conspires against two traditions, one founded on fertility, the other on ego. Neither body nor mind are generative. Instead, both are fired into oblivion. Flanking this lone rough sculpture, we have charcoal drawings by Marieke Kruger and Henk Serfontein. Serfontein’s are meticulously detailed depictions of what we think the body is, what it looks like. But these drawings are not the sum of compulsive detail, but what meticulous detail fails, always, to convey. If Serfontein is obsessed with minutia – the porousness of skin, reticulation of bone and muscle, flowing growth of hair on a forearm – it is because his is a microscopic eye. He knows we learn best through minute observation, which most of us, distracted by distraction, fail to grasp. But the lesson of his meticulous eye and hand is not the clarity it reveals. Why? Because inside aggregated detail – the pocked surface of skin, say – lies chaos, formlessness, the unboundedness of human forms. Markedly distinct from Cruise, Serfontein nevertheless returns us to primal chaos.


(Detail) Belshazzar I - After Paul Stopforth’s Bather Charcoal on Hahnemuhle Paper 124 cm x 200 cm (Per Panel), 2020

Above: Wilma Cruise and Henk Serfontein. Oppsite page: Hebe, Ceramic on Steel Base, 80 x 81 cm, 2020 32

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Body Bereft Verweerskrif IV, Henk Serfontein, Charcoal and mixed media on archival Hannemuhle, 90cm x 90cm, 2020

Kruger’s works examine the complex of formed and amorphous matter. The dynamism of her charcoal drawings, combined with their vast scale, are reminders of the integral relationship of substance and void. We are recognisable and definable, yet not. This is because psychic forces which traverse the body are not reducible to it. The body is a vessel that contains a void and contained by it in turn. The Greek ideal is error. Assuming the body a reflection of a conscious ideal, the Greeks mistook the fundament of being. Our on-going obsession with surface and ego affirms this grotesque mistake. We are not what we look like, and neither are we the sum of ideas about ourselves. Deeper, stranger realms invade, confuse and hurt us, allow both for dread and hope. We are barely computable things with inscrutable urgencies.

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It is a bodiless dimension locked within bodies which Kruger, Serfontein, and Cruise, in differing ways, communicate. Their works make us feel, they unsettle, inspire, remind us of the power of looking closely. And why we fail to see what is most significant about ourselves, the debris of which we are made – charcoal, clay – and the debris to which we return – chaos, the deepest and darkest dimension of ourselves. If, after Nietzsche, we are human, all too human, it is not because of our regenerative capacity nor hubris, but because of our sensitivity to all that eludes us. This is the narrative at work in a gallery – booth – that amounts to a confessional.

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Good

Vibrations CHLOE TOWNSEND 07.10 - 30.10.2020

WWW.SALON91.CO.ZA


MASQUERADE Christopher Moller Gallery www.christophermollerart.co.za.

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asquerade or the ‘masked parade’, as André Stead likes to call it, refers to the sudden mass adoption of personal protection equipment around the world due to Covid-19. As with anything with a global impact, the pandemic has become politicised, criticised, capitalised and marginalised beyond recognition. Most people either have a strong opinion or are still trying to figure out what just happened. The sudden disruption of travel and trade and the mass retrenchment of the workforce have left many in dire straits. Is it the end of the world as we know it, as the song says? Or do we get to go back to a world where you don’t need to fear that a random person may arm you to unknowingly kill your grandmother? For now the normal is broken and, André wonders whether his granddaughters will ever know how open and free the world was when they came into it. Whether they will have to see how the world used to be in the movies, while shielded from strangers behind screens and masks out in the real world. The truth is, nobody really knows, experts are divided and, the usual answer is that there isn’t enough data to know what will happen for sure. “Things could get better or worse, in a medium to long term timeframe, or perhaps not.” That’s the official word on where we are regarding getting things back to normal.

This has left many people feeling down and, mental health is predicted to be a widespread problem directly resulting from Covid-19. What will happen to the fabric of society if millions upon millions of people suddenly become depressed? Nothing good, I would imagine, and that’s just one single example of the challenges that we may or may not be facing soon. The reality is that we are all going to have to work together to guide the world back to a place we can leave behind for our grandchildren. We are going to have to do that anyway, and perhaps this is our call to action. Across the globe consortiums of medical professionals race to find viable treatments and vaccines while the public at large employ social distancing with restricted services in a vast attempt to control the situation. The actions of every man, woman and child will dictate the collective outcome on a global scale. Everyone has a role to play, no matter how big or small, your opinion alone could be the thing that turns the tide this way or that. What you do and what you think matters, it matters more than ever. Working together is the only way human society will survive in a closed ecosystem, and it is up to all of us to make sure the future is better. So don’t be afraid to have an opinion, but think about it a little and make sure it’s a good one, and remember to be kind to your neighbours and strangers, they may not have been as fortunate as you. They may even be blue.

“Things could get better or worse, in a medium to long term timeframe, or perhaps not.” Top Right: Mask IX, stainless steel, 13 x 18 x 20 cm Bottom Right: Mask IV, stainless steel, 14 x 21 x 33 cm

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Mask II, stainless steel, 13 x 15 x 16 cm 38

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Mask VIII, stainless steel - 15 x 17 x 13 cm

Mask III, stainless steel, 13 x 15 x 16 cm


JOAO LADIERA Crossing Over, solo exhibition Eclectica Contemporary www.eclecticacontemporary.co.za

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rossing Over is a solo exhibition by João Ladeira, featuring mixed media works installed on the ground floor of Eclectica Contemporary’s building. Working mostly with brightly coloured Dutch wax fabric that have become ubiquitous across many African countries, Ladiera’s works reflect on these surfaces that have become a contemporary symbol of African attire and textiles and the bodies that exist amongst and in relation to their relating histories.  The exhibition aims to contribute meaningfully to discourse on the displacement of people and social cohesion. Based both in empirical research within academic contexts as well as his own lived experience as a refugee and social research through storytelling with those around him, many questions are embedded in

Ladeira’s practice. For the past nineteen years, he has worked on issues affecting the migration of people around the African continent. Through his work, he points to the discord that prevails on the continent by representing the fraught journeys that many are forced to embark on in search of safety. Of this body of work, he explains, “my current works narrates the tragedy of migrants on the Mediterranean Sea, or what I see as a spiritual journey undertaken by many young Africans in pursue of a better life”. Concurrently, through the themes and mediums he focuses on, his works celebrate the originality, cultural wealth and artistic diversity of the African continent and sit in conversation with the lingering questions we have yet to answer: how do we heal Africa’s woundedness and restore our humanity? How do we save our people from poverty, war, hunger, slavery, displacement and disease? A victim of two civil wars himself, Ladeira uses his own experiences of displacement to shed light on the daily struggles, complex relationships and overall humanity that unites people despite trying circumstances. “I have for many years lived with anxiety about the next step to follow”, Ladeira notes, “I often ask myself, what is going to happen to me next? Will I get the right documentation to stay in the country? Will I be able to find a job? Am I going back to my country? All these questions fill up my mind 10 times a day, and create tension within me”. Ladeira’s art considers and reveals a human perspective of displaced people – people who are so often rendered nameless, story-less and detached from social society.

Above: Mother, 2020, Acrylic, charcoal on canvas and fabric, 134 x 187cm. Opposite Page: Holding On, 2019, Acrylic, charcoal and fabric on canvas, 117 x 160 cm

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The spread of the bodies across the exhibition appears as repetition, asking viewers to reflect on the desensitization that occurs in response to the feed of stories that stream through news platforms and political debates. The use of multimedia is deliberate and has to do with the fact that as an art form, it includes different properties that comes together to create one body of work. Using a combination of drawing,

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Above: Dark Blue, 2020, Acrylic, charcoal on canvas and fabric, 117 x 172 cm. Opposite: Exodus, 2019, Acrylic, charcoal and fabric on canvas,125 x 170 cm

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Tribute to Theodore Gericault, The Raft of Medusa, 2020, Acrylic, charcoal on canvas and fabric, 72 x 83 cm

collage and paintings, the works in Crossing Over each consist of overpainting on canvas or wax fabric. By overpainting and mixing textiles, there is an interplay between replicable nature of printed fabric with the unique mark-making of Ladeira’s painting. Ladiera sees it as an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless through art and to celebrate the greatness of the African continent. He explains, “as an artist, I believe that I have a social responsibility to make a positive comment, no matter how small, to engage my audience in this dialogue. I further believe that by shifting the focus from the negative and confrontation, as manifest in this tragedy and brutal images, I will be giving a chance to the audience to look at the migrants, men, women and children from a different angle. Consequently, this act aims to

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restore the dignity of the migrants and sensitize the passive spectator to take an interest in the suffering of migrants”. João Ladeira is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg where he earned a Masters Degree in Fine Art. He has worked in various disadvantaged community engagement programs around South Africa and exhibited on various group exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and at the 4th Guanlan International Printmakers Biennial in China. Ladeira has travelled extensively throughout the continents of Africa, North America and Europe. His solo exhibition, Crossing Over will run from 1 October to 26 November at Eclectica Contemporary, 69 Burg Street, Cape Town.

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HYBRID SPIRIT Adejoke Tugbiyele The Melrose Gallery www.themelrosegallery.com

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dejoke Tugbiyele’s much anticipated solo exhibition titled ‘Hybrid Spirit’ launches at The Melrose Gallery, in Johannesburg on the 15 October and runs until 15 November 2020. The exhibition will also be made available on a viewing room on www.themelrosegallery.com. The artworks on the show were produced in South Africa during a time of intense immersion, personal and artistic challenge to confront the unknown, as well as to push the boundaries of Adejoke’s primary material – traditional African brooms – in exploration of the (human/ female/ hybrid) figure. They combine to form a new poetic aesthetic, which departs from her previous works in their minimalism. They embody a power in their simplicity.

“By simplifying, I was able to focus my energy (In Yoruba – ase) towards greater awareness of formal and material possibilities, including scale. Furthermore, I continue to explore performance in costume to understand the visual language (s) my body speaks – hybrid, androgynous and spontaneous gestures with improvisation. By doing so, I could free myself from historical and cultural “othering”. I could become whole unto myself, regardless of identity”, Adejoke explains. Implicit in hybridity is the notion of queering dominant space or, accepting both sides of the soul which are both masculine and feminine, or neither. Adejoke explored this further through movement/performance and via collaboration with Clint Strydom in a series of photographic works taken at Nirox Sculpture Park. As a result, a clear unified message finds a common thread through all her mediums. The exhibition and the works challenge audiences to look through and past the physical, manifesting the Spirit and to discover their hidden essence – destiny. Left: Clint Strydom, Series 1, Warrior Spirit/ Gathering Energy, 2020. Following Page: Series 2, The Self/Spear, 2020


Adejoke Tugbiyele, Flow #4 (Dress Code), 2019

Adejoke Tugbiyele, Talk to The Pussy, 2019

Adejoke Tugbiyele, Grace, 2019

Hybridity frees the mind from the limitations of gender and sexuality, and from the human body in general. It takes us into the spiritual realm, where we can begin to imagine new ways of perceiving and being in the world. Hybridity also makes us more aware of the two-spirit nature of humans and therefore the potential to tap into different energies towards successful inner transformation.

Adejoke was born in Brooklyn, New York and was partly raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. Her works sit in significant public collections including, Daimler Art Collection Berlin, Museum of Arts and Design, Brooklyn Museum and National Museum of African Art Smithsonian and the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

Traditional African brooms have been widely used across cultures for social, cultural and political symbolism – the act of sweeping and cleansing negative energy from society.

ENGAGING TALKS PROGRAMME: An engaging talks programme has been planned to accompany the exhibition featuring invited guests from the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), curators, academics and activists. ‘Manifesting the Spirit’ on 22 October at 6:30pm. ‘Sides of the Soul’ on 29 October at 6:30pm. Both discussions will take place on Zoom, please see www. themelrosegallery.com for more details or contact craig@themelrosegallery.com

In Limpopo, people – mainly women, use brooms to drive out evil spirits. In contemporary Nigerian politics, the waving of traditional brooms is a significant symbol during the election period. And in African American culture, “jumping the broom” was a symbolic gesture during marriage ceremonies and part of celebrating black love during a time—the enslavement of Africans—when it was dangerous to do so.

Opposite Page: Adejoke Tugbiyele, Grace (Detail), 2019

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ARTS TOWN RIEBEEK VALLEY

Bookings now open www.artstown.co.za

The stage is set at the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre (RATA) for a Summer Theatre Season. Photo. Neil Geldenhuys


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ince the turn of the millennium, the Riebeek Valley has seen a steady influx of artists and other creatives who have chosen to reside in this picturesque corner of the Western Cape. It is not difficult to understand why. Nestled amongst vineyards, olive groves and orchards, the twin towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West offer the tranquility in which to explore creative endeavours, less than an hour’s drive from the high end galleries, exhibition spaces, theatres and studios of Cape Town. So it was that an informal colony of artists, artisans, crafters, writers and performers began to establish itself - albeit unwittingly due to their somewhat reclusive natures – in the shadow of the Kasteelberg.

All that began to change in 2016 with the advent of Solo Studios – Intimate Art Encounters, a bespoke event which provided a limited number of aficionados with exclusive access to the personal creative spaces of some of the valley’s acclaimed artists. So successful was this inaugural event that it was decided to make it an annual occasion. A range of peripheral but complementary activities was added, including wine tastings with renowned vintners Andrea and Chris Mullineux and talks by local authors Jacques Pauw and Max du Preez. As it became more and more evident to both residents and visitors that the area boasted a substantially higher than average concentration of creative minds, the idea of formalizing this loose community of artists into a destination began to be mooted and the concept of Arts Town Riebeek Valley was born. Now, several years later, Arts Town Riebeek Valley has become the umbrella under which its flag ship annual event, Solo Studios, is only one of the many exciting happenings on the arts calendar of the region. 2020 brought with it the Coronavirus pandemic which derailed the 5th edition of Solo Studios. Usually held over the Women’s Day long weekend in August, it had to be postponed. However, regular attendees have been delighted by the recent announcement that it has been rescheduled for the weekend of 1113 December. This will be the first time the event will be held in the Swartland summer. Visitors to artist Tamlin Blake’s studio

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A street performance by poet Donker Jonker engages the audience in addressing gender-based violence

Artist Riaan van Zyl engages his audience


A popular street art performance during Solo Studios

“We specifically chose the August weekend in the past, as the event supplied a welcome economic injection after months of lower business levels during the winter months” says Klaus Piprek, founder of Solo Studios. “This year, however, the traditional summer wedding season has not recovered from the lockdown period, so we felt it appropriate to host Solo Studios in December to assist with post-Covid economic recovery.” “Visitors and attendees are advised to book for the event and accommodation well in advance” advises Piprek. “There are a limited number of rooms available in the valley, and in 2019 about 90% of our shows and activities were sold out. Tickets go on sale towards the end of September.” Arts Town Riebeek Valley’s creative community continues to grow, one of the more recent arrivals being theatre and television director, producer and writer Mark GrahamWilson who is breathing life into the valley’s

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performing arts through the establishment of the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre. Situated in the grounds of the iconic Royal Hotel and generously sponsored by the hotel’s owner, Robert Brendel, RATA has been conceived as an open air performance space in which audiences and artists can safely gather to experience the magic of live theatre again after the hard months of lockdown. Already host to a series of popular Poetry Jams and sundowner concerts, RATA opens officially on 13 November with a summer season of ten professional theatre productions which runs until April 2021. For details of, and to book for the productions, visit: Solo Studios - https://solostudios.co.za/ Summer Theatre Season productions: https://artstown.co.za/events-calendar/ Book online: https://artstown.co.za/book-now/ Book accommodation online: https://roomsinriebeek.co.za/

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5th Avenue Auctioneers

J.H. Pierneef (SA 1886 - 1957) Oil

On Auction Sunday 11th October

Walter Battiss (SA 1906 - 1982) Oil

www.5aa.co.za 011 781 2040 Trusted Fine Art Auctioneers Since 1985


UJ ART GALLERY GOES ONLINE WITH CURE www.arts.uj.ac.za/series/CURE2020/

Dr Johan Myburg

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J Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) proudly presents CURE, a digital exhibition featuring work by South African artists, opened online on 14 September 2020. In this exhibition the artists, all established in their own individual practice, explore and interrogate in their work passages to a new level of planetary civilization, essential to ensure the survival of the human race. Shortly after the national lockdown period was announced as a means to curb the spread of the corona virus in South Africa, UJ Arts & Culture launched The Pandemic Project, an interdisciplinary project on the University of Johannesburg online platform. The Pandemic coincided with the release of the UJ Choir’s most recent album When the Earth Stands Still. With levels of lockdown still in place while the pandemic is raging the UJ Art Gallery is hosting CURE, an online exhibition following the format of The Pandemic, curated by Annali Dempsey, curator of the UJ Gallery, and guest curator Johan Myburg.

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Eric Duplan


‘Although the title of the exhibition might hint at finding a cure for the virus, the scope of the exhibition is much broader to include the curative qualities of art, bridging the gap between nature and technology as proposed in Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Terzo Paradiso (Third Paradise),’ says Myburg. The aspect of art as cure, as restorative endeavour, serves as the main tenet of CURE, an exhibition focusing on our passage through the world, on reflection and reconciliation between the natural and the artificial. In this exhibition a total of seventeen South African artists explore and interrogate this curative aspect of art in this exhibition. The participating artists are Eric Duplan, Paul Emmanuel, Kieron Jina, Donna Kukama, Songezile Madikida, Senzeni Marasela, Kagiso Pat Mautloa, Hannelie Coetzee, Blessing Ngobeni, Nhlanhla Nhlapo, Lwandiso Njara, Zolile Phetsane, Jan Tshikhuthula, Hentie van der Merwe, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jake Singer and Minnette Vári. Pistoletto (b 1933), Italian artist and one of the stars of the Arte Povera movement, considers the Third Paradise as the passage to a new level of planetary civilization, essential to ensure the survival of the human race. The Third Paradise is a fusion between the First and Second Paradise. The first, according to Pistoletto, is the paradise in which humans were fully integrated into nature. The second is the artificial paradise, developed by human intelligence to globalizing proportions through science and technology. This paradise is made of artificial needs, artificial products, artificial comforts, artificial pleasures and every other form of artifice. Humankind has created a truly artificial world that has triggered, in an exponential manner and in parallel with beneficial effects, irreversible processes of decline and consumption of the natural world. The Third Paradise is the third phase of humanity, realised as a balanced connection between the conflicting paradises of artifice and nature. ‘Michelangelo Pistoletto’s prophetic vision of a Third Paradise where nature and technology share a middle-ground is now more important than ever,’ says Dempsey. ‘In a post-industrial and fourth industrial revolution (4IR) era, where creativity is considered one of the top key skills,

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Paul Emmanuel


Blessing Ngobeni

artists may just be considered to be part of the way ahead. The curative nature of the arts is thus not only to be found in art production, but in acknowledgment of resulting philosophies, necessary for the restructuring of society.’ Apart from merely showing the artworks, CURE includes short video footage of the individual artists producing their work. Extending the interdisciplinary approach initiated by The Pandemic Project, cuts from three album’s by the UJ Choir with Renette Bouwer as Senior Choir Master – Road Home (2011), Sweet Days (2015) and Peace (2018) – are used as inspiration and or soundtrack for the artists’ videos. CURE is also linked to a virtual participative action research inquiry hosted by the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management at UJ. On 1 and 2 October Prof Freddie Crous, Head of the Department, will facilitate the name change and rebranding of the Department’s Centre for Work Performance to the Centre for Open Work. National and international departmental stakeholders (academic, professional and industry) will be invited to collaborate.

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‘The intention is to apply the symbol (and its inherent philosophy) of Pistoletto as a point of departure, a guide and performative instrument for the Centre for Open Work’s future projects,’ says Crous. ‘The CURE exhibition will provide the first step in this journey by inspiring the participants in the virtual inquiry to be mindful of the symbol and what it represents when co-constructing the Centre’s vision, purpose and value proposition.’ Our gratitude to the management of the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management (School of Management, College of Business and Economics) at UJ for the financial contribution to the CURE project. CURE is available on https://arts.uj.ac.za/series/CURE2020/ For more information contact Annali Dempsey at aedempsey@uj.ac.za or Mia van Schalkwyk at miavs@uj.ac.za

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NWU GALLERY

13 October 2020 Clement Mohale – The creative adult is the one who survived

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lement Mohale is a contemporary South African artist born in April 1994 at Bela-Bela. He has always been passionate about art from an early childhood. Clement has the honour to be mentored by the late Ernest Ditshego at The African Art Center, where learned and developed the basic skills and techniques of the arts discipline. In 2007 he won the Managers Choice Award for the Cashbuild Art At HeArt Community Competition and during 2020 he made to the final selection of The Lockdown Collection (Student) Portfolio. He is currently a public finance Student at Tshwane University of Technology while studying Printmaking at Artist Proof Studio.

ARTIST STATEMENT My works captures the beauty and strength of the African continent. The works I create portrays the diverse culture of the African people and how they strive to survive within the harsh environment they live in. Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by

Left: Solitude, Mixed media on paper Above: State of suspense, Mixed media on paper Opposite Page: Black crown, Mixed media on paper

the unrelenting divergence of the human condition. Therefore, this led to me devoting my creativity to the less fortunate by capturing and sharing their strives with the audience. The intimate experience with my works thus provides a sense of compassion towards the affected people. My works explores one’s desire to overcome life challenges and becoming resilient in midst of all the trials and tribulations we face. I used different mediums such as charcoal, pastel, acrylic and oil paints, which allows me to express my feelings and inner thoughts. Therefore, I do not limit myself to one medium, idea and or concept. My works consist of basic colours which conveys the mood of the artworks. These lines are entangled with each other representing a degree of emotional, psychological and physical impact experienced by the people in their quest for a normal life. Inspiration always changes because of life’s uncertain circumstances as each day unfolds. My works are inspired by the life challenges that I have encountered while trying to find a fit for purpose in a society that comes with its own standard of ideals. My works reflect the way I interpret the ideas I have about myself and the world I live in.

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Business Art News

STEPHAN WELZ & CO. Cape Town live Spring Auction 27th and 28th of October www.swelco.co.za

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ur Cape Town live Spring Auction will take place on the 27th and 28th of October. A five day viewing, from the 21st – 25th of October will precede the auction, allowing those in the area to interact with the works in person. Following on from the success of our Esther Mahlangu artworks that sold on our August auction, we have another two artworks by this South African artist. As well as a signed acrylic on canvas artwork, we also have a serigraph work, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, which is signed by the artist. Both artworks come with a copy of the catalogue from the artist’s retrospective, held at the Irma Stern Gallery when the artist turned 80. Another highlight on our upcoming auction is the skillfully wrought artwork Follow Me by mixed media artist Willie Bester. The delicate oil on canvas painting is framed in an upcycled road sign, portraying fun, freedom and a hint of menace. These works are complimented by the sensitive and confident pencil lines in the Gerard Sekoto watercolour The Queue. This artwork documents people living their daily lives, perhaps waiting for a bus or in a beer hall. This work was gifted to the wife of art collector Reinhold Cassirer by the artist as a thank you for her assistance in arranging for Sekoto to retire to “La Maison Nationale des Artistes”, which was a retirement village specifically intended for artists in France. Esther Mahlangu, (South African 1935 - ), Untitled, 2015, signed and dated 2014 in the plate, numbered 20/80 in pencil in the margin; accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, serigraph on Somerset Velvet 330gsm paper with varnish 57 by 80cm. Provenance:   UCT Irma Stern Museum, Esther 80 Exhibition, November 2015, The British Museum, South Africa: The Art of a Nation, October 2017, Accompanied by the catalogue: Esther 80 Exhibition, UCT Irma Stern Museum, 2015 R 12 000 – R 18 000


Esther Mahlangu (South African 1935 - ), Abstract, Signed on the overlap canvas on the stretcher, acrylic on canvas, 25 by 80cm, Accompanied by the catalogue: Esther 80 Exhibition, UCT Irma Stern Museum, 2015, R 20 000 – R 30 000

Gerard Sekoto (South African 1913 – 1993), The Queue, signed and dated 45, pencil and watercolour on paper, 25 by 35cm. Provenance: Reinhold Cassirer Collection, Johannesburg, 1989 R 60 000 – R 90 000

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Willie Bester, (South African 1956 - ) Follow Me, signed and dated 2000, oil on board set in road sign, 39 by 29cm, Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist, R 10 000 – R 15 000


Business Art News

NORTH/SOUTH

Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Wine Auction 8-11 November 2020 www.straussart.co.za

John Newdigate and Ian Garrett, Birds Feeding, porcelain height: 58cm, R 50 000 - 70 000

Ian Garrett, Moon Apples, burnished terracotta with clay slips and shell impressions, height: 33,5cm, R 20 000 - 30 000

Auction Highlights: Contemporary South African Ceramics “A pot is elevated to the realm of art if the potter makes it primarily for that reason, and it will then be judged as art, and not as a well designed household utensil.”

sculptors or printmakers, such as Deborah Bell, Robert Hodgins and Hannatjie van der Wat, among many others, who produce ceramics occasionally or regularly, as part of their overall art practice. The category also encompasses the production of commercial ware from smaller artisanal potteries and studios such as Cullinan Refractories/Olifantsfontein Potteries (which produced Linnware) and Grahamstown Pottery (which produced Drostdy Ware), as well more mass-produced, designer utilitarian ware, such as that manufactured by Continental China and National Ceramic Industries in the 1960s. A contemporary take on this form of production is the William Kentridge mirrored coffee cups produced by Illy in 2008.

“What’s brilliant about ceramics is the range of techniques and the enormously rich history which [can be drawn on] for inspiration – you have everything that a painter has but also most of the stuff a sculptor has and all those very particular techniques and effects that you can only get with ceramics.” Contemporary South African ceramics emerged in the 1960s and 70s, distinguishing itself as a separate category from what is known as historical ceramics (such as VOC plates and other wares traded between East and West), and heritage vessels (such as the many ceramic pots found at archaeological sites, including at Mapungubwe). In addition to work from the studios of individual artists known primarily as ceramists, such as Esias Bosch and Andrew Walford, it also includes the work of artists known primarily as painters,

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The work of artists working in contemporary ceramic media ranges from new interpretations of traditional forms (for example in the work of Nesta Nala, Ian Garrett and Juliet Armstrong), and the reinvention of classical forms and shapes in highly innovative sculptural ceramic pieces (such as by Corné Joubert, Ruan Hoffmann and Molelekoa Simon Masilo).

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Hylton Nel, Flower Cat, iron-red, yellow and mottled-blue glazed earthenware, height: 23cm, R 18 000 - 24 000


Nico Masemola, A Pair of Green-glazed earthenware Figures of Hares, two green-glazed earthenware, height: 36,5cm and 35cm (each), R 10 000 - 15 000

Eugene Hรถn, Spirit Vessels, two painted and glazed ceramic height: 23,5cm; width: 14,5cm; depth: 13,5cm (each), R 8 000 - 12 000

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Eugene Hรถn, Womb with a View, painted and glazed ceramic lamp, height: 67cm; width: 40cm; depth: 40cm, R 20 000 - 30 000


A Good Read

A THREAT TO BANKSY’S EMPIRE

An EU Court Rules That He Can’t Hold Trademarks While His Identity Remains a Mystery Taylor Dafoe, September 17, 2020 / First Published on Artnet

Banksy, Love is in the Air (2015).

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panel of three judges from the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office has ruled against Banksy in a two-year-long trademark dispute with a greeting-card company seeking to use his iconic design of a protestor throwing a bouquet of flowers. Setting a precedent that may put all of the guerilla artist’s trademarks in jeopardy, the panel ruled that because his identity remains a mystery, he can’t claim trademarks to his works. Remarkably, the ruling also invalidates his UK trademark for the flower-thrower image. “Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous

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and for the most part to paint graffiti on other people’s property without their permission, rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property,” the panel said in its decision, published today. “It must be pointed out that another factor worthy of consideration is that he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden.” The card company, Full Colour Black, first initiated legal proceedings against Banksy and his legal team, Pest Control Office, in the fall of 2018. Their case hinged on the claim that the artist had no intention of using the trademark he had taken out on the design in 2014.

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An 18-carat gold diamond-encrusted face mask being made by Yvel. The commissioned mask costs over £1 million. Courtesy Yvel.

The artist responded in distinctly Banksyian fashion, launching a shop called Gross Domestic Product to shamelessly peddle his wares. Ostensibly, the idea was to demonstrate that he was using the trademarks on his work. “Banksy has been forced into the merchandising market,” the artist’s lawyer Mark Stephens, told Artnet News last year. “The European trademark categories became his muse—you have a ludicrous court action being met by creative genius!” But the ploy appears to have had the opposite effect. In their ruling, the intellectual property judges called the shop “inconsistent with honest practices.” “The use, which was only made after the initiation of the present proceedings, was identified as use to circumvent the requirements of trademark law and thus there was no intention to genuinely use the sign as a trademark,” the panel wrote.

“Banksy was trying to use the sign only to show that he had an intention of using the sign, but his own words and those of his legal representative unfortunately undermined this effort.” In an interview with World Trademark Review, attorney Aaron Wood, who represented Full Colour Black in the case, suggested that it could have serious repercussions for the artist’s other trademarks in the EU and the US.  “If there was no intention to use, then the mark is invalid, and there is also the question of fraud,” Wood said. “In fact, all of Banksy’s trademarks are at risk as all of the portfolio has the same issue.” Banksy’s legal team did not immediately respond to Artnet News’s request for comment.


A Good Read

THE KING OF THE NEW YORK AUCTIONS This Fall Isn’t Picasso or Pollock. It’s a T. Rex Named Stan —and His $8 Million Skeleton Eileen Kinsella, September 16, 2020 / First Published on Artnet

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ust when you thought the definition of “hybrid sale” couldn’t get any more expansive, Christie’s is throwing quite a curveball into its October 6 evening sale in New York. As part of its new mashup “20th/21st Century” week, the auction house will sell an eightfigure Picasso, an eight-figure Jackson Pollock—and one of the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever discovered. Named Stan in honor of Stan Sacrison, the paleontologist who first found the skeleton’s partially unearthed hip bones, the prehistoric creature is described as “an extraordinary surviving specimen from approximately 67 million years ago.” It stands 13 feet high and measures 40 feet long with the tail outstretched. It has 188 original bones and “eyes the size of baseballs.” The presale estimate is $6 million to $8 million and there is no reserve, or minimum price. It was consigned by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota as the result of a settlement agreement. (Christie’s did not elaborate on the settlement details.) Among previous high prices for dinosaur bones was the $8.4 million Sotheby’s realized in a 1997 sale of a complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton known as Sue, which is now in Chicago’s Field Museum.

 Christie’s will offer a near complete skeleton of a T-Rex named Stan at its upcoming evening sale.

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Detail of ‘Stan’ a T-Rex skeleton being offered for sale by Christie’s.

For the past two decades, Stan has been displayed and studied at the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota. It has inspired dozens of academic articles and studies within the paleontological community. Christie’s is pulling out all the stops for the dinosaur’s pre-auction display: it has blown out the wall that obstructs the view from its oversize windows on 49th Street so that the dinosaur will be viewable 24/7 from the sidewalk. Beginning today and continuing through October 21, “enthusiasts and pedestrians alike” will have the chance to see the skeleton in a socially distanced setting. A limited number of in-gallery viewings will be available by appointment through Christie’s booking system and related educational content will be made available via QR codes.

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Why place the Jurassic sensation in a fine art sale? Because evening sales are understood by collectors to be the best platforms for exceptional items, “and in this case, that includes this very important and very wellknown T.rex skeleton,” said a Christie’s representative. Auction followers may recall that this is not the first time Christie’s has placed an historic item alongside contemporary offerings. In late 2017, the auction house turned heads when it offered Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered portrait of Jesus, Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), which made auction history when it sold for more than $450 million on an estimate around $100 million, making it the most expensive object ever sold at auction.


THE HARD-HIT ARTS SECTOR IS FACING A BRAIN DRAIN AS AMBITIOUS WORKERS SEEK GREENER PASTURES Dissatisfied cultural workers are leaving the field in droves —and museums may pay the price. Zachary Small, September 15, 2020

Ed Rodley had prepared to say goodbye— just not this way. After more than three decades of continuous employment in cultural institutions across Massachusetts, the 56-year-old digital-media producer found himself among the dozens of employees laid off from the Peabody Essex Museum in June. The coronavirus pandemic had expedited a restructuring effort already underway there, deepening cuts to longtime workers. Around the same time, Andrea Montiel de Shuman, 32, was tendering her resignation at the Detroit Institute of Arts. After nearly five years as the organization’s digital-experience designer, she had started experiencing what she described as “museum paralysis.” Montiel de Shuman felt trapped under a leadership that she says belittled her expertise and disenfranchised other employees. Meanwhile, colleagues who had departed the industry were thriving with significant growth opportunities and comparably meaty salaries. Covid-19 simply affirmed that it was time to leave the museum. Outside London, Lucy Charlotte came to a similar conclusion. Despite two years of front-of-house museum work at Tate, plus two more at the English Heritage nonprofit, and a recently earned graduate degree in art history, nearly 30 applications over an 18-month period came up short without so much as an interview offer. And then there was the pandemic. “I started thinking about the future,” Charlotte, 25, explained. “How long can I wait around for an art job that will never happen?” She decided to exit the field entirely and become a midwife.

Jobs Are Going, Going, Gone Scenes like these have unfolded all summer long as the lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts sector have come into view. And with veterans and newcomers alike abandoning an industry struggling to confront racial and economic inequities, experts worry that the entire field will soon experience catastrophic losses of talent and institutional knowledge. Others claim that the brain drain is already here. “Right now, there is a tremendous loss of faith among people who gave everything to museums,” said Tom Eccles, director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. “The furloughs and the layoffs had a terrible psychic effect on people in our industry.” The American Alliance of Museums has also identified the issue. “The pandemic continues to illuminate the inequities in our society,” a spokesperson told Artnet News, adding that the organization is especially concerned that “people of color are disproportionately affected by furloughs and layoffs.” Stories of departure from the field are putting names and faces to the onslaught of worrying statistics released this summer on the creative economy’s health. One report, published by the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution, estimated that between April 1 and July 31, the fine and performing arts sectors have lost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. Another report, prepared for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs by Southern Methodist University, found that nearly 15,000 workers have been laid off or furloughed from 810 cultural organizations in the city over the course of just two weeks in April and May. The latest edition of the UBS Global


Art Market Report, meanwhile, estimates that with gallery sales decreasing by nearly 36 percent, more dealers may shutter their brick-and-mortar stores. “At the moment, the arts industry is being decimated both creatively and economically because the necessary infrastructure needed to support talent is crumbling,” said Michael L. Royce, the director of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). “With that said, the sector will come back, and we have a moral responsibility to address racial inequality within the entire arts complex now to ensure that it returns with a stronger and more grounded focus.” One indicator of how economic forces are playing out in the art world is NYFA’s job board, a widely used resourced for anyone looking for employment in the industry. Over the past six months, the foundation has seen a 59 percent decrease in job listings compared to the same time period last year.

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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back There is reason to believe that many of the losses will be permanent. Researchers at the University of Chicago have published an analysis on pandemic-era layoffs, estimating that 42 percent of layoffs will result in permanent job losses. Budget shortfalls have resulted in a regression of priorities in many museums, where once-growing fields like digital media and education are being targeted for cuts. “Museums are shedding staff and the brain drain is just immeasurable,” Rodley said. “It’s almost like the clock is ticking backwards on the evolution of museums. Everything that’s happened since the 1950s has been sloughed off.” Two weeks ago, Paul Schmelzer was among the employees terminated at the Walker Art Center, where he led the museum’s awardwinning online magazine, Walker Reader, for almost a decade.

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“I was stunned,” Schmelzer said. “I spent the last week being numb because I had put my personal values and passion into my job.” Museum director Mary Ceruti said that layoffs were part of a restructuring effort underway before Covid-19. “It’s not unusual for a new director to change priorities and develop new approaches,” she told Artnet News in an interview, saying that the Walker Reader was currently on pause as her team was reconsidering what form it could take in the future. “Museums are being challenged at every step of the way,” she added. “But how are museums ever going to change if everybody in museums stays?” Nevertheless, some worry about the precedent of such decisions on the museum workforce. “What Mary Ceruti is doing there is disrespectful to the institution,” the art critic Tyler Green, who has been following the situation at the museum, said. “Why would anyone in the industry think they have job security when something like this happens to someone as prominent as Paul?” “So Much Talent is Wasted” According to Eccles, the costs associated with losing valuable sources of institutional knowledge are immense. Not only will museums become less efficient, but he estimates that operational costs will jump by nearly 50 percent to train new employees. “It’s going to take some years before we get back to where we were before,” he said. But the industry tremors that have accompanied Covid-19 are only part of a larger trend of dissatisfaction among the sector’s employees. Over the past year, museum employees across the country have spearheaded unionization efforts and started to informally organize advocacy groups around salary transparency, equity, and inclusion. But amid the pandemic, optimism about whether museums can adequately evolve and welcome employees who are not uniformly white and wealthy has dwindled.

“Diversity means nothing when there are no equitable practices and intentional acknowledgements of what actually happens in decision-making,” Montiel de Shuman said. “More people need to speak up, but I have no right whatsoever to ask someone to go through the sacrifices that I know it takes to be in this field.” The vanishing allure of working in the arts will be a challenge for museums when they emerge from the pandemic and begin hiring again. With so many professionals exiting the field and graduate programs taking a hiatus, recruiting practices for the once-competitive world of cultural institutions may have to change. “So much talent and passion is wasted,” said Charlotte, who has already seen the vast majority of her classmates from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she received her bachelor’s degree, leave the field. She estimated that only about five peers are still working in the arts, from a cohort of nearly 50 students. After failing to secure an internship, one friend eventually abandoned her dreams of museum work for life as a cheesemaker. “The people who get to stay in the art world are those who can afford to work for nothing,” Charlotte says. “The pandemic was just the final straw.”


ARTGO OCTOBER EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS 2020

Shepherd Gemma, Shadow Work, 2020, ArchivaI Ink Jet Print on Cotton Rag Paper, 32x46


131//A//GALLERY

Spring Show featuring MJ Lourens, Geena Wilkinson, Thembalethu Manqunyana, Nicholas Hales, Conrad Botes, Lyndi Sales Sarah Biggs & Anton Karstel 28/09/2020 - 28/10/2020 / www.131agallery.com

MJ Lourens, The Spoils Of Spring, Acrylic on canvas, 40cm x 60cm

BERMAN CONTEMPORARY Chrisél Attewell Solo Exhibition 19/09/2020 Until 17/10/2020 www.bermancontemporary.com

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Art, antiques, objets d’art, furniture and jewellery wanted for forthcoming auctions

Cecil Skotnes, incised wood panel with oil paint SOLD R 160,000 View previous auction results at www.rkauctioneers.co.za

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Confessionale By Marieke Kruger, Wilma Cruise And Henk Serfontein 24/10/2020 UNTIL 05/12/2020 www.deepestdarkestart.com

EBONY/CURATED

Feminist Utopia 09/09/2020 Until 09/10/2020 www.ebonycurated.com

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FINE ART AFRICA

The Sacred Collection 01/09/2020 until 01/01/2021 www.fineartafrica.online

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ECLECTICA CONTEMPORARY

Crossing Over, João Ladeira solo exhibition 01/10/2020 until 26/11/2020 www.eclecticacontemporary.co.za


FINE ART AFRICA The Sacred Collection brings you a limited edition exhibition of work created by the late Vetkat Regopstaan Kruiper. The collection showcases his contemporary illustration of some of the most ancient symbolism found on Earth, created amongst one of the oldest tribes still living today. www.fineartafrica.online

Vetkat, The Gift of Love - The ALL, 30 x 40cm, Archival Inks on Archival Paper or Giclee Print on Canvas, 1969-2007 88

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THE VIEWING ROOM AT ST LORIENT Only lines 03/10/2020 UNTIL 21/11/2020 www.stlorient.com

GALLERY: GALLERY @ GLEN CARLOU

Stories – A Group Exhibition Featuring: Amy Rusch, Carla Crafford, Cathy Abraham, Guy du Toit, Ingrid Winterbach, Elize de Beer, Marinda du Toit and Nicola Bailey / 01/10/2020 until 19/11/2020

Carla Crafford, Hare (The Shadow Reveals a Different Truth)

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RUPERT ART MUSEUM

Group Exhibition Nature Morte – The Still From Life 04/09/2020 Until 29/08/2021 www.rupertmuseum.org

THE CAPE GALLERY

Sights For The Next Generation 03/09/2020 until 23/10/2020 www.capegallery.co.za

Ulrich de Balbian Fine Art Foundation. Home.Studio.Gallery. ulrichdebalbian.org Painting/video library. Torch night tours. Several galleries. Garden installations & exhibitions. 17 Vierde Laan MoorreesburgW. Cape. 0844604541 ravenyoung1806 @gmail.com

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MAICO CAMILO

International Artist – First Exhibition in Woodstock, Cape Town Now Showing www.maicocamilo.com

SALON NINETY ONE

Good Vibrations 07/10 - 30/10/2020 Solo Exhibition By Chloe Townsend www.salon91.Co.za

Good

Vibrations CHLOE TOWNSEND 07.10 - 30.10.2020

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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 www.heatherauer.com


Geena Wilkinson, Placebo X, (Detail) 2020, Resin, 68.5 x 66.5 cm. 131 A Gallery 94

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THE HEATHER AUER ART STUDIO

Glencairn, Simonstown (By Appointment Only) Email: info@heatherauer.com www.heatherauer.com

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MAICO CAMILO

International Artist – First Exhibition in Woodstock, Cape Town Now Showing

Lost Within My Own Self 2, 180 x 170cm

Mixed Media

Contemplation 4, 180 x 170cm Mixed Media

By Appointment +27 (0) 63 5628049 / info@maicocamilo.com / www.maicocamilo.com


Dorothy Kay (1886–1964),The Song of the Pick, 1938, etching, 38 x 32 cm


SA Print Gallery We buy, take on consignment prints from classic masters including Battiss, Boonzaai, Botes, de Jong, Goldin, Kannemeyer, Kay, Pennington, Seneque, Muafangejo, Skotnes, Spilhaus and more 109 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town Tel 021 300 0461 gabriel@printgallery.co.za www.printgallery.co.za


NORTH/SOUTH Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Wine Auction 8–11 November 2020 www.straussart.co.za Simphiwe Ndzube, Waiting for Mlungu (III) (detail) R400 000 - 600 000

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