BUSINESS ART JUNE 2010 | E-mail: email@example.com | Member of the Global Art Information Group
Riva Cohen of The Atlantic Gallery is this month’s Art Leader profile, having been in business for over forty - two years “I support artists whose work I love and believe in. It’s as simple as that,” Mark Midgely one of her artists describes his relationship with Cohen as beyond any “artist-art dealer” relationship. It has become a great trusting and sincere friendship that cannot be replaced.” He adds: “ Riva is a genuine friend to clients, artists, fellow gallery owners and agents. In the words of a fellow artist, Simon Jones: ‘she is the artist’s saint’.” See page 3. Photo: Jenny Altschuler
Judith Mason New work at The South African Print Gallery Judith Mason’s new series of lithographs are now available at The South African Print Gallery, Woodstock, Cape Town (www.printgallery.co.za) . They have been printed using the new monotype transfer technique that Mark Attwood at The Artist’s Press have developed to meet the needs of artists who are primarily painters. On the subject of pomegranates this is what Judith stated that: “Pomegranates have always been my favourite fruit because of their beautiful caskets of jewel-like seeds within, and the hard, almost pot-like exterior. It is an ancient fruit, celebrated in the Song of Solomon and regarded by the Early Church as a symbol of the Resurrection. In these prints I have tried to celebrate the fruit’s sensual qualities, and its oozing ruby juice, and have juxtaposed it with a hammer to remind one of its skull-like vulnerability.” See www.artists-press.com for more Published monthly by Global Art Information Editor: Gabriel Clark-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 15881 Vlaeberg, 8018 Advertising: Eugene Fisher email@example.com Tel. 021 424 7733 Fax. 021 424 7732 Subscriptions: Bastienne Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
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BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
SA Art Leader Profile
Riva Cohen, The Atlantic Art Gallery, Cape Town Photo: Jenny Altschuler
South African Art Leader Profile
Riva Cohen Atlantic Art Gallery, Cape Town SA Art’s unsung heroine by Hazel Friedman Some believe that art is the second oldest livelihood in the world and one of the most avaricious. Recently British artist and octogenarian Sir Anthony Caro, bemoaned the fact that the market value of paintings had become more meaningful to artists than creating beautiful work. “Some art has got some stupid, outrageous values and it is very sad that money has become a very important part of the art world,” he said at the opening of a new sculpture exhibition in Monterrey, Mexico. He might have thought differently had he spent time with gallerist and fellow octogenarian Riva Cohen. If there existed an award for integrity in the South African art scene then she would be the uncontested frontrunner. And in a world often notorious for its limited shelf-life Cohen exemplifies longevity. Other galleries have risen and subsequently been relegated to the appendix section of contemporary art - courtesy of the credit crunch, the speculative vagaries of the art market and the increasing tendency among dealers to equate soaring prices with sometimes arbitrary value. Cohen is not that kind of dealer. Ever since she began selling art in 1968, with her late husband, Issy, from their Oranjezicht home in Cape Town, she had embodied the role of the dealer as nurturer and supported artists, not as cash cows, but creative manifesters. “When we started out my husband owned four paintings by top artists and a set of encyclopaedias,” she reminisces. “We used to visit the artists in their studios, like Marjorie Wallace and Gregoire Boonzaaier, just to mention a few. “ Forty-something years later, Cohen is regarded as something of a national treasure and her Atlantic Gallery more an institution than an art space. Although there are overlaps between the two roles - as with the collector versus the investor - there are clear distinctions between art as a passion and art as a business. Cohen exemplifies the former. She doesn’t own a stable of contemporary art thoroughbreds who make massive, headlineworthy margins and get the invitations to the most coveted global art extravaganzas , She isn’t a card-carrying member of the coterie
of galleries who writer and editor Sean O’ Toole aptly describes as “the tastemakers”, like the Goodman and Stevenson Galleries. “What makes Riva’s contribution to South African art so monumental is not only her continuity but the fact that she thinks outside the bathtub by supporting truly independent artists,” says Janis Slingsby, whose husband Robert, is one of Cohen’s most successful artists. “Many of the artists she nurtures have been overlooked by the cultural cliques, but have succeeded through Riva’s patronage, in acquiring considerable acclaim and sustaining a decent livelihood. “ “I support artists whose work I love and believe in. It’s as simple as that,” she says. “The importance in selling art - as with collecting - is that it always starts with passion.” She adds “Even if you can’t afford to buy, I guarantee you there will be at least one artwork in this gallery that moves you” Unlike her commercial counterparts, Cohen rarely holds exhibitions. She simply doesn’t have the space. The downside of this is that her artists don’t enjoy the kind of visibility that their peers do in South Africa’s leading contemporary galleries; the upside is that each of the artists at the Atlantic Gallery have equal representation. Guaranteed, you will always find a Gail Caitlin, a Robert Slingsby, Willie Bester or Conrad Thys - to mention but a few of the 23 artists supported by Cohen. But you have to do some rummaging. “Spending time in Riva’s Gallery is an adventure in itself. It’s unlike the more staid experience of visiting a conventional gallery because it makes the ritual of finding a treasure, among the paintings stacked up against the wall, all the more exciting, “ says Dan Ahern - the Managing Director of Cadiz Securities and an avid art collector, who began buying art from Cohen many years back. ...We are sitting in the Atlantic Gallery against a backdrop of colour, stroke and image: paintings propped up , literally floor to ceiling in her Wale Street Gallery. She has moved three times since establishing her first gallery in 1973; after 18 years in Burg Street, she relocated to nearby Church Street. In 2005 she opened her doors in the current location along Wale Street. Although
super-cool Long Street borders her space, the Atlantic Gallery is not on the chic side of the street. There are no trendy eateries, boutiques or bars enticing the young guns who tend to also frequent the contemporary art scene. Yet the Atlantic Gallery is buzzing. Literally. The doorbell, that is. Artist John Kramer has just arrived, delivering another of his eponymous paintings of small Karoo towns. Two architects stopped by earlier. The phone rings relentlessly and there’s the routine buzz from the homeless, the unemployed and the indigent. Cohen treats all and sundry with gracious equanimity. At four score years and five, physically she’s slightly frail but her azure eyes are as alert as ever and her memory a darn sight sharper than a woman half her age. There is nothing and no-one she doesn’t know about in the art world. But what is most notable about her is her self deprecation - verging on shyness - and her humility. She clearly feels uncomfortable being the focus of a profile, preferring instead to shift attention to the artists represented in her space. On the Atlantic Gallery website artist Mark Midgely describes his relationship with Cohen as beyond any “artist-art dealer” relationship. It has become a great trusting and sincere friendship that cannot be replaced.” He adds: “ Riva is a genuine friend to clients, artists, fellow gallery owners and agents. In the words of a fellow artist, Simon Jones: ‘she is the artist’s saint’.” But making it in the boom ‘n bust world of cultural currency takes more than being regarded as the Mother Theresa of the visual arts. It requires the tenacity of a terrier. With the deflation of the contemporary art bubble, commercial galleries are all singing the recession blues. Cohen acknowledges that it’s tougher than ever to remain afloat. And it’s not only because the market has shrunk. “In the early years most of the artists I represented didn’t expect to make much money in their lifetime. Nowadays it the other extreme with artists, who haven’t yet proven their consistency, overpricing their works sometimes at the expense of quality and integrity.” She adds:“I’m not interested in making huge profits; as long as the artists I look after and respect continue to survive - and hopefully - thrive.”
Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum 17 June-18 July, Painted works on paper by Roxandra Dardagan Britz. 10 June-08 August, Group exhibition by Dystopia. 16 Harry Smith Str., Bloemfontein T.051 447 9609
Clarens Johan Smith Art Gallery A fine selection of paintings, ceramics, glass, bronze and other works of art. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1620 www.johansmith.co.za Blou Donki Art Gallery Contemporary Art, Steel Sculptures, Functional Art, Photography, Ceramics. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1757 www.bloudonki.co.za
Gauteng Johannesburg Aid to Artisans South Africa Trust 11 June-11 July, “Southern African handicraft and Ndebele exhibition” Exhibition preview and opening 10 June 12pm-3pm. 54 Jeppe Street, on Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Jhb. T. 011 836 60105 firstname.lastname@example.org Art-Icle 16-28 June, “Art Fortnight with Natalie Knight featuring football and Africa.” 16 June, Launch of “Ephraim Ngatane portfolio-His moods and memories” by Greg Blank and launch of book “Ephraim Ngatane: A setting apart” by David Koloane. @ 4:30 pm for 5pm. 17 June, Special signed collage of “Taxi Hand Sign” artworks,artworks for sighted and blind people and stamps commemorating 2010, with film and information on the project by artist Susan Woolf who will sign items for purchases. @ 4:30pm for 5pm. 18 June, David Gerstein sculptures, including mondial. 19 June, Focus on L’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel. Full exhibition on view at Museum Africa, Newtown until 24 December 2010. Book, posters and educational material. 20 June, “Football in Art” featuring beaded images by Jane Makhubela. 21 June, Focus on sculptural pieces. 22 June, Focus on artbooks and artifacts of the Tsonga/Shangaan, Ndebele and Zulu people including “Dungamanzi/Stirring Water, Ndebele Images and Art of the Ndebele.” 10am-6pm. 23 June, Focus on Mandela with special beadwork and posters. 24 June, wide range of South African Art as per www.knightgalleries.net 25 June, International Art with KGI. 26 June, A wide selection of signed and unsigned posters by William Kentridge, David Hockney, Jim Dine, Christo, and others. 27 June, Fortnight favourites. 28 June, Grand finale. 144 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Shop no. 1, Parkwood Mansions. (On the Art Strip opposite Goodman Gallery.) T. 011 485 3606 email@example.com www.knightgalleries.net Arts on Main 23 May–17 July “In Context” Goodman Gallery Project Space, Upstairs Event Space, Nirox Project and Subotzky Studio. 10 June-11 July, Willem Boshoff, Big Druid in his Cubicle and Big Druid walks in the city Walks daily 8am-10am from Arts on Main. (Nirox Foundation Project Space.) The Art Place 5 June- 10 July, “South Africa my country” 144 Milner Avenue, Roosevelt Park, Jhb. T. 011 888 120 Artspace –Jhb 22 May-19 June, “Foul!” a group exhibition of cartoon and comic art. 23 June-14 July, Solo exhibition of drawings in charcoal by Jaco Van Den Heever. Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 8802 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.artspace-jhb.co.za Artspace Warehouse 30 May-26 June, “Nudge” a group show featuring Dylan T.
FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA GALLERY GUIDE Graham, Douglas Prahm, Sharlene Khan, Alet Pretorius, Cobus Haupt, Sotiris Moldovanos. The show uses ‘the nude’ as a theme interpreted by six different artists in a variety of media. 3 Hetty Ave, Fairlands, Jhb. T. 011 880 8802 email@example.com, www.artspace-jhb.co.za Brodie/Stevenson Until 04 June, An exhibition of paintings by Nicholas Hlobo. Until 04 June, Selogilwe, a film by Lerato Shadi. 10 June-24 July, “This is our Time” featuring Pieter Hugo, Glenn Ligon, Michael MacGarry, Mohau Modisakeng and Jo Ractliffe. 373 Jan Smuts Ave., Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034, www.brodiestevenson.com Brown Spice Boutique at the Peech Hotel Until 30 July, “The world through my eyes” by Babi Prokas. The Peech Hotel, 61 North Street, Melrose. T. 011 537 9797 Carol Lee Fine Art @Upstairs at Bamboo 05 -13 June, “Flow” features well known artists like Sarah Ballam, Wilma Cruise, Cobus Haupt and Bronwen Findlay, with a mixture of painting, drawing and sculpture. Newer emerging talents include Vulindlela Nyoni (a lecturer in printmaking at the University of Natal), Cornelia Stoop, Kobus la Grange and Sarel Petrus (sculptors in wood/resin, wood and bronze respectively) and painters Jaco Roux and MJ Lourens. T. 011 486 0526 CIRCA on Jellicoe Until 06 June, “Re-tracing the Cradle” a photographic exhibition by Franki Burger. 03 June-09 July, “Is it our goal…? And other related issues” featuring Pastels and photographs by Zwelethu Mthethwa. 2 Jellicoe Ave. Rosebank T. 011 788 4805 firstname.lastname@example.org CO-OP Until 05 June, New and reworked Furniture show featuring pieces by Adriaan Hugo and Dokter and Misses. 10 June-05 July, “Comeback boys’ - New works By Michael Taylor. 68 Juta Str., Braamfontein T. 011 023 0336 email@example.com, www.co-opjoburg.com David Brown Fine Art May-June, Woodcuts and Prints by Isaac Sithole. 11 June- 11 July, Mixed South African Artist exhibit at the International Football Village, hosted at Birchwood, Jhb. 36 Keyes Avenue, off Jellicoe, Rosebank. T.011 788 4435 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.davidbrownfineart.co.za David Krut Projects During June and July, Fifa 2010 Official Poster Art editions will be available: “Art and Football” Available in limited numbers in South Africa from David Krut Projects and Bookstores. 140 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com Everard Read Gallery Jhb 03 June-30 June, “View from the South” a group exhibition of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary painters & sculptors. Opening on Thursday 03 June at 6:30pm. 6 Jellicoe Ave., Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4805 www.everard-read.co.za Gallery 2 Until 15 June, “Transition” Artists participating will include: Paul Blomkamp, Hannelie Coetzee, Wilma Cruise, Karin Daymond, Bronwen Findlay, Phillemon Hlungwani, Grace Kotze, John Kramer, Colbert Mashile, Joshua Miles, Hermann Niebuhr, Carl Roberts, Jenny Stadler, and Réney Warrington. 140 Jan Smuts Ave,Parkwood. T. 011 447 0155/98 email@example.com, www.gallery2.co.za Gallery AOP 05-26 June, “Die Afrikaners is Plesierig” by Elza Botha. 44 Stanley Ave., Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), T. 011 726 2234 www.artonpaper.co.za Gallery MOMO Until 05 June, “Art on Paper”, a group exhibition. 13 May-17 June, Group Exhibition curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe. 10 June- 05 July, “Urban Africa” by David Adjaye. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 www.gallerymomo.com Gertrude Posel Gallery This gallery has a permanent exhibition of traditional southern, central and West African art. Address: University of the Witwatersrand, Senate House, Jorissen Street, Braamfontein
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010 Tel: 011 717 1365 firstname.lastname@example.org Goodman Gallery During June, “In Context” see below 163 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 www.goodman-gallery.com In Context A series of exhibitions that engage with the city of Johannesburg. 23 May-17 July. Until 17 July, “In Context” runs at Arts on Main. Until 17 July, Two films by Kara walker will be shown daily at the Apartheid Museum. 17 June-09 July, “A 21st century Portrait” featuring Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon and Zidane. At the Melrose Arch outdoors. 10 June-11 July, “Big druid walks in the city” by Willem Boshoff. Daily from Arts on Main. 08 July, Two films by Kara Walker-“William Kentridge/Gerhard Marx, The World on its Hind Legs” @ 6pm at the Apartheid Museum. T. 011 334 1054 email@example.com www.artsonmain.co.za Johannesburg Art Gallery Until 01 August, “I am not me, the horse is not mine” by William Kentridge. During June, “In Context” King George Str., Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3130 www.joburg.org.za Main Street Life Until 15 August, “Maboneng-Place of Light” German artists Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz will be presenting a light installation dealing with the Maboneng precinct, which translated means the place of light. Main Street Life Entrance Gallery (one block from Arts on Main) T. 011 3345023 Project in cooperation with the Seippel Gallery Johannesburg: www.seippel.eu/johannesburg firstname.lastname@example.org www.mainstreetlife.co.za Market Photo Workshop & RHRU Until 07 June, “Visual Hillbrow - (un)healthy spaces photographed by men in inner-city Johannesburg” exhibition held at Hugh Solomon Hall, c/o Klein and Esselen Street. T. 011 358 5342. email@example.com www.marketphotoworkshop.co.za Manor Gallery 07 June- July, “A Piece of Africa” The artists are sourced from the ranks of the Watercolour Society of South Africa and the Black Like Us group of artists. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive. T. 011 465 7934 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wssa.org.za Miele Gallery 02-30 June, “Viewpoints of the everyday” an exhibition of contemporary South African artists. 63 Peter Place, (Cnr of William Nicol), Johannesburg. T. 011 880 8802 email@example.com Museum Africa Until 20 June, “Scent of invisble footprints - in moments of complexity” by Pitika Ntuli. Until 24 Dec 2010, “l’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel” co-curated by Nessa Leibhammer and Natalie Knight. Until 11 July, “SPace: Currencies in Contemporary African Art.” 121 Bree Str., Newtown, Johannesburg T. 011 833 5624 www.knightgalleries.net Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC) 30 May-13 June, “Kriah” by Talia Goldsmith. Cnr Glenhove Rd & 4th Street Houghton. Hazel or René (Tel 011 728 8088/8378) After Hours (Tel 011 728 8378) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Resolution Gallery Until 01 June, “Foreign Affair” featuring works by Rodney Place and Leila Anderson. 05 June-31 July, “Amen” by the photographer Jessica Hilltout (from Belgium) 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 4054 www.resolutiongallery.com Seippel Gallery 16 May-01 July, “A gentle invasion” by Auke de Vries. Arts on Main, Cnr of Fox and Berea, Johannesburg T. 011 401 1421 www.seippel-gallery.com
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010 Standard Bank Gallery 02 June-17 July, “Halakasha!”, a flagship exhibition celebrating the historic first FIFA World Cup™ in Africa, is housed in both the upstairs and downstairs exhibition spaces at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, and showcases a range of artworks dealing with the global phenomenon of soccer and the passion it evokes in Africa in particular. Cnr of Simmonds & Frederick Str.’s, Johannesburg T. 011 631 1889 www.standardbankgallery.co.za University of Johannesburg Art Gallery 02 June-14 July, “SA @ work” by Helena Hugo. Auckland Park Kingsway, Campus Cnr. Kingsway and Universiteids Rd., Auckland. T. 011 559 2099/2556 www.uj.ac.za/artsacademy
Pretoria Alette Wessels Kunskamer Exhibition of Old Masters and selected leading contemporary artists. Maroelana Centre, Maroelana. GPS : S25º 46.748 EO28º 15.615 T. 012 346 0728 C. 084 589 0711 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artwessels.co.za Association of Arts Pretoria 28 May-15 June, “Golden Enigma (with love and apologies to Gustav Klimt)” by the Gables Art Studio. 30 May-17 June, “Unnatural Selection” by Henning Lüdeke. 04-24 June, “My cup runneth over” by Marinda du Toit. 18 June-07 July, “Stil(a)life” by Adéle Adendorff. 20 June-08 July, “•20•06•2010•” with paintings, sculptures, drawings and digital work by Philip Badenhorst, Francois Jonker, Lizl Roos, Gustav Vermeulen & Francois Visser. 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. T. 012 346-3100 email@example.com www.artsassociationpta.co.za
FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA GALLERY GUIDE +27 Design Café 20 May-07 June, Drawings by Jaco Barend. Opening 20 May @ 7pm. Cnr South and Duncan Street, Hatfield, Pretoria. T. 012 362 4975 Fried Contemporary 17 June-18 July, “Games people play”, featuring Angus Taylor, Diane Victor, Jan van der Merwe, Fabian Wargau and Derek Zietsman. 430 Charles St, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0158 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.friedcontemporary.com Gallery Michael Heyns 12 June- 02 July, “The Head: 1962-2010” Works by Michael Heyns in his gallery. 351 Lynnwood Road Menlo Park Pretoria T.012 460 3698, Cell.082 451 5584 www.michaelheyns.co.za Platform on 18th 20 May-05 June, “Fever”, Group show. 08-24 July, “Snap II” Photographic Exhibition 10 Press Photographers. 232 18th Str., Rietondale, Pretoria T. 084 764 4258 www.platformon18th.co.za Pretoria Art Museum Until 26 July, A selection of 17th-century Dutch paintings from the Michaelis Bequest. (Henry Preiss Hall) Until December, A selection of ceramics, representing the development of studio ceramics and the work of traditional rural potters of South Africa over the past thirty years, is on display. A selection of artworks from the permanent collection of the Museum tells a brief story of South African art from the time of the first San artists. North Gallery and Preiss Hall, T.012 344 1807/8 email@example.com www.pretoriaartmuseum.co.za
Page 05 Pretoria Trent Gallery 22 May-03 June, Oil Painting by Errol Boyley. 05-17 June, Drawings and oils by Lynette ten Krooden. 19 June-01 July, “Self-portraits”, a group exhibition. 198 Long Street, Waterkloof, Pretoria. T. 012 460 5497. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.trent-art.co.za St Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery 05 June-24 July, “African Narrative” and “Rooftop Sculptures” Group exhibitions. email@example.com The Tina Skukan Gallery Until 03 June, “Patroon” group exhibition. 06 June- 01 July, “Expanding horizons” by Liekie Fouche. 6 Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria. T. 012 991 1733 www.tinaskukangallery.co.za
Mpumalanga White River Artists Proof Studio From 05 June, “The Journey to my roots” by John Taouss. Exhibition will be opened by Judith Mason on 05 June @ 12 noon. Bosch Ceramic Art Studio 03-06 June, An exhibition of Ceramic art and drawings by Anton and Hanlie Bosch. 64 St Georges Road, White River. T. 083 456 3272 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.boschstudio.co.za The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435 www.tlafoundry.co.za
Michael Smith and Paul Freinkel’s Velocity Show at the Resolution Gallery, Johannesburg
Michael Smith.Diptych.’Anamia’ II Shouting Underwater Jacki McInnes My first impression, upon entering Michael Smith and Paul Freinkel’s recently staged two-person exhibition Velocity at the Resolution Gallery in Johannesburg, was that I had inadvertently stumbled into my former profession: working as a diagnostic radiographer at the Joburg Gen. By all accounts, an unusual sensation to experience in an art gallery and yet it turned out to be surprisingly appropriate. The artists describe Velocity as a photographic mediation on the motion and speed of natural elements – smoke in the case of Smith, water in the case of Freinkel. But it is clear that this explanation is only the first stage of meaning. And frankly, ‘Velocity’ seems a strange choice of title too, especially when one considers how the photographic technique effectively attenuates the ceaseless motion of their chosen elements. It is soon apparent that Smith and Freinkel’s photographs have very little to do with the state or movement of the elements they portray and a whole lot more to do with aspects of the human psyche. Smith’s work is arguably the more accessible to interpretation. He spent many years teaching art at secondary level and has used this experience to inform his long-standing artistic interrogation into the psychology of teen victims of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. He explained that his initial interest in smoke as subject matter arose from a cognitive association between cigarette smoking and appetite suppression. This is already a pretty powerful metaphor
Paul Freinkel.Velocity II but is surpassed, in my opinion, by the uncanny resemblance that his smoke trails bear to x-ray contrast studies of the human gastrointestinal tract. Smoke has numerous other references in the context of Smith’s work. It is fragile, transitory, ever-shifting and ultimately returns to the ether from whence it came. It becomes therefore a compelling medium for a visual analysis of the self destructive urges commonly associated with eating disorders. Smith made the point that he and Freinkel were influenced by one another’s photographic interpretations of their respective subject matter from the start. This may explain the persuasive synergy between their two bodies of work: while Smith’s images resemble x-rays, Freinkel’s close-ups of rapidly moving water are strongly suggestive of ultrasound scans. The fact that Freinkel is a medical practitioner is probably significant but I would argue that a stronger underlying theme exists. Both frame their subject matter in such a way that the natural appearance of the movement of spiralling smoke and running water is obscured while being harnessed for other purposes. In essence, they capture this movement and compel it to stand in as a proxy for complex mental processes. The artists’ statement describes Freinkel’s work as a photographic exploration of the interplay of movement between phenomena and how these ground perception. “They aim to evoke in the viewer an awareness of an emotional knowing that precedes formal understanding.” I find this explanation somewhat tenuous; frankly I am far more interested in Freinkel’s rendering of moving water in the same vague and abstracted fashion as is typical of ultrasonography. Whether inadvertent or not, Freinkel’s treatment of
his subject matter renders running water a potent metaphor for the physiology of the body or the psychology of the mind. The artists’ thematic concerns are heightened by an acoustic accompaniment composed by David Hykes specifically for this exhibition – and for the first time the show’s title Velocity begins to make sense. The ambient soundtrack is non-specific, almost tending to white noise but rather than serving to slow things down, as sound generally tends to do, this soundtrack seems to add menace to the photographic images. This is not calming music that imitates the natural sounds of water or other elements; rather it is a tool that ratchets up the unavoidable existential suspense inherent in the work. Smith and Freinkel’s Velocity appears at first glance to present soothing images of the natural elements of smoke and water. The works are accomplished and really quite beautiful. But there is little of the landscape artist in either of the participants. Rather there is evidence of the diagnostician, the forensic investigator even. There is a sinister undertow to Velocity, further amplified by Hykes’ soundtrack. And while it could be argued that Freikel’s work describes a positive process towards self discovery (Freinkel is a PHD candidate at the Institute of Transpersonal psychology in Palo Alto California where the subject of his research is the role of creativity in psycho-spiritual development) Smith’s work usurps any such lightness. Smith’s work, especially in view of his ongoing preoccupation with the mental states associated with eating disorders, is a mediation on the constant threat to the integrity of both body and mind.
Eastern Cape East London Ann Bryant Gallery The Main Gallery 17 June-07 July, “Traces” an exhibition of large-scale paintings and an animated film projection by Greg Schultz. Until 12 June, “Picturing America” The Coach House Until 12 June, “East London Fine Art Society Anything but painting” 9 St. Marks Rd, Southernwood, East London. T. 043 722 4044 email@example.com, www.annbryant.co.za
Port Elizabeth Epsac Gallery 31 May-12 June, “Some day Some how Some place 2010” 20 artworks by twenty artists. 24 May-04 June, “Cheshire Homes Disabled & Mouth Painters exhibition.” 36 Bird Street, P.E. T. 041 585 3641 Montage Gallery 01-17 June, “Under the African sun” featuring Alida Bothma and Lou Almon. 59 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth. T. 041-5812893 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.montagegallery.co.za Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Permanent exhibition, “Art in Mind” Until 10 October, “Ubuhle bentsimbi: The beauty of beads” Until 18 July, “Know your city” Views of Nelson Mandela Bay from artists’ perspectives. Until 09 August, “Gateway to Africa” An exhibition of contemporary African art. 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. T. 041 506 2000 www.artmuseum.co.za Ron Belling Art Gallery 10-17 June, “Xpressions 2010” a group exhibition. 30 Park drive, Port Elizabeth. T. 041-586 3973 email@example.com, www.ronbelling.co.za
Western Cape Cape Town /A Word Of Art Until 01 June, “Insider Art:2” work from the inmates of H section, Medium A, Youth Centre, Pollsmoor Prison. From 25 June, “Chapter 2: Friends” 66 Albert Rd, Woodstock Industrial Centre. T. 021 448 7889 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.a-word-of-art.co.za Absolute Art Gallery 04-27 June, A Group exhibition featuring Marie Vermeulen Breedt along with Jaco van Schalkwyk and Kristie van Zyl, Marie’s aspiring students. Shop 43, Willowbridge Life Style Centre, Carl Cronje Drive, Bellville, CT. T. 021 914 2846 email@example.com, www.absoluteart.co.za
EASTERN, NORTHERN AND WESTERN CAPE GALLERY GUIDE Barnard Gallery 02 June-16 July, A Group exhibition featuring Willie Bester, Rachelle Bomberg, Norman Catherine, Gail Caitlin, Uwe Pfaff, Robert Slingsby and Beezy Bailey. 55 Main Street, Newlands. Fiona@luxurybrands.co.za Blank Projects. 05 May-05 June, “Wise cracks” by Catherine Ocholla and “For Esmé, with love and squalor” by Dominique Cheminais. 113-115 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town. T.072 1989 221 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.blankprojects.com Cape Gallery Until 26 June, Works by Peter Gray. 27 June- 24 July, Works by Makiwa Mutomba, Sandy Esau and Walter Zand. 60 Church Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5309. email@example.com, www.capegallery.co.za Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. 66 Vineyard Rd., corner Cavendish Str., Claremont T.021 671 6601 Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Main Rd., Constantia T. 021 794 6262 Cedar Tree Gallery 11 May-10 June, Solo exhibition of paintings by Gavin Calf. Rodwell House, Rodwell Road, St James, Cape Town. T. 021 787 9880, firstname.lastname@example.org David Porter Antiques Buyers and sellers of South African art. T. 021 6830580/083 452 5862 email@example.com David Krut Art DKA opens their outlet at Shop 116, Clock Tower Shopping Centre, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town on 3 June. David Krut Publishing and Bookstore - proud to be the official distributor in South Africa of the FIFA 2010 Official Art Posters Edition series in association with the European publisher of the posters – will be running a store at the V & A Waterfront for a six week period, from 3 June to 15 July 2010, to make these special posters accessible to locals and visitors alike. Erdmann Contemporary /Photographers Gallery Until 26 June, “Diesel and dust Part II” by Obie Oberholzer. 26 June-31 July, South African Contemporary Art drawn from the Heidi Erdmann collection. 63 Shortmarket Str., Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za
iArt Gallery Wembley During June/July, Works by Gerald Tebata. Wembley Square, Gardens, Cape Town T. 021 424 5150 www.iart.co.za Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Street, Chelsea, Wynberg T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht Str. Cape Town T. 021 423 2090 www.infinart.co.za Irma Stern Gallery 03-25 June, “CC – Unlimited power” by Robert Slingsby. Cecil Rd, Rosebank T. 021 685 5686 www.irmastern.co.za Iziko SA National Gallery Until 03 October, “1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective” a re-hang of the entire gallery is being curated to showcase the very best of South African art. 30 May-15 August, “Umtshotsho” by Nicholas Hlobo. 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town 021 481 3934 Iziko SA National Gallery-Old Town House 10 June-12 July, “The lie of the land: Representations of the South African landscape” 25 Queen Victoria Street 021 481 3934 email@example.com Joao Ferreira Gallery Until 12 June, New paintings by Aaron van Erp. 14 June-17 July, “Works on paper” by Beezy Bailey. Opening reception 14 June at 6pm at 80 Hout Street Cape Town. 15 June-24 July, “Amen” by Jessica Hilltout. 70 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 4235403 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.joaoferreiragallery.com Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery 27 May-19 June, “Play” Oil paintings, drawings and wire sculptures by Ben Coutouvidis. In-Fin-Art Building, Upper Buitengracht Street T. 021 423 6075 email@example.com, www.johansborman.co.za Kalk Bay Modern 09 June-25 July, Mermaids and Mountains by Nicholaas Maritz. Opening Wednesday 09 June @6pm. 1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kalkbaymodern.com
Everard Read Gallery Until 31 Jan 2011, “Untamed”, an installation by Dylan Lewis. 10 June- 12 July, “View from the South” A group exhibition of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary painters & sculptors. 03 June-17 June, “Dancing Jesus & Other Friends” by Beezy Bailey 3 Portswood Road, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. T. 021 418 4527 email@example.com, www.everard-read-capetown.co.za
Lets celebrate! Of World Cups, Plants and Identities… From 05 June, “World Cups, Plants and Identities… And a Pop-Up shop of all sorts of things...” Saturday 05 June from 11am - 2 pm. The exhibition will be on show (Weekdays 9 - 5) for duration of the event that can’t be named… 501 Tollgate Industrial Centre, 12 Ravenscraig Rd, Woodstock, T. 021 448 3203
Focus Contemporary Until 25 June, “Jamestown Portraits” by Marie Stander. 26 June- 30 July, “The Half” by Simon Annand. 67 Long Street, Cape Town. T. 021 419 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.focuscontemporary.co.za
Michael Stevenson Contemporary 03 June-24 July, “This is Our Time”, a curated exhibition of local and foreign artists, as part of the gallery’s FOREX project series. Featuring Jane Alexander, Marc Bijl, Shepard Fairey, Meschac Gaba, Simon Gush, Thomas Hirschhorn, Anton Kannemeyer, Natasja Kensmil, Madeyoulook, Sabelo Mlangeni, Zanele Muholi, Lucia Nimcova, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Berni Searle, Penny Siopis, Frohawk Two Feathers and Akram Zaatari. Opening Thursday 03 June 6-8pm. Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 www.michaelstevenson.com
The Arts Association of Bellville Until 02 June, “Proudly South African-Vuk’uzenzele” (wake up and do for yourself, a CCT project photography workshops and exhibition. 09 June-17 July, Main Gallery: Solo exhibition of paintings by Merle de Jager. 09-17 July, Vestibule Gallery: Solo exhibition of ceramics by Sue Symonds. The Arts Association of Bellville, The Library Centre, Carel van Aswegan Street, Bellville. T. 021 918 2301 email@example.com, www.artb.co.za/gallery.htm
The Framery Until 15 June, “Light” an exhibition by Peter Schlesinger and Danny Shorkend. 17 June-10 July, An exhibition by Tyrone Appollis. 67g Regent Road, Sea Point. T. 021 4345022
Atlantic Art Gallery A permanent display showcasing leading contemporary South African artists. 25 Wale Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5775
Goodman Gallery, Cape 09 June-10 July, “Third World Disorder”, a new exhibition by acclaimed South African artist Kendell Geers. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd., Woodstock, T. 021 462 7573/4, www.goodmangallerycape.com
AVA Gallery Until 25 June, “Own goal”, group show. 28 June-28 July, “Offside: Cape town 2010” a photographic exhibition by David Lurie. Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town. T.021 424 7436 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ava.co.za
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
Gallery F Contemporary and archival South African Art. 221 Long Str., Cape Town T. 021 422 5246 email@example.com, www.galleryf.co.za
iArt Gallery 11 June-16 July, “The Mechanics and Mysteries of Perception”, a group exhibition. 71 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 424 5150 www.iart.co.za
Michaelis Art Gallery 02 June-10 July, “Soccer Kultcha” an exhibition of street photography. University of Cape Town, 31-35 Orange Street, Gardens. Cell: 083 367 7168 / www.icacapetown.org Raw Vision Gallery 11 Feb-14 Sep 2010, “African Odyssey” 20 Internationally acclaimed photographers exhibiting. 89 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rawvisiongallery.com
‘A Collection of Contemporary South African Portraits’
Self portrait by Peter Clarke
Built in 1929 to reﬂect the spirit of 18th century Venice, Casa Labia is the former Muizenberg residence of Count and Countess Natale Labia. Now, this national monument has been lovingly restored by the Labia family to re-open its antique doors from May 2010 as South Africa’s most exquisite multi-functional cultural centre and up-market venue; complete with modern art gallery and Africanova boutique. The inaugural exhibition in the newly renovated gallery will be ‘A Collection of Contemporary South African Portraits’, as selected by Antonia Labia. It will include works by Lionel Davis, Peter Clarke and Willie Bester.
Opening times: Tuesday-Friday 10am – 4.30pm Saturday-Sunday 10am – 4pm Tel: 021 788 6068 www.casalabia.co.za email@example.com
PAGE 08 Rose Korber Art Until 15 June, “Play it again, Sam: Jazz and art in the world of Sam Nhlengethwa.” Vibrant Lithographs in colour and black and white from the artist’s vast oeuvre of the last 15 years. 16 June-15 July, ”Celebrating South Africa” A vibrant showcase of works by leading contemporary South African artists, including William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Willie Bester, Deborah Bell , Colbert Mashile and Susan Woolf, plus exotic ceramics and crafts and Shangaan beadwork pieces by Jane Makhubele and others. 48 Sedgemoor Rd, Camps Bay T. 021 438 9152 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rosekorberart.com Rust-en-Vrede Gallery 15 June-08 July, Salon A & B: “Ruby Reeves”, a retrospective exhibition in water colour of the fairy world of a remarkable woman. Salon C: Fantasy illustrations by well- known illustrators. The Cube in the Clay Museum: Fantasy jugs for sale by various potters. 10 Wellington Rd, Durbanville. T.021 976 4692 www.rust-en-vrede.com Salon 91 Until 19 June, “Transition, Emergence, and The Parts In Between”, oil paintings by Lara Feldman. 23 June-31 July, “Tretchikoff and me”, a mixed group show. An exhibition of vintage Tretchikoff prints and responses to his work by contemporary artists, both up and coming and established. 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. T 021 424 6930. email@example.com, www.salon91art.co.za South African Museum Until end July, “Subtle Thresholds, the representational taxonomies of disease”, a mixed media show curated by Fritha Langerman. 25 Queen Victoria Str., Cape Town T. 021 481 3800 www.iziko.org.za South Gallery Showcasing creativity from KwaZulu-Natal including Ardmore Ceramic Art. Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, T. 021 465 4672 firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTERN CAPE GALLERY GUIDE Geers recreates his 1993 work Title Withheld (Brick). The show, simply titled 1993, is at best an accurate representation of years past, at worst a comment on years present. 69 Roeland Street, Cape Town. T. 083 383 0656 www.youngblackman69.com
Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of old masters. Shop no 3, The Ivy, Kruger Str., Franschhoek T. 021 876 2497 www.galart.co.za The Gallery at Grande Provence 27 June-28 July, “who” portraits by various South African artists. Until 23 June, “La la land” Francois van Reenen. Main Road, Franschoek. T. 021 876 8600. email@example.com, www.grandeprovence.co.za
Piketberg (West Coast) AntheA Delmotte Gallery Until end June, “Historical buildings of Piketberg” a group show. Feathers Inn, 1 Church Str, Piketberg 073 281 7273, anthea@ lantic.net
Stellenbosch Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings, and Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Str., Stellenbosch T. 021 887 7234 Glen Carlou Estate On exhibition is The Hess Art Collection, including works by Deryck Healey, Ouattara Watts and Andy Goldsworthy. Simondium Rd, Klapmuts T. 021 875 5314 www.glencarlou.co.za
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010 Tokara 05 June-25 August, “Hats off! 25 Year of Linocuts from The Caversham Press.” Opening 05 June at 11:30am at Tokara Winery. Guest speaker Malcolm Christian from The Caversham Press Crest of Helshoogte pass on the R310 between Stellenbosch and Franschoek. T. 021 808 5900 www.tokara.com US Art Museum 18 May-19 July, “Impromptu” The Stellenbosch Arts Association presents Impromptu, a group show with Christina Bryer, Charles Biggs, Chris Diedericks, Hennie Meyer, Eric Palmer, Nicole Palmer, Mila Posthumus Reyneke, Lionel Smit, Clementina van der Walt & Diane Victor. Corner of Dorp & Bird Streets, Stellenbosch. T. 0 21 808 3524/3489.
George Strydom Gallery 08 June-17 July, “South Cape 2010” the annual Winter Exhibition of Southern Cape Art Selected artwork from artists of the Southern Cape. 79 Market Str., George T. 044 874 4027 www.artaffair.co.za
Oudstshoorn Artkaroo Gallery On 03 June, “Of Masks, Marionettes and other Puppets” a group exhibition, Featuring also Kinderkuns met klei.-children’s handpuppets Opens 3 June @ 7pm. From 12 June, En-plein air artwork, from Artkaroo Outdoors field trips in the Klein Karoo veldt. 107 Baron van Reede Oudtshoorn, T. 044 2791093 janet@ artkaroo.co.za www.artkaroo.co.za
South African Print Gallery Until 05 June, “Time and place”, new work by Jonathan Comerford Until 24 June: Fifa Soccar Posters by various South African and International Artists. Opening Saturday 26 June Sharon Sampson: Reflections, Monoprints and etchings. 107 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town. T. 021 462 6851 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.printgallery.co.za These Four Walls Fine Art Until 05 June, An exhibition of Prints by Jill Trappler, Eleanora Hofer, Judith Conway and Penny Rivet-Carnac. 169 Lower Main Road, Observatory janet@thesefourwalls T. 021 447 7393 Cell. 079 302 8073 www.thesefourwalls.co.za Waterkant Gallery 02 June-17 July, “Altered States: Wildlife at large” by Luc Grant. 04 June- 04 August, “Dreams & Goals, Twenty years of global football photography” by Alastair Berg. 123 Waterkant Street, Cape Town. T. 021 421 1505 email@example.com www.waterkantgallery.com Wessel Snyman Creative 01-19 June, “Kortverhale” painting by Elmarie Lategan and Jeanne du Toit. 21 June-10 July, “Smorgasbord” group show of emerging creatives. 17 Bree Street, Cape Town. T. 021 418 0980. firstname.lastname@example.org What if the World… 02 June- 03 July, “Hard Times/ Great Expectations” an exhibition of new large-scale colour drawings, sculpture, and video by Cameron Platter. First floor, 208 Albert Rd, Woodstock, T.021448 1438 www.whatiftheworld.com Worldart Gallery 01 June-30 July, A Group show, featuring Alex Hamilton, Gavin Rain, Richard Scott and Thembinkosi Kohli. 54 Church Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 3075 email@example.com, www.worldart.co.za Youngblackman Gallery Opening 02 June, “1993” by Kendell Geers. For this exhibition,
A signature work by John Meyer to be seen on “View from the South” A group exhibition of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary painters & sculptors. 10 June- 12 July, at the Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town
Red Black and White Art Gallery in conjunction with Amacoola.com 03 June-18 July, “Through African eyes” 5A Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch. T. 021 886 6281 firstname.lastname@example.org Sasol Art Museum 16 June-12 July, “Sokker – Stellenbosch – Soccer” An exhibition in collaboration with the Stellenbosch Museum giving an overview of the history of soccer in Stellenbosch as well as the current soccer culture in Stellenbosch. 07 June-31 July, “Johannes Meintjies: A Tribute 1923 – 1980” Ryneveldstraat 52 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 808 3691/3/5 SMAC Art Gallery 05 June-31 August, “Divisions” De Wet centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3607 www.smacgallery.com
Hermanus Abalone Gallery Offers a wide selection of paintings, drawings, graphic art, photographs and sculptures by leading South African artists. Gallery will be closed from 17 may to 08 June. 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T.028 313 2935 www.abalonegallery.co.za Bellini Gallery During June, Paintings by Annemarie Du Plooy. 167 Main Rd, Hermanus. T. 028 312 4988 email@example.com www.bellini-gallery.co.za
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
MELVYN MINNAAR’S COLUMN
Ed Young and the flying Archbishop Tutu, the scourge of the ANC rips a chandelier from the ceiling. evangelic zeal to defend our imperiled democracy, he has crashed through a window and swooped to a chandelier which he grasps firmly between clenched fists. Struck by the momentum of his flight, the chandelier reels askew as does the Archbishop’s skullcap. One would have to go back to Anton von Wouw’s iconic President Kruger in Exile to find anything of comparable imaginative oomph. This is a momentary vision of our Archbishop Emeritus as an eruption of righteous wrath and old Testament ire; Tutu, the Christian soldier; Tutu the rabble-rouser for Christ; Tutu, the passionate interventionist, appearing out of the ether, like an avenging angel, to safeguard justice and the ethic of disclosure and transparency.
Lloyd Pollak Ed Young, the maestro of the tempete in the tasse de the, enjoys world-wide fame in inner city Cape Town. This wunderkind of the provincial avant-garde generally refrains from art-making. His stance is posited on the proposition that the art world has become the art object, and that painting and sculpture are thus redundant. The role of the artist is not to do, but to be. This premise underlies Ed’s heavily sponsored appearances at international art events where all he does is grace the social whirl with his presence. I dismissed Ed as a purveyor of nugatory ‘So What!’ conceptual gestures and pranks, so imagine my surprise when Robert Mulder of the elegant new 6 Spin Street Restaurant, showed my party the riveting sculpture IDASA (which occupies the same impressive Sir Herbert Baker building on Church Square) commissioned from Ed. The brief was to embody the democratic ethos, and Ed rose to the challenge by portraying Archbishop Tutu life-size in his cerise soutane and full archiepiscopal regalia. My spellbound guests reacted with gasps of delighted surprise for the bishop is airborne and portrayed in full flight. In his
The aerial figure condenses many virile inspirations into one rousing, effigy that superbly conveys the Bishop’s flinty integrity, his fierce loathing of iniquity and readiness to speak out and stand up and be counted. Ed’s sources are legion. Superman underlies his concept as do the allusions to manly sport - the rugby tackle, the pole vaulting athlete and the Olympic diver – which suffuse the sculpture with testosterone. Another inspiration stems from old master imagery of angels: the angel staying the hand of Abraham and saving Isaac, and the vengeful angels pouring out of the sky to torture the dammed in Gustave Dore’s illustrations to Dante’s Inferno and Michelangelo and many other Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque artists’ visions of the Last Judgment. The chandelier is a status symbol emblematic of luxury. It represents the ill-gotten gains of ANC embezzlement and the party’s taste for flashy ostentation, and the archbishop appears to be wresting it from the ceiling in an access of ire akin to that of El Greco’s Christ chasing the moneychangers from the temple. However the chandelier can also be read as a symbol of the light of divine truth which impels Tutu to root out corruption. His expression is one of gleeful triumph, and the infectious zest with which he accomplishes his task awakes recollections of Evelyn Waugh’s ‘bright young things’ impudently swinging on chandeliers at coming-out balls in the twenties. What takes one’s breath away is the sheer audacity with which
Ed has jettisoned stock formulas, and made his Archbishop react with raging intensity to the space. Eminent dignitaries are normally elevated above the common rung of humanity and any emotional extremity. They are portrayed in splendid isolation from their surroundings, standing erect, motionless and perfectly composed on their plinths where they exude a stodgy dignity and worth. Ed obviously realized that such an elitist conception would fly in the face of Tutu’s humility and humanity, and that a Twining’s breakfast blend of mildness and benignity, could never capture his irascible volatility. One has only to compare Ed’s Tutu with the many lifeless, po-faced, bronze Mandela’s that litter the civic spaces of this country, to appreciate the revolutionary nature of his approach. The work is site-specific and much of its impact derives from its setting in a small council chamber of decorous classical format. Pilasters support a coffered ceiling, and fenestration of triple Venetian windows runs right round three walls in the upper reaches of the room where opaque panes occlude the outside world. The institutional severity of the architecture, and the hermetically sealed-off space, immediately invoke notions of the corridors of power, the conclave in camera, clandestinity, concealment and hush-hush. A white on gray text-work reading: “BE PATIENT. We only have a few things to fix” accompanies the sculpture Patience is the one virtue one does not readily associate with the Archbishop, and the words surely represent the utterance of government attempting to silence Tutu rather than anything he may have said. The meaning is far from benign for the word ‘fix’ reeks of the spin-doctor and the cover-up. No doubt there will be a chorus of protest complaining that the sculpture is irreverent and lacks the dignitas appropriate to a great man of the cloth. However to argue thus, is to ignore the persuasive force of Ed’s vision, and the uninhibited character of Tutu who comports himself with rambunctious devil-may-care. This gives him a human face, and explains why this man sans peur et sans reproche commands the love of the nation, although not that of the body politic.
Melvyn Minnaar With the football madness engulfing us in these weeks, and visitors from afar pounding the smart, newly-created walkways and spruced-up pavements lined with freshly planted greenery, one cannot deny the buzz of the city. But look around, and there’s a sad absence of cheerful art. The colour and bunting and vigorous advertising cannot hide the emptiness on our squares and in our parks. How different this is to, say, Trafalgar square in London right now where the city’s mayor recently unveiled his latest commissioned temporary artwork for the so-called ‘fourth plinth’ in front of the National gallery. And what a delightful and witty work the new piece by the wellknown Nigerian-born artist Yinka Shonibare turned out to be for a formally requested artwork.
Sculpture in the Sky For many people the two unfinished, dead-end highway flyovers that hang above downtown Cape Town are simply a vaguelyamusing representation of civic folly. Others, with a cheeky view, trace significance, even shades of symbolism, in its urban sculptural presence. Now we’re taking another look. With its dangling bits of steel reinforcement hanging up there like the exposed nerve-ends or arteries of a badly severed limb, they are a tacky reminder of over-reach by those bureaucrats who decades ago, in the afterglow of modernism’s optimism, believed that people’s way of life can be enhanced by being thoroughly brought to order (by them, of course). The apartheid cultural construct - which nowadays often seems and feels a fictionalised past, as ‘struggle art’ become museum rel ics - is a similar invention. Indeed, we’ve come far from those days. But, if we’ve learnt to question more (scrupulously) these days, have we proceeded to better solutions?
The Spier Contemporary 2010, despite bringing wondrous life to the glorious setting of our city hall, stumbled to an end last month. It may well have been the victim too of too much of that kind of current postmodern questioning. If the nattering of the curators and organisers about it still hangs in the air after the disappointment of the big show had been cleared from the floors and walls, it now sounds like they did not quite recognised the mediocrity they were dealing with. Perhaps the questions were wrong. The great idea of producing a spectacular contemporary (open and inclusive, whatever that means) expo of art, having gotten so far after months of work, was left hanging in the air. Pretty much like the uncompleted Foreshore highways. Let’s hope the sponsors (and three cheers again to Spier) proceed to a better solution for the next effort. From another angle, the pessimistic observer might argue that the exhibition was simply reflecting the reality of art production in South Africa. Have we lost the plot? Is our art this bad? Does anyone care? And who does anything about it?
Titled Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, the massive glass bottle holds a replica of the ship the great admiral (whose pompous statue towers over it) sailed to victory in that famous battle. Handcrafted to the finest detail, the 31 sails were hand stitched in Shonibare’s signature ‘African cloth’. The crowds love it and the South African ambassador has a good view from across the square. The work is both fun and clever. It resounds with references (colonialism, multiculturalism, genderism, etc), like all finely-tuned, good art does. Even the critics like it. The Telegraph’s chap wrote the it is “an exhilarating work of art that needs no excuse for raising our spirits in the gloomy days we’re living through right now.” Contrast that to the void here in the Mother City’s public places. But then in the last weeks of May, no thanks to the city’s culture officials, our own bit of sculptural entertaining was constructed on those very same awful dead roads-in-the-sky on the edge of Green Point. In the gigantic, spoof pop-art style of the fabulous Claes Oldenburg (when he was at his best making giant clothes pins, snow picks and baseball bats as monuments), we have our own enormous blue vuvuzela. In all the years that those flyover follies have been hanging in there, this is the best fun they’ve been crowned with. Well done, Hyundai.
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
Gallery Review: Cape Gallery
John Bauer and Judy Woodborne at The Cape Gallery details from the murky chiaroscuro - an embryo, a palpating hand, screaming heads, a snarling dog, a disembodied eye. Judy Woodborne, a dark and spooky beauty, told me she was a witch in a former incarnation, and I experienced no difficulty whatsoever in lending credence to her pronouncement. An initiate of the occult and esoteric, Judy has steeped herself in arcana, poring over the literature of Tarot, astrology, alchemy and the Kabbala, and immersing herself in the texts of mystagogues and hierophants. The supernatural is her natural habitat, and it imparts a nightmarish cast to her imagery - a cauldron-blend of the macabre, grotesque, bizarre and ghoulish.
The writer ponders his fate Magicing the Kiln and Etching Plate Lloyd Pollak The rambling purlieus of the Cape Gallery, a higgledy-piggledy Dickensian Olde Curiosity shop - all nook, cranny, stairwell and niche - provides the ideal ambience for an exhibition of graphic and ceramic abracadabra. Judy Woodborne’s triumph of technical wizardry over gigantism of scale, The Empress and the Wheel of Fortune - a predella-like arrangement of multiple aquatints and etchings - immediately whips up a mood of balefull mystery appropriate to our confrontation with the heavenly bodies and Tarot cards that mediate our fate. Set amidst suffocating womb-like pockets of space that dissolve into inky shadows and tumbling draperies, the Empress displays Judy’s Boschian fecundity of invention and profuse crisp-focus detail. A teeming cavalcade of medieval clowns, courtiers and weird hybrid beasts erupt into this malign limbo. The darkness assumes a weight and materiality, shoving the cast toward the picture plane and penning them in tense, uneasy proximity. A wincing glare, like a burst of flashlight, mercilessly exposes them, whilst picking out sinister
Days of our lives written in the heavens above, a diptych, portrays the rudely naked Adam and Eve, enmeshed in zodiacal maps and planetary orbits, as they stand before a tree of life and stare out at us in a challenging, confrontatory manner that sucks us into their web of troubled energies. The heavy, thickset, ‘bare forked’ anatomies lend the two progenitors of the human race a timeless universality as they gaze outwards in solemn, stricken recognition of their reprobation. Engraved sheets of Perspex set in a deep box frame give rise to an intricate play of reflections and shadows and open up eerie unfolding depths. The engraved lines emit a silvery incandescence like ectoplasm, giving the biblical archetypes the spectral appearance of revenants materializing from beyond the grave. Judy’s re-workings of the major arcanae of the Tarot deck with their cryptic groupings, enigmatic gestures and inscrutable expressions, possess the obsessive presence of the true archetype. Not only do they convincingly embody the riddles and quandaries of the human condition, they also carry strata of allusions, associations and emblematic meanings so dense and potent, that they plant minefields in our consciousness, and the mental reverberations thunder and boom long after we have quit the gallery. Judy exhibits alongside ceramicist, John Bauer, the proud inventor of many secret processes that enable him to perform feats no other potter can. John mechanically reproduces highly detailed, incised and raised figurative motifs with no loss of definition. At the same time he re-constellates his imagery in fresh juxtapositions thus preserving the artifact’s once-off status. Evocative Chinoiserie reliefs demonstrate these skills, as do Sushi platters in which skeletal fossilized fish appear trapped in a primal ooze of watery celadon enriched with crazing, bubbles and flashes of purple, blue and violet. However the core of Solve et Coagula is the collaboration between the two artists. John transfers Judy’s Tarot imagery onto high-fired
Retrospective exhibition to cast first light on fascinating life of reclusive illustrator: The Remarkable Ruby Reeves
We are going to do an “Retrospective” non-selling exhibition of water colours by Ruby Olive Reeves (1904-1986) opening 15 June and running to 8th July at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, Cape Town I was approached by the family of the late Dr Francois le Roux of George, to do this show. He had a large number of her works, which after his death, the family displayed in the George Museum.
However, his daughter, who lives in Durbanville, really wanted to show the work to a wider audience and especially to illustrators and water colourists. I went to her house to have a look at the work and it really is mar velous! The late Dr le Roux started compiling information on the life of Ruby Reeves and the family are in possession of his writing and some photos of Ruby in her later years.
matt and glazed porcelain plaques whilst ringing the changes. The engravings are executed in stark blacks, whites and grays, whereas John employs gentle sepia hues that transmute Judy’s wiry linearity into faint and wispy imprints, like an after-image fading on the retina. His Hanged Man is steeped in elegiac poetry, for he floats the corpse upon a richly textured ground impressed with stylized floral brocade. This acts as a bier, and its subtle patterning and delicate weave strike a note of opulent luxuriousness in counterpoint to the funereal motif. By scattering hibiscus blooms over the composition, John introduces a further element of basso-rilievo. In the firing, the blossoms shrivel into thin, gauzy husks that tumble and drift past the hanged man, intimating that flesh is grass, and pronouncing a memento mori. In another plaque, Bauer isolates a minute detail of Judy’s The Lover card, Eve’s feet, and sets it, like a cameo, at the centre of a raised porcelain doily executed with such miraculous crispness, delicacy and precision that every individual stitch and thread stands proud of the surface. Eve’s feet are mounted in the quatrefoil void at the centre of the doily, and the lobed frame resembles rose windows and the miniaturized ecclesiastical architectural framework of medieval reliquaries. The sacred associations are apposite for the ankles, toes and feet that dip so charmingly into the frame, immediately remind one of the ascendant feet in the upper reaches of trecento assumptions. To the ceramist, who has suffered multiple cruel bereavements, the motif symbolizes the survival of the souls of those he has loved and lost. The artist uses a glaze tinctured a pale crushed mulberry, and the hue with its nursery overtones of innocence, imparts a tenderness to this memorial vessel in which the doily’s lacey filigree harks back to the feminine handiwork that embellished his childhood home and the nurturing female presences of which he was so abruptly deprived. The doily, a prosaic household object, possesses such tangible material presence, in comparison to the deliquescent image, that we seem to confront two different levels of reality, the mystic and transcendent, and the material and mundane. The doily with its interlace of through-views becomes a veil of Maya, a screen before a mystery. The roundel at its centre provides a peephole into eternity, a glimpse into the divine realm on the other side of the veil and beyond space, time and mortal understanding.
I attach an extract from: Le Roux, Francois: The Remarkable Ruby Reeves; Fairy World of Ruby Reeves and an image of one of her water colours. Not a good photo as I took it from the framed image behind glass. Ruby Mary Olive Reeves was born in Cradock in 1904, of an English father and a French mother. Influenced by her father’s passion for myths and legends, the young Ruby delved into the fantasy world of fairies, pixies, forests and castles and produced drawings and sketches demonstrating exceptional talent from an early age. When she was only four, her father, hoping she would become an artist, presented her with her own sketch book. He encouraged her to illustrate the stories had told her in the way she imagined and visualised them. Soon the book was filled with artistic and imaginative scenes. She attended three art schools in South Africa – in Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. She also spent two years studying Oriental Art in London as the finale to her artistic education. After some years of commercial work in Pretoria, she settled in George in 1955, where she lived until her death in 1986. She lived alone – but only “alone” in the eyes of others. For her “little people” were always there, filling her life. In her garden she created at her home, there were special areas where she would commune with fairies and pixies, especially with her personal favourite, her own special fairy, Marion. Ruby used to work almost exclusively at night, when all was quiet and when the “vibrations” were right. She worked in stretches of 2 – 3 hours, patiently and meticulously bringing her drawings to life. The brushes she worked with often had only a single bristle and with the help of a magnifying glass, she could create the fine features of a fairy, only 5 mm in size. The microscopic details of her fantasy paintings were done in watercolours and filled every square centimetre of the picture. Each work, however small, required several nights to complete, depending also of course, on the mood and her inspiration. Ruby Reeves was versatile and multi talented. She was also a competent ceramic and fine terrazzo artist. She did commercial work in her studio and held a few exhibitions where she sold a fair amount of her work. Her first love, however, was the “little people” and in this field she will always be regarded as an artist unique in South Africa. Extracts from: Le Roux, Francois: Remarkable Ruby Reeves; Fairy World of Ruby Reeves
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
Kwazulu- Natal Durban The African Art Centre Durban 09 June-11 July, “Woza 2010: A celebration of Craft” 94 Florida, Durban. T. 31 312 3804/5 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.afriart.org.za
KWAZULU NATAL GALLERY LISTINGS Durban Art Gallery Until 01 August, “The Interactive Street Child Experience” 01 June -01 August, “Art of the Ball” 2nd Floor City Hall, Anton Lembede St (former Smith St) Durban T. 031 311 2264 email@example.com
Alliance Francaise 02-25 June, L’Espirit du sport exhibition. 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside, Durban. T. 031 312 9582 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.alliance.org.za
The BAT Centre 16 June-16 July, “Amandla” Exhibiting Artist: Zamani Makhanya; Sifiso KaMkame; Thami Jali; Lindelani Ngwenya; Langa Mangwa. @ The Menzi Mchunu & Democratic Gallery. 01-15 June, “Lucca Art Furniture” Jeanne Oets. @ Menzi Mchunu Gallery. BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban. T. 031 332 0451/2079 www.batcentre.co.za
Artisan Contemporary Until 20 June, “Local is Lekker” an exhibition of work by South African professional and student jewelers. 344 Florida Road, Durban. T. 031 312 4364 email@example.com, ww.artisan.co.za
Elizabeth Gordon Gallery A variety of new South African artworks, including paintings by Hugh Mbayiwa, Nora Newton, Wheildon and Hussein Salim. 120 Florida Rd., Durban. T. 031 303 8133 firstname.lastname@example.org,www.elizabethgordon.co.za
ArtSPACE Durban 31 May- 19 June, “Ceramics SA KZN Regional Exhibition and the Garret Artists”, “Slices of Lives” South African Workdays in Woodcut by Jeff Rankin, Photographs by Kay Berg. 21 June-10 July, “ConglomerART” group exhibition Kay Berg – photographs. 3 Millar Road, Stamford Hill, Durban. T.031 312 0793 email@example.com www.artspace-durban.com
KZNSA Gallery 01-26 June, Acrylics and prints by Rain Battiss and Mbhekeni Mbili. 29 June-18 July, Jane Oliver Oils; Michele Silk Oils and mixed media. 166 Bulwer Rd., Glenwood. T. 031 2023686 www.kznsagallery.co.za
Margate Margate Art Museum Museums art collection on display. T.039 312 8392 C.072 316 8094 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pietermaritzburg The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery 01 June-31 July, An exhibition by Jocelyn Boyley’s (the late Errol Boyley’s wife) The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery at Butterflies for Africa 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 3871356 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org www.artsales.co.za Tatham Art Gallery 08 June-26 September, “Jabulisa 2010 The art and craft of Kwazulu-Natal.” Until 26 September, First floor Exhibition Rooms: The Whitwell Collection 1923-1926. Until 26 September, Perimeter Gallery: Gallery Permanent Collection 1903-1974-works that are part of the Storm in the Wheatfieldan anthology of the Gallery history. Cnr of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd. and Church Str. (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg T. 033 342 1804 www.tatham.org.za
So how do you make public art in a society that is grappling with poverty? I ask this question not in light of the limited funds available for such things, or in terms of the argument that every rand spent on such luxuries is a rand not spent on housing and education. My question is altogether more pragmatic. How do you stop people stealing the works? I am thinking specifically about Doung Jahangeer’s sculpture in Church Walk outside Durban’s City Hall. The sculpture, which is an abstract representation of Bruce Fordyce and was paid for by the Sunday Times in celebration of the newspaper’s centenary, is not having a great time of things. Installed four years ago, it lost one of it’s metal ‘legs’ about a year ago and two more rods of solid steel have disappeared from its body in the last two months. Jahangeer, who was stoic about the first ‘adjustment’ of his work (“people don’t know what it’s supposed to look like”) got sufficiently upset about the most recent amputation that he gave me a
call. And to add to his disequillibrium, the fleet of colonial statues which occupy Farewell Square a few metres away, as well as virtually every brick in the the adjacent City Hall, have all been lovingly restored. I’m glad that the colonial masters, standing anachronously on their pedestals, have been reconditioned – the square looks beautiful – but I understand Jahangeer’s frustration. That frustration had turned, however, by the time I spoke to him just before I wrote this column. Now the artist is happy to see the whole work go, slowly consumed by the metal collectors who provide a generally valuable service to society while at the same time eating away at some of the important bits that keep it going. In fact, he’d just written a paper on the experience which he’s entitled ‘Just Passing Through’. And if you see Fordyce as a symbol of the old order (even though he opposed it), there’s a certain poetry to his deconstruction, as his limbs and body head for the inevitable fate of being melted down and reconstructed as something else entirely.
Still, Jahangeer acknowledges that, if he’s honest, he does feel hurt by seeing his work slowly disappear. According to him, Sunday Times have announced that the maintenance of their donated public artworks is no longer their responsibility, and the City has not stepped up to the plate. At the same time, the municipality’s reticence is understandable. There is the pragmatic approach, which I know would disturb the artist, of ‘why fix something if it’s just going to be broken again?’ His opposing approach refers to broken window theory and suggests that it’s possible that restoring the sculpture – which would cost no more than a few thousand rand – would discourage further damage. It’s also tempting to think that if the sculpture was larger – it’s about the size of a person – it would be harder to scavenge pieces of it. But I’ve seen an entire car being moved down Florida Road balanced on top of a metal trolley. These concerns about public art extend beyond the ravages of economic necessity and also include the effects of good old-fashioned vandalism. The oversized Cube on Innes Road, which houses the workings of a reservoir beneath it, occupies a spectacular lookout site and has long been the target of particularly uninventive graffiti artists. When tourism authorities plastered the thing with reasonably attractive murals a short while ago, they also put up a small, metre-high fence around it. Which just looks ridiculous and is a kind of surrealist approach to security. And I can’t help wondering how the long the fence will last before it too arrives at one of Durban’s many scrap dealers. (Incidentally, Jacob Zuma’s house which is just round the corner, had millions spent on a double-layered security fence but you could hop right over the pillars on the front entrance if you so desired. I myself have resisted the opportunity since I have nothing of great import to say to our President. And I might get shot.) Continuing on the subject of public art, when I drove past Andries Botha’s increasingly famous Durban elephants earlier this week, they were still enclosed in their green shade cloth, stuck in a very expensive limbo (the City’s contract with the developers means that they are being paid a generous daily amount until the job is finished). I can only hope that by the time that World Cup visitors arrive in the city the Elephants will have found their liberation. One thing’s for sure though – if they do get completed in time, there won’t be too many tourists – or anyone else for that matter – who say, “Oh, look. What a nice tribute to the Inkatha Freedom Party that is.” Finally, I’ve been thinking a lot about about what those who come to Durban in the next few weeks will make of the city. Will they see, in the midst of the bustling multinational carnival of the World Cup, the thriving, creative city that is my Durban? And will any of them wonder, as I have been doing lately, how the city manages to be such a buzzing hub of artistic energy and yet have so little space available for the expression of that energy. Stadia, we are told, are the cathedrals of the 21st century. I understand that sport might be one of the dominant theologies on earth but I think that large scale galleries and museums are the real cathedrals. But where is the faith?
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
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Sport versus Art: A South African Contest Edited by Chris Thurman (Wits University Press) Visitors to South Africa in June and July could be forgiven for thinking that the country’s artists are obsessed with football; after all, our galleries are to be dominated by World Cup exhibitions of one sort or another. Some of these are primarily visual celebrations of the ‘soccer aesthetic’ (such as “Halakasha” at the Standard Bank Gallery). Others use the sport as a metaphor, or as a starting point for social critique (“Shifting the Goalposts” at Goethe on Main). Others still have little to do with football but use its terminology in punning fashion to provide a kind of ‘2010 inflection’ to the work (“Foul” at Artspace). The examples I have listed above are three among dozens in Johannesburg, and there are no doubt as many in other major cities. The question is: will this football theme prove advantageous or detrimental to South African art? Will it draw visitors to galleries who might otherwise stay away? Will it be viewed, in retrospect, as a ‘fad’ to which numerous artists subscribed, compromising their integrity and autonomy in doing so? More broadly: will South African art benefit from the fact that the country is hosting the event? Will artists receive much-anticipated exposure to a global audience, or get sidelined while the focus remains on the football players themselves? The (re)presentation of African and South African art to the world has proved fractious – witness the controversy surrounding official FIFA World CupTM exhibitions (“SPace” at Museum Africa) and even licensed art products (“2010 Fine Art”). Each of these phenomena is echoed in other art forms and disciplines. Football mania has found and will continue to find expression in theatre, dance, music and literature. Sport, it seems, can complement art – can even help to ‘popularise’ art. Likewise, art can be about sport. But at the same time, the popularity of sport typically pushes artistic and intellectual concerns to the periphery of public consciousness. The problematic relationship between sport and the arts may have been exacerbated during this World Cup year, but these tensions have long been a feature of South African society. In Sport versus Art, I set out to explore the facets of this conflict (and occasional, or at least potential, concord) by soliciting opinion on the topic from a variety of contributors. Sports and arts journalists, arts practitioners, academics and others each provide their ‘take’: some are humorous, some analytical, some polemical, some deeply personal. Collectively they form an entertaining and informative ‘brief history’ of the peculiar South African manifestations of a universal contest.
New book on ceramic marks to set exciting new SA standard market where people like to say ‘I have a Joe Bloggs you know’, usually it changes little. For the potter or ceramicist, things are different. Whether you see their art as a spiritual act or the manufacture of a useful product, potters are able to tell their audience with subtle signs where they’re at any given time. This is the potter’s mark. The small, usually square, imprint on the base of a work not only says who the artist is , but where they are in their development of technique and creativity. As Justin Kerrod’s new book shows, some potter’s marks change or evolve several times in their career. Like authors who sometimes only publish their juvenilia only after achieving success,, many potters wish to mark their rites of passage into another level of skill For the collector, enthusiast or dealer these marks are essential in knowing the worth, on several levels, of the piece they are holding, but until now it’s been largely guesswork. Some are optimistic that they have found ‘treasure in the attic’ and misread marks, other pieces merely become domestic flotsam in suburban cupboards because no-one recognises what they are.
Book produced by Justin Kerrod Article written by John Bauer and Caitlin Hood Most of us want to make our mark on the world. For the majority, the acknowledgement of a fundamental change is purely internal. It seems inappropriate to announce that something of essence has shifted, and often there seems to be no way of communicating it that doesn’t seem rooted in ego. For a painter, their stylistic development may be obvious, but their signature remains largely the same. Tweaked maybe, but in a
What Justin Kerrod has done is put together a comprehensive collection of South African Potter’s Marks, taking the often inaccurate detective work out of determining the provenance of ceramics. As an enthusiast and trader, his determination to bring this book to fruition started 5 years ago when he found an exceptional piece of pottery in Swaziland. He was convinced of his value but had no way of determining who had made it and therefore its value to the market. That started a journey to this book that has collected together and recognised South African potters and the importance of their work as never before. Pottery continues the direct transmission of soul which smoulders with passion long after the fires of the kiln have died down. As with the silver industry, hallmarking is a major component of the worth of an item. Should a silver piece be made by a smith with extra special flair, talent and reputation, plainly it is more likely to attract the attention of serious collectors. Although the ceramics industry is vibrant in South Africa, hallmarking books and catalogues have never been available. Therefore only a few astute collectors have been able truly know the worth of what they are buying. There may not be massive
spikes in the ceramics market; ceramics is a sensible craft where the signs of a rare commodity defy fashion and trend, however it is a craft that survives the decline of civilisations and has an ancient tradition passed on from generation to generation. There has been a rapid rise in interest in South African ceramics from overseas. Having weathered the isolation of sanctions and listened to negative portraits of overseas markets by visiting potters, ceramic artists here were surprised when their work started to be sourced by major retailers in America, the UK, Australia and Italy. This aggressive buying has recapitalised the industry. Cerebral ceramicists who love their craft have born a creative revolution fuelled by dollars, pounds and lire. Sadly this book means that there are fewer treasures for me to find, but it means that South African artists can at last reliably get the recognition they deserve on the domestic and international markets. The South African Studio Ceramics Retrospective Exhibition, which accompanies the book is a rare treat. As an influential dealer, Justin Kerrod’s private collection contains gems that he has been unwilling to part with until now. It features rare examples of work by Tim Morris, Andrew Walford , Christo Giles, Hym Rabinowitz and Kim Sacks amongst other prestigious potters. It is also a rare opportunity to see Steve Shapiro’s work, which follows the Rabinowitz Cardew Beech tradition. This is an aesthetic studied in the East by respected British potter Bernard Leech and later romanticised by the South Africans. For anyone wishing to get a comprehensive education in the devolopment South African ceramics, this exhibition and book together offer a significant opportunity. For established collectors and dealers it’s confirmation of the rise and rise of the art form in this country. The South African Studio Ceramics Exhibition runs until June 2nd at The Light From Africa Foundation at Rhodes Drive, Constatia Nek, Cape Town. Justin Kerrod’s book ‘An Introduction to South African Ceramics, Their Marks, Monograms and Signatures’ is available at the gallery and elsewhere in a limited edition of 1000 copies. John Bauer is a potter and ceramicist, Caitlin Hood is a journalist and gallerist, both based in Cape Town.
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
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IN CONTEXT EXHIBITION PROFILE
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
A series of interventions and exhibitions in Johannesburg featuring local and international artists 23 May–17 July 2010 : Arts on Main and other venues For the last two years, the director of the Goodman Gallery, Liza Essers, has entertained the idea of putting together a dynamic show of local and international artists that engages with questions of context, particularly in relation to Africa. With this in mind, Essers began a series of conversations with artists, galleries, and other potential partners to get this ambitious project off the ground. These conversations have led to In Context, and to a multi-layered partnership between Goodman Gallery, the Goethe-Institut, Culturesfrance, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), the City of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Galleria Continua, the British Council, the Apartheid Museum, the Kirsh Foundation, and Nirox Foundation. This formidable gathering of local and international institutions – some public, some private – represents a remarkable cross-section of arts practitioners, all of whom have committed themselves to staging a major international exhibition. The World Cup did not present In Context with the thematic content for this series of exhibitions and interventions, but it did offer the chance of a whole range of engagements – with new audiences, with international visitors to the country, and with themes related to travel, movement, cultural intervention and tension, and the African continent as the host to the world and an agent in its own self-representation. With this in mind, In Context presents a diverse group of international and South African artists who share a rigorous commitment to the dynamics and tensions of place, in reference to the African continent and its varied and complex iterations, and to South Africa in particular. In Context is envisioned as a series of conversation and engagements in which the question of context is posed once again, but problematised in various ways. The terms ‘local’ and ‘international’ are given new emphasis (especially at this juncture and in the context of one of the largest sporting events on the planet) and the following questions are posed: What does it mean to be a local artist in this age of the global? Do African artists wish to continue speaking of context? How do artists of the African Diaspora reflect on their distance from and proximity to home? Where is home? How have some artists living in Europe and the Americas inherited and absorbed an African heritage or sensibility, even when they have not visited the Continent? Have we reached a point in the story of contemporary art in which the term ‘African artist’ can be dispensed with or do we still require it as a marker of distance from Europe and North America? To what extent does the global art market rely upon or exploit the term to sell art in Europe and North America? Is there thus a distinction to be made between the way in which African artists represent themselves and the ‘Western’ reception of contemporary art from Africa? Rather than present only artists from the African continent in this project, In Context also considers the works of artists who, though they may have some interest in South Africa, have not visited the country or anywhere else in Africa. Their connection to the continent might be inherited from the history of slavery, or from the displacements of Diaspora and exile. The aim is to generate conversations between works and even to assess the relevance of the questions we have raised. We may find ourselves entirely surprised by the answers. We hope to be provoked, to open engagements that overturn the concerns and themes we have offered, that render them more rather than less problematic, or that dispense with them altogether. We may indeed find that individual practice casts an entirely different light on the question of context. ARTISTS Ghada Amer (Egypt/USA) El Anatsui (Ghana/Nigeria) Joël Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar/France) Kader Attia (France) Bili Bidjocka (Cameroon/France) Willem Boshoff (SA) Candice Breitz (SA/Germany)
Loris Cecchini (Italy) Reza Farkhondeh (Iran/USA) mounir fatmi (Morocco/France) Kendell Geers (SA/Belgium) Jenny Holzer (USA) William Kentridge (SA) Gerhard Marx, (SA) Thomas Mulcaire (SA) Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italy) Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon (France/ USA/Scotland) TBC Robin Rhode (SA/Germany) Yinka Shonibare (UK/Nigeria) Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse (SA/UK) Hank Willis Thomas (USA) Minnette Vári (SA) Kara Walker (USA) PROGRAMME 2 May William Kentridge, I am not me, the horse is not mine 17h00, Johannesburg Art Gallery 23 May In Context installations and exhibitions open 11h00, Arts on Main 23 May–17 July In Context runs Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 10h00–16h00; Thurs 11h00– 20h00; Sun 10h00–14h00, Mon closed Arts on Main 23 May–17 July Kara Walker, two films Daily, Apartheid Museum 10 June–11 July Willem Boshoff, Big Druid in his Cubicle and Big Druid walks in the city Walks daily 08h00–10h00 from Nirox Foundation Project Space, Arts on Main 3 July TBC Kara Walker, two films and William Kentridge, The World on its Hind Legs Time TBC, Apartheid Museum INFORMATION www.goodman-gallery.com 011 788 1113 email@example.com
Michelangelo Pistoletto Labirinto e Grande Pozzo, 1969–2008 Corrugated cardboard, mirror Photo by Betrand Huet and courtesy Galleria Continua In Context is privileged to be able to include the work of this major Italian artist. The labyrinth, made from corrugated cardboard, will fill the Goodman Gallery Project Space at Arts on Main. It is a reflection on journeys, on identity, and on the ordinary object as a work of art.
William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx: The World on its Hind Legs, 2010 This image shows the maquette for this sculpture that will be shown at the Apartheid Museum. Image courtesy Goodman Gallery This massive bronze sculpture is a companion piece to the mammoth Firewalker that is situated at the end of the Queen Elizabeth Bridge in the city. These ‘broken’ sculptures that resolve into readable figures when viewed from one angle but break apart as you move past them, are a dramatic reflection on abstraction while at the same time being utterly figural and grounded in narrative.
Willem Boshoff: Big Druid in His Cubicle, 2009/10 For this ‘human installation’, Willem Boshoff takes up residence in the Nirox Foundation Project Space at Arts on Main for four weeks. The Druid will leave the space only to take a series of daily walks at 08h00 down Main Reef Road. For the remainder of his time, the Druid will be in his cubicle thinking, making art, writing his dictionary What Every Druid Should Know, engaging with visitors, showing his collection of diviners’ objects, and generally conducting himself in a druidic manner.
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
IN CONTEXT EXHIBITION PROFILE
Parreno Gordon: Zhane
Mounir Fatmi: Forget (detail), 2009/10 10 helmets with ceramic skulls. Photo by mounir fatmi and courtesy Goodman Gallery. Edition of 5. South African audiences first encountered mounir fatmi in Africa Remix. He works in sculptor, installation, and video and is especially interested in the meanings that certain signs carry â€“ in particular in the way those signs are seen in religious and political contexts.
Kara Walker: 8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture, 2005 Video. 15 minutes, 57 seconds. In Context will show two films by Kara Walker at the Apartheid Museum. This highly acclaimed artist has long engaged in themes relating to African-American history. Her shadow processions and signature silhouette works are a stark and powerful way of addressing such issues as slavery in the ante-bellum South.
Thomas Mulcaire, Image
THE GRAND OPENING OF THE CASA LABIA CULTURAL HUB, MUIZENBURG, CAPE TOWN
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
Catherine Bolton and Antonia Labia Hardres-Williams
Tom Boardman and Kader Asmal
Mr. Cloete with Beezy & Saskia Bailey
Michael Louis & Giovanni Lorenzi
Luccio & Sylvia Labia with Pam & Cecil Golding
Lars Schewinges, Graham Abbott, Countess Paulucci de Calboli and Jacques Rusch
Dale Nesbit & Sean Houghton
Francesco Lami and Countess Roberta Dona dalle Rose
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
THE GRAND OPENING OF THE CASA LABIA CULTURAL HUB, MUIZENBURG, CAPE TOWN
Natale Labia and Count Luccio Labia observing Antoniaâ€™s cutting of the opening ribbon
Antonia Labia cutting the ribbon, declaring the Casa Labia open
The guests applaud the opening of The Casa Labia
Jill Trappler, Melvyn Minnaar and Eris Silke
Hayden Proud, Lady Sally Graaf and and Rod Clayton
Guest Speaker Count Luccio Labia
Tshepo Moagi & Given Nkosi
Janice Aron & Bruno Killias
AROUND THE SOUTH AFRICAN VISUAL ART COMMUNITY
Letter to the Editor
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
The Editor: South African Art Times Dear Gabriel This letter is submitted for publication and to help open up the debate on the National Gallery National Gallery’s bold step forward It is possible that Lloyd Pollak’s article featured under the headline “SANG’s reputation trashed for 2010 show” is unduly harsh and seems to miss the point Firstly the headline assumes that SANG indeed had a reputation that could be trashed. The sad fact is that our so called National Gallery had become a disconnected and neglected series of rooms that had lost all focus. The Abe Bailley collection was presented in a musty dry style that desperately needed a face lift. while most of the other exhibits in the rest of gallery seemed to rather resemble an arts and craft show than a National Gallery In fact the SANG had deteriorated to the level of a second rate provincial gallery more befitting a small country town than the South African National Gallery It was in urgent need of a re vamp Raison Naidoo the newly appointed Director rose to the challenge He could either have chosen an evolutionary approach making small incremental changes and fighting obstacles with every step or a revolutionary approach sweeping out the old in one bold move. He fortunately chose to be a revolutionary and to revamp the Gallery in one giant leap Art has been brought back to the gallery rather than bead work and clay pots that Lloyd misses so much. The gallery now presents a feast of South African Art right from the formation of Union to the present time The title of from Pierneef to Guguletive at least shows some creativity and arouses curiosity rather than the boring “A Century of South African Art, 1910 to 2010 “ that encapsulates the dusty image that needed to be abandoned The exhibition is massive, far to large to be absorbed in one viewing and a good reason for several visits to the Gallery. Has anyone even tried to see all of the Louvre in one visit ? The exhibition may have been designed with foreign visitors to the Soccer World Cup in mind but it also presents a unique opportunity for local art lovers to view paintings that have not been shown to the public for many years. It is agreed that the pedantic rules of curatorship may not have been followed. So what ! There are many separate themes about that become apparent as one slowly tours the exhibits and the idea of mixing new and largely unrecognised artists together with well known names gives the new artists more exposure than if they were all lumped together in an outer gallery. Also it is not important that all the labels and explanations have not been placed along side the paintings and sculptures. Forget the graphics. Look at the art. If one wants to read texts one can visit the National Library across the Gardens. The exhibition allows one the unique opportunity to become truly immersed in what South African art has to offer and is well worth many visits What Raison Naidoo has done is to build a foundation from which many future more detailed and focussed exhibitions can be built that will meet all the criteria set by Lloyd Pollak. In the mean time Capetonians and visitors to our fair city should make the most of this wonderful opportunity to visit the National Gallery, view the exhibits and be awake to the rich tapestry that South African art has to offer. Anthony Silberberg Monbijou, Tulbagh
11 July 1923 - 27 April 2010 A great South African Studio Potter and Artist, Esias Bosch died 27 April at the age of 86, a little more than a year after the death of his colleague and friend, Hyme Rabinowitz. An early pioneer of studio pottery in South Africa from the 1950s onwards, and a ground-breaking artist. Those of us at work in this discipline and those who have come to appreciate fine studio ceramics owe him a great debt of gratitude. His legacy will live on not only in his work but also in those who he inspired to work! Esias Bosch, celebrated South African ceramicist and doyen of studio pottery in South Africa, has had a productive career spanning more than sixty years. His work is collected both locally and abroad and he has received numerous prestigious awards for his art. Esias has lived and worked for some fifty years in the Mpumalanga Low veld, in a rustic home and a studio built on a rocky outcrop. At the age of 85 he continues to follow the dream he had as a young, unknown potter: to cultivate a life of independence and authenticity, to work as long as he draws breath and to renew his art whenever it becomes an inner necessity to do so. After acquiring the most demanding skills a potter can possibly aim to achieve, he created work which astounded his audience for it’s mastery of form and decoration. Always an innovator, he has worked with prodigious energy in several mediums – from earthenware to stoneware, then on to porcelain followed by large and imposing wall tiles, on which he could express his love of decorating on a flat surface.
Peter Magubane to recieve honorary Doctorate from UCT Hunter Atkins, Independent Newspapers Peter Magubane will be honoured for his photography of South Africa’s liberation over a period of 50 years. His work has appeared in newspapers and books and has been exhibited globally. The tumultuous portion of his life through the les started in 1969 when he was arrested while photographing protesters outside Winnie Mandela’s jail cell. He was later banned from photography for 5 years, arrested and kept in solitary confinement for 98 days. When the ban was lifted he documented the Soweto student and pupil uprisings of 1976 This led to international photographic and journalistic awards. In 1986 he was given an award for a case when he put his camera aside and intervened to prevent people from being killed. Magubane now documents traditional communities in post-apartheid South Africa.
At the age of 80 he made the decision to complete his lifetime of working with clay and to return to the medium he excelled at during his student training years – painting and drawing. He finds great joy in creating images that capture the intrinsic spirit of nature. His Portraits of Trees is a compelling range of wood-pen drawings on gesso, depicting indigenous Low veld trees. ‘I am not a botanical artist,’ he says, ‘but if I can inspire people to look at trees, really see them, I am satisfied.’ Many of his paintings attempt to distil the silence and infinite peace of space – the ephemeral beauty of clouds, light dancing on the sea, koi fish whirling in an eddy of colour in water. ‘All I’m really interested in is to work while listening to the music of the great masters and make art that touches that centre in all of us where joy springs from’, he says. “Esias spent most of his time dedicated to achieving perspective, both in his art and in his personal life. I am a fortunate man for having known him and for learning his sense of perspective through a simple insight he shared with me one day : ‘Ron, life is short’. A lesson that I shall forever refer back to”. Ron Olivier From: www.studiopottery.co.uk More information about his life and work see: www.esrabosch.co.za
Missing Maude Sumner Watercolour The following painting has been reported missing, believed stolen, on 26th May 2010 in Johannesburg from a collection. Title: Bridge over a river, Oxford, Watercolour, 455mm x600mm Call Gabriel at The SA Art Times: 021 424 7733
Woodstock Art Strip makes it to The New York Times Travel section By Josey Miller JUST southeast of downtown, Woodstock was one of few Cape Town communities to, in part, avoid South Africa’s Group Areas Act. That strict apartheid policy demarcated regions by race, forcefully removing residents; Woodstock, however, managed to maintain aspects of its multiethnic character. While it’s still shedding the coarse complexities of an impoverished past, Woodstock is evolving into the media hub of the country’s “Mother City.” A Revival in Woodstock, South Africa Woodstock, South Africa Home to production studios and advertising agencies — as well as to Manhattan-inspired mint apartments that share the streets with historic Victorian architecture — Woodstock is a coveted location for movie and magazine shoots. Some of
the most highly regarded structures, once threatened by demolition, are being restored instead.
“It used to be where you’d come for drugs,” Ms. Dudley said of Woodstock. “Now you come for galleries and a delicious lunch.”
“I’ve always believed in Woodstock,” said Karen Dudley, owner of the Kitchen (111 Sir Lowry Road; 27-21-462-2201; karendudley. co.za), which celebrates its first anniversary this month. Ms. Dudley, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly a decade, found that her catering company had outgrown her home kitchen. So she moved the business into a space formerly occupied by a fish market, where, she said, “the stench was heinous,” and added a cafe. Now it smells more like her secret Love Potion, the creamy, garlicky dressing that graces her famous Love Sandwiches (starting at 35 rand, or about $4.75 at 7.34 rand to the dollar). Copper cake molds and antique teapots, many used to cook for and serve her celebrity and corporate clients, line the shelves.
A few doors down, stop by South African Print Gallery (107 Sir Lowry Road; 27-21-462-6851; printgallery.co.za), which Gabriel Clark-Brown, the editor of The South African Art Times, opened in 2009; his mission is to showcase printmaking as a fine art. Why Woodstock? “Proximity to city center, low rent and a focus on the arts were paramount,” he said. With an unadorned décor of Cretan stone and bleached wood, the shop lets the work on the walls do the talking; pieces are hung without frames. Prints by, among others, the late, beloved Gabisile Nkosi and the award-winning township artist Linga Diko start at 3,500 rand. Read the full article here: http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/ travel/23surfacing.html
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
IN CONTEXT OPENING AT THE JOHANNESBURG ART GALLERY
Cynthia, Antonette Murdoch and Kedi
Ester, Antonette Murdoch, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Chirstoff and Herky
Bronwyn Law -Viljoen
Kim Stern and Ricky Burnet
Roelien Brink and Antonette Murdoch
William Kentridge, Antonette Murdoch and her two children
SA ART AUCTIONS
Swelco Cape Town Auction 1-2 June 2010
BUSINESSART | JUNE 2010
Swelco Cape Town Auction preview
Robert Broadley Nude signed and dated 84; signed, inscribed with the title and dated 1984 on the reverse oil on canvas board 45 by 60cm
With international auctions setting fresh world records with each sale, the South African market has proven to be bang on trend with sales so far this year. Stephan Welz & Co’s specialists are anticipating seeing this at their sale to be held on the 1 and 2 of June at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. For the first time in Cape Town there is a large selection of jewellery available for lovers of signature pieces. “We are very pleased to be offering such a wide variety of beautiful jewellery pieces for all pockets and tastes,” says Jennifer Schultz. Cora Welz’s attention has been caught by a particularly striking diamond bracelet featuring 44 round brilliant-cut diamonds (estimate R35 000 – 45 000) while Schultz has admitted to having set her sights on a pair of diamond stud earrings (estimate R120 000 – 150 000). “This is an exceptional mid-year sale for us. We have built on our momentum and put a fine sale together,” says Ian Hunter, Head of Paintings in Cape Town. The Edoardo Villa sculpture titled Mapogga Man (estimate R450 000 – 550 000) which is the sales cover lot, is the best piece by the artist to have surfaced at auction and has captured the eye of our discerning collectors. “We also have two auction-rare, repatriated Frans Oerder paintings; one of which is a historic record of British troop movements during the Anglo-Boer War,” enthuses Hunter. “Additionally we have so many beautiful and interesting works including contemporary masters such as Stanley Pinker, Andrew Verster, Erik Laubscher, Christo Coetzee and Walter Battiss. Quality works can be found to suit all budgets and aesthetics,” he concludes.
for choice, the centrepiece of these being the Italian Secretaire by Gianfranco Frattini for Bernini (R55 000 – 60 000),” says Anton Welz, Furniture specialist and auctioneer. Amongst the fine examples of British, Continental and South African ceramics is Hylton Nel’s Figure of a Cat (estimate R10 000 – 15 000). “As an animal lover this is one of my favourite pieces,” says Shona Robie, Manager for the Cape Town office and Head of Ceramics. Nel is one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary ceramicists whose unique expression and craftsmanship has proven to be especially popular with collectors. “Silver has seen a resurgence in its popularity in recent years. This can be tracked to a renewed interest and eclecticism found in the interiors of collectors’ homes,” says Silver Specialist Karen Randle. With a background in fashion and a keen eye for trends, Randle is sure that an Italian silver seven piece tea and coffee set (estimate R58 000 – 68 000) will appeal to collectors with a sense of tradition, while a fine pair of silver George III wine coasters (estimate R20 000 – 25 000) dating back to 1787 will find their place on a well-appointed contemporary dinner table. Bibliophiles will delight in the large selection of books available on the sale. Amongst the collection, predominantly composed of art books, is a rare copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx (estimate R4 000 – 6 000). Gary Shean, a new addition to this department, says that the fine illustrations in this work are a delight for even non-readers out there. The stone plates used to print this work were destroyed during the invasion of Belgium during WWII and therefore this book can never be reprinted. “Enthusiasts also have the opportunity to acquire Walter Battiss’ Fook Book 2 (estimate R30 000 – 40 000) limited to 40 copies of which this copy is numbered 4/40,” says Shean.
“We are privileged to have a strong showing by four of the most prominent and respected female members of the New Group: Maud Sumner; Irma Stern; Maggie Laubser and Freida Lock,” says Phillippa Duncan, Senior paintings specialist and auctioneer. “These women made an impact on the South African art scene that still resonates and has relevance for contemporary artists.” Both Lock and Stern travelled through Africa at a time when a woman travelling alone was unheard of; Lock’s Boats Moored in a Bay, Zanzibar (estimate R450 000 – 550 000) and Stern’s Malay Woman (estimate R900 000 – 1 200 000) were produced during this time. Maud Sumner kept studios at her family home in Johannesburg as well as London and her beloved Paris. Her painting titled Still Life (estimate R375 000 – 450 000) clearly showcases this artist’s immersion into the art world in Paris and London before and after WWII, Duncan added.
The sale is set to take place on the 1 & 2 June at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and catalogues are available from both the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices as well as from the sale room. For further details please call 021-794-6461, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.swelco.co.za
Both of the furniture sessions which form part of this sale offer quality items for collectors. For the more modest budget, a fine set of ten William IV style dining chairs (estimate R8 000 – 10 000) is a not-to-be missed opportunity to acquire beautiful yet functional items for the home.
Enquiries & Catalogues Cape Town Office 021 794 6461
“In the evening session 20th century design enthusiasts are spoilt
Viewing Friday 28 May Saturday 29 May Sunday 30 May
10h00 - 16h00 10h00 - 15h00 10h00 - 17h00
Auction Tuesday 1 June Wednesday 2 June
10h00, 14h00 & 19h00 10h00
At the Saleroom, Kirstenbosch from Friday 28 May Tel: 021 761 2663 Fax: 021 761 9962 email@example.com www.swelco.co.za
Freida Lock Hout Bay Valley. signed oil on canvas, R 600 000 - 800 000 By Michael Coulson Stephan Welz & Co (Swelco)’s hopes for its June Cape Town sale are in line with its previous two sales this year, with a total low estimate spread over three sessions of about R11.6m. For once there are two sessions of minor work, perhaps because no fewer than 236 lots fall into this category, but the gross low estimate for these is only about R2.25m, an average of about R9 460. There are 88 major works in the evening session of June 1, but none carries an estimate starting at R1m. The highest is R900 000R1.2m for an Irma Stern Malay Woman, heading a round dozen of lots with low estimates of R300 000 and above. Frieda Lock is obviously a rising star, with three of the 12, including the second most valued work: R600 000-R800 000 for a landscape of Hout Bay Valley. The other two are R450 000-R550 000 and R400 000-R500 000 (both also landscapes). The cover lot is an Edoardo Villa bronze Mapogga Man (R450 000-R550 000). A Pretoria casting of Anton van Wouw’s Basutho Witness is estimated at R400 000-R450 000, while estimates of R400 000-R600 000 are attached to landscapes by Maggie Laubser and Pierneef. A Maud Sumner still life is put at R375 000-R450 000, Stanley Pinker’s Procession at R350 000-R450 000 and an Eleanor EsmondeWhite Bathers and a Hugo Naude view of Table Mountain both at R300 000-R400 000. The average low estimate for this session is just over R105 800, making a total average for all three sessions of about R35 700. Most represented artists are Gregoire Boonzaaier and Gabriel de Jongh (10 each), followed by Tinus de Jongh, Hugo Naude and Terence McCaw (eight each), Jean Welz (seven) and Kenneth Baker, Walter Battiss, Francois Krige and Pieter van der Westhuizen (six each). The printed catalogue for Graham’s auction is still not available, but the firm tells me its estimate range is R34m-R38m. The low estimate for Strauss’s next sale is R34.9m, and that for the SA art in Philips de Pury’s imminent Africa sale in New York equates to about R10.5m. With the R11.6m from the Selco Cape sale, in the next few weeks auctioneers are looking to raise at least R92m from selling SA art. So far this year the five main auctions (Strauss Cape Town, Swelco Cape Town and Jo’burg, Bonhams London and New York) have actually grossed R73.5m. Add on the expected minima and you get R165.5m actual or historic sales in the first half of 2010. That compares with my estimate of historic auction turnover of R193m in SA art in the whole of 2009. Just where, some commentators are asking, will all the money needed to take up this supply come from? And where will it all end?
Phillips de Pury, New York - Africa sale By Michael Coulson Yet another international auction house is trying to break into the African art market, with a sale by Phillips de Pury’s New York office on May 15. With 232 lots, this is much bigger than Bonhams’ recent 173-lot event, but the general standard is lower. A gross low estimate of US$1.53m equates to an average $6 640, against $9 735 at Bonhams. There’s a larger SA component in the latest sale – 60 of 232, against 24 of 173 at Bonhams. – but this hardly enhances the offering, as the average low estimate of the SA works is only about $4 510.
None of the three top estimates is by an SA artist. The list is headed by two works by British-Nigerian Yinka Shonibare: a sculpture of a man on a unicycle ($80 000-$120 000) and a 10piece graphic series Un Ballo in Maschere ($60 000-$80 000), the latter being matched by a Cheri Samba (France/Congo Kinshasa) acrylic J’aime le Couleur. Top priced SA work is, not surprisingly, a William Kentridge collage, Bicycle Kick ($50 000-$70 000). Marlene Dumas’ watercolour contribution to the World Cup series is estimated at $35 000$45 000, a Kentridge Learning the Flute graphic $25 000-$35 000, a Willie Bester Dog sculpture $20 000-$30 000 and $15 000-$20
000 is attached to a set of six stereoscopic three-d photogravures by Kentridge. Critics point out that several of the SA works have either been seen in exhibitions recently or come direct from the artists, so haven’t really established a collectible record. Bonhams’ New York sale found buyers for only three of the SA works, and was less than 40% sold by number overall. Though the art market seems to be improving steadily, Phillips de Pury may struggle for a better overall result, though it will certainly hope to do better with the SA components.
DIVISIONS Aspects of South African Art: 1948 - 2010 5 June - 31 August 2010
Including: Walter Battiss, Christo Coetzee, Cecil Skotnes, Douglas Portway, Erik Laubscher, Nel Erasmus, Lucas Sithole, Lucky Sibiya, Larry Scully, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Georgina Ormiston, Iris Ampenberger, Gordon Vorster, Dirk Meerkotter, Fred Schimmel, Cecily Sash, Sydney Kumalo, Edoardo Villa, Ezrom Legae, Dumile Feni, George Pemba, Peter E Clarke, Albert Newall, Kevin Atkinson, Hannatjie van der Wat, Trevor Coleman, Lionel Abrams, Bill Ainslie, Jill Trappler, Welcome Koboka, Ephraim Ngatane, Norman Catherine, Simon Stone, Judith Mason, Fred Page, John Dronsfield, Claude Bouscharain, Marianne Podlashuc, Marjorie Wallace, Vladimir Tretchikoff, Braam Kruger, Sam Nhlengethwa, Willie Bester, Pat Mautloa, Wayne Barker, Andrew Olivier, Max Wolpe, Beezy Bailey, David Koloane, Kay Hassan, Johannes Phokela, Anton Karstel, Diane Victor, William Kentridge, Albert Adams, David Brown, Angus Taylor, Robert Hodgins, Herman Van Nazareth, Barend De Wet, Brett Murray, Peet Pienaar, Conrad Botes, Johann Louw, Walter Meyer, George Hallett, Dale Yudelman, Svea Josephy, Speelman Mahlangu, Sthembiso Sibisi, Trevor Makhoba, Sibusisu Duma, Georgina Gratrix, Jake Aikman, Trasi Henen, Sue-Pam Grant, Stuart Bird and Ed Young.
s t e l l e n b o s c h m o d e r n a n d c o n t e m p o r a r y a r t g a l l e r y
1st Fl o o r D e Wet C ent re, Churc h S t re et , S te llenb o sc h | +27 21 8 87 3 6 07 | info @smac g all e r y.c o m | w w w.smac g all e r y.c o m Alber t Newall | Untitled | 1959 | 32 x 32 cm
NIROX Sculpture Park
T WENTY South African Sculpture of the Last Two Decades
Curated by Andrew Lamprecht 6 June to 15 August 2010
ARNALDO POMODORO & EDOARDO VILLA
A Sculptural Dialogue
In association with SMAC Art Gallery 5 June to 25 July 2010 NIROX Sculpture Park, Kromdraai Road (D540), Kromdraai Valley, Cradle of Humankind, World Heritage Site.
Business Art June 2010