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BUSINESS ART October 2009 | Supplement to The South African Art Times | E-mail: | Member of the Global Art Information Group

SA Visual arts sector shies away from World Summit The recent World Summit on Arts and Culture dealt with the arts in general. Did this isolate specialists in the field of art, asks Mary Corrigall Joy Mboya, the executive director of The Performing and Visual Arts Centre in Kenya, suggested that in her country creativity in the arts had been stifled by this supposed need to create work that was designed to address a particular social ill. Surprisingly delegates from western countries or representatives of western-based cultural institutions - the primary funders to non-western countries - seemed to be in agreement.

Mary Corrigall The 4th World Summit of Arts and Culture was held in Johannesburg last week and with 250 of the 450 delegates hailing from the African continent the affair had a decidedly African flavour. The themes that Mike Van Graan, the programme director, had set for the discussions also reflected the summit’s destination. Reflecting a predominant concern in South African cultural and political realms the central theme seemed to probe the dynamics and the best conditions for intercultural dialogue. It was also relevant to a gathering of arts organisations and practitioners from around the globe who were keen to exchange ideas. Issues facing all the various creative disciplines were adumbrated in favour of engaging with ‘the arts’ in general and the commonalities that might face all who toil in creative industries. Consequently none of the talks were tailored for the visual arts sector albeit that some of the speakers made oblique references to this arena. In her address on intercultural dialogue through the arts, Yvette Vaughn Jones, a British-based policymaker and policy analyst, who now runs Visiting Arts, referred to the 1 mile squared project, an online arts initiative which is currently running with the Johannesburg Art Gallery. She presented it as an example of ways in which technology is facilitating intercultural creative projects. Representing South Africa was Steven Sack, director of arts and culture for the City of Joburg. Nevertheless there was a paucity of delegates

hailing from the visual arts sector. Sack suggested that many were put off by the cost – fees for locals could cost up to almost R5000. “The money just doesn’t seem to be there,” commented Sack. He tried to drum up interest in the visual arts community, especially academia but without funding to attend Sack said his efforts were met with little interest.

“There is this perception that organisations in the North aren’t willing to fund projects that deal with soft issues. This is a real problem for organisations in the South. The artistic value of projects is just as important, we are failing artists if we do not address this,” observed Laurent Clavel, director of the French Institute in South Africa. Peter Anders, Clavel’s counterpart at the Goethe Insitute, concurred.

In the run-up to the summit some arts practitioners and organisations were unaware that the summit was taking place. “One can never have enough publicity,” observed Sack, whose organisation is one of the sponsors of the event. Sack also implied that the visual art fraternity in South Africa tends to isolate itself from the arts community at large. He also suggested that the visual arts community were less “interested in policy” than the rest of the arts fraternity in the country whose livelihood is more dependent on the government’s funding policies. Certainly artists hailing from other disciplines expressed disdain for the National Arts Council (NAC), the main government funding body for the arts, in the run-up to the summit. In talks held at the African Museum preceding the summit artists bemoaned the paucity of government funding for the arts. Annabel Lebethe, the new chief executive officer for the NAC, implied that the summit, which was predominantly

“We are not development agencies, we are here to listen to what artists want and need,” Anders observed.

Brett Bailey piece opened the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture sponsored by the NAC, would help identify the issues facing the arts fraternity and set future funding policies. At the closing press conference, however, she was unable to outline the specific insights the NAC had acquired during the summit. However, in its programming the summit seemed more geared to probe more philo sophical quandaries such as the arts role in society. In other words it operated as a platform

to reassert arts value. Madeeha Gauhar, a theatre practitioner from Pakistan who has used her art to challenge the draconian laws set by the Taliban in her country, and Stojan Pelko, the state secretary for the Slovenian Ministry of Culture, attempted to discover what role the arts play in advancing peace or propagating conflict. Pelko observed that no cultural product is neutral and can be appropriated to further any kind of political end – “there are no innocent songs.” It was perhaps thought that

these kinds of topics would highlight the importance of the arts and their political value thus drawing governments’ attention to the role they could play in furthering democratic ideals – hence justifying the need for more generous funding. In the concluding session Sanjoy Roy, head of Teamwork Films, a production house with interests in the performing and visual arts, also placed empha sis on the social value of art. The implication was that art had to be seen to add value to society to prove its worth.

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Many of the commercial galleries in South Africa operate without aid from foreign agencies but our museums and artists remain highly dependent on foreign funding, consequently the summit might have proved the ideal platform to come to grips with the dynamics of the relationships between the “north and the south” and to simply network with the host of foreign organisations which were present at the summit.

Kate Tarratt Cross, director of the Greatmore Studios in Cape Town found the summit to be highly stimulating and worthwhile. “Just in my own work I have been trying to get cross cultural projects off the ground so the summit has affirmed that what I am doing is on the right track,” she said.

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Sotheby’s (London) Art for Africa auction fetches pleasing results for local and international artists Monday 21 September in London at Sotheby’s, a selection of donated works by top South African and British artists went under the hammer to raise over R5 million for two charities, the Africa Foundation and Ikamva Labantu. The auction was the brainchild of South African artist Beezy Bailey in collaboration with philanthropists Tara and Jessica Getty, with Bailey rarking on the results by saying that he was thrilled that the funds raised would benefit children in need. Bailey also commented on the power of art o bring people together saying that almost never before had the British press seen so many noteworthy contemporary artists in one room. The two pieces fetching the highest prices where sculptural works by Antony Gormley for his Standing Matter XX which sold for £130, 000 and Marc Quinn’s Microcosmo (Fortuna), which fetched £85, 000. Yet, what is notable about the figures is not only the highs reached by the British contingent of artists but that the many of the South African artists’ works sold above their

estimated prices. Marlene Dumas’ Would Jesus have done the same? in pen, brush and ink on paper, sold for £32,000, well over its estimated £15,000-20,000 range. Beezy Baily set a new personal record his A Farm in Zimbabwe, which almost doubled its low estimate of £6,000, fetching £11, 000. Other South African highlights included William Kentridge’s World on Its Hind Legs selling above estimate at £21,000 and Jane Alexander’s Transmitter fetching £2,800. Commenting on the success of the auction Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist stated that ‘tonight’s exceptional results are true testament to the quality and appeal of the great works of art which were generously donated to this historic event by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists’.

Images: Zulu dancers get the bidding crowds warmed up, at £500 per encore x 6 they raised £3 000, Bidding starts, (below) (L-R back) Gavin Turk, Silvia Ziranek, Alison Jackson, Beezy Bailey, Stuart Semple, (L-R front) Terry O’Neil, Jessica Getty, Marc Quin and Yinka Shonibare pose for a photograph at Sothebys on September 16, 2009 in London, England. The group are artists (plus organiser Getty) work will feature in the Art for Africa Charity auction which will be held at Sotheby’s London on Monday September 21, 2009. (September 15, 2009 - Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe) Antony Gormley for his Standing Matter XX which sold for £130, 000 and Marc Quinn’s Microcosmo (Fortuna), which fetched £85, 000, (right) Yinka Shonibare: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Africa) See www.artforafrica. for more details




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Did you know? Donald Hess at The Glen Carlou Estate, Stellenbosch Ross Douglass of ArtLogic

Ross ushers in a new art economy Staff writer ‘I’m a pragmatist’ Ross Douglass explains as he sips his coffee in the newly opened Superette beneath Whatiftheworld on Albert Road in Woodstock. He is here to examine the lie of the land ahead of the upcoming Spring Art Tour set to hit Cape Town at the beginning of October. Following on the previous success of ArtLogics Jo’burg Art Fair, the Spring Art Tour aims to access the audiences identified by that event by providing a week of talks, events and exhibitions intended to get people into the galleries represented previously at the Art Fair. For Douglas, one of the big challenges for South Africa, posed by organising such an event is the question of what ‘art can do for a brand?’ Branding. This is what the Spring Art Tour is about. And its aim is to get the brand recognised. Not just ArtLogic, but so too all the participating galleries, restaurants and venues associated with the tour. ‘Art generates instant content’ exclaims Douglass in a very

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Spring Art Tour Fever grips Cape Town & Joburg

practical, matter of fact way. ‘South Africa is full of potential that is never quite realised’. Instead of merely aiming at corporate social investment that Douglass sees as typifying much of the funding being poured into the arts sector by government and its associated institutions, he wants to see a sustainable payback instead of ‘cultural rhetoric that is not income generating’. So in step Grolsch, FNB and BMW. Realising the need for developing a creative industry Douglass has identified the potential of branding as being an intricate part of how to get people actively involved in what previously has been a largely inaccessible market.

ArtLogic’s Spring Art Tour is set to hit Cape Town on Thursday this week with a series of openings in galleries around the city. Arttimes spoke to the participating galleries to take the tone of the upcoming event. David Tripp of the Everard-Read, which will be showing a selection of work by Beezy Bailey as well as a group show of recent acquisitions by the gallery, said that whilst many galleries are just trying to stay afloat, the attention generated by the Spring Art Tour is a positive sign. Tripp further added that the event coming to Cape Town would help build relationships between dealers and gallerists that saw their germination with the Jo’burg Art Fair.

According to Douglass, South Africa is largely without the sussed ‘sophisticated audience’ that is active in the global art world. And this is what he aims to change with events like the Spring Art Tour. Far from merely raising awareness to art and its associated institutions, ArtLogic presents a way to network cultural and capital economy in order to activate the arts sector.

Ashleigh Mclean of Whatiftheworld extended this idea by saying that the commercial nature of the tour would help stimulate the market and further develop communication between the two art centres. Whatiftheworld will be presenting the highly anticipated solo show by New York based painter, Andrz Nowicki. At the Goodman, a snapshot of Kathryn Smiths collaboration with crime writer Margie Orford will be

on display in the galleries store room, together with Bili Bidjocka’s show in the main exhibition space. Curator Storm Janse Van Rensburg said that the Spring Art Tour is a good way to start the season and comes at a good time for galleries, further saying that ‘things are continuing’. Jonathan Garnham of Blank, who will be opening his new 150 square meter project space across the road from the old Bell-Roberts said that he feels the Spring Art Tour ‘brings hope to new audiences of contemporary art’ saying that the tour promises to provide invaluable exposure. The behemoth Michael Stevenson is also not short of offerings for the night, with Meschac Gaba and Paul Edmunds showing as well as Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in the Forex and Musa Nxumalo in the side gallery. Gallery director Sophie Perryer said that the Spring Art Tour seemed like a positive event that ‘fostered a sense of community’ amongst the participating galleries. To see what’s on when go to

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Tollman Award 09 awarded photographer Sabelo Mlangeni The winner of the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts 2009 has been awarded to the young photographer Sabelo Mlangeni. Mlangeni was born in 1980 at Driefontein, near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. He moved to Johannesburg in 2001. He studied at the Market Photo Workshop, and graduat-

ed in 2004. His work attracted critical notice on the occasion of his first solo show at Warren Siebrits in Johannesburg in 2007. He exhibited a series of scenes of women cleaning the inner city entitled Invisible Women which he photographed over an eight-month period at night between 11pm and 3.30am. In these haunting im-

ages he offers us some insight into the reality of the lives of these seemingly invisible women in a format that richly recalls the long tradition of city nightscape photography. The annual Tollman Award for the Visual began in 2003. A grant in the amount of R100 000 is given directly to a young

artist who has received critical recognition but is hampered by finances in realizing the potential of their work. The artist may choose to spend the award as they wish; to produce new work, travel, study or produce a publication.

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Gauteng Johannesburg Afronova 18 Sep-17 Oct, The Olympians and muses, a solo painting exhibition by Ghanaian-British artist Godfried Donkor. Safe Parking- corner of Miriam Makeba and Gwigwi Mrwebi St, Newton C. 083 726 5906 Alliance Francaise of Johannesburg Gallery Gerard Sekoto 3-15 Oct, The colours of a nation, paintings by Masako Osada. 17 Lower Park Drive corner Kerry Road, Parkview- opp. Zoo Lake T.011 646 1169 Artist’s Proof Studio 6-23 Oct, prints by Shime Senetla. 27 Oct-20 Nov, prints by Toni-Ann Ballenden. Bus Factory (c/o Henry Nxumalo, 3 President Street, P.O. BOX 664, Newton) T. 011 492 1278 Email: Arts on Main 20 Sep-6 Oct, ‘Us’, curated by Simon Njami and Bettina Malcomess, examines notions of nation, culture, class, gender, sexuality and race. Fox St, Johannesburg Art on Paper From 8 Oct, Parrot, works by Colin Richards. 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), T. 011 726 2234 Artspace-JHB Until 3 Oct, Pale Male: sitting standing walking, an exhibition of sculpture and drawing by Louis Oliver. 7-21 Oct, Jowzi, a series of photographs and paintings by Senzo Nhlapo. 24 Oct-7 Nov, Nomadixx, by Sinta Spector, works created out of recycled, reinvented textiles, feathers, buttons, and found objects. Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 8802 The Bag Factory Artists’ Studio 25 Sep-9 Oct, Fietas: festival, fiesta or fiasco? An exhibition that includes the prose and photography of Yusuf Chubb Garda, audio accounts of Ntate Modimokoane and Junior Jacobs. As well as all that went into and came out of creating the artwork commissioned by The Trinity Session, 26’10 South Architects and Feizel Mamdoo. 10 Mahlatini St, Fordsburg, Johannesburg T. 011 834 9181 Brodie/Stevenson 10 Sep-10 Oct, sculpture by Nandipha Mntambo. 15 Oct-7 Nov, works by Simon Gush. 373 Jan Smuts Avenue,

Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034, David Brown Fine Art 29 Sep-29 Oct, The White, works in acrylic on canvas and gouache on fine paper by Jonathon Kassel and ‘Look at Me’, paintings by Conor Mccreedy. 39 Keyes Ave, off Jellicoe, Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4435 David Krut Projects From 8 Oct, Patmos and the War at Sea by Alastair Whitton. A dramatic series of thirtythree works on paper. David Krut Projects. 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 Everard Read Gallery Jhb 1-26 Oct, Mali, works by Walter Voigt. 1-18 Oct, Four Pierneef Sites, works by Carl Becker 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4805

Johannesburg Art Gallery 20 Sep-25 Oct, ‘Us’, curated by Simon Njami and Bettina Malcolmess, examines notions of nation, culture, class, gender, sexuality and race. King George Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3130 Manor Gallery 8-24 Oct, paintings at The opening of the 82nd Open Exhibition. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive T. 011 465 7934 Email: Market Photo Workshop Until 2 Oct, Residues, photography by Juan Orrantia. From 14 Oct, Short Change, the 20th Anniversary Exhibition 1989-2009, opening by David Goldblatt and work from current students and alumni. T. 011 834 1444 Rooke Gallery 17 Sep-1 Dec, The Unseen Works, a rare collection of unseen works by two respective iconic artists, Mark Kannemeyer: The Berlin paintings, and Roger Ballen: The vintage photographs By Appointment, The Newtown, 37 Quinn Street Newtown Johannesburg T. 072 658 0762 Sandton Civic Art Gallery 15 Sep-5 Oct, Indian ‘Shared Histories’: painted narratives from India. Nelson Mandela Square, corner Maude and Fifth Streets, Sandton T. 011 881 6430/32 Sally Thompson Gallery 2 Sep-10 Oct, Jo’burg Gini, photography by Sally Gaule. 78 Third Avenue, Melville, T. 011 482 9719

Goethe Institute 14 Sep-17 Oct, Shukumisa, a collection of woodcut prints by Isabel Thompson. 119 Jan Smuts Ave, Entrance on New Port Road, Parkwood T. 011 4423232 Goodman Gallery 1-24 Oct, Absent Fields, works by Marco Ciafanelli. 29 0ct-21 Nov, works by Mikhael Subotzky. 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 GordArt Gallery From 3 Oct, Main space: Treasure! Sculptures and painting by Colin Payne. Upstairs: paintings by Craig Smith. Shop 1 Parkwood Mansions, 144 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, T 011 880 5928 Graham Fine Art Gallery 1 Oct-1 Nov, A South African Dreamscape: The Discovery of an Internal Terrain, paintings by André van Vuuren. Shop 31, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cnr. Valley & Cedar Roads Fourways, Johannesburg T.011 465 9192

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 Fried Contemporary Art Gallery 3 Oct-15 Nov, In From above and beyond, notions of perspective and viewpoint are explored in themes of space and place with works by Marlise Keith, Elfriede Dreyer and Eric Duplan. 430 Charles Str, Brooklyn, Pretoria T. 012 346 0158 Kraal Studio 29 Aug-10 Oct, Solitude and Things Collected. 364 Milner Road, Waterkloof, Pretoria T. 082 464 6767 hanlieandclive@kraalstudio. Magpie Gallery 26 Sep-15 Oct, Beast of Burden, an exhibition of works by Steven Delport, MJ Lourens, Justice Mokoena, Sarel Petrus, Gerda Smit and Fran Veda. Shop 21B, Southdowns Shopping Centre, Centurion T. 012 665 1832

Gallery MOMO 3 Sep-5 Oct, Group Exhibition. 8 0ct-2 Nov, Murder on 7th, visual artwork by Gabrielle Goliath. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 Gertrude Posel Gallery 20 Sep-26 Oct, [Sample] EC, curated by Fiona RankinSmith. Historical and contemporary work which images the Eastern Cape from the 1830’s to today. University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein T. 011 717 1363


My son left (Refused proposal) | Cojimar, Cuba 2009 Sue Williamson at The Goodman Gallery Johannesburg Museum Africa 25 May-24 Dec 2010, l’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel; co-curated by Nessa Leibhammer and Natalie Knight. Sep 16-28 Oct, Oswenka, an exhibition of photographs by TJ Lemon (Bensusan Museum of Photography). 121 Bree Street, Newtown, Johannesburg T. 011 833 5624 Obert Contemporary at Melrosearch From 8 Oct, Seventies Onwards, works by Jan Neethling exploring themes that the artist has pursued over his fourdecade career as a painter, including the female form and power relations. An exhibition comprised of 15 variously scaled mixed media works on board. 14 The High Street, Melrose Arch T. 011 684 1214 Origins Centre 5 Aug-10 Oct, From Abidjan to Joburg, works by Veronique Tadjo. Cnr Yale and Enoch Santonga Str. University of the Witwatersrand T. 011 717 4700 Resolution Gallery Until Mid Oct, The Wealth of No Nations, works by Pat Mautloa and Godfried Donkor. 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 4054

Standard Bank Gallery 14 Oct-5 Dec, works by Alexis Preller Cnr. Simmonds & Frederick Streets, Johannesburg, 2001 T. 011 631 1889 Seippel Gallery Opening Oct, Enter Exit, photography exhibition by Pierre Crocquet. August House, 76-82 End Street, Doornfontein T. 011 401 1421 The Art Place, Gallery & Art Centre 12 Sep-3 Oct, Enchantment, fine porcelain by Dale Lambert and paintings by Maureen Rugani. 10-31 Oct, Introducing TAG, quilts and wall hangings. 144 Milner Ave, Roosevelt Park, T 011 888 9120 University of Johannesburg Arts Centre Gallery 2 Sep-14 Oct, retrospective of oil paintings by Braam Kruger. University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway campus cnr. Kingsway and Universiteits Rd, Auckland Park T. 011 559 2099/2556 12 Nov, Night of 1000 Drawings, a one-night-only art exhibition showcasing the vast and varied creative talents of the city. Get involved by drawing anything. Every donation goes on display. For Doodle sessions and information visit:

Michael Heyns Gallery 7 Oct- 15 Nov, works by Michael Heyns. 116 Kate Ave Rietondale Pretoria T. 082 451 5584 Millennium Gallery 30 Sep-17 Oct, Water, a photographic and multimedia exhibition by Nina Sederholm. 75 George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof T. 012 460-8217 Naude Modern From 3 Oct, Chairs/Cheers/ Stoele!, works by Andre Naude 254a St Patrick’s Road, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria, T. 012 440 2201 Platform on 18th From 8 Oct, Hartwarm, paintings and sculptures by Cecily Pohl, Lothar Botcher, Corne Joubert, Adele Adendorf, Lieze Geyer and Kobus Walker. 232 18th Street, Rietondale, Pretoria T. 084 764 4258 Pretoria Art Museum Until 1 Dec, A selection of artworks tells a brief story of South African art from the time of the first San artists, includes early 20th century painters, Resistance artists and artists of the 21st century. Also on show until Dec, the Corobrik Collection, showcasing the development of ceramics in South Africa in the past thirty years. T.012 344 1807/8 Pretoria Association of Arts 27 Sep-15 Oct, works by Marinus Wiechers, Monica Zaayman, Riette Vorster. 2-14

Oct, Kindlers and Angels, works by Susanna Swart. 4-24 Oct, works by Wendy Malan. 16 Oct-4 Nov, works by André Naudé 173 Mackie Street, New Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, 0181, T. 012 346 3100 Tessa Teixeira’s Fine Art Studio From 10 Oct, Should I go or should I stay: reflecting on the South African Diaspora. Paintings and installation by Tessa Teixeira. 2 Escombe Avenue, Parktown West, Johannesburg, (cnr Westcliff drive) T.082 339 4848 Tina Skukan Gallery 23 Sep-18 Oct, technically sophisticated and playful carved wood pieces by Cecile Heystek. Plot 6, Koedoeberg Road, Faerie Glen T. 012 991 1733 UNISA Art Gallery 24 Sep-16 Oct, Amasiko eSintu Craft Exhibition. Theo van Wijk Building, Goldfields entrance, 5th floor. Unisa Campus, Pretoria T.012 429 6823

Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum 30 Sep-18 Oct, Freshford House Museum, Photographic Competition Exhibition. 20 Oct-10 Jan 2010, David Goldblatt: photography; Some Afrikaners Revisited (Main Building). 29 Oct-19 Nov, Fractal young artist’s Exhibition (the Reservoir). 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein T. 051 447 9609 Johan Smith Art Gallery 26 Sep-4 Oct, 15th Annual Exhibition, with invited artists, Alain Nortje, Elga Rabe, Hennie Meyer, Llewellyn Davies and Elbe van Rooyen. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1620 Blou Donki Art Gallery Contemporary Art, Steel Sculptures, Functional Art, Photography, Ceramics. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1757

Mpumalanga The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435 www.



1mile² coming to

Johannesburg The project 1mile² asks communities to map their neighbourhood exploring the biodiversity, cultural diversity, and aesthetic diversity of their local square mile. Working in collaboration with artists and an ecologist, the programme brings together social and environmental sustainability via a creative medium.

Colin Richards Parrot (African Grey) I (detail) 2009 Watercolour (AOP Gallery)

1mile² addresses the interrelation between culture (including issues such as faith and gender equality) and the environment within diverse societies, and provides education and learning opportunities through a process shaped by artistic practice.

Alex Dodd There is no doubting the fact that spring sweet spring has sprung on the highly-strung Highveld. We’ve had our first cathartic thunderous storm and the art world is starting to buzz with the same kind of frenetic, honey-making activity as the bees (endangered though they may well be). The sun has already set and I’m just back from the University of Johannesburg where I’ve been part of a team putting together a two-day colloquium called On Making that explores the relationship between theory and practice, thinking and making, in an attempt to critically engage with the global trend towards practice-led research in the fields of art, design and architecture. The theme of the event, which is due to take place on 15 and 16 October at UJ’s Faculty of Art, Design and Archiecture (FADA) must have tapped into some kind of zeitgeist because the number of participants is already at 80 and climbing – no small stakes for an academic get together. In addition to several international keynote addresses, a host of local speakers, from both inside and outside of the academic terrain, will be presenting – from artists Kathryn Smith, Penny Siopis, Santu Mofokeng and Gerhard Marx, to architects Don Albert and Thorsten Deckler, to curators Farzanah Badsha and Thembinkosi Goniwe, to designers Clive Rundle and Garth Walker, to writers/editors/publishers Sean O’Toole and Bronwyn Law-Viljoen. The colloquium is designed to compliment this year’s FADA staff show, which has been curated by Rory Bester and ‘focuses on how creative and curatorial processes contribute to methodological innovations in practice-led research’. Whether

Communities are linked across the world through an internet platform that shares their findings, ideas, attitudes, creativity and approaches to conservation.

you’re in on the academic jargon or not, it’s a varied and compelling multi-media show well worth getting lost in for an hour or two. I was particularly drawn to an installation by gallerist/artist Gordon Froud entitled Excerpts and Alterations of Alice, which featured cabinets and bookcases filled with an obsessive collection of books and ephemera on the theme of Alice in Wonderland. Froud’s fierce, focused dedication to this single wildly inventive text by Lewis Carroll is a metaphoric display of delicious dedication to the limitlessness of the imagination. Bookcases, display cabinets and collections of dated ephemera are one of the interesting, almost Victorian sub-themes of this show, pointing towards a shared desire to hold onto and cherish (even damaged and warped) material objects from the past, possibly as a reaction to the dematerialized, high speed nature of digital culture. One of the refreshing elements of the exhibition, are the lists of 20 things (and why) that influence and inform each artists’ creative production. For Rosalind Cleaver it’s 20 species of living creatures, from the praying mantis to the endangered wild dog, Lycaon Pictus. For John Shirley it’s 20 albums, from Bob Dylan’s Desire to Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left. For Ilse Pahl it’s 20 second-hand shops. For Sandhya Lalloo it’s 20 footwear inspirations, from a pair of bright blue Wellingtons to a pair of handmade sandals from Phuket. For Leora Farber it’s 20 films, from Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book to Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour. Viewers are invited to take home copies of each list – a bit like taking home a few key pages of each artist’s diary.

And speaking of diaries, mine’s busting at the seams with must-see art happenings taking place around the city over the next few weeks. Firstly, there’s Marco Cianfanelli’s first Goodman Gallery solo, Absent Fields, opening on Thursday night. Then there’s Bettina Malcomess and Simon Njami’s Us at JAG, a group show exploring notions of difference, featuring Andrew Putter, Bridget Baker, Daniel Halter, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, Frances Goodman, Hasan & Husain Essop, and Kudzanai Chiurai among others – what a line up! And the good news is that there’s still time to catch one last walkabout, taking place from 12 to 1pm on 10 October during the Spring Art Tour. Taking place from 8 to 11 October, Artlogic’s Spring Art Tour features a plethora of exhibition launches, artist talks and special projects along with specially designed menus at suggested lunch and dinner venues to capitalise on the art hungry vibe. Be sure to check out the Joburg itinerary at <> before the whole hip jamboree has passed you by. I might have to take some lessons in Vulcan teleportation from Star Trek’s Spock before next Thursday night in order to make the launch of CO-OP in the heart of Braamfontein (the new collaborative project space hosted by Whatiftheworld, Dokter and Misses and Open Johannesburg), hotfoot it to Gabrielle Goliath’s Murder on 7th at Gallery MOMO and somehow still see Colin Richards’ immaculately rendered African Grey parrots at Art on Paper all on the same night. It might even be too tall an order for a self-declared art pig such as yours truly.

Visiting Arts is pleased to announce 1mile² Johannesburg. The project, launching in September, is set to take place around the bustling Joubert Park area of Johannesburg, a frantic hub in one of the ‘greenest cities in the world’. For three months a Joburg artist, an artist from the UK and a local ecologist will lead a diverse group of participants from across the community in putting the area under the microscope. Their discoveries, they will not only share with fellow South Africans week by week, but with communities doing the same in Bradford, Edinburgh, Waltham Forest, Smethwick (UK) and Karachi, Dhaka, Shanghai, Tehran and Delhi, creating a fascinating living online artwork in www. The project is an exciting new partnership between Visiting Arts, Arts Alive 2009 festival and JAG (Johannesburg Art Gallery) who are passionate about connecting to and celebrating the creativity of the local communities and in connecting them to the world. Brenda Devar (Arts Alive) is ‘thrilled’ to be supporting the project as part of Arts Alive 2009 and Antoinette Murdoch, new Chief Curator at JAG is pulling out all the stops to bring the best of the city’s thriving arts scene to take a look. As part of the Arts Alive festival there will be opportunities to connect with 1mile² Johannesburg and its artists and communities through events throughout September. Sabrina Smith-Noble Visiting Arts

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Art Leader

David Brodie By Michael Coulson One of the newest and sharpest gallerists around town is David Brodie, who recently added to his lustre by forming a partnership with the gallery considered by many to be the star of Cape Town, if not the whole of SA, Michael Stevenson, to form Brodie/Stevenson. While Brodie will continue to originate some shows, he will also broaden his offering by providing a shop window in Jo’burg for Stevenson’s Cape artists. Indeed, his current exhibition of Nandipa Mntambo is a case in point, as it comprises some work from her recent Cape show (cynics would say, the pieces that didn’t sell) plus newly created work. Brodie studied fine art at Wits from 1996-1999, and like many others started his gallery career at Goodman Gallery while completing his master’s. Wryly, he admits that the last artwork he ever completed himself was his submission for his master’s degree! By this stage he’d become disillusioned with the process of creating art and found the gallery environment invigorating. Then came a spell at the Jo’burg Art Gallery, which he remembers as an “incredible experience. There were some great people there, and it gave me direct access to the kind of work I’ll never again be able to stand around and look at. But though JAG had a heart of gold, its body was wasting away. It was a difficult time, and some good people left. And at the same time as I was becoming aware of its organisational defects, I was increasingly aware that I was more suited to the commercial gallery environment, not least because things happen faster there!” So it was back to the Goodman for a few years, to encounter “more fantastic art and fantastic artists”. But while the Goodman is sans pareil for established artists, Brodie came to realise that he wanted to work in a creative partnership with younger and emerging artists, that he really believed in. So he started his own gallery, under the name Art Extra, which opened its doors on November 11 2007, just as Goldman Sachs was collapsing, taking the bubble in the world art market with it. It was always clear to Brodie that his offerings had to strike a balance between strong, exciting work and what was viable. His gallery had to be a commercial space, not a museum, and this was also important in his tie-up with Michael Stevenson, a year later. As Brodie says, his backers are shareholders in the gallery, and he has to keep them happy. He thinks they are, though they haven’t seen any dividends yet. Brodie first worked with Stevenson in 2005 on an exhibition, Personal Affects, seen only in New York, which

included the likes of Robin Rhode, Wim Botha, Diane Victor, Minette Vari and Sandile Zulu. They had kept in contact and worked together on other projects, so he sees the partnership as in effect formalising an existing relationship. While the model of two galleries working in collaboration has been tried elsewhere, Brodie believes it’s the first of its kind in SA. He’s a great admirer of Stevenson’s extensive knowledge and absolute integrity and thinks he has the most forward-thinking, clearly formulated strategy of any gallery on the continent. “It’s a great privilege to be associated with him.” The combined stable will include several of Brodie’s long-standing artists, such as Lawrence Lemoana, Reshma Chhiba and Mary Wafer, as well as Stevenson artists like Mntambo, Wim Botha and Conrad Botes. While Mntambo’s exhibition includes some work seen in Cape Town, Botes’ recent show was completely different from his Cape Town show some months previously. Zanele Moholi’s upcoming show Faces & Phases, on the other hand, will approach the same issues as his Cape show but in a different way. As Brodie says, the mix of new and old work must depend on the specific circumstances, bearing in mind that Jo’burg and Cape Town are different markets, with different tastes and different artists. One of Brodie/Stevenson’s objectives is to try to bridge this gap. Brodie says there’s no question that business has been hit by the downturn, though – and he’s not unique in this – he feels that his particular market niche has held up better than some. “We originally showcased mainly younger, emerging work, which was priced accordingly. Most of our buyers have been collecting for no more than five or 10 years, and we think they’ve cut back much less than the corporate market. “Also, SA collectors largely collect SA art, so to some extent the market has been insulated from international trends. Slowdowns just force galleries to work a bit harder. “Buyers may look harder and longer before they buy, and be more selective, but that’s a good thing. I’ve always ensured that my work is appropriately priced; my biggest fear is of over-pricing a young artist’s work and blowing them out of the water before their career has started. On the other hand, you mustn’t underprice them, either, and you must let their pricing develop as their career grows.” It’s a philosophy that seems to combine philanthropy with sound business practice, and one can only hope that it will continue to work for the benefit of all concerned.

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Eastern Cape East London Ann Bryant Art Gallery 17 Sep-4 Oct, paintings by Stella Wills. 9 St Marks Road, Southernwood, East London T. 043 722 4044 Blacksmiths Sculpture Studio From 2 Oct, sculptures by Frans Boekkooi. Pienaar Street (next to the brewery) Nieu Bethesda T. 049 841 1636, C. 082 865 2699 Heidi’s Gallery From 2 Oct, a group exhibition of paintings and sculptures by various Eastern Cape artists. Pienaar Street, Nieu Bethesda T. 049 841 1636, C. 082 865 2699

Port Elizabeth Alliance Francaise Port Elizabeth 3-23 Oct, a duo exhibition with works in ceramics by Delphine Niez and multimedia by Cheryl Dougans. 17 Mackay Street, Richmond Hill T.041 585 7889 Jack Heath Gallery 6-22 Oct, Depression-Through the fire, paintings and drawings by Nicky Leigh. Centre for Visual Art, University of KwaZulu Natal, Ridge Road, Pietermaritzburg T. 033 260 5170 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum 15 Aug-25 Nov, Poking Fun, works from the Art Museum’s permanent collection exploring humour, biting commentary and satire. 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth T. 041 506 2000

Northern Cape

Kimberley William Humphreys Art Gallery From Oct 1, Cansa Exhibition, a group exhibition by various artists who donated their works. Civic Centre, Cullinan Crescent, Kimberley T. 053 831 1724

Western Cape

Cape Town

34 Long 29 Sep-17 Oct, Recovery, a group exhibition upstairs, with works by Leonora van Staden, Jop Kunneke, Sulette van der Merwe and Jeff Koons. 20 Oct-21 Nov, ‘editions limited’, a new selection of portraits (downstairs) and other works by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (upstairs). 34 Long Street, Cape Town T. 021 426 4594 3RD i Gallery 1 Oct-6 Nov, Heart, mixed media artwork by Tina Nel and Lisa T von Brandis. 95 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant. T. 021 425 2266 Alliance Française 23-Sep-13 Oct, paintings by Leon Vermeulen. 155 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 4235699

Association for Visual Arts (AVA) 28 Sep-16 Oct, A Meeting, works by Joanne Halse and Michael Taylor, Através do olho mágico (through the peephole) by Hannah Morris, and Wood, a group exhibition including works by Sam Allerton, Justin Anschutz, Stuart Bird, Peter Jenks, Jost Kirsten, Thami Kitty, Adrian Kohler, Gimberg Nerf, Rowan Smith and Donovan Ward. 35 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 424 7436 Atlantic Art Gallery A permanent display showcasing leading contemporary South African artists. 25 Wale Street Cape Town, T. 021 423 5775 Blank Projects 1-24 Oct, The conductor’s fear of the soloist-ten small pieces for violin, a video still from a 3-channel video installation by Marianne Halter and Mario Marchisella. 113-115 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock T.072 1989 221 Cape Gallery 27 Sep-17 Oct, See, oil paintings by Anthea Delmotte. 25 Oct-4 Dec, oil paintings by Lesley Charnock. 60 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 5309 Carbonage 14 Oct-12 Nov, New Art Exhibition. 4th Floor, Harrington House, 37 Barrack Street, Cape Town. Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. 66 Vineyard Road, corner Cavendish St, Claremont T.021 671 6601 Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Main Road, Constantia T. 021 794 6262 Christopher MǾller Art Dealers in South African contemporary art and South African masters. 82 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 439 3517 David Porter Antiques Buyers and sellers of South African art T. 021 6830580/083 452 5862 Erdmann Contemporary /Photographers Gallery 1-31 Oct, Parrot Jungle, a solo photography exhibition by Lien Botha. 31 Oct-5 Dec, While you were sleeping, includes large paintings, original works on paper, monotypes and lithographs by Karlien de Villiers. 63 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 Everard Read Gallery Cape Town 8-22 Oct, Sex, Power & Money, a group exhibition. Portswood Rd, V&A Waterfront T. 021 418 4527 Exposure Gallery From 1 Oct, Kevin Factor Exhibition. The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock T. 021 447 4124 Focus Contemporary, Fine Young Art 19 Sep-16 Oct, Om Shanti Om, photography exhibition by Jochen Manz. 17 Oct-6 Nov, Cast in Africa, a collaborative sculpture show by some of Cape Town’s finest young talent, including works by Ian Cattanach and Nicolas Wells-Bladen. 2 Long Street Cape Town

T. 021 419 8888, Gallery F Contemporary and archival South African Art. 221 Long Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 5246 Goodman Gallery, Cape 17 Sep-10 Oct, FICTION #1: Autobiography without form of Bernado Soares by Bili Bidjocka. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 7573/4, Greatmore Art Studios 1-7 Oct, video installation by Maxense Denis 47-49 Greatmore St, Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 447 9699 Infin Art Gallery Wolfe Street Chelsea Wynberg T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht St Cape Town T. 021 423 2090 iArt Gallery 2-17 Oct, an exhibition inspired by POSTER theft, a collection of original art posters created by Carla Crafford alongside work from the artist featured in each poster. Artists work on show include: Diane Victor, Berco Wilsenach, Cobus Haupt, Pieter Swanepoel, Eric Duplan, Magdel Fourie, Guy du Toit, Wilma Cruise, Gordon Froud, Johann Moolman, Sarel Petrus, Egon Tania, Ladiné Joubert, Erna Bodenstein-Ferreira, Curt Fors and Jan van der Merwe. 71 Loop Street T. 021 424 5150 iArt Gallery (Wembley Square) 1-17 Oct, Experience and the Scar, work on paper by Colbert Mashile. Wembley Square, Gardens T. 021 424 5150 Irma Stern Museum 3-24 Oct, Visitor, by Liza Grobler and 14 other artists. The exhibition will change daily: Objects, sounds, friends and acquaintances will occupy the space. Work ranges from graphic prints to knitted sculptures to musical interludes and interventions. Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town T. 021 685 5686 Iziko South African National Gallery 9 Sep-30 Nov, The Everyday and the Extraordinary, three decades of architectural design by Jo Noero. 9 Jun-25 Oct, Cross-Pollination, South African artists working from 1930-50. Includes work by Laubser, Stern, Kibel, Pierneef, Sekoto and Lipshitz. 30 Jun-25 Oct, Choices 2008, showcasing new artworks acquired in 2008 by the Acquisitions Committee. Until 25 Oct, From Fire into Bronze: The power of bronze, works by Norman Catherine, Nandi Mntambo and Claudette Schreuders. From 14 Jul, The Art of Relief Printing, an exhibition demystifying print processes. Includes woodcuts, wood, engravings and linocuts. Government Avenue, Company’s Garden T. 021 467 4660, João Ferreira Gallery 2 Sep-3 Oct, ‘Before Life’, photography by Araminta de Clermont. 7-31 Oct, From Here to Eternity II, oil paintings by Louise Linder. 70 Loop Street, Cape Town, T. 021 423 5403 Kalk Bay Modern 7-31 Oct, Paul Weinberg’s Photographic Exhibition.

1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Road Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571 Email: Kunst House 24 Sep-17 Oct, Seductress in Distress, works by Thelma van Rensburg. 62 Kloof Street, Gardens T. 021 422 1255 Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery Exhibition of SA’s leading artists. 31 Kommandeur Road, Welgemoed, Belville T. 021 913 7204/5 Michael Stevenson Contemporary 1 Oct-21 Nov, The Street, sculpture by Meschac Gaba and ‘Subtropicalia’, video, sculpture and a short story by Paul Edmonds. Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 Raw Vision Gallery 13 Aug-07 Oct, Weifeling, a multimedia exhibition by Wessel Snyman. 89 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock Rose Korber Powerful new charcoal and pastel drawings by Richard Smith, as well as recent works on paper by William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and Ryan Arenson. 48 Sedgemoor Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town T. 021 438 9152 Salon91 Contemporary 18 Sep-10 Oct, Abdication: paintings, sculpture, animation, drawings and a performance piece by Lourens Joubert. 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town 021 424 6930 South African Museum 25 Jul-Mar 2010, Subtle Thresholds, the representational taxonomies of disease, a mixed media show curated by Fritha Langerman. 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town T. 021 481 3800 South Gallery Showcasing creativity from Kwazulu-Natal including Ardmore Ceramic Art. Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Ground Floor. T. 021 465 4672 These Four Walls Fine Art Galley Until 3 0ct, Salon, a group exhibition including works by Tamsyn Lancaster, Angela Briggs, Mary Visser, Leboanna Lefuma, Emmanuel Mutizwa, Philippa Allen and Janet Anderson. 169 Lower Main Road, Observatory T. 021 447 7393 Urban Contemporary Art 23 Sep-16 Oct, Historyⁿ, a group show curated by Andrew Lamprecht. Artists include Alan Taylor, Brett Shuman, Catherine Ocholla, Charles Maggs, Gavin Younge, Lauren Palte, Maria van Rooyen, Richard Chauke and Wayne Barker. 21 Oct-13 Nov, solo exhibition with works by Jonathan Munnik. 46 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town T. 021 447 4132, The South African Print Gallery Artthrob Editions. Show extended to end of October 107 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, T. 021 462 6851

What if the World… 1-31 Oct, a solo exhibition by upand-coming young painter Andrzej Nowicki. First floor, 208 Albert Road Woodstock T. 021 448 1438 Woodstock Industrial Centre 5 Nov, Night of 1000 Drawings, a one-night-only art exhibition showcasing the vast and varied creative talents of the city. Get involved by drawing anything. Every donation goes on display. For Doodle sessions email: Worldart 23 Sep-12 Oct, Cityscapes, paintings by Gavin Rain. 54 Church Street Cape Town CBD T. 021 423 3075


Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of old masters. Shop no 3, The Ivy, Krugerstreet, Franschoek T. 021 876 2497 Gallery Grande Provence 6 Sep-7 Oct, painting by Cornelia Snook, objets d’art by Nanette Nel and flowers by Okasie. 11 Oct-11 Nov, an exhibition of recent paintings by Jenny Groenewald, with bronze sculptures by Angus Taylor, Anton Momberg and Jupiter Studios. Main Road Franschoek T. 021 876 8600

George George Museum 19 Sep-23 Oct, Decade, highlights from 10 Years of Collecting for the Sanlam Art Collection. 9 Courtenay St, George T. 044 873 5343


ArtKaroo Gallery Until 23 Oct, Amongst Aloes, a solo show of paintings by Janet Dixon. 126 Oct, An Installation of Drawing by Leanette Botha. 29 Oct-12 Nov, Thijs Nel Solo Exhibition. 107 Baron van Reede Str, Oudtshoorn T. 044 279 1093 janet@

Paarl Off the Wall Contemporary 24 Sep- 30 Oct, Drawing Exhibition. 171 Main Road, Paarl T. 021 872 8648


Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings, and Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 7234 Boezaart Bauermeister 3-4 Oct, Jewellery exhibition Andmar building, Cnr Ryneveld and Church St, T. 021 886 7569 www. Delaire Graaff Estate Art Collection 3-4 Oct, Guided tours of Delaire Graff Estate Art Collection R310 Helshoogte Pass T. 021 808 5900 Dorp Straat Gallery 3-27 Oct, Hang in there, paintings by Nigel Mullins and sculptures by

Kobus La Grange. Church Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 2256 Glen Carlou Estate 3-4 Oct, Guided Tours of the Hess Art Collection. Simondium Road, Klapmuts T. 021 875 5314 Pier Rabe Antiques, Art and Contemporary Design 3-4 Oct, Conceptual Installation and Event by Strijdom van der Merwe. 143 Dorp St, Stellenbosch T. 021 883 9730 Red Black and White 3-4 Oct, Creative Blocks, curated by Jeanetta Blignaut. 5a Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch. T. 021 886 6281 Rupert Museum 3-4 Oct, Rodin, bronze sculptures; permanent collection of 20th Century South African Art. Stellentia Ave, T. 021 888 3344 Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch University 16 Sep-24 Oct, works by Mbongeni Buthelezi. 52 Ryneveld St, Stellenbosch T. 021 808 3691 SMAC Art Gallery From 3 Oct, paintings and photographic installations by Anton Karstel, portraits by Nel Erasmus and performances by Barend de Wet and Tracey Rose De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 3607 Stellenbosch Art Gallery Permanent exhibition of Conrad Theys, John Kramer, Gregoire Boonzaier, Adriaan Boshoff and other artists. 34 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch T. 021-8878343 Tokara Winery 3-4 Oct, Art at Tokara exhibition. R310 Helshoogte Pass T. 021 808 5314

Elgin Oudebrug Gallery 31 Oct-15 Nov, paintings and sculptures by Sheena Ridley, Prof. Pierre Volschenk, Xhanti Mpakama, Susan Mitchenson, Paul Andrew and Niel Jonker. Grabouw, Elgin T. 021 859 2595

Hermanus The Old Harbour Gallery An exhibition of art and sculpture. No.4 Warrington Place, Harbour Road, Hermanus T. 028 313 2751 / 0822595515 Philip Harper Galleries Specialising in South African old masters and select contemporary artists. Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Rod, Hermanus T. 028 312 4836

l’Agulhas Red Corridor Gallery Sculpture by Rudi Neuland, paintings by Leszek Skurski and textile objects by Joanna Skurska. 4 Main Road, L’Agulhas 7287 T. 028 435 7503



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Invisible beauty of sickness probed Melvyn Minnaar reviews: Fritha Langerman’s Subtle Thresholds at the Iziko SA Museum. There is something very poignant in wandering around this in-between museum room in a time in which the World Health Organisation warned, a few months ago, that the notorious N1H1 influenza virus would place “all of humanity under threat”. Fears about the invisible killer have been toned down somewhat since, even though several dead, South Africans included, lie in the wake of the deadly virus. All manner of variations on that nasty little instigator of ill and illness surrounds one in this major installation: a grand, ambitious project that investigates the invisible beauty of sickness. It brings sharply into focus the fact that, in an effort to cope with the dangers and disasters of disease, we humans insist on codifying and boxing-in as best we can the signals that, actually, scare us no end. Coincidentally, we recently marked 40 years since the first men on the moon came back to earth and were held in quarantine, before accolades and stardom, until such time as Nasa’s medical people were happy that they didn’t bring strange, evil contamination from outer space. In the light of the subtle and not so subtle social politics and propaganda manipulations that played out all over the world as the so-called “swine flu” caused havoc in a world we humans try so hard to control, Langerman’ s serious, very serious - but awesomely beautiful and challenging - show illustrates, the fine lines that we use to divide knowledge. She reminds us that aesthetics lurks in those dividing lines. Using illness as a metaphor (not the first time it has been done, of course, and there are strong overtones here of Camus’s famous existentialist novel about the human condition, The Plague), she revitalises it, and suggests that the “subtle thresholds” of her title are the limits that keep us from a fuller understanding of that which, in some ways, threatens human existence most. Being “subtle thresholds”, the inference is that we should breach those. For this purpose, she has set out to create a remarkable environment. Drawing on the holdings of the Iziko, UCT and Wits Adler collections, bringing together biomedical objects, images and artefacts from the zoological, human and microbial spheres, she created crisp interventions.

Melvyn Minnaar

The Artful Viewer

(Everyone is taken by the bandaged, “medicated” stuffed animals. It charmingly trips another vital wire about life and medication.) Being a skilled and precise graphic artist, Langerman takes up on the curious loveliness in the geometric and other patterns that constitute representations of microscopic organisms like viruses and uses these to visually define the various parts in all their density of texts and objects. All of the latter are, naturally, offered in the highest of curatorial presentation. At the same time, there is a delicious, even amusing feeling, to a presentation that has all the wacko dramatic flair of an offbeat Madame Tussauds set-up. Curiosity and scary stuff, theatrically-presented, have always had box-office appeal. Using projections, texts and digital images, as well as those museum objects, Subtle Thresholds is, the artists proposes, concerned with the means through which images are seen (or not) and understood (or misunderstood). For this reason, the installation employs “devices that heighten vision: scopes, light, shadows, reflection, projections, etc.” Subtle Thresholds is a major, pioneering art work, which took Langerman two years to research and construct. It literally employs hundreds of bits and pieces. She uses historic medical equipment. A 68-metre timeline - that includes a biblical concordance of disease - together with a running list of thousands of species, charts the display. There are light boxes with viral images made from pharmacological lab plastics, where we encounter those influenza nasties. Sign plates with GPS co-ordinates show disease outbreaks, electron microscope images of animal droppings in trefoil and quatrefoil-shaped frames, steel silhouettes of bacteria, and 512 cut-out hands, derived from art-historical images of healing, add to the visual dramatics. It is not an easy, walk-through exhibition this. It takes time to read, see and figure out the lay-out and threads that the artist-cum-museum-curator has plotted for the visitor to follow, cross refer to, and come to terms with. The result is a most enlightening, eye-opening and fulfilling experience. It is simply brilliant. First published in The Cape Times

Bronze Business

Vuleka Art winners 2009

Art Winner: Doorway to Comfort, by Angeline le Roux This year the prestigious national Vuleka Art Competition has drawn just three short of 400 entries – 83 more than last year. A selection of 57 works is currently on exhibition in the Art.b Gallery in Bellville’s library complex (Carel van Aswegen Street). Vuleka (the Xhosa word for ‘open’) is hosted annually by The Arts Association of Bellville (Art.b) in conjunction with the financial services group Sanlam. It is open for artists (18 years and older) who have not had a solo exhibition during the preceding three years. A three-dimensional work in paper and metal, titled Doorway to Comfort, by Angeline le Roux, was adjudged the best artwork overall and has landed her a windfall of R10 000 and a return flight to Paris, France. Angeline (36), currently from Slanghoek, Rawsonville, also won the category Best Threedimensional work, including ceramics (R5 000). She is no stranger to Vuleka, having won the prize for three-dimensional works in 2005. She was awarded a merit prize at the Sasol New Signatures competition the following year. The prizewinner in the catego-

ry Best painting in oil, water or acrylic is Zonia Nel-Scheffer from Stellenberg for The Missing Year, an oil painting on board (R5 000). Instead of a category prize for Works in any other medium, including photography, the adjudicators opted for two merit prizes of R2 500 each. These were awarded to: Lionel Smit from Somerset West, for Residue (Oil on canvas); and Klara-Marie Den Heijer from The Strand, for Post Modern Thinker in glass, ink and acetate film. Maxie Oosthuizen, co-ordinator of exhibitions at the Art. b Gallery, expressed her joy at the fact that the entries were representative of a wide spectrum of cultures and age groups and that the record number of entries seemed to indicate that the competition had clearly become recognised as a respected art platform. While most entries were drawn from the Cape metropole and Boland towns, some travelled from as far as Potchefstroom, Parys (Free State), Johannesburg, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, George, Okiep and Steinkopf indicating the expanding footprint of Vuleka.

Will bronze ever go out of business in the ‘monument industry’? One would think that in this country where the lowest copper cable connection to Telkom is unsafe and fair game to scrap metal thieves, the question will be particularly potent. Then there is the business of grandiose public statues in a tradition which is essentially a colonialist construct. Theoretically, liberated African aesthetic thinking should have reject it, but seemingly the industry continues merrily. (I know, this is a hoary hobby horse, but it still amazes - and still empowers bad public art.) The case of the replaced bronze monument to cadres Williams and Waterwitch at the Athlone police station by Egon Tanya and Guy du Toit (originally one of the better such projects, and the new one isn’t too bad either) is poignant marker in this sometimes foolish business. There is something rather darkly amusing that the work, broken and stolen in pieces by copper thieves two years ago, was replaced in August by a follow-up adaptation - which probably doubled up the cost as well as the effort. Let’s hope it stays put. This thing with bronze - whether turned into art, or simply statements of personal and/or political power - seems to be an odd aspect of the human condition. Yes, we know it has its roots in the distant ‘bronze age’, but the way it entered the realm of art does throw out questions about its mysterious metal appeal. It doesn’t answer directly, but Hayden Proud’s ambitious Fire to Form exhibition at the Iziko SA National Gallery provides a couple of thoughtful pointers. All about bronze art, this is every beginner and advanced enthusiast’s chance to learn just about everything: from casting methods to patinas; all things sculptural and technical. (It’s surprising how little we all know about this.) The show is scheduled to close at the end of this month, but Iziko being what it is, one never knows. Rush and see it. Proud has done a fine curatorial job, sourcing nearly 100 pieces from the Iziko and Sanlam collections (the latter has surprising good stuff) with some additional loans from local private collectors. Explana-

tory texts are good and there’s an interactive programme for visitors to engage with. In a number of ways, it is quite an important show, covering a wide range. Unfortunately, there is a serious space and presentation problem, with the whole lot squashed into the one room. It makes for difficult negotiation. Pompous bronzes and the like - as humans and personalities do - need breathing space. This crowded bazaar runs a little low on viewer oxygen. Nevertheless, it is great to see some of the SANG pieces that had been out of sight for yonks. These are the works that compel the essential questions about the significance of bronze sculpture, both in the Western tradition and elsewhere. (The Iziko collection of Ashanti pieces, acquired in 1971, showcases the vibrant bronze-casting traditions of West Africa, and makes a vibrant counterfoil to the romantic grandeur that pervades elsewhere - both the ‘colonial’ European traditions and the iconoclastic traits that informed modernism and beyond.) There are more than a few artworks that oblige a rewarding visit to this major underpromoted exhibition. But the display piece not to miss is the recently-acquired casting of the famous Gloria Victis! by the Beaux-Arts sculptor Antonin Mercie. What a work of art this is! What a magnificent indulgence. Originally created by the young French artist (he became vastly famous later) in the early1870s, it is one of the most famous of all bronzes pieces, for various reasons. One of these, as Proud says, is that what began as a projected victory memorial, had to be turned into one glorifying the dead of the losers - after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Thus the title in English: ‘Glory to the Vanquished!’ Many castings of the sculpture, in various sizes, exist, but the Iziko version is a valuable one from the famous Ferdinand Barbedienne foundry. The piece, apparently wanted by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, was donated to the SANG in 2004 by Donna Nicholas in memory of her husband, the collector Dimitri Nicholas in 2004. A great gift, if ever there was one. One cannot talk about the bronze business - puzzling as it is - without having a look at this.

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Artisan Contemporary 30 Sep-28 Oct, the latest Nieu Bethesda-inspired work by internationally-celebrated ceramicist Charmaine Haines. 344 Florida Rd, Morningside, T. 031 312 4364 Art Space - DBN 5-24 Oct, Ceramics SA/KZN Regional Exhibition (Main Gallery), Stillness Moves, works by Ellis Pearson (Middle Gallery). 26 Oct–14 Nov, work by UNISA Students, Cally Lotz (Middle Gallery) and Anthea Martin (Front Room).10 Oct, Showing of Art 21 Series 5. 17-23 Oct, works by Vega Imagination Lab students (Front Room). 3 Millar Road, Durban. T.031 312 0793 Durban Art Gallery 12 Aug-end Oct, PAST/ PRESENT, works by Andrew Verster. Until Dec 2009, Pic(k) Of The DAG, South African works from the gallery’s Permanent Collection. Second Floor, City Hall, Anton Lembede Street, Durban T. 031 311 2268 Elizabeth Gordon Gallery A variety of new South African artworks, including paintings by Hugh Mbayiwa, Scott Bredin and Ezequeil Mabote. 120 Florida Road, Durban T. 031 303 8133 Imbizo Art Gallery 24 Sep-31 Oct, Décor Delight, with works by Pieter Lessing. Shop 7A, Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito 4418 T. 032 946 1937 Tamasa Gallery 20 Oct-11 Nov, Trees, oils, pastels and charcoal works by acclaimed KwaZulu-Natal artist Pippa Lea Pennington. 36 Overport Drive, Durban T. 031 207 1223

Pietermaritzburg Tatham Art Gallery 18 Sep-18 Oct, African Ceramics UKZN Alumni Exhibition. 27 Oct-14 March, the Schreiner Gallery New Acquisitions Exhibition, including a linoprint by Vuli Nyoni, and a rolling ball sculpture by Zotha Shange. Cnr. Of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd. and Church Street (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg T. 033 342 1804


Peter Machen

King Zorro is your Art Bus guide

A Moveable Arts Feast - The Arts Bus The Arts Bus - a free hop-on, hop-off city bus service which allows arts lovers to visit eight of the city’s premier galleries in one Saturday - is being hosted again as part of the Celebrate Durban season over Heritage month and October. The Celebrate Durban season bus schedule will cover eight weekends - Sat 12, 19, 26 Sept and 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Oct leaving from the KZNSA Gallery at 9am and returning to the gallery mid afternoon. There is safe parking at the KZNSA Gallery. A Movable Arts Feast, AKA the Arts Bus, is an innovative project to encourage the pubic to visit Durban’s many galleries. It is being hosted for the second year by VANSA (Visual Arts Association of SA, KZN) as part of the Celebrate Durban season supported by the City. It receives supplementary support from the Department of Arts and Culture. People are encouraged to visit a selection of Durban’s premier galleries through an “art gallery trail”. Members of the public will be able to park their cars in Glenwood and hop on the specially-decorated free Art Bus at the KZNSA Gallery which leaves the gallery at 9am every Saturday. It will travel

a dedicated circuit to these venues throughout the day allowing visitors to visit some of Durban’s top galleries every Saturday. Arts Bus tour guide King Zorro will be providing narrative along the route about the galleries and exhibitions on show. The following galleries will be part of the initiative KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood; Durban University of Technology Art Gallery in Steve Biko / Berea Road; Durban Art Gallery in Durban City Hall; BAT Centre along Margaret Mcnadi Ave; African Art Centre and Artisan Gallery both in Florida Road; artSPACE durban is in Millar Rd, off Umgeni Road and the Kizo Art Gallery in Gateway. A ninth stop is the Kunene Museum in Churchill Rd, close to the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood. Bus entry is free and all are welcome. Seats are limited so booking is advisable Enquiries and bookings: Domy Cortes 031 208 9430 / 073 719 0444 / Detailed info / online booking on Free Saturday Durban art galleries bus Leaves KZNSA Gallery 9am Returns mid afternoon

Sometimes it’s the most obvious things which can be the most powerful. Personally speaking of course – because it was only myself and a friend who thought that the projection of a rotating geometric pattern onto the ridged textures of the monolithic City Treasury building opposite the City Hall was one of the most beautiful things we’d seen in ages It wasn’t conceptual. It wasn’t breath-takingly intelligent. It wasn’t even going as art. It was supplied by a production company and was the kind of thing you might even see at one of those boring alcohol or cigarette sponsored parties. But it was reeeaal pretty, and building-sized reeeaal pretty at that. The supersized disco eye candy was a sign of the art-based event Red Eye returning to the Durban Art Gallery, and the citizens of Durban – well those who were prepared to shell out forty bucks – reclaiming the streets, or at least the stretch of road outside city hall, which had been cordoned off from traffic and which connected the gallery to the King Club and Zulu Jazz Lounge where a rocking after party took place. I had been helping out with the evening, my contribution being organising the music inside the gallery, for which had I gathered one of Durban’s most loved DJs, a hot electronic band named Seak and Mbongeni Ngema’s new favourite isicathimiya band uSuthu into what was supposed to be a collaboration but which ended up with barely a sound-check between them. It didn’t really work, but not because the three different musical styles didn’t meld. The acoustics in the circular gallery sent the sounds flying around the room’s domed structure. And a big whole in the middle of the room didn’t really help to gather rapport between the entertainers and the audience, who were also blocked from each other by a group of superstyled models posed in picture-

perfect stillness. None of that seemed to matter though, partially because there was so much going on over the course of the evening, and partially because much of the joy of Red Eye lies in watching things happen and enjoying a full diversity of human beings and art run amok in the gallery’s baroque colonial space. The fact that no-one on the other side of the room could hear the choral singers for their first two songs seemed to matter only to a few; most people seemed content to hear them whispering, although I was greatly relieved when the group broke with tradition and brought in backing tracks for their last three songs. But the fact that people will watch singers they can’t hear doesn’t mean that they they’re being blindly receptive. It’s more about the fact that the audience become immersed in the process of Red Eye, including anything that might go wrong, and so when things do go wrong, they are strangely invisible, the distance between the performers and the audience shrunk by the sense that everyone in the space is part of a larger performance. And Durbanites like to perform, albeit as casually and unconsciously as possible, like the crew of goth-looking boys who had rows of metal studs – and even feathers on one angel boy – inserted under their their freshly reddened skin for the evening, the adornments applied publicly with all the ceremony of a back stage make-up room. But more than anything, this latest Red Eye – the first in several years – was an indication of how much the event had been missed, “isn’t it great to have it back” being the evening’s mantra. A week earlier, I’d been a few hundred metres away at the ICC, where the Heritage Awards ceremony was being held and where six South African creative talents – some famous, some less so – were re-

ceiving credit where credit was overwhelmingly due. Sculptor Noria Mabasa, choreographer Jay Pather, cartoonist Nanda Sooben and cross-cultural muso and high kicker Johnny Clegg all had awards bestowed upon them, as did genius jazz pianist the late Bheki Mseleku and theatre personality the late Alfred Nokwe. Now, as anyone who’s attended an awards ceremony will tell you, they tend to be deathly boring and overflowing with pomp, pretension and exclusivity. Which was what I was pretty much expecting. But I was more than pleasantly surprised to find instead an event infused with good feeling, warmth and a remarkable inclusiveness, something I found hugely encouraging, and which induced in me the feeling that I am part of the broad family of eThekwini, something I haven’t felt in some time. Much of this feeling came from the premier Zweli Mkhize, who spoke humbly and off-the-cuff about the patchworked collective culture of KZN, where the continuing geographical and economic divisions of apartheid don’t preclude a common enjoyment of each other’s cultures, something that was reflected in the Ceremony itself and then re-echoed at Red Eye a week later. But what was even more impressive than Mkhize’s tenderness and humanity was the fact that he arrived on time. In all my years of cultural function-going, this was, I’m pretty certain, the first time that an audience has not been kept waiting by a member of provincial government. For that alone, Mkhize has my respect. But most importantly, in a province in which ethnic and cultural divisions continue to remain central parts of the vocabularies of many politicians, his words – and hopefully his actions – can only help to heal our culture and broaden the language of our arts. Photo: Christopher Laurenz


Top: Brett Baileys opening piece| Annabell Lebethe CEO National Arts Council, Advocate Brenda Madumise, Chair National Arts Trust and friend| Minister of Art and Culture Ms Lulu Xingwana giving key note address| Crowd scene, and below, a panelists.

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Taken with the opening of FIVE. From left to right: Jo-Marie Rabe, Christina Bryer, Lyn Smuts, Leon Vermeulen, Katherine Glenday and Piér Rabe

The approaching storm, Robert Macintosh (Jnr)

Tracy Payne: Rooikanol- From the Cape Chakras series Michael Stevenson

The show curated by Simon Njami, founding editor of Revue Noir and curator of Africa Remix, and Bettina Malcomess, a writer and artist. The show takes place theNjami, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Goethe Institute, well as Pro Helvetia, The show is curatedat by Simon founding editor of Revue Noir and curator of Africa Remix, and Bettina Malcomess, aas writer and artist. The show takes place at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, in partnership with the generous support of the Goethe Institute, as well as Prohelvetzia, and the Goodman Gallery at the Goodman Gallery Project space at Arts on Main. Goodman Gallery at the GoodmanGallery Project space at Arts on Main. Us Us is a show of new work by younger and more established local and international artists around the theme of group identity, whether nation, culture, class, gender, sexuality or race.

See Press release below

Marlene Dumas and Gavin Young photo that is included at the History Show at UCA Gallery, Observatory, CT. See for more details.

Top to bottom“Montparnasse” by Aldo Balding Leonora van StadenThe Dream 2009 From the show: Recovery A selectio works by various artists 23 September – 17 October 2009 upstairs at 34 Long Fine Art Recovery showcases new talent, handpicked by 34Long, alongside work by some well-known artists with whom the Gallery has long been associated.

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The Oyster Box’s Art Collection - a tribute to KZN known and aspiring artists Following two years of meticulous planning, delicate craftsmanship and time-honouring restoration, one of South Africa’s architectural treasures, the Oyster Box opens its elegant, timeless, welcoming doors once more on 1 October 2009. The Oyster Box Hotel will once again be part of South Africa’s most treasured history by recalling and re-igniting precious memories of the past - it also sets the stage for a celebration and tribute to the vibrant people and culture of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and South Africa. There’s no better way to convey and encapsulate this than through the medium and expression of art. The Oyster Box’s Art Collection brings together a vibrant and exciting tradition of paintings by contemporary Zulu-speaking artists in KZN into this iconic setting. The hotel’s owners have always been patrons and collectors of contemporary South African art. In 2003 they established the annual Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, in which a grant is given directly to a young artist who has received critical recognition, but is hampered by finances in realising the potential of their work. The hotel’s art collection is an extension of this commitment and reflects the property’s principled belief in the support of the local community as a part of its pioneering vision for the hotel’s role in sustainable tourism and conservation.

Artists Sibusiso Duma, Kzwakele Gumbi and Joseph Manana

The collection is a colourful visual description of the traditional folk tales, myths and daily lives of the people of KZN and gives us an insight into life in their communities. Their narrative style is of vital importance in understanding South African history and specifically Zulu culture. Story-telling as a means of transferring knowledge and skills from generation to generation is an inherent part of Zulu culture, as is immediately apparent in these paintings. In doing so, these chosen aspiring artists will receive exposure to the many South African and international guests that visit the hotel. They will also heighten awareness of the distinctive creativity and

resourcefulness of KZN.The collection is a colourful visual description of the traditional folk tales, myths and daily lives of the people of KZN and gives us an insight into life in their communities. Their narrative style is of vital importance in understanding South African history and specifically Zulu culture. Story-telling as a means of transferring knowledge and skills from generation to generation is an inherent part of Zulu culture, as is immediately apparent in these paintings. In doing so, these chosen aspiting artists will receive exposure to the many South African and international guests that visit the hotel. They will also heighten awareness of the distinctive creativity and resourcefulness of KZN. The collection will continue to evolve. There are already over 80 selected paintings in the hotel’s collection by 14 KZN artists. At first glance, the paintings with their bold colours often appear playful, witty and optimistic, yet many of them simultaneously reflect on socially sensitive issues such as health, HIV/AIDS, democracy and teen pregnancy. The collection has been curated by Yvette Dunn from Durban and Michael Stevenson in Cape Town. Many of the painters whose work is represented in the Oyster Box Collection were encouraged by the African Art Centre which has offered Saturday art classes to aspiring painters, called the Velobala Group, since 1994. The late Trevor Makhoba (1956-2003) also inspired many of these artists. He was well-known for his controversial, socially critical narrative painting style, the influence of which can be seen in the works of Sibusiso Duma and Welcome Danca who were his students from 1993 to 2003. There are 20 paintings by SIBUSISO DUMA in the collection. His quiet paintings are metaphors for daily life and are distinctive and simple in conception, with one or two figures situated in a landscape and sky depicted in flat bands of colour. He was born in Durban in 1978 and is self-taught aside from some guidance from Makhoba over

four years. The seven paintings by WELCOME DANCA are painted with more realism and illustrate daily activities such as work, hair-braiding and communicating. He also has a quiet humour, most prominently seen in his painting TV is Rare in the Countryside which shows a group of children gathered in a doorway in a village watching television. He was born in Umlazi, KwaZuluNatal, and studied graphic design at the Durban Institute of Technology and with Trevor Makhoba for four years. His hope is that by painting the traditional Zulu way of life, its customs and ceremonies, people will gain an appreciation and understanding of Zulu culture. The eighteen paintings by JOSEPH MANANA illustrate his amazing flair for pattern and design. His themes are daily occurrences and myths in traditional Zulu life. His acute sense of colour and rhythmic compositions bring his subjects to life, with vibrantly patterned fabrics and stylised landscapes. He tenderly portrays his subjects, be they dancers, babies, chiefs or a daughter asking her mother for advice. He often plays with the scale of figures in relation to the landscape – two children are larger than a baby elephant, and a frog is the same size as a person. Manana was born in 1964 in Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal, and studied fine art at what is now the Durban Institute of Technology for three years from the age of 36. In the ten paintings by SIPHIWE ZULU, the artist offers us poetic reflections on the essence of life. His abstracted fields of dots are in a Pointillist style of his own and combine text and image. He depicts concepts and ideas such as ‘change is pain’, ‘the crossroads of life’, ‘a U-turn’, and quirky subjects including the sideways walk of a crab! He was born in 1961 in Lamontville, KwaZulu-Natal, and after leaving school has held various jobs as a machine operator, mechanic’s assistant and petrol attendant. He is a seasoned marathon runner

and won bronze medals in the Comrades Marathon in 1986, 1987 and 1988. He attended the African Art Centre’s Velobala Art Classes from 1994 to 1997 and studied fine art at the Durban Institute of Technology for one year. The collection includes four paintings by SIYABONGA SIKOSANA which continue the tradition of township art. There is one work by THEMBA SIWELA, also in the township tradition but with a strong awareness of cartoons. A work by MESHAC THULANI MBOKAZI, born in 1979 in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, takes this genre into a rural landscape. As he writes about his painting in the collection: “My artwork, in oil paint on canvas, shows a rural sub-township where beauty is appreciated in a strange manner. An elderly man appreciates a young, beautiful lady by touching her hand; he reflects that he still has humanity even though he is ageing, and kissing her hand shows that although he is old he can still love. The whole artwork reflects harmony and interaction in a community, with the stall women gossiping and laughing at the sight of the lovely lady who keeps herself beautiful.” ZWAKELE GUMBI, born in 1973 in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, also gently observes the world that surrounds him. After leaving school, he received excellent training from Fay Halsted-Berning of Ardmore, who taught him the finer points of painting. In his own words, his painting in the collection depicts “a happy couple watching animals at the zoo. The interaction or relationship between the two is a result of their pure, deep and abiding love for one another. In this picture there is also an element of giving and receiving between the two lovers. This is portrayed by the ceramic gift which the boyfriend is giving to his girlfriend, which symbolizes their love for one another. The animals in the background also reflect the qualities of being cared for, and interaction.”

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Top six images from Red Eye, Durban. Top left image: Peter Machen, Gabi Brown and Tamlyn Martin Photo: Christopher Laurenz.

Visitors to the Spring Baardskeerdersbos Art Route with Art Route guest artist: Hanneke Benade (in pink cap)

“Reach” by Lionel Smit

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Sensation Sells By Jo-Marie Rabe On the 8th of December an important Rembrandt painting will be on offer at the Old Masters sale at Christie’s, London. Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo was painted in 1658. The period signifies one during which Rembrandt the artist was at his pinnacle, but Rembrandt the man, quite down and out. Having declared bankruptcy two years before, 1658 was the year in which he had to sell his house and move his studio. Arms Akimbo was one of only two works done during that tumultuous year. The pre-sale estimate is ₤18m – ₤25m. Everyone is hoping for ₤25m. It could easily fetch that amount. It has the right provenance (a paper trail reaching right back to year dot), a famous seller (not Hello magazine material, but American collector Barbara Johnson is a well-known player in the world of art), a good story (you know, the finger-wagging lookwhat-happens-when-a-geniushas-to-file-for-bankruptcy! one) and most importantly of all, a massive media campaign behind it. The last time this amount of press was offered to a piece of art was during the build-up to the sale of Mark Rothko’s White centre (yellow, pink and lavender on rose) - but that was Rothko at ₤37,4m in 2007, a year before the fall. It is the first time in decades that an old master is attracting such attention. Does the painting warrant it? For sure, but that is not the reason for the furore (it never is, is it?). The origin of the hype is slightly more sinister – what’s at play here is an industry’s needs to re-establish itself as

reliable and a world media that needs mad-figure stories to sell their product. Until more or less a year ago, plenty of sensational press releases came out of the contemporary art scene. At least, that was the case up until Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2008 and the contemporary art market went into free fall. Prices for some contemporary art has lost up to 60% of its value this year alone. A frantic scramble for a straw to clutch resulted in the reassessment of the Old Master category. This previously lacklustre and un-newsworthy market was holding up – Hallelujah! Attention: calling all spin doctors, there is work to be done. During the last few years (after the recovery of the 1990 fall-out) the face (and motivation) of the contemporary art collector has changed. Hedgefund managers merely propped prices for famous pop stars and mighty industrialists, resulting in speculative behavior that is currently undergoing severe correcting phase. Old Master collectors, on the other hand, are deeply committed but mostly unknown. Well not always. Last year Jeff Koons bought a 16th Century wood carving by Tilman Riemenschneider and Damien Hirst apparently also collects Old Masters. Old Master collectors still seem to aspire to connoisseurship – a concept scorned by many for its buildin suggestion of elitist privilege and stuffy clubbyness.Yet, perhaps it is exactly the knowledge based decision making and protected environment that has caused this market not to grow beyond it’s own capacity,

unintentionally save-guarding its players against the ebb and flow of fashion buying and making it an attractive proposition. Who knows? Local scene In October 2007 four rare and important South African Old Master works came under the hammer at the Cape Town branch of Stephan Welz and Co. (then in association with Sotheby’s). The five portaits of Xhosa chiefs were painted between 1847 and 1853 by Frederick Timpson I’Ons (1802 - 1887), a portrait and landscape painter from Islington, England. He settled in Grahamstown in 1834. The painting of Chief Mqhayi (lot 385) was done in 1847. Lot 384 consisted of four portraits of four Xhoza Chiefs. The portrait of Chiefs Sandile, Maqoma, Siyolo and Phato were commissioned by Sir George Cathcart, then governor of the Cape Colony, in order to capture “the visages of the savages”. Not discounting I’Ons’s artistic merit, it is in fact this painstaking “capturing” of the scenes and peoples he painted that has contributed to his status as one of South Africa’s Old Masters. In the case of the four chiefs, I’Ons attention to dress and demeanor yields a document all the more important for predating photographic representation. To academia these works represent an extremely valuable source of ethnographic reference. But to a large contingent of South Africans the value of these works were much more than referential. Before the sale murmurs were heard from various groups about the desirability of selling items of cultural importance on public auction.

Needless to say that on the night of the auction, all eyes were on these four works. The room had its usually highs and lows with the usual punters and telephone bidders battling it out for supremacy. Nothing out of the ordinary. That is until, about ten minutes before the much talked about lots were to be auctioned, a group consisting of several (I have forgotten the exact number, but not the effect it had) unfamiliar but magnificently dressed men and women walked into the room. One of the men bought both lots. As the gavel hit the podium, they got up (as one) and walked out. It felt like a statement. The buyer was Chief Fadama. He acted on behalf of the Xhosa King, King Zanesizwe Sandile the sixth and a direct descendant of Chief Maqoma. In an interview with Die Burger Chief Fadama said (my translation) “It is an insult to us that these works are sold like animals. The King told me to buy the paintings. Price is not an issue.” Pride has no price. Judging from the discrepancy between the estimated values and the prices realized it seems as if there were many other potential buyers. The group of 4 was estimated at R30 000 – R50 000 and realized R260 000; the portrait of Chief Mqhayi, estimated at R20 000 – R 30 000 was sold for R280 000. These Old Masters did perform wonderfully and attracted the type of attention that other sectors of the market are pining for. Now it is just a matter of looking to the future to see if this was a one-off occurrence or the beginning of a local trend as well.

Bonhams refused export licences on four works By Michael Coulson London auction house Bonham’s has been refused export licences for four pictures on offer at its sale of SA art in London on October 13/14. They are a Thomas Bowler view of Adderley St, two portrait paintings by the little-known Bertram Dumbleton (not to be confused with a well-known character in the

Harry Potter saga), and an early work by Gerald Sekoto, Boy With Yellow Cap. Bowler’s depictions of early British colonial SA are major items of Africana, and Bonham’s SA agent Penny Culverwell says export licences are routinely refused for works painted by Sekoto before he left for Paris. But the bar on Dumbleton is surprising. He is

not even mentioned in Audrey Beerman’s 1993 work, Painting in SA. According to Grania Ogilvie’s Dictionary of SA Painters & Sculptors, he was born in 1896 in George and died in 1966 in Cape Town. He studied in London and Paris and lived variously in SA and Europe, finally settling in SA in 1938. In 2006, Bonham’s sold a

Dumbleton for R10 900. These two offerings are both estimated at GBP2 000-GBP3 000, so even if he is seldom seen they are hardly national treasures.

in Cape Town. They will, however, avoid the 14% export Vat. The four pictures will be on show at the Everard Read gallery, Jo’burg, from next Monday.

The bar does not mean that the works have been withdrawn from the sale, but successful buyers will have to pay for them in Rand through a specified lawyer’s trust account

Other lots can already be seen on Bonham’s web site. The printed catalogue arrived in SA late last week and is now being distributed.

Culverwell says this is not the first time Bonham’s has been refused an export licence. An iconic Preller in its previous show was refused an export licence and promptly sold for three times the estimate, which she half-seriously hopes may be a happy augury for this sale.

Results of Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg Auction By Michael Coulson Second auction of this week understandably fell well short of the new house’s much hyped maiden venture, but they confirm that the market for SA art is still reasonable, and certainly top the intervening sale at rival Stephan Welz & Co (Swelco) (no longer in association with Sotheby’s!) No doubt Strauss pulled out all the stops to reap the cream of the crop for its maiden sale, but it made a virtue of this by emphasising the inclusion this time of important works by artists who are highly respected but often overshadowed by the

star names. It also adopted the common international practice of splitting the sale into two, with lesser works consigned to an afternoon sale. There were 136 SA lots in the main evening sale, of which 99 (73%) were sold, with a gross of fractionally over R20m just topping the minimum estimate of R19.2m. In testament to the quality of the selection, all 12 the top estimates (ranging from a low low of R350 000 to a high high of R900 000) were sold, mostly comfortably within their estimates. Most pleasing were two interior scenes by Freida Lock, one of which was the only item to top R1m: R1.003m (including

buyer’s premium) for No 15, estimated at R500 000-R700 000) and R835 000 for No 14 (est R400 000-R600 000). The cover lot, a composition by Maggie Laubser, was the runner-up price, at R891 000 (R700 000-R900 000), while among lots to go well over estimate were Alexis Preller’s Primavera Profile at R724 000 (R400 000-R600 000) and Anton Van Wouw’s sculpture Shangaan, at R501 000 (R350 000-R450 000). Also notable were another Laubser, Fishing Boats, at R579 000 (R500 000-R700 000) and Edoardo Villa’s Masai Warrior at R646 000 (R600 000-R800

000). Villa was in fact the most represented artist, with 10 works on offer, all of which sold. He was followed by Hugo Naude (five sold out of eight), Carl Buchner (three of six sold), and five each from David Botha (four sold), Ruth Everard-Haden and Laubser (both all sold). The difference in the two sessions is well illustrated in an average minimum estimate of R17 400 in the afternoon, against R141 000 for the main body. The sales ratio of the 215 consigned lots was 78%, with a gross of R3.4m, 91% of the minimum estimate of R3.75m. Sadly, only two of the five extra lots offered on behalf of a Tuks

bursary fund were sold, raising a disappointing R42 000. Just two items reached R100 000: R106 000 for a David Botha landscape (est R75 000-R100 000), and R100 000 for a Tinus de Jongh landscape (R100 000-R150 000). A Frans Oerder pencil drawing went for R95 000 (R50 000-R80 000) and two lots on R78 000 were another Botha landscape (R80 000-R100 000) and Terence McCaw’s Libertas (the cover lot, R40 000-R60 000). All seven Erich Mayers sold and five of the six Gregoire Boonzaaiers, but only two of the six Walter Battisses. Five lots each were by Errol Boyley, Robert Hodgins (both all sold),

W H Coetzer , Otto Klar (both four sold), Cecil Skotnes and Piet van Heerden (both three sold). The overall gross for both sessions was R23.5m, just within the range of R23m-R33m, though excluding the buyer’s premium would bring the take down to about R21m. The sale room focus now shifts to Cape Town, with Strauss & Co on October 8, including several major Sterns and Laubsers, two Tretchis and the collection of the late Leslie Milner. On October 20 and 21, the Swelco Cape sale has major works by Pieter Wenning, Stanley Pinker, Pierneef and Preller.

The South African Sale 13 & 14 October 2009 London Enquiries Giles Peppiatt +44 (0) 20 7468 8355 Hannah O’Leary +44 (0) 20 7468 8213

Catalogue +44 (0) 1666 502 200 Illustrated: Irma Stern (1894-1966) Ripe Fields oil on canvas Estimate: ZAR 2,000,000 - 2,500,000 (£150,000 - 200,000)

Bonhams 101 New Bond Street London W1S 1SR

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Stephan Weltz & Co. Upcoming Auction: Tuesday 20 October 09 For more information as well as download the catalogue at An iconic J.H. Pierneef titled ‘The Baobab, Bushveld, Messina’ (pre-sale estimate R2 400 000-2 800 000) is the highlight of Stephan Welz & Company (Pty) Limited’s Spring auction. The sale will take place on 20 & 21 October in the Old Mutual Conference Centre at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town. The pre-sale viewing, which is open to the public, runs from 16 through 18 October. Shona Robie, Manager of the Cape Town Office and Head of Ceramics, comments that the sale is comprised of a strong cross-section of Decorative and Fine Arts items and that “in addition to the majestic ‘Baobab’ and other show-stopping South African paintings, collectors of decorative art will not be disappointed by the rich variety of works. These include, amongst many others, a Celestial Globe by Johann Bernhard Bauer of Nuremburg (R7 000-9 000) and a seductive aquamarine Venini ‘A Bollicine’ glass vase by Carlo Scarpa (R40 000-60 000)”. “ ‘The Baobab’ was originally sold by the company in the late 1980s and we are delighted to again be offering this work ,” Ian Hunter, Head of Paintings. “ ‘The Baobab’ is a masterwork; executed in the

artist’s mature style, featuring a dynamic composition in a symphony of bushveld hues. The mighty tree straddles the landscape with assured grace and gravity, its ancient form marrying both earth and sky.” In addition to this monumental work, Hunter draws attention to other South African masterworks on the sale including Ethel Ruth Prowse’s ‘A View of St George’s Cathedral’ (R140 000-180 000), Pieter Wenning’s lush ‘Geboue Met Bome’ (R600 000-800 000), a late period Irma Stern titled ‘After the Storm, Alicante’ (R1 800 000-2 200 000) which showcases Stern’s strong sense of design and colour mastery, an early Alexis Preller titled ‘Still Life with African Head and Horse Skull’ (R1 200 0001 600 000) dating from the end of WW2 and Stanley Pinker’s languorous rendering of a sunbathing couple in ‘Suntan’ (R300 000-400 000). There is also a unique investment opportunity in ‘Homage’ (R40 000-60 000), a print portfolio created in memory of Cecil Skotnes. This project has brought together some of South Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists including William Kentridge and Peter Clarke. The proceeds from the sale of the portfolio will go towards the establishing of a

in the Chinese section is a Chinese green- glazed pottery model of a Grain Storage Jar (R8 000-10 000) dating from the Han Dynasty 206BC220AD. One of the highlights from the English ceramic session is a pair of Staffordshire two-handled vases and covers, circa 1820 (R12 000-15 000). Works of Art include a pair of Italian marble and gilt-metal figures of Allegorical Putti (R20 000-30 000) from the 19th Century and a fine Chinese Mughal-style white-jade teapot and cover (R9 000-12 000). The teapot, originally part of the Brownlow Collection, was sold by Christies in 1984.

‘The Baobab, Bushveld, essina’ (pre-sale estimate R2 400 000-2 800 000) scholarship in Skotnes’ name at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. According to Anton Welz of the Furniture Department, discerning collectors who desire signature pieces to complete a home or collection will not be disappointed. “A covetable Egg Chair and Ottoman (R75 000-85 000) designed by Arne Jacobsen executed in 2000 is included in the contemporary furniture session while Cape

Furniture collectors will vie for an 18th century stinkwood pegtop table (R15 000-20 000) and a fine Cape yellowwood and stinkwood jonkmanskas (R25 000-35 000).” Welz goes on to say that English furniture stalwarts will be delighted with a fine Regency rosewood writing table (R40 000-60 000), an English Longcase clock by Thomas Page of Norwich circa 1780 (R20 000-25 000) and a George IV mahogany and inlaid extending dining table

(R35 000-45 000). The tradition of great craftsmanship is well represented by the cross-section of ceramics on offer. Enthusiasts are spoilt with a selection of works from around the globe. Some of the oldest pieces on offer include a collection of Pre-Columbian wares. One such example is a Moche Vessel in the form of a Seated Feline (R12 000-15 000) dated circa 200BC700AD executed during the Pre-Classical period. Included

Viewing: Friday 16 October 10am till 8pm Saturday 17 October 10am till 3pm Sunday 18 October 10am till 5pm Auction: Tuesday 20 October Session 1 10am Session 2 2.30pm Session 3 7pm Wednesday 21 October Session 4 10am

Ashbey’s Galleries cc Established 1891

Fine Art Auctioneers & Consultants

Catalogue sale by Public Auction – 15 October 2009 @ 10:00

Lot 289 Piet van Heerden (R60000/80000)

43 Church Street CAPE TOWN email:

Lot 226 Rembrandt Bugatti (Posthumous Casting) (R60000/80000)

Tel: 021 423-8060 Fax: 021 423-3047



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Strauss & Co. Upcoming Auction: Thursday 08 October 09 For more information as well as download the catalogue at

The Milner Art Collection Leslie Milner, was born in Lithuania in 1927 and moved to South Africa with his family at the age of six. After matriculating in 1948, he joined the family business, ”Milly’s”, and embarked upon a career defined by industry and innovation. Over the course of the next decades he travelled extensively, pioneering many areas of South African foods. He established a frozen food plant, a pickled cucumber factory and South Africa’s first smoked salmon factory which, in addition to supplying the local market, exported to Germany, Australia and Canada under the name of “King Solomon”. Following the sale of the ‘Milly’s’ chain in 1984, he relocated to Johannesburg. Five years later, Leslie and his wife, Dorothy, purchased a small factory called New York Bagels in London’s Kentish Town which grew to become a leading producer of fresh and frozen bagels. This became the namesake for the landmark deli and bakery in Sea Point, once the location of an old Milly’s store, which they opened upon their return to South Africa. Leslie Milner’s interest in art was stimulated in the 1950s, when he met Solly Disner, a

sculptor and poet of Polish origin who lived above his small factory in Hatfield Street. Disner was also an art dealer and, through him, Leslie was introduced to the leading Cape artists of the time. He would sometimes accept art in lieu of rent and purchased some of his finest paintings from Disner, including important works by Maggie Laubser, Paul du Toit and Maurice van Essche, but his first acquisition was notably Irma Stern’s Still life with Tiger Lilies and a Melon. His wife recalls how furious she was with him when he brought the painting home, as they still had no curtains or chairs. He formed enduring ties within the art world, including with Gerard Sekoto who he often visited in Paris. Leslie did not speculate in art. He trusted his instincts and made choices motivated by the sheer enjoyment his collection provided. Consequently many of these paintings have never been seen outside the circle of Milner’s family and friends. He was well-known for his pioneering work in the food industry, but many people will be surprised to discover his passion for art. He passed away in March 2009 after a short illness at the age of 81.

the dust-jacket and frontispiece of the book Wolf Kibel by Freda Kibel and Neville Dubow. It has been described by the late Professor Neville Dubow as “ ….a remarkable statement whose emotional content is carried as much by its overall treatment as by the characterisation of the face. The painted area corresponding to the sitter’s shirt is composed of great rivers of broken white interspersed with tiny spatterings of local colour, the whole bifurcated by the red gash of a tie. Its effect is one of an upward surge of nervous energy capped and stilled by the face. It is a compelling image. If one wants, one can already read into it the premonition of the death mask. It assumes a cast which is at once quizzical, shrewd, even gently self-mocking. It is a brave man’s view of himself. No touch of self-pity softens its awareness. Instead there is the barest hint of a swagger, but no sooner mooted than turned into a shrug.’ Lot 285 Wolf Kibel SOUTH AFRICAN 1903-1938

A highly important self portrait by South African artist, Wolf Kibel, is to be sold by Strauss

& Co. in their inaugural Cape Town auction on 8 October 2009. This work is regarded

as one of the icons of South African art and is featured prominently in literature and on

Self Portrait oil on canvas laid down on board, 43 by 39,5cm R500 000 – 600 000

Irma Stern SOUTH AFRICAN 1894-1966

Irma Stern SOUTH AFRICAN 1894-1966

Still Life with Dahlias


signed and dated 1930 oil on canvas, 92 by 67cm

signed and dated 1944, inscribed with the title, the artist’s name and address on the stretcher oil on canvas, 55 by 49,5cm R2 500 000 – 3 500 000

R3 500 000 – 5 000 000

The South African Print Gallery Presents the

ARTTHROB PRINT EDITION including a brand new Robert Hodginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Print. Artists include: Guy Tillim, Mikhael Subotzky, Penny Siopis, David Goldblatt, Williem Boshoff more. Extended until 17 October 2009 107 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Business Art October 09  

SA Business Art 09

Business Art October 09  

SA Business Art 09