SOUTH AFRICAN Hayden Proud, Michaelis Collection, Cape Town, South Africa page 3
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The Venice experience was unforgettable SMAC Gallery reports back A well known Italian curator, Dott Vincenzo Sanfo visited Cape Town in March this year in order to do preparatory work for an exhibition involving South African and Italian artists for the 2010 World Cup. During his visit, he was so impressed with what he saw, that he invited certain artists to participate in an exhibition which he was preparing for a new exhibition venue in Venice as a collateral event to coincide with the 53rd Biennale di Venezia. He was initially going to exhibit only Chinese and Italian artists, but after viewing the works of Kay Hassan, Johann Louw and Wayne Barker, he invited the gallery (SMAC) to include important works by these artists in this exhibition, eventually entitled I Linguaggi del Mondo / Languages of the World.
The choice of the three artists was by no means arbitrary. The proposal was that due to South Africa’s long absence and the need to “create history” at Venice, it would be appropriate to show mid-career artists who historically would certainly have been exhibited, if there had been an official presence. Furthermore, these artists rose to prominence during the so-called resistance period (the late eighties), but have managed to forge successful careers and remain relevant in the new South Africa. The decade before democracy was undoubtedly the most important period in South Africa’s history, politically and culturally. However, many so-called “protest” artists lost their way after 1994 and others used the opportunity and platform which the country provided to pursue careers abroad. We wanted to promote artists who live, work and find their inspiration in South Africa. Most of the famous South African artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kendall Geers, Lisa Brice and even Moshekwa Langa have moved on to become international artists. We felt that it was essential to present powerful art of the highest quality which originates and speaks about life in the country. The theme of “Languages of the World” was chosen after the consideration of the South African experience and
the message that many different cultures as represented primarily by their languages can co-exist in harmony. The exhibition installation commences with “South Africa is a country with 11 official languages …”. Besides the obvious fact that the three artists; Wayne Barker, Kay Hassan and Johann Louw each descend from one of the official languages (English, Zulu and Afrikaans), the work on show adopts distinct visual languages; Wayne Barker’s large “beadworks”, Kay Hassan’s “paper constructions” and “photographic collages” and Johann Louw’s dark and powerful oils. The success of this exhibition lies in the fact that despite the differences in background and approach to art making, the works complement each other perfectly and form a harmonious entity which is simultaneously beautiful, challenging and undeniably South African. It is a perfect springboard for us to expand on in 2011.
How are Jo’burg galleries coping with the economic downturn and accompanying recession in the art market? The ultimate response is to close down, and either operate from home or go into some other business. But none of the galleries I spoke to would admit to be considering following Warren Siebrits in taking that course, and most expressed amazement bordering on incredulity that it could ever have been economic to carry the level of overheads Siebrits says forced him to give up his premises. Still, with one notable exception, there’s agreement that times are hard and that one must cut one’s coat in accordance with one’s cloth. Goodman Gallery curator Neil Dundas, for one, puts it as strongly as “adapt or die”, and argues that artists as well as galleries must realise this. Goodman will be offering more smaller and editioned works on its upcoming shows, which by definition will be lower-priced.
The gallery had to make a significant financial contribution to facilitate the exhibition and despite attempting to get sponsorship or support for the initiative, we had to pay our own way. The government approach is discussed below, but it is necessary to mention that the South African exhibition could have been much larger if any of the numerous potential corporate sponsors had backed the project. There was almost no interest and with the exception of one company, none of the companies had ever heard of the Venice Biennale. The most common response was; “We have no clients in Venice”. The banks and multinationals appear ignorant to the fact that Venice, during vernissage week, may be the largest assembly of the world’s richest individuals at any one time, from Paul Allen to Roman Abramovic and Francois Pinault, to mention a few. Couple this to the fact that well over a million visitors (not your average tourist) visit the Biennale during the five months of its duration and it is clear that a major marketing opportunity, far exceeding most major sports events, has been missed. continued on page 2
While artists must still feel they can make bold statements and produce magna opera, they must accept that these may not be as salable as they were a couple of years ago. The size of the market has shrunk, and buyers’ pockets have got shallower. He cites Deborah Bell’s offerings through the gallery at the recent Jo-burg Art Fair as examples of this more modest approach. He’s confident that the super-rich will still have money to spend, but will be even more conscious of quality than ever, and the “obsessive collector” won’t go away, but the broad middle market is under pressure.
Wayne’s Prada Courage: I decided to buy a Prada suit and go to the show again and place my work in the main exhibit. I was a little nervous, but needed to Photo: Bianca Baldi make this statement. The work is still up, so I am starting to feel a bit like a selected artist.
of the importance of Arts and Culture in South Africa and the strength thereof, let alone the financial spin-offs and oblivious to the cultural importance to represent the diverse visual art works that are being produced here in SA today.
Arriving again in Venice unofficially, officially invited, I realised that living in Africa has a certain charm and a sense of necessity. The night before I left I watched the history of the Congo which was an insightful piece of info to arrive in Europe with, at an art show of international acclaim.
I realized how tired most of the international art can be and how up its own revisionist arsehole it can be.
We started by looking for the space where our exhibition was housed .This took an entire day but during the day we saw all the exhibitions being installed and all the artists could be spotted a mile away, they had been invited by their country and were feeling on top of the world. I, coming from
the so-called bottom of the world started feeling more and more frustrated, as usual we were doing it for ourselves – carrying boxes of invites and paintings to our venue, while our ministers were probably sipping champagne in faulty palaces around the world unaware
The stereotypical views about Africa are rife and many artist in SA are dealing with this “poor cousin concept”, that we are naive and the art produced here is less important on a global level, this by the way is bollocks, as through the challenging past two decades, the work produced here, is challenging for sure and often deals with relevant issues globally and locally with a degree of freshness and brutal honesty. While dealing with my frustrations and the unbelievable charm of Venice in usual African style, we realised that since we had
traveled half way across the globe we might as well make the best of the moment. It was now time to clandestinely give the biggest art collectors our invites and press release. The sky was full of jets and planes, landing to bring people to this art extravaganza. The whose who in the international art fraternity were descending in private planes and boats like the sardine run in Kwazulu Natal. Our first target was a little hidden bar called Harry’s Bar where the famous Bellini drink was invented. Walking in sober was maybe a little ambitious, as sitting with his entourages was the Biggest art collecter, Henri Pinault. After downing 2 Bellinis, I muscled my way to his table and introduced myself and invited the table to our exhibition called “languages of the world”, he almost didn’t know where SA is, again I felt the frustration of being an
Like Dundas, MOMO’s Monna Mokoena stresses the need to keep more closely in touch with the market. As Mokoena says, galleries must also be more flexible. Pointing to three gaps on the wall when I visited his current show, he said: “If a buyer wants to take his purchases home straight away, you can no longer tell him he must wait until the show’s over. If you
don’t accommodate him, he may decide to go elsewhere.” To some, the scaling down of the market has not been entirely negative. Gordon Froud, of gordart, says he’s been hit hard but is relieved that most of his gallery’s shows this year have at least broken even, though he hastens to add that he mainly deals in the R3 000-R10 000 range. He points out, too, that while his recent move to Parkwood was triggered in part by problems over renewing the lease on his former premises in Melville, he took the opportunity to trim his sails. Turning away artists he’d scheduled for shows and laying off staff was painful, but turned out to be vital. More imaginative and flexible use of space is another response. When Teresa Lizamore launched her Artspace Warehouse venture at her old gallery site in Fairland, letting it out for functions and events was an integral part of her strategy, and she won’t preclude such usage at her new Parkwood gallery either. Froud’s variation on this is to stage mini-shows at his tiny upstairs balcony-gallery, which are in effect teasers offering just a small sample of an artist’s available work. And there are specific cost areas that can be cut back without damaging the basic service to artists and clients. Like catering at openings: Siebrits went this route months before his closure, and despite (or, perhaps, because of) its institutional backing, so has the Absa gallery. Then, invitations: MOMO has scrapped printed invitations altogether, in favour of e-mail, and gordart offers artists the same option, though Froud says few have taken it up.
How long will it last? Froud believes that at his end of the market, the worst is over, and hopes for a continued on page 2
Did Kebble smuggle art treasures out of the JCI corporate collection?
Wayne Barker Venice Times
Wayne Barker reports from Venice
How are galleries coping?
artist in SA. I left the little bar and consoled myself with my cognac from my faithful hip-flask, looking at the grand canal glowing in the Venetian light, I was so embarrassed that I felt like jumping in and swimming home and only make wooden sculptures from now on! Our 2nd target was the notorious BAUER HOTEL where the artists and patrons hang out and drink champagne flaunting their egos and arrogance; I suppose that came with the territory? So we started meeting people and inviting them to our exhibition 2 out of 10 people would give it more than 5 seconds attention and the others would throw it back in our faces. This made me consult my hip flask with vengeance and I thought to myself; who are these people anyway ??? We all on this sinking island together exhibiting our work, with this new-found freedom and realization I was able continued on page 2
Slain mining magnate, Brett Kebble, may have siphoned off the best works from the JCI corporate collection for his own personal art collection, Noseweek reports. Slain mining magnate, Brett Kebble, may have siphoned off the best works from the JCI corporate collection. This after senior executives who attended the May auction of Kebble’s art collection recognised several of the works on sale as having once appeared on the walls of the JCI. The company’s current Chief Executive, Peter Gray, is to order a forensic investigation into the provenance of certain works, which are suspected to have been purchased by JCI, not Kebble. JCI already had an established art collection when Kebble joined
their ranks in 1997, having invested in works by Walter Battiss and George Pemba in the 80s, Grey reports. When evaluator Anthony Wiley was brought in to price the collection in 2006 however, there was very little of value left. Wiley reported that in several cases, the frames were more valuable than the paintings. Gallerist Mark Read of the Everard Read Gallery, who sold Kebble many paintings over the years, also reported a somewhat murky situation around the dealings of Kebble and the JCI. “We had so much trouble, about nine different invoices per picture. They had to be invoiced to a company, then he’d say no, do it to another.” When pressed to reveal the contents of the invoices, however, Read declined, saying that his business with clients was
confidential, and that the invoices would be destroyed. Noseweek identifies three of the works recently auctioned by gallerist and auctioneer Graham Britz, as having once hung in the JCI’s corporate collection. The paintings, including a Walter Battiss, and two works by George Pemba, fetched R 1 150 000 on the May auction, a sum which JCI will no doubt seek to extract from the insolvent Kebble estate. It is also rumoured that several high-profile works from both Kebble’s and JCI’s collections were auctioned in London in 2006, under the radar of the estate trustees. To get the full story, subscribe to Noseweek at www.noseweek.co.za
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BUSINESS ART | JULY 09
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Letters to the Editor Feedback
RE: Love of Art in the Time of Recession
In Pretoria the economic recession is certainly taking its toll at present and especially the contemporary art market is going through tough times. It would seem that it is really the young budding artist who is suffering most - being disillusioned and disheartened when you’ve produced a good body of work, yet not selling. To the gallery it is heartbreaking to see a strong exhibition go home to the artist with only one or two works sold.
The upside of the recession is that people who weren’t collectors before have woken up to art as a commodity investment, maybe due to other kinds of investments not delivering on envisaged returns. Investors are shopping around, checking and comparing prices and indeed looking for the work of big-name artists and potential investments. Yet the typical profile of a modern art investor versus a contemporary art investor is really a matter of money – the former allows relatively quick returns whereas the latter often is a matter of buying solely for the love of art and hoping that returns will eventually realise.
Art exhibition and sales at Fried Contemporary are alive and
well, although a little down with recession flu. We are finding that several non-Pretoria based buyers are approaching the gallery in the search for good buys and prices. Yet it is the higher priced works of established artists that are attracting more attention; noneditioned works such as sculpture and painting seem to be firm favourites whilst photography is less in demand. A recent affordable art fair at the gallery produced only nine sales, whereas demand from collectors for investment pieces was abundant. This seems to challenge the idea that only the cheaper works are currently selling. Although art sales are certainly carrying on, we are working much harder in order to develop new strategies to survive. Galleries could find alternative ways of funding and cutting costs, for instance, by closing the galleries for certain days of the week and employing fewer staff. This is not exceptional – many European contemporary galleries are anyway open only for a few days a week and for short hours. Artworks should also not be priced too highly, though artists and galleries should be careful not to underprice work just for the sake of having
sales, since this comprises the very raison d’être of both artist and gallery and lowers the esteem for professional art practice and exhibition as enterprise and vocation. Galleries could also consider amending their income with short courses in art practice or theory, since the informal training sector is very active still. The short courses offered at Fried are as in demand as before, maybe due to people desiring an after-hours occupation or an alternative retirement activity, or simply to understand art better. The dire situation of the art market could have been alleviated had government been more supportive and empathetic towards the arts and provided an infrastructure that compared with first-world countries. In order to survive and overcome the current stale-mate situation, artists and galleries might consider engaging in activities with a dedicated social upliftment objective, since these are well sponsored by government and business alike.
Prof Elfriede Dreyer Curator-owner of Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio Brooklyn, Pretoria
Request for Art Patronage I have had the privilege to be invited to represent South Africa at the Florence Biennale in December 2009. I applied for funding at the NAC, National Arts Council, in January. The deadline for the outcome of the application was the end of May and the NAC did not grant me any funding because they don’t fund the Florence Biennale. I have already paid R15 000.00 as part of the deposit in November 2008 and the rest of the deposit was due at the end of May. I asked for a second extension and have to pay R20 000.00 by September. The Arts and Culture Trust, BASA Business Art South Africa and The National Lottery Board cannot assist me in the matter. I not only need funding for the deposit but also for art materials, crating, shipping, insurance, accommodation etc. I would really appreciate ideas and help to enable me to participate in this wonderful event. My work can be viewed on the website www.art.co.za. Natasja de Wet
continued from page 1
How are galleries coping?
pick-up by September-October. Dundas, though, fears that in the Goodman’s market even 2010 will be a tough year.
I said at the outset that there was one exception to the general pessimism. Even if it’s a contrarian minority of one, it can’t be dismissed, as it’s the view of Mark Read, director of one of Joburg’s most respected top-end galleries, and certainly its oldest: Everard Read.
“Like most businesses, we’re having to hold on to our hats and work very hard. But most business failures are own goals. We haven’t really changed our ways much. We’re probably advertising even more, and being even more aggressive in trying to find better things. “There’s still strength in the top end of the market here, just as there is in Paris and London. Fabulous, weighty things still
sell readily, and we’re experiencing increasing interest from our clients for such work.” When I suggest that his current show by French artist Guy Ferrer, where despite the few six-figure pieces, most works are priced at only R3 800, hardly bears this out, Read becomes even more adamant. “We were asked to stage this show by the French Institute. I’d never seen the artist’s work until it
arrived a week before the opening, and we weren’t responsible for the pricing, which is in line with what he charges in Europe.” Well, it’s divergent views that make markets. But whether the optimists or pessimists are proved right is no mere academic debate: it could determine the survival of some galleries not just on the Parkwood artstrip, but throughout SA and, for that matter, internationally.
Photo credits: Bianca Baldi
Wayne Barker in the process of inserting Erratum (whose worlds?) 2003 (Insertion 2009) Exhibiting unofficially on the Making Worlds exhibition is
Barker’s attempt to break the pervading silence that surrounds local art expressions within the international domain and to draw attention to South African contemporary art and the representivity thereof. continued from page 1
Wayne Barker Venice Times to meet some fun people in the greater Art world. What a pretentious lot, the next morning I woke up in the Bauer hotel next to a tall blonde stranger, a curator and a buyer of contemporary art, on the floor were dresses that looked like they had been flown in from Pep stores in Africa. I sheepishly left and looking into the shop windows I spotted my friend’s frocks – just one of them would have paid for the entire SA exhibition (not quite) to be in Venice. F*ck, the Ministry of Arts and Culture should up their game, I thought and sat on a bridge with a post-coital cigarette and laughed and cried, until the realisation kicked in, to go to the exhibition space and see if the work was up and lighting had been sorted out. At our exhibition I found a grumpy Baylon putting up the works of Kay Hassan. We worked for 2 days and were happy with the way our work was
hanging in Venice ... with this behind us we could continue our work to pull guests to our show, of course Harry’s Bar and the Bauer Hotel became our frequent haunts. Also we were invited to different country’s parties, which were a representation of their food and drink and wine, fun was had by all. But again sunny South Africa was not present. As we settled into the rhythm of the situation we realised our exhibit was a minute away from Yoko Ono’s exhibit, this was unexpected and we realised that we were in a good spot, of course we met her and gave her the press release. Now that we had worked on the publicity I was ready to view the artworks from the different countries and the main show called; “Making Worlds”. There was some powerful work from the different Pavilions and some very disappointing. On the other hand, the main show, “Making Worlds”, got me thinking about
what in the world was the curator on about and why did he not take a trip to sunny S.A. and do some research. This gave me the idea to exhibit on his show in the room dealing with the fluxus movement. I photographed the labels of the official artists and replicated the label with my text;
Erratum (whose worlds?) 2003 (Insertion 2009) Exhibiting unofficially on the Making Worlds exhibition is Barker’s attempt to break the pervading silence that surrounds local art expressions within the international domain and to draw attention to South African contemporary art and the representivity thereof.
In response to Daniel Birnbaum’s exhibition title, Making Worlds,
I was itching to get back and start producing – whilst listening to Charles Aznavour crooning about how sad Venice can be.
The Venice experience was … changes in the local art industry; the proliferation of contemporary galleries, publication of catalogues and art books, the establishment of an independent art magazine, an art newspaper, record prices at local auctions, the emergence of international auction market for South African art and a large annual contemporary art fair. The South African contemporary art industry is now ready for Venice. The limited participation in the 2007 “African Pavilion” was and will not be sufficient for a country like South Africa, even if a permanent African Pavilion is established, as is being discussed. The unfortunate reality is that the South African Department of Arts and Culture does not appreciate the significance and importance of participation in the Venice Biennale. Since World War II, the Biennale reinvented and set the course for contemporary art every two years. It creates and in many cases recreates the most important artists of a
generation; from Henry Moore to Jeff Koons, the influence and stature of the greatest artists can be traced to Venice. If countries such as Palestine and Azerbaijan deem it important enough to participate, it defies logic that South Africa is absent. More importantly, in the year before the 2010 World Cup, where all eyes are on South Africa and a South African Pavilion would have attracted huge attention, this must be seen as an opportunity lost for the country as a whole. The artists and the art comm unity are the ones who suffer the most as a result of this apathy. We arrived in Venice with a bit of confusion surrounding the exhibition, as last minute certificates and approvals still had to be obtained from the Commune di Venezia, to ensure that the exhibition opened as planned. To make matters worse, most Italians had taken a so-called “ponte” or long weekend to link the weekend to the Italian republic day celebrations on
Tuesday the 2nd of June. This meant that we all worked frenetically to ensure that the space was ready for the opening of the Biennale on Wednesday the 3rd and our official opening on Thursday. Due to late acceptance of the invitation to participate, South Africa is not listed specifically amongst the collateral events, but the exhibition in which we participate is listed and well advertised. A major draw card is the close proximity of the South African exhibition to the Yoko Ono show, both just off Campo San Barnaba (which is just a few minutes from the Accademia Museum and the Guggenheim). This exhibition received huge attention due to the fact that Yoko Ono received a Golden Lion award at this year’s Biennale for lifetime achievement. A further advantage for us was the distribution of 500 000 pamphlets by the Commune di Venezia, advertising the exhibition to everybody purchasing a Vaporetto ticket (Vaporettos are the only means of public transport in Venice). This brochure was prepared by the Centro Italiano per le Arti e la Cultura and contains images of the works by all three artists. Slightly belatedly, more prominent public signage and banners advertising the exhibition has been placed all over the city, including the main bridges traversing the Grand Canal. If one takes all of this into account and the actual space made available to the South African artists (± 230m2), with a dedicated room for each artist, then this must be considered the biggest and most prominent presence by South Africa at the Biennale, at least in the last 40 years and if you consider how small the old pavilion is and the how the Biennale has grown in stature, size and atten-
dance, then this may be the largest presence ever. Another South African artist, Jake Aikman, was selected to participate in a highly prestigious exhibition entitled L’Anima dell’Acqua. This exhibtion is being held in a landmark Venezian Gothic Palace and Museum, the Ca’ d’ Oro. The exhibition received huge publicity during press week and was without doubt one of the main exhibitions in the city. The press opening was unlike anything I have seen before, with at least five television crews and 100 press officials attending a press conference with a five member curatorial panel answering questions behind glass walls. The exhibition was then officially opened by the Italian Minister of Culture, Sandro Bondi at a gala dinner in the Palazzo, attended by numerous dignitaries and celebrities. After the dinner, the guests were given a tour and specific attention was drawn to the South African painting. Aikman’s painting, Echo II, holds pride of place in this brilliantly curated and meticulously installed exhibition (hazelnut walls and embossed poetry surround the art). He also finds himself in some serious company; the exhibition celebrates two artists in particular; Fabrizio Plessi and Bill Viola. Plessi is currently enjoying a revival in Italy and renewed recognition. He is a Venetian artist and his works can be seen in many of the public spaces across the city. He is known primarily for large installations and sculptures incorporating digital media and he repeatedly explores the themes of fire and water. His artworks also adorn many of the Louis Vuitton windows in Europe and he is responsible for the first “digital handbag” designed for the same
company. He explained the significance of this exhibition (entitled “The Soul of Water”) to me over a coffee prior to my departure. He started with the significance of Venice and the unique characteristics of the city. He then proceeded to explain how man is made 90% of water and how we are affected by the tides and how at high tide or Acqua Alta (when everything floods in Venice - ironically we were all wading around without shoes on the final evening with an overhanging full moon) pushes up the tears. Plessi is keen to visit South Africa and Cape Town in particular and to do a major artwork here. Aikman has been offered an exhibition with a wellknown Venetian gallery. The South African entourage, which included a number of interesting characters; gallerist, artist, collectors, journalists, students and friends, went about marketing the South African exhibition as aggressively as possible. This involved a daily routine of handing out leaflets and invitations all over Venice but in particular Harry’s bar and later at the infamous Bauer Hotel. It also involved the strategic targeting of the power players who had descended on Venice for the “settimana di stampa”. This led to many close encounters of the third kind – on Wednesday, we managed to catch Larry Gargosian as he was being ushered off a speedboat into the Cipriani Hotel and the next morning as he was brunching at the pool. On the Wednesday evening Wayne Barker managed to escape the guarding eyes of the Maitre’d at Harry’s Bar to get in a five minute speech to Francois Pinault and his twelve guests, together with pamphlets and a manifesto lamenting the lack of official representation for South Africa. A similar encounter occurred the following day with Roman Abramovic and Yoko Ono.
I decided to buy a Prada suit and go to the show again and place my work in the main exhibit. I was a little nervous, but needed to make this statement. The work is still up, so I am starting to feel a bit like a selected artist. Eventually I had to leave and on my way out of town I noticed people reading small leaflets, handed out as they bought their Vaporetto tickets. I saw them looking at the illustrations of our work and later discovered that our curator had managed to distribute 500 000 of these brochures via the public transport network. Mission accomplished.
continued from page 1
South Africa has been absent from the Venice Biennale for decades since its official participation ended in the seventies due to the cultural boycott and subsequent sale of the South African Pavilion to Israel. The 1993 return in a collateral event was premature and unsuccessful. South Africa was still involved in a period of radical change and transition. Simultaneous with the political and social changes which were taking place, the South African Art industry was yet to be established, as we emerged from decades of international isolation. It is now clear that a certain distance from those tumultuous times was needed to provide perspective. It took ten more years for South Africa to start catching up with the international contemporary art world. The seeds were sown by the now acclaimed Johannesburg Biennales of 1995 and 1997 (again premature from a South African context). Since the millennium we have seen significant
artists like Barker living on the so-called periphery can ask the question; Whose Worlds?
No one escaped without being fully briefed on the South African dilemma and being invited to the show; Daniel Birnbaum, Okwui Enwesor (who gave us great support and encouragement), Simon Njami, Maurizio Cattelan and even Keith Richards. One would expect most of these people to be tired of being approached by such types in Venice, but the response was overwhelmingly positive and receptive. We sensed a genuine interest in South Africa and general disbelief at its nonparticipation. We certainly made our presence felt. To cap everything Wayne Barker took the argument a step further or rather to its extreme: with the assistance of Bianca Baldi (a Michaelis graduate spending three months in Venice and part of the South African entourage), Wayne managed to get himself official representation by inserting an artwork into the main Birnbaum, curated exhibition; Making Worlds and carefully documenting the entire event. The best part is that as of 17/06/09 the work remains on the wall unnoticed by any officials or organizers and comfortably forming part of the exhibition. The small text printed on card reads as follows: Wayne Barker Erratum (whose worlds?) 2003 (Insertion 2009) Exhibiting unofficially on the Making Worlds exhibition is Barker’s attempt to break the pervading silence that surrounds local art expressions within the international domain and to draw attention to South African contemporary art and the representivity thereof. In response to Daniel Birnbaum’s exhibition title, Making Worlds, artists like Barker living on the so-called periphery can ask the question; Whose Worlds?
JULY 09 | BUSINESS ART
ART LEADERS PROFILE AND IN THE NEWS
Hayden Proud, Michaelis Collection, Cape Town, South Africa
Hayden Proud was born in Zimbabwe and studied Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town (UCT), later teaching art history there. He undertook postgraduate studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Hayden was first appointed curator of historical collections at the South African National Gallery (SANG). With the latter’s amalgamation into Iziko Museums in 2001, his brief was extended to include the curatorship of the Michaelis Collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings at Cape Town’s Old Town House. His curatorial expertise covers wide areas of the Iziko Art Collections Department, which also features British art and major holdings of 19th- and 20th-century South African art. He has been supervising improvements to the Old Town House building and its facilities, as well as several conservation projects on the collection. Promoting the Old Master tradition in a time of demands for transformation in post-apartheid South Africa is not without its challenges. He works strategically with the Michaelis Collection to make it relevant to a new generation of South Africans. His strategies involve integrating the Michaelis Collection within thematic exhibitions and promoting it as a site for debate on the colonial past and the transformational present, as well as a dialogue between historical and contemporary art.
Helmut Starcke (b. 1935) The muse of history, 2001 (acrylic on canvas)
Hayden Proud on the Michaelis Collection The collection was assembled by Sir Hugh Lane and was presented by Sir Max Michaelis to the people of South Africa in 1914. It is one of the most significant collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings outside of Europe, the USA and Russia. It was installed in Cape Town’s Old Town House, formerly the city’s seat of civic government, in 1914. The building dates from 1755, and its interior was refurbished to accommodate the collection. Works by Frans Hals, Melchior de Hondecoeter, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Paulus Moreelse, Ludolf Backhuysen, Frans Snijders, Emmanuel de Witte and others are supplemented with holdings of Old Master prints and drawings. With the creation of Iziko Museums in 2001, the 17th- and 19th-century Dutch collections at the SA National Gallery now usefully augment many new displays. A comprehensive catalogue by Dr. Hans Fransen was published by Waanders Uitgevers, Zwolle, in 1997. The Michaelis Collection is unique in Africa and constitutes a nodal point of contact between the diverse South African cultures and the heritage of European art. While other art museums in South Africa also count Dutch and Flemish paintings, Iziko Museums is the only one with such a collection as its principal focus. It is supported by a 400-member strong Friends’ organization. A vital educational emphasis underpins an active program of temporary exhibitions that prioritize the use of the collection, inviting the involvement of local schools and art centres.
ing portrait” Secretly I will love you more, exhibited in 2007-08, explored similar issues. Based on a portrait by the artist’s namesake Pieter de Putter (1600-1659) in the collection, it consisted of a video-audio backprojection inside an identical Old Master frame. The original portrait was recreated conceptually with a “live” sitter-singer. Re-imagined as Maria de Quellerie, the wife of Jan van Riebeeck, the first Dutch Governor of the Cape, she sang a lullaby in the indigenous Nama language to her adopted black daughter Krotoa. The work proposed a topical “what if” scenario on 17th-century inter-racial relationships for a post-apartheid South Africa now engaged in a continuous quest for reconciliation. Hayden Proud on a selected work from the collection One of Proud’s favorite works, and indeed one of the most useful from a didactic point of view with visitors, is Emanuel de Witte’s Interior of the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam of circa 1653 (inv. no. 14/66). It is a good example of the artist’s concerns with representing space, spatial ambiguities and illusion, all of which ultimately comment on the mimetic effect of the art of painting itself. The green drapery with its golden fringe is a painted imitation of the kind of protective curtain hanging from a rod often attached to such paintings in domestic settings. An ambiguous feature in true baroque trompe-l’oeil style is the painted shadow that the drapery casts to the right onto the “surface” of the painting.
Past exhibitions include “The muse of history” (2005), which united the collection with large contemporary paintings based on the Dutch masters by local artist Helmut Starcke. Its theme was a speculation on the interface between the Dutch settlers and the indigenous inhabitants of the Cape when it was colonized in 1652. Andrew Putter’s video-based “sing-
De Witte’s Interior of the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the tomb of William the Silent (1653) (LACMA) uses a similar curtain. As a painter, Proud is fascinated by the way in which De Witte creatively engages with layered spatial and formal concerns that seem to be strikingly modern. His strategic inclusion draperies amidst the generally somber garb of the figures in this painting is but a part of the complex optical “choreo-
Pieter de Putter (1606-1659), Portrait of a woman (oil on canvas) Cape Town, Michaelis Collection
Andrew Putter (b. 1966), Secretly I will love you more, 2007 (video projection)
graphy” that is embodied in the best of his works in this genre.
John Meyer receives Gottorff Museum Award 2009
Selected recent publications by Hayden Proud Scratches on the face: antiquity and contemporaneity in South African works of art from the collections of Iziko Museums of Cape Town. Exhibition catalogue published for a touring exhibition to the Republic of India in 2007. 64 pp. Pretoria (UNISA Press) 2007 (2nd ed. 2009) ISBN 13-978-1-874-81739-0 (paperbound) ReVisions plus: expanding the narrative of South African art. The Campbell Smith Collection. Book. 104 pp. Pretoria (UNISA Press/ SMAC) 2008 ISBN 13-9781874-817369 (paperbound) Contributing author & editor. ReVisions: expanding the narrative of South African art. Book. 360 pp. Pretoria (UNISA Press) 2006 ISBN 1-874817-33-2 (hardbound) “The advancement of art”: the South African Society of Artists and its exhibitors (1902-1950). Exhibition catalogue. 64 pp. Cape Town (SA National Gallery) 2002 ISBN 1874817316 The Sir Edmund and Lady Davis presentation: a gift of British art to South Africa. Exhibition catalogue. SA National Gallery 1999 ISBN 1874817235 Hayden’s research interests are diverse. He has published several significant books on the work of black South African artists. He recently contributed two chapters to The visual century, a new publication on South African art between 1907 and 2007, due for publication by the University of Witwatersrand Press in late 2009. He is presently engaged in research for a new publication on the South African landscape painter J. H. Pierneef (18861957), whose complex relationship with Dutch modernism in the 1920s became central to his aesthetic. For further information see: www.codart.nl
Dr Thomas Gaedeke, Herr Frank Zarp, Director Herwig Guratzsch of the Gottorf, John Meyer and Minister of agriculture and environment Herr Christian von Boetticher at the unveiling ceremony.
South African artist John Meyer received the 2009 contemporary artist award from the Museum Schloss Gottorf in Germany on the 17th May at a special unveiling ceremony. A capacity crowd filled the museum’s inner courtyard, where a choir sang in English in honour of Meyer’s visit. An estimated crowd of 15,000 visited the complex on the day. Meyer was chosen after his enthusiastically received one-man exhibition in Berlin in 2008, which was a collaboration between Everard Read Cape Town and Brusberg Berlin. Two works by Meyer were commissioned by the director of the Gottorf, Professor Guratzsch, a narrative painting and a silkscreen edition, produced with David Krut Projects in South Africa. The award was established by the German entrepreneur Gunter Fielmann in 2000, after his donation of 200 lime trees for an avenue in the Gottorf Baroque Gardens at the museum. The prize is regarded in Germany as a prize of honour. It is
Emanuel de Witte (1617-1692), Interior of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. ca. 1653 Cape Town, Michaelis Collection
regarded one of the most important international art awards in Germany (earlier recipients include Bernhard Heisig, Johannes Grützke and Magdalena Abakanowicz), Currently the museum’s contemporary rooms are hosting two solo exhibitions, one by Anselm Kiefer and the other by John Meyer. Gottorf Palace is the largest museum complex in northern Germany and is the headquarters of Schlegwig Holstein’s state museums. The museum, visited by up to 600,000 visitors a year, is situated in the northern German city of Schleswig. Schloss Gottorf comprises a vast complex of museums and exhibition halls, ranging from the state collections of renaissance and period art, modern collections and contem porary collections, as well as invited solo exhibitions. Known for his sequential narrative works, which are influenced by film noir and the cinematic and motion picture tradition, John Meyer’s art explores complex human emotions and interactions.
Old Town House, Cape Town (built 1755)
Eastern Cape East London
Ann Bryant Art Gallery For July, works by South African artists from the permanent collection 9 St Marks Road, Southernwood, East London T. 043 722 4044 Annbryant@intekom.co.za
School of Fine Art 2-11 Jul, The stranger who licked salt back into our eyes and other histories, a series of short films by Brent Meistre Somerset Street, Grahamstown
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum 7 May-12 Jul, Scenes in the Street, through the eyes of artists and photographers. 4 Jun-10 Aug, Decade, A selection of works by some of South Africa’s most valued and emerging artists from the Sanlam Art Collection. 30 Jul-20 Sep, sculpture by 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner, Nicholas Hlobo. 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth T. 041 506 2000 www.artmuseum.co.za
Free State Bloemfontein
Oliewenhuis Art Museum 2 Jun-15 Jul, Past/Present, a multimedia retrospective of Andrew Verster’s work. 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein T. 051 447 9609
Johan Smith Art Gallery Glass, Bronze, Ceramics, Old Masters, Contemporary works. Windmill Centre Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1620 www.johansmith.co.za
Blou Donki Art Gallery Contemporary Art, Steel Sculptures, Functional Art, Photography, Ceramics. Windmill Centre, Main Street, Clarens T. 058 256 1757 www.bloudonki.co.za
S O U T H A F R ICA N A RT G A LLERY SH O W LISTIN G S J U LY 2009 Queen, work by Mary Sibande. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 www.gallerymomo.com Gallery on the Square For July, a mix of South African and international fine art sculpture and ceramics 32 Maude Street, Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City, Sandton, Johannesburg T. 011 784 2847 www.galleryonthesquare.co.za Gold of Africa Museum Gallery 30 Jun-30 Sep, Headgear, drawings by Jeannette Unite. Turbine Hall, Jeppe Street, Johannesburg T. 07829251834 www.goldofafrica.com Artist Proof Studio Gallery 2 Jun–10 Jul, Wonderful Experience, Monotypes and multiple prints by Cameroonian artist, Joël Mpah Dooh. Bus Factory, 3 President Street, c/o Henry Nxumalo, Newtown T. 011 492 1278 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artistproofstudio.org.za Goodman Gallery 9 Jul- 1 Aug, Lisa Brice. 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 www.goodman-gallery.com Everard Read Gallery Jhb 18 Jun-5 Jul, Elsewhere Brothers, sculpture and paintings by French artist, Guy Ferrer. 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4805 www.everard.co.za Grahams Fine Art Gallery 11-18 Jul, 2010 FIFA licensed works by Clint Strydom and Keith Calder in conjunction with 2010 Fine Art. 16 Jul-16 Sep, Imaging and Imagining: South African Art circa 1896-2008; South African Investment Art, from the permanent collection. Shop 31, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cnr. Valley & Cedar Roads Fourways, Johannesburg T. 011 465 9192 www.grahamsgallery.co.za
Entitled No(n) place like home, the show comprises a series of laser cut metal and perspex scultptures. Visually appealing, these works are however loaded with intricate detail and potent commentary on societal issues. See more at www.artspace-jhb.co.za
Alliance Francaise, Johannesburg From 1 Jul, Lomographic Itineraries, an exhibition of photography 17 Lower Park Drive, cnr Kerry Road, Parkview, Johannesburg T. 011 646 1169 www.alliance.org.za
Brodie/Stevenson 4 Jun-4 Jul, ‘Scuse us while we kiss da sky, editioned prints, painting, sculpture and installation by Avant Car Guard. 9 Jul-4 Aug, photography by Zanele Muholi. 373 Jan Smuts Ave, Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034 http://www.brodiestevenson.com/
The Constitutional Court 2-31 Jul, Mandela @ 90, a tribute to Madiba in his 90th year, including works by Billy and Jane Makhubele, Johannes Maswanganyi, Roy Ndinisa, Beverly Price and Susan Woolf. Constitution Hill, Cnr Queens and Sam Hancock, Hospital Streets, Braamfontein T. 011 359 7400
One of Keith Calder’s bronzes celebrating the 2010 Soccer World Cup. To be seen at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery. To see more see: www.grahamsgallery.co.za
GordArt Gallery 11 Jul-1 Aug, Family by Lettie Gardiner and Sticks and Stones (Dodge Burn) by Carla Crafford. Shop 1 Parkwood Mansions, 144 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood t/f 011 880 5928 email@example.com Johannesburg Art Gallery 10 May-3 Jul, Journey on a Tightrope an Albert Adams Retrospective. Until 3 Jul, Portraiture through Photography, curated by Khwezi Gule, in the Basement Gallery. 30 Jun-27 Sep, Musha Neluheni: Vantage, in the artist’s project room #5. King George Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3180 www.joburg.org.za Market Photo Workshop From 8 Jul, Alternative Kidz, an exhibition of photography by Musa Nxumalo. 2 President Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2000 T. 011 834 1444 www.marketphotoworkshop.co.za 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. 121 Bree Street, Newtown, Johannesburg T. 011 833 5624 www.knightgalleries.net
Gallery MOMO 11 Jun-6 Jul, exhibition of Designer Rugs and Littoral, a solo exhibition of photographs by Patricia Driscoll. 9 Jul-3 Aug, Long Live the Dead
Sally Thompson Gallery 14 Jun-11 Jul, A Child’s Gaze, photographs by Martin Osner and Lens Light Landscape, photographs by Eugene van der Merwe 78 Third Avenue, Melville T. 011 482 9719 www.thompsongallery.co.za Standard Bank Gallery 9 Jun-18 Jul, Wonderland, photographs by Standard Bank Young artist of 2008, Lolo Veleko 4 Aug19 Sep, SBYA 25th Anniversary. Cnr. Simmonds & Frederick Streets, Johannesburg, 2001 Tel: 011 631 1889 www.standardbankgallery.co.za The Art Place, Gallery & Art Centre 13 Jun-4 Jul, Dream World, a mixed media exhibition. 11 Jul-8 Aug, All Creatures Great and Small, a group show. 144 Milner Ave, Roosevelt Park T. 011 888 9120 University of Johannesburg Arts Centre Gallery 1 Jun-8 Jul, Alter, a solo exhibition by Majak Bredell. 29 Jul-22 Aug, Boarding House, photographs by Roger Ballen. University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway campus cnr. Kingsway and Universiteits Rd, Auckland Park T. 011 559 2099/2556 www.uj.ac.za/artsacademy
Durban Artisan Contemporary 17 Jun-15 Jul, an exhibition of hand-crafted rings 344 Florida Rd, Morningside T. 031 312 4364 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Art Space – DBN 22 Jun–11 Jul, Collected, oil paintings by Jeannie Kinsler and Wish List, paintings by Faye Spencer. 13 Jul-1 Aug, Under Construction – Seven DUT 3rd year sculpture students and Flavours – emerging jewellery designers from Durban. 3 Millar Road, Durban T. 031 312 0793 www.artspacedurban.co.za Bank Gallery 11 Jun-11 Jul, Erosion, a solo exhibition of sculptures by Ledelle Moe Bank Gallery, Morningside, Durban T. 031 312 6911 www.bankgallery.co.za Durban Art Gallery 3 Jun-19 Jul, Roger Ballen: Boarding House. 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 www.durban.gov.za/durban/ discover/museums/dag Durban University of Technology (DUT) Gallery 4 Jun-10 Jul, Industry Sets Criteria: interior design student exhibition Steve Biko Campus, Cecil Renaud Theatre 2nd floor, Durban email@example.com or 031 373 2207
Mpumalanga The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435 www.tlafoundry.co.za
Western Cape Cape Town The Anglican Aids and Healthcare Trust 25 May-3 Jul, Art From Southern Africa, a collection of contemporary artworks from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. 1 Braehead Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town T. 021 7631300 FAX: +27 21 7624237 www.anglicanaids.org.za
Association for Visual Arts (AVA) 15 Jun-3 Jul, Saturnine, a solo exhibition of acrylic painting and screenprints by Connor Cullinan. 6-24 Jul, Main gallery: Spencer Street Studio painters group show Long gallery: an installation by Wessel Snyman, Artstrip: paintings by Riaan Vosloo, New Media Room: collaborative work by Christian Nerf and Barend de Wet. Also on show: Other Works Other, a collaborative project between Barend de Wet and Christian Nerf, with a little something by Francis Burger 35 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 424 7436 www.ava.co.za
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. 14 May16 Aug, Mbongeni Buthelezi’s first touring national exhibition of “plastic painting”. Until 20 Jul, Polly Street and Rorke’s Drift Artworks. Glass Gallery, Corobirk Collection, ceramics selection representing studio ceramics and rural traditional potters of SA T.012 344 1807/8 http://www.pretoriaartmuseum.co.za
Steven Cohen_Golgotha_Wall Street #1_N.Y. 2007_©Marianne Greber-VBK October 8 – November 15, 2009: Museum Africa, Johannesburg Broadly speaking, Dystopia deals with the following themes: political utopia gone wrong; teleology and apocalypse; dystopian contestations of gender, race and culture; spatiality and boundaries as postideological zones; and the postindustrial city; and technodystopia.
St Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery 7 Jun-12 Jul, Is it an ism or is it me? A group exhibition of portraiture 492 Fehrsen St, Brooklyn Circle, Pretoria T. 021 460 0284 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sally Thompson Gallery 14 Jun – 11 Jul, A Child’s Gaze, photography by Martin Osner 78 Third Avenue, Melville T. 011 482 9719 www.thompsongallery.co.za
Johan Wilke will be opening his exhibition entitled: Inrespectof, at the Exposure Gallery, The Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town. The exhibition is a selection of images taken over 20 years, 50 black & white documentary images from all over the world, Cuba, India, etc.
Focus Contemporary, Fine Young Art 27 Jun-15 Aug, All Together Now, work by Ian Cattanach, Mark Stanes, Glen Green, Chris Diedericks, Philip Marinig, Karin Miller 2 Long Street Cape Town T. 021 419 8888 www.focuscontemporary.co.za
Goodman Gallery, Cape 2-19 Jul, Artslot, a compilation of artist’s films at the Encounters Documentary Film Festival 2009. Includes work by Moshekwa Langa, William Kentridge, Minnette Vári, Kathryn Smith, Clive van den Berg, Dan Halter, Sue Williamson and Charles Maggs. 16 Jul-15 Aug, Kudzanai Chiurai 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 7573/4, www.goodmangallerycape.com
Platform on 18th 2-25 Jul, painting and sculpture by Lionel Smit, Vasti Wilkinson and Andre Stead 232 18th Street, Rietondale, Pretoria T. 084 764 4258
Exposure Gallery For July, Soy Cuba.... I am Cuba, an exhibition of photographs The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock T. 021 447 4124 www.exposuregallery.co.za
Gill Allderman Gallery 5 Jun-25 Jul, Featuring a collection of sculptures, paintings and works on paper by various artists; including Claire Christie, Donovan Ward, Kemang Lehulere, Liz Linder, Gill Cowen, Judy Conway, Velile Soha, Jeanne Wassenaar, Anne Gas, Sophie Peterson, Selvin November, Lionel Davis, Baba Jakela, Dathini Mzayiya, Ena Carstens, Butho Phakathi 278 Main Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town T. 083 556 2540 www.gillalldermangallery.co.za
Fried Contemporary Art Gallery 27 Jun-25 Jul, Just Visiting, an exhibition of works by Nathani L_neburg, Adèle Oldfield and Maria van Rooyen. 430 Charles Str, Brooklyn, Pretoria T. 012 346 0158 www.friedcontemporary.com
Naude Modern 27-29 Jul, Surprise! An early Christmas car boot sale site specific installation. 254a St Patrick’s Road, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria T. 012 440 2201 www.art.co.za/andrenaude
Erdmann Contemporary / Photographers Gallery Until 16 Jul, Diesel and Dust, photography by Obie Oberholzer. 25 Jul-29 Aug, Painting and Photo graphy group show. 63 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za
Gallery F Contemporary and archival South African Art 221 Long Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 5246 www.galleryf.co.za
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 www.artwessels.co.za
20 Jun-2 Jul, Mama Dada, an exhibition by Kelly Daniels, Wihann Strauss, Braam Pretorious and Eckaardt Kasselmann. Shop 21B, Southdowns Shopping Centre, Centurion T. 012 665 1832 www.magpie.co.za
David Porter Antiques Buyers and sellers of South African art T. 021 683 0580/083 452 5862 email@example.com
Art B Gallery Am I a Painter? Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville T. 021 918 2301 www.artb.co.za
Pretoria Association of Arts 10-29 Jul, Debbie Cloete, 12-30 Jul, landscapes and clay pots by Corne van Eck and Nic Sithole 173 Mackie Street, New Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, 0181 T. 012 346 3100 www.artsassociationpta.co.za
David Brown Fine Art From 9 Jul, Pandora’s Box, works by Peter Engblom, 39 Keyes Ave, off Jellicoe, Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4435 www.davidbrownfineart.co.za
David Krut Projects 18 Jun-25 Jul, In Search of Lost Time, paintings and works on paper by Alexandra Ross. 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com
Resolution Gallery For Jul/Aug, The Wealth of No Nations, works by Pat Mautloa and Godfried Donkor. 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 4054 www.resolutiongallery.com
Cameo Framers and Gallery 1-15 Jul, Pretoria 8: 50 year reunion. Works by Walter Battis, Bettie Cilliers-Barnar, Ernst de Jongh, Robert Hodgins, Otto Klar, Laurence Scully, Gunther van der Reis and Johan van Heerden 198 Long Street, Waterkloof, Pretoria T. 082 923 2551 firstname.lastname@example.org
Art on Paper 20 Jun-11 Jul, Silent Nouns and Breathing Verbs, drawings by Walter Battiss 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark) T. 011 726 2234 www.artonpaper.co.za
Artspace - JHB 22 Jun-11 Jul, Collected, oil paintings by Jeannie Kinsler; Wish List, paintings by Faye Spencer. 4-25 Jul, No(n) Place Like Home, laser cut sculptures by Jaco Sieberhagen Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 8802 www.artspace-jhb.co.za
Origins Centre 28 May-24 Jul, Exposition, Solo exhibition by Fiona Couldridge. Cnr Yale and Enoch Santonga Str. University of the Witwatersrand T. 011 717 4700 www.origins.org.za
Avant Car Guard: The Centre vs. Periphery Ultimate Cage Fight. See more work at www.brodiestevenson.com
Elizabeth Gordon Gallery A variety of new South African artworks 120 Florida Road, Durban T. 031 303 8133 email@example.com
Atlantic Art Gallery A permanent display showcasing leading contemporary South African artists 25 Wale Street Cape Town T. 021 423 5775
Imbizo From 11 Jun, Once upon a Thyme, an exhibition of paintings by Frans Groenwald Shop 7A, Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito 4418 T. 032 946 1937 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bell-Roberts Contemporary Art Gallery 4-25 Jul, No More Me, new paintings by Andrea Mariconti 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock T. 021 465 9108 www.bell-roberts.com
KZNSA Gallery 23 Jun-19 Jul, Red: the iconography of colour in the work of Penny Siopis, an exhibition of paintings by Penny Siopis, curated by Brenton Maart 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood T. 031 2023686 www.kznsagallery.co.za Tatham Art Gallery 25 Jun-6 Sep, Into the Light, work by KZN women artists of the early part of the 20th Century. 9 Jul13 Sep, Heath Family Retrospective, paintings by Jack, Jane and Jinny Heath. Cnr. Of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd. and Church Street, (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg T. 033 342 1804 www.tatham.org.za
Northern Cape Kimberley William Humphreys Art Gallery Permanent Collection Exhibition – Includes works of a variety of contemporary SA artists Civic Centre, Cullinan Crescent, Kimberley T. 053 831 1724 www.museumsnc.co.za
Blank Projects 17 Jun-24 Jul, Man Eating, two videos by David Greg Harth 198 Buitengracht Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town T.072 1989 221 www.blankprojects.blogspot.com Cape Gallery 21 Jun-26 Jul, Winter Solstice, a group exhibition, including paintings by Margot Hattingh, Derek Drake and Judy Woodborne. 60 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 5309 www.capegallery.co.za Cape Town School of Photography From 18 Jun, Stems, photographs by Adrienne van Eeden Wharton, Andrew Putter and Emmett Walsh. 4th Floor, 62 Roeland Street, Cape Town T. 021 465 2152 www.ctsp.co.za Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art 66 Vineyard Road, corner Cavendish St, Claremont T. 021 671 6601 Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Main Road, Constantia T. 021 794 6262 Christopher Møller Art New arrivals including JH Pierneef, Otto Klar, Charl Theodore and Hugh Mbayiwa 82 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 439 3517 www.christophermollerart.co.za
Hout Bay Gallery 17-26 Jul, The First People, quilts and linoprints by twenty-four artists of the Pomegranate group, a collective of artists of Bushman descent 71 Victoria Avenue, Hout Bay 7806 T. 021 790 3618/ 021 790 0137 email@example.com www. houtbaygallery.co.za Infin Art Gallery Wolfe Street Chelsea Wynberg T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht St Cape Town T. 021 423 2090 www.infinart.co.za Irma Stern Museum 24 Jun-25 Jul, If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, does it matter if the lens is made in China? Recent paintings by Paul Roux. Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town T. 021 685 5686 www.irmastern.co.za Iziko South African National Gallery Until Jul 09, Scratches on the Face. 2 Jun-16 Aug, Jol, paintings and prints on the subject of jolling. Includes work by William Kentridge, Bob Gosani, Michael Wyeth and Gerard Sekoto, amongst others. 17 Jun-25 Jul, The Edunsemble Art Project, artworks by 30 learners, aged 10 to 17, from various Cape Town schools. Visions & Voices, Rights & Realities – Children in South Africa, photographs by school children from around the country, highlighting the abuse of children’s rights in South Africa Government Avenue, The Company’s Garden T. 021 467 4660 www.iziko.org.za Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery SA Master Paintings; By Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, JH Pierneef, Hugo Naudé, Ruth Prowse, Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba and Gregoire Boonzaier, as well as contemporary works by Walter Meyer, Jacobus Kloppers, Hussein Salim, Ben Coutouvidis, Hennie Niemann Jnr, Philip Barlow, Marlene von Dürckheim and others. In-Fin-Art Building, Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 6075/082 5664631 www.johansborman.co.za
Kalk Bay Modern 24 Jun-24 Jul, Art Works on Paper, Cecil Skotnes, Penny Siopis, Colbert Mashile, Michele Tabor, Jane Eppel, Lyn Smuts, Rory Botha, Nat Mokgosi 1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Road Kalk Bay T. 021 788 6571 firstname.lastname@example.org Kunst House 18 May–31 Aug, a varying collection of work by resident artists 62 Kloof Street, Gardens T. 021 422 1255 www.kunsthouse.co.za Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery Exhibition of SA’s leading artists 31 Kommandeur Road, Welgemoed, Bellville T. 021 913 7204/5 www.artpro.co.za Michael Stevenson Contemporary 4 Jun–1 Aug, Everything Matters, paintings by Deborah Poynton; Ingubo Yesizwe, new installation by Nicholas Hlobo; This is my Africa, documentary by Zina-Saro-Wiwa; Shroud, sculpture by Katharine Jacobs Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 www.michaelstevenson.com Raw Vision Gallery For Jul, Messages from the Future, digital prints by Mike Fisher 89 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock T. 076 581 9468 email@example.com Muti Gallery 11 Jun-31 Jul, Tee Hee, kinetic sculptures by Francois van Reenen; Until 4 Jun, Solo exhibition by Gabrielle Raaff. 3 Vredehoek Avenue, Oranjezicht T. 021 465 3551 firstname.lastname@example.org Orange Cactus From 28 May, Caleidoscope, paintings by Leonie E. Brown, Hannes van der Walt, Frieda van Zyl and Salome Briers. Shop 28 & 29 Seaside Village, cnr Otto du Plessis Drive & Cormorant Rd, Big Bay, Bloubergstrand T. 021 554 4797 or 082 3777 474 email@example.com www.orangecactus.co.za Rose Korber 1-31 Jul, Jurgen Schadeberg 48 Sedgemoor Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town T. 021 438 9152 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rosekorberart.com Rust-en-Vrede 1-22 Jul, Sandveld Diary, oils by Annelie Venter; Brokkies Nostalgie, oils by Madelein Marincowitz and Cube in the Clay Musuem, ceramics by Martin Swart and Noeleen Read 10 Wellington Road, Durbanville T. 021 976 4691 www.rust-en-vrede.com Salon91 Contemporary 30 Jun-15 Jul, Originale, drawings, printed media, sculptures, videos and sound installation by Louis Minnaar. 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town T. 021 424 6930 www.salon91art.co.za 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 http://www.iziko.org.za/sam/index. html South Gallery Showcasing creativity from Kwazulu-Natal; For Jul, Ardmore Ceramic Art Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Ground Floor. T. 021 465 4672 email@example.com Tagores From 18 Jun, The City and the People, paintings and drawings by Lee-Ann January and Ronald Muchatuta 42 Trill Road (off Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town These Four Walls Fine Art Galley 19 Jun-4 Jul, Equal in Silver, paintings by Conor Ralphs 169 Lower Main Road, Observatory, T. 021 447 7393 www.thesefourwalls.co.za The South African Print Gallery For Jul, a mid-career retrospective of etchings by Gabriel ClarkeBrown. For August, etchings by Ben Coutouvidis 107 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 6851 www.printgallery.co.za UCA Gallery 1 Jul-24 Jul, Dark Side of the Moon, a group show of works, by Mary Grey, Wonder, Albert Coertse, Shani Nel, Colijn Strydom, Vusi Beauchamp, Zach Taljaard and Conor Ralphs. 29 Jul-21 Aug, Voight-Kampff 46 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town T. 021 447 4132 www.ucagallery.co.za VEO Gallery From 2 Jun, Ani-mal, a group exhibition and charity auction in aid of P.E.T.S. Including work by Ian Marley, Solly Smook, Candice Dawn B, Willie le Roux, Kevin de Klerk, Thalea Lombard, Riaan van Zyl, Téreza Harling, Lana Faasen, Thea van Staden, Anastasya Eliseeva, Ilze Coetzee, Richard Mudariki, Wallen Mapondera, René Schoonraad, Leonie van der Westhuizen, Chantel
de Lange, Kevin Collins, and others Jarvis Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town T. 021 421 3278 www.veo.co.za
What if the World… 1-20 Jul, Syndrome, a two-man show featuring work by Charles Maggs and Robert Sloon First floor, 208 Albert Road, Woodstock T. 021 448 1438 www.whatiftheworld.com Worldart 27 Jul-22 Aug, The Plot Thickens, paintings by Michael Taylor 54 Church Street Cape Town CBD T. 021 423 3075 www.worldart.co.za
Franschhoek Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of old masters Shop no 3, The Ivy, Kruger Street, Franschhoek T. 021 876 2497 www.galart.co.za
Plettenberg Bay Lipschitz Gallery From 4 Jul, a selection of South African artists, Including Alfred Krenz, Amos Langdown, Dumisani Mbaso, Thomas Kgope, Sam Nhlengethwa, Helen Sebidi and others 42 Cutty Sark, Plettenberg Bay 6600, by appointment T. 044 533 4581 www.southafricanart.co.za
George Strydom Gallery 9 Jun-11 Jul, Southern Cape Art, selected artwork from artists of the Southern Cape Marklaan Centre, 79 Market Street, George T. 044 874 4027. www.artaffair.co.za
Paarl The Hout Street Gallery 30 Jul-20 Sep, the 34th annual Winter Gala, including paintings by 25 South African artists, as well as sculptures, glass work and ceramics 270 Main Street Paarl T. 021 872 5030
Stellenbosch Dorp Straat Gallery 1 Jun-1 Jul, group show of sculptures and paintings by Kobus Lagrange, Louis Nell, Henk Serfontein, Anthony Sherratt. 1-31 Jul, Winter Warmers Exhibition, featuring work by Henk Serfontein, Anthony Sherratt, Anya Adendorff, Maraleen Jonker-Arangies, Kelly John Gough, Louis Nel, Cornelia Stoop, Jenny Parsons, Anthony Johnson Anton Momberg and ceramics by light from Africa, Laura du Toit and John Newdigate 144 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 2256 www.dorpstraatgalery.co.za Red Black and White 2-25 Jul, Beyond Buildings: the soul of an architect, paintings by Hannes Meiring 5a Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch T. 021 886 6281 www.redblackandwhite.co.za SMAC Art Gallery 25 Jun-1 Sep, On Skin, works by Ricky Benett; Abstract South African Art from the Isolation Years, part III; Collection 11 in the library De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 3607 www.smacgallery.com Stellenbosch Art Gallery Permanent exhibition of Conrad Theys, John Kramer, Gregoire Boonzaier, Adriaan Boshoff and other artists 34 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch T. 021-8878343 www.stellenboschartgallery.co.za
Elgin Oudebrug Gallery Showcasing oil paintings, pastels and sculptures in the sculpture garden Grabouw, Elgin T. 021 859 2595 www.ridley.co.za
Hermanus Abalone Gallery 15 Jun-28 Jul, Printed III, graphic works by Nils Burwitz, Hannes Harrs, Dirk Meerkotter, Pippa Skotnes 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T. 028 313 2935 www.abalonegallery.co.za The Old Harbour Gallery For Jul, a selection of contemporary and early 20th Century paintings and sculptures No. 4 Warrington Place, Harbour Road, Hermanus T. 028 313 2751 / 0822595515 www.oldharbourgallery.co.za Philip Harper Galleries Specialising in South African old masters and select contemporary artists Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Road, Hermanus T. 028 312 4836 www.philipharpergalleries.co.za
REVIEWS AND ART TIMES RECOMMENDED UPCOMING SHOWS
Alex Dodd Alex Dodd Art Pig, Johannesburg
In retreat from the bright red injunction to ‘Kill and Go’ that is currently hanging in the window of the Goodman Gallery on Jan Smuts Avenue and freaking the bejesus out of me every time I drive past it, I decided to follow a gentler, more generative impulse, and headed to David Krut Projects for a solo by Alexandra Ross. The series of nude photographs printed on aluminium that Ross produced for In Camera – last year’s two-hander with her brother, David Ross, at Resolution Gallery – were darkly erotic and conceptually concise all at once.
to contemplate, to think differently about things and, in so doing, expand and multiply the possibilities of perception and experience available to us as conscious, sensate beings. So this winter, I was about to hijack my own frazzled consciousness and depart for the hills of Ixopo
Shortly after completing a fourmonth residency at the Nirox Foundation in 2008 and receiving her Masters in Fine Arts from Wits University, Ross was invited to collaborate with the printmakers at David Krut Print Workshop and this current solo is the result of that studio experience. Not only was I drawn to the title of the show, In Search of Lost Time, but also to the attendant quote by contemporary philosopher, Alain de Botton: ‘Journeys are the midwives of thought.’ Last year at this time I was about to embark on a journey to Paris to attend a literary conference at which De Botton was one of the speakers. The author of thoughtful treatises like How Proust Can Change Your Life and Essays in Love, De Botton’s wit and erudition is like saffron in a world of Wimpy. Far from the dark currency of the smash-and-grab, kill-and-go mentality, his writing is an injunction
to spend some time thinking and walking amidst the greenness and clearness that has been cultivated at the Buddhist Retreat Centre there. But before I left town, I managed to slip into gallery for a sneak preview of Ross’s work. Having packed my own suitcase, I was delighted to discover that the show was all about journeys and the mysterious way in which train journeys, in particular, start out in the physical realm, but as we surrender to the reality of movement, soon become metaphysical. ‘While the journey as metaphor evokes collective, generic memory, it is also my personal journey,
regaining “lost” time – a journey through photography back to painting and drawing,’ says Ross, who hadn’t put pencil to paper for 15 years before embarking on this tinglingly ephemeral series of editioned prints. In Search of Lost Time features a long line of immaculately and identically framed drawings, paintings, mezzotints and monotypes that run, like a train track, along one wall of the gallery, each image precisely contained within a format that recalls the memento-like quality of a Polaroid photograph. Walking along this ‘track’ from image to image echoes the experience of gazing out of a train window at the changing view. The finely rendered prints track the artist’s recollection of a recent train journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg, but just as the journey becomes more metaphysical, the images start to rise up from the dark bed of memory as much as from the landscape itself. The frames hold mental snapshots of characters walking along station platforms, an abandoned swing in a park, a reservoir, a man pushing a trolley, etiolated winter trees, fleeting aspects of small town and rural life along the trans-Karoo train route, but there is also an image of birds taking flight that stems from a memory of Ross’s time in London and another of figures in a park that turns out to be Emmarentia. I find myself particularly drawn to the subtle tonalities and immaculate twiggy lines of a image of a naked leafless tree, and warm to the discovery that the image is from the memory of a tree at the Buddhist Retreat in Ixopo, where, in 24 hours, I will be. Loops within loops of mysterious sense – these strange circuits of commonality seem to offer up an alternative logic of their own. And this journey hasn’t even begun yet.
lates the persuasive tactics that nation building is reliant upon. Kadia Attia’s Oil and Sugar #2 (2007), a video work, reaches towards an abstract representation of the (forced) unification of two disparate and conflicting substances. As one watches the sugar cubes and oil separate from each other the futility of establishing and trying to maintain a national identity comes sharply into focus. The Austrian artist, Pieter Friedl, highlights the dangers of unquestioning collective thinking with Kill and Go. Friedl’s sign also draws from the advertising idiom but here the message references more devastating actions spurred by nationalistic pride: war.
This exhibition could have so easily been trite. We could have been treated to yet another politicallycorrect investigation into the constructions of Afrikaner nationalism and its long-standing repercussions or have been served up a litany of literal depictions of nation-building tactics in the New South Africa. It is refreshing to view nationalism within a wider context, which artworks hailing from other parts of the world establish. Perhaps our navel-gazing period is drawing to a close? Certainly viewing nationalism from a multitude of perspectives enhances our understanding of the ideologies that have shaped our national identity or desire to settle on an identity that encompasses our diverse society. Unpacking the mechanics of nationalism was a popular theme on the art circuit in the late 1980s and early 1990s in places like Britain, where marginalised communities fought their way into galleries and destabilised notions of Britishness. In this context all it took were photographs of black or Asian British citizens in traditional English settings or English garb to undermine the status quo. Curators Liza Essers and Storm Janse van Rensburg have succeeded in creating a group show that does not challenge notions of nationalism in such obvious ways. Nevertheless it should be acknowledged that this theme does lend itself to an obtuse form of expression. Because nationalism is built on shared experiences or worldviews, it draws upon overstated or generalised commonalities in its
objective to unite diverse groups of people in order to achieve a common end. Easily recognised symbols are, therefore, readily, drawn upon to forge a sense of interconnectedness. Doing it for Daddy (a Cape Townbased collective, which counts Bettina Malcomness, Renée Holleman and Linda Stupart as members) summon the rhetoric of nationalism in their work, Nation State (2009), an installation piece that sees rows of chairs situated in front of a screen on which the 2009 election slogans from political parties’ campaigns are displayed. Elections are thought to be empowering for citizens, as it is during these occasions that they are permitted to actively engage in the political process but this artwork implies that the public are passive receivers. The installation conjures an educational setting in which ideas and opinions are instilled in vacant minds. In this context the people appear to have no power, they are receivers of empty rhetorical phrases such as “ready to deliver” and “together we can make a difference.” The latter statement has particular relevance to nationalism where it is commonly implied that transformation can only be enacted when one acquiesces to the collective will. Slick phrases are the powerful triggers that activate such forms of acquiescence. Drawing on a vocabulary particular to advertising Stuart Bird’s RSA (2009) work, a tube lighting sign that reads “For Sale” best articu-
Not Another Art Market
Nationalism seen through new eyes Take in a group exhibition that approaches the concept of nationalism in a variety of interesting ways, writes Mary Corrigall
JULY 09 | BUSINESS ART
A collection of collages by Sam Nhlengethwa document life under apartheid. Ranging from landmark events such as the Sharpeville massacre to more quiet moments of suffering such as Candlelit Studying (2003), Nhlengethwa literally pieces together the past with torn images retrieved from a multitude of sources. The result is an artificial form of documentation that while referencing a reality is fabricated by the artist. In so doing he is able to articulate the suffering of the individual without locating it within the realm of an actual individual. It is this communal experience of suffering that acts as a binding agent for a new nation. Taysir Batniji’s Mirador (2006), a triptych of grainy photographs of a guard’s tower from multiple viewpoints, conjures the artificial physical boundaries that divide states from each other. A role reversal is afoot here: the guards are being watched and studied. Such a close investigation infers a planned insurgency that will threaten the borders and the ideologies that keep them intact. It is a collection of photographs by Mikhael Subotsky that deliver the most incisive view into the varied states of our nation. Photographs of luggage outside a refugee camp and a street party in an affluent Johannesburg suburb, which shows a group of whites caught up in the frivolity while a black security guard sits alone in a chair slightly removed from the party, speaks of the kinds of inclusions and exclusions that are made based on ethnic and economic criteria. The photo highlights the deep divides that continue to keep South Africans divided and yet despite this lack of homogeneity among South Africans outsiders – refugees – are rejected – published in The Sunday Independent, June 14, 2009
Peter Machen Art Cowboy, Durban
I’m sure Durban’s not the only place where it never rains but it pours. But it’s certainly the case in this not so sleepy, not so little town next to a seaside that hardly anyone visits except on New Year’s Day, that things will seem slightly depressed for a period and then suddenly there’s cultural fireworks. This month there’s much to light up the sky. Roger Ballen’s ‘Boarding House’ is on show at the DAG. Ledelle Moe’s haunting ‘Erosion’ is currently occupying the Bank Gallery. There’s a Heath family retrospective at the Tatham in Pietermaritzburg and Penny Siopis’ survey show ‘Red’ opens at the KZNSA before it moves to the Goodman in Johannesburg. But the most significant exhibition – in a month of significant exhibitions – comes from a photographer who isn’t well known as an art photographer in South Africa, but whose subject matter has become one of the most controversial issues to flood the city’s cultural conversation in recent years. Two years ago, Dennis Gilbert, a Durban-born London-based architectural photographer, returned to his home town to document the wonders of the Warwick Avenue area for a book called Working in Warwick by Richard Dobson and Caroline Skinner. As a former city planner, Dobson was instrumental in helping to create the current reality of Warwick in which existing urban structures – including one of apartheid’s many freeways to nowhere – were used in innovative, organic and often distinctly African ways to accommodate the 400 000 or so commuters that pass through the area each day, and make the
lives that they already lived better and more functional. I remember being highly suspicious when the traditional herbalist traders were removed from the edge of the city’s freeways – and replaced with aloes – but being relieved and gratified when the herbalists reappeared on the disused freeway, which was now connected to the morning market below it by a simple metal bridge with shade from a roof of wattle branches. It was a perfect example of positive intervention that acknowledged the reality of people’s lives and the fact that poverty was not about to vanish, and did so within an aesthetic framework that resonated with its surroundings. But those changes – fundamental both in attitude and in the way in which they restitched a physically fragmented city together – needed to go further. Warwick might be thriving, but it’s also under-supplied in terms of municipal resources such as toilets and waste removal. And the conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians has never been properly resolved. But the British-style trainstation-attached-to-a-mini-mall which is proposed and which will involve the demolition of the Morning Market – and has city manager Michael Sutcliffe as pretty much its only defender – doesn’t seem to be anything close to an elegant solution. But then neither does bringing in the rubber-bullet armed forces to quell protests or attempting to send in a demolition team when the heritage body Amafa has denied a permit for the demolition of the Morning Market. (The traders – not Amafa – stopped that one).
It’s entirely a coincidence that the book and exhibition of Working in Warwick are being launched at the Durban Art Gallery at the same time as the eThekwini Municipality is attempting to pull out this beating heart of the west-end of the city and replace it with a mall. The coincidence is a happy one in that Working in Warwick will help the Morning Market to garner even more support than it already has (I haven’t come across a single person who isn’t in support of retaining the market). But it is also an unhappy coincidence for the project’s progenitors in some ways, since the full richness of the work and of the place that the work documents might get subsumed by the controversy. But probably not. What is more likely is that those who see Gilbert’s pictures will be convinced by all that richness and texture and humanity. And it’s important to point out that this love for Warwick is not about the romanticisation of the poor or of marginal street life. It might however be about a love for the real and the organic and the sense of freedom that you get on most streets, whether it’s Bond Street in London, or Bond Street in the Indian Quarter, just a few minutes walk from the Morning Market. A freedom that is entirely missing from malls. Which is probably why very few contemporary artists hang out at shopping centres in Durban – in Jo’burg, it’s different and the malls are also often different, since they are an extension of the culture rather than an escape from it. And it’s probably also why you seldom see art interventions in malls - except it’s not why. The real reason is that you’re not allowed to do anything other than shop and eat in a mall without permission. Try taking pictures with an SLR camera in a shopping centre and see how long it is before the security guard arrives.
Warwick, on the other hand, is one of the city’s most photographed areas and is a frequent site for artistic interventions. Those tourists who manage to move outside the commercial corridors of uShaka, Suncoast and Umhlanga love it, and it is often the place that makes them love Durban. Although the city has insisted that the demolition of the Morning Market is going to take place, the battle is far from over. Every day this week, as I write this, there is an event somewhere in Durban, taking up the plight of the market, its
traders and its commuters who are able to buy fresh produce at less than half the price of any mall or supermarket in the city. Not the least of these events will be the launch of Dobson and Skinner’s book and Gilbert’s accompanying exhibition. And I can’t help but once more praise the Durban Art Gallery for continuing to allow space for a conversation that isn’t necessarily in keeping with official policies. Such space for dissonance – even if it is unplanned – in our national cultural institutions continues to remain a vital element of our freedom.
Siener van Rensburg’s shinning jewel: Pandora after this Burlesque show. Many people think that “burlesque” means female strippers walking a runway to a bump and grind beat. But that only fits this form in its later years. At its best, burlesque was a rich source of music and comedy that kept audiences laughing.
A lot of people know a little about Siener van Rensburg and his visions, many take them with a large pinch of salt & others add a little Tequila. There may be a coherent story hidden in these visions as some facts balance perfectly mod ern occurrences. His stories consist of four main parts. One of them contains extensive reference to the “fall of the European Government”, while another one deals entirely with the modern day struggle between the USA and the extremist revolutionaries that follow Islam. He noted that the vierkleur would be flying above the Union Buildings when the ice began to melt, that around this time Koeberg power station would blow up, that the world economy would collapse, the Kruger millions would be found, etc. These visions were all recorded by his daughter some time before his death in 1926. What many people do not know is that his granddaughter, Pandora van
Rensburg, was the first Burlesque performer in Africa. The Boer commandos had a hard time fighting the British forces and there was little or no entertainment for them. Pandora set up a little dance troupe and traveled the various frontlines with her ostrich feathers. Weather this was motivated by patriotism or greed we will never know. What we do know is that she was so successful that she eventually toured the country in a pink sedan, and there are rumors that she may have performed in St Helena, Bermuda and Ceylon for the imprisoned Boer troupes at no cost to these bitter patriots. Pandora carried her ostrich feathers in an old guitar case and this eventually became known as “Pandora’s Box” in Afrikaans known as “Pandora se doos”. Pandora’s live shows for “Springbok Cigarettes” predated most live advertising in the country and many of her pioneering ideas were later used on the radio station named
Underdressed women performed as sexual aggressors, combining good looks with impertinent comedy, and all this was in a production written and managed by a woman. Unthinkable in those times. No wonder the commandos turned out in droves, making Pandora and her “Boer Burlesque” the hottest thing from Pretoria to Potchefstroom. Demand for tickets was such that she held a special command performance for President Kruger and his generals in his stables behind his house in Pretoria. Pandora’s principal legacy was her shifting of patterns of gender representation that forever changed the role of the woman on the South African stage. The sight of a female body, not covered by the accepted norms of respectability, forcefully if playfully, called attention to the entire question of the “place” of woman in society. See more at www.davidbrownfineart.co.za
Barend de Wet and Christian Nerf AVA Gallery | Cape Town | 6 – 24 July 2009 Abrie Fourie’s Outlet gallery, has been crammed full of stuff by artists de Wet and Nerf. This month they present sculptures with prints, film and text done by one another as well as a little something something by guest artist Francis Burger in the AVA’s New Media room. deleted scene from But Not produced by Ronan X
Thieves, poets and others adopted working under pseudonyms since time immemorial. Now it’s commonly used online; one simply adopts an AKA and voilà one has a clean slate. Now everyone can live a secret life. In this case the artists have voluntarily given up their names to one another, both Barend de Wet and Christian Nerf have been experimenting with each other’s signatures since 2003, to what extent may never be known. “… in the autographed picture cards you take each other’s place. But this is not the first time either of you has acted” (laughter) Sebastian Charilaou. The smallest exhibition space in South Africa, even smaller than
“While filming the closeness surpassed anything I could have imagined and we couldn’t help laughing like nervous virgins. And wearing Barend’s spectacles made it all the scarier, like an out of focus B-Grade skin flick” Nerf. Displayed alongside one of the original contracts, witnessed in 2003 by Ronan X at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, will be a replacement version for the other, witnessed in 2009 by Burger at the National Gallery. “Christian does whatever the fuck he wants with my name*” de Wet. * I, Barend de Wet, agree to allow the artist currently known as Christian Nerf to use my name … 33 times within the next 10 years. 28 July 2003
Around South Africa in July Cape Winter Views – To venture out for.. Melvyn Minnaar
Mid-year’s deep winter along these shores and surroundings has a curious effect on the local cultural industry. Capetonians like to stay home when it is cold and dark, so visits to galleries and theatres drop. Of course, those with more Spartan proclivities take the high road to places like the Grahamstown art festival for their cultural fix. Artists, cocooned, usually produce good stuff for public showing when the sun brightens up life and movement in the public art institutions. The city’s galleries, thankfully, persevere to offer sustenance for those of us who need to see
a good painting or video or two from time to time. Baylon Sandri’s SMAC in Stellenbosch, well placed for a hearty lunch as well, is one of the winter’s better art hotspots with the third show in what they somewhat oddly call Abstract South African Art from the Isolation Years. Equally interesting there will be Ricky Burnett’s second solo exhibition since returning last year, called On Skin. The more adventurous will flock to Whatiftheworld to see what the talented Charles Maggs and clever-shady Robert Sloon had invented in that friendly space. In August the camp adventures of Athi-Patra Ruga should be equally attractive. Meanwhile at Michael Stevenson, Deborah Poyton’s mammoth,
slap-you-in-the-face paintings will hold forth until Wim Botha and Simon Gush arrived early August. The Goodman Cape has Kudzanai Chiurai lined-up. This young Zimbabwean-born is making waves with a powerful visual punch. It could be a star gallery event. Joao Ferreira is hosting another top African artist’s work in August. Joël Mpah Dooh comes from Douala in the Cameroon and has an international reputation. More local is the very shiny talent of Michael Taylor, recently named Art SA’s ‘sixth Bright Young Thing for 2009’. His funky paintings go on show at Charl Bezuidenhout’s WorldArt late July. Opposite, at the AVA gallery, stalwart Lionel Davies is promising some real surprises.
On Show in Durban in July Heath Family Retrospective at the Tatham Art Gallery: Although their work has not been fully acknowledged, The Heaths are one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most influential artistic families. Between them, they taught in the Fine Art Department at the University of Natal (now University of KZN) for more than 70 years. Jack Heath was the head of department for many years, while his wife Jane, taught there until her retirement, as did their daughter Bronwen, who has restored much of her late parent’s work for this exhibition. Regarded as artists’ artists, the Heaths’ talents have thus far been recognized only by colleagues, their students, the South African art museums and a handful of private art collectors. This Family Retrospective is an excellent place to start for everyone else. Closes 13 September. Penny Siopis at the KZNSA: Siopis, who taught at DUT (then the Natal Technikon) for several years in the 80s, returns to Durban for her first show here in many years. ‘Red’,
subtitled ‘the Iconography of Colour in the Work of Penny Siopis’ is curated by KZNSA director Brenton Maart. The exhibiton includes many of Siopis’ most seminal works from her Cake painting to ‘Melancholia’ to the Pinky Pinky and Shame series, and even includes a reconstruction of her 1997 video installation, My Lovely Day, complete with the original mini-cinema and plush red seats. Closes 19 July. Roger Ballen at the Durban Art Gallery: In ‘Boarding House’, Ballen continues to zoom in on the physical and psychological details of his artistic landscape. Although it is clear to anyone who has been following the arc of Ballen’s career that ‘Boarding House’ evolves directly from his earlier work, at the same time the work recalls the dadaism, primitivism and surrealism that fueled the western art world in the late 20s and early 30s. When looking at Ballen’s images it easy to forget that photography is considered by many to be a figurative art form. Closes 19 July.
BUSINESS ART | JULY 09
‘Sky’s the Limit’ by Di Erasmus at the Crouse Art Gallery Pictured here are author of SPUD, John Van Der Ruit with Julia and Sue Clarence
“Artist’s Choice” Exhibition in Bay Gallery, Marra Square, Bree St, Langebaan, Western Cape
The opening of the exhibition ‘Industry Sets Criteria: Interior Design Students’ of the Durban University of Technology
Artist Jannie Jordaan with his wife, in front of his painting “Mood Swing”
Opening address Prof Andrew, DVC academic DUT, Prof G Stewarts, FAD Deputy Dean, Professor Donal Fitzpatrick (Curtin, Australia) Lecturers of the Interior Design Departments
Amy Maxwell at the Crouse Art Gallery.
Exhibition of Jane Digby and Hermine Spies Coleman Lindsay Gallery in Durban North www.jjdigby.com
As seen at the opening of l’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein Lessing and Leopold Spiegel Museum Africa, Newtown Steven Sack congratulates Natalie Knight and Nessa Leibhammer, the curators of the l’Afrique exhbition at Museum Africa
The Second shows Twiz Tweedie, Sue Boulle and Denise Arro
Herbert Prins, Dr. Paula Girshick and Prof Andrew Spiegel Top left: Zamie LIKNAITZKY, Ali Hlongwane and Carolina Geldenhys at the opening of l’Afrique at Museum Africa Left: Karel Nel and Esme Berman Photo credits: Debbie Yazbek
The World Of Pamela Prendini – The Art Space Gallery, Johannesburg
Focus Gallery, Cape Town winter show entitled: all together now – until 15 August 2009
Andre Stead launched his female ﬁgurative sculpture series at the 2009 Winter Good Food & Wine Show Maureen Quin, well-known bronze sculptor, opening the exhibition
Opening of Obie Oberholzer’s show entitled: “Diesel and Dust” The Photographers Gallery za & ERDMANN Contemporary Obie and David Kramer Photo: Odendaal Esterhuizen Andre and well-known painter friend, Lionel Smith
Opening of at the Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg
SOUTH AFRICAN ART AUCTIONS
JULY 09 | BUSINESS ART
Strauss & Co
Upcoming South African art auctions
South Africa’s new dynamic Art Auction House opens its doors at the prestigious The Oval, in Newlands, Cape Town
On SWELCO Auction: Cecil Edwin Frans Skotnes, (South African 1926-2009) a carved, incised and painted wood panel of 122 by 120 cm (estimate R300 000 - 500 000)
16 July 2009 – Cape Town, 10 am Ashbey’s Galleries cc Decorative & Fine Art Auction 43 Church Street Cape Town
Cape Town office
Strauss & Co’s Cape Town operations were launched in February of this year in the Dolphin Room of the Cape Castle, attended by the crème of the social scene who previewed works from the inaugural Johannesburg auction before spilling over into the courtyard around the fountain for summer evening cocktails. Strauss are now pleased to introduce their elegant new premises at the Oval in Newlands, the counterpart to their Houghton office in Johannesburg.
Inspired by the marked move of International auction houses away from panelled and plush Victorian design as a synonym for luxury, Strauss’ Mary Jane Darroll has achieved a gallery-style mini-
malism that places the artwork centre stage with optimal hanging and lighting consideration.
Furniture, Silver and Ceramics which takes place on October 8th this year at the Vineyard Hotel.
Prime locations and a sophisticated contemporary ambience are one expression of Strauss & Co’s dedication to state-of-theart presentation, yet beyond the double-glazed doors celebrating South Africa’s greatest artists, design becomes secondary to the company’s guiding principles of world class expertise, efficiency and professionalism.
The sale features highlights by leading South African artists including Irma Stern, Jean Welz, Maud Sumner, Gregoire Boonzaier, Frans Oerder and Maggie Laubser, Important Cape Furniture Silver and Ceramics and The Collection of the Late Leslie Milner.
Following the success of the inaugural Johannesburg auction in March, Strauss are currently preparing their first Cape Town auction of Important Paintings,
Johannesburg 89 Central Street, Houghton Tel: 011 728 8246 Cape Town Colinton House, First Floor, The Oval, 1 Oakdale Road, Newlands Tel: 087 806 8780
By Annemi Conradie (art historian & writer) and SMAC Art Gallery
Gay Youngleson and Giulio Bertran
Baylon Sandri, Cristo Wiese, Caro Wiese, Stephan Welz, Ivan Fallon
Angela Zehnder, Joseph Wolpe, Bernard Milner, Dorothy Milner
Caro Wiese, Mariane Louw, Liz Fallon
Important Cape Art Collection to be auctioned
Strauss & Co Inaugural Auction in Cape Town Thursday 8 October 2009
Schimmel’s art consists of wide and varied bodies of work, which have rather organically branched over categories of medium and style over the decades. Like the jazz music, beat poetry and science fiction he so enjoyed, his creative output has shunned conventions and boundaries. Loathe to repetition and adamant about the importance of continuous experimentation, he has refused to be bound by the limits and pressures of individual or ‘signature’ style, freely jumping between different media and ‘styles’. He had no formal art training, and perhaps this has facilitated his liberal and playful creative investigations. His output thus includes seemingly disparate motifs and media: playful and satirical ‘cartoons’; large canvasses soaked and stained with monochromatic pigments; tightly controlled hardedge works with carefully polished surfaces; poignant figurative studies that have been scratched and hacked into board; energetic arabesques in ink and paint; experimental prints on homemade paper.
Auction of the late Leslie Milner Art Collection
Strauss & Co is proud to announce the sale of Fine South African Paintings and Watercolours from the Collection of the Late Leslie Milner to be sold in Cape Town on 8 October 2009 as part o f their inaugural auction. Fresh to market, the forty-two works assembled predominantly in the 50s and 60s are emblematic of the Cape Art scene of the time. Described by Managing Director Stephan Welz as a “collection formed with great passion”, the array of exceptional works features such gems as Irma Stern’s Still life with Tiger Lilies and Melon, 1944 (estimate R1 200 000 - 1 600 000), Maggie Laubser’s Seascape with boats, house, and seated woman holding a baby, dated 1926 (estimate R400 000-600 000), Maud Sumner’s Still life with Flowers and Candle, (R180 000 -200 000) and May Hillhouse’s Still Life with Teapot and Flowers 1954 (R60 000 - 90 000). Other artists include among others Maurice van Essche, Gerard Sekoto and Paul du Toit.
Leslie Milner, known as ‘Les’, 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 ‘Milly’s, the family business and
began a career defined by industry and innovation. Over the course of the next decades, he travelled extensively, pioneering many areas of South African foods, including frozen pastries, a frozen food plant, a pickled cucumber factory, as well as 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 and grew it into 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 awakened back 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 Solly, 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 Melon, 1944. His wife Dot recalls that she was furious when he brought the painting home, because they still had no curtains or chairs. He formed enduring ties in the art world, including with Gerard Sekoto whom he often visited with Dot even after he moved to Paris. Les never speculated in art. He had good instincts and made choices motivated not by investment, but the pure enjoyment his collection brought him and his family over the years. Consequently many of these paintings have never been seen outside of the circle of Milner’s family and friends. Les was well-known for his pioneering work in the food industry, but many people have yet to discover his passion for art. Les passed away in March 2009 after a short illness at the age of 81.
Irma Stern, South African 1894-1966, Still life with Tiger Lilies and Melon Signed and dated 1944, Oil on canvas, R1 200 000 -1 600 000
Enquiries Cape Town Office: Telephone: 087 806 8780
Ashbey’s Galleries cc Antique & Fine Art Auctioneers Valuers & Appraisers
Veteran printmaker and painter, Fred Schimmel died on the 23rd of June in Melville, Johannesburg at the age of eighty. Born in Holland in 1928, Fred Schimmel arrived in South Africa with his parents in 1948, who had come to look for a better life with their children after witnessing the destruction of the Second World War. Over the next six decades, this modest and prolific artist would make rich and lasting contributions to South African abstract art and printmaking. It is however not only the innovative and powerful work of Schimmel that will be remembered by those who knew him, but perhaps more so his wholehearted embrace of play, life and liberty, as well as his generosity of spirit.
Yet the impression that the South African landscape made on the artist is one theme that does run through most of the work he created over the decades. Though seldom featuring literally, the landscape is suggested in most works by a single horizon line dividing the canvas or board, separating earth and sky, warm and cold or dark and light. In many of his hard-edge paintings, serigraphs and calligraphic works, his immigrant’s
Decorative & Fine Art Auction 16 July 2009 at 10:00
All opinions and valuations are confidential For an appointment please contact: Inge Beck
(on auction 16 July 2009)
Schimmel will be remembered by many artists for the generous sharing of his knowledge, time and artistic expertise. From 1949 he worked as voluntary instructor and assistant at the Polly Street Art Centre, where for nine years he worked with young artists such as Sidney Khumalo, Louis Maqhubela, Ben Arnold and others. In 1970 he founded the Graphics Club of South Africa, which served to make high-quality art available to buyers who could not afford the original works of well-known South African artists. In order to produce an annual catalogue, he asked artists such as Walter Battiss, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Cecil Skotness, Winston Saoli and Dirk Meerkotter to each contribute an edition of signed serigraphs, all printed in Schimmel’s home studio. This period is described with fondness by Judith Mason in the catalogue to Schimmel’s eightieth retrospective at SMAC gallery in 2008: “The jam-session in the garage, the silkscreen on the kitchen table, individuals wrestling with their dreams and then finding an avenue where they can show what they have created. The ‘fun’ of making, the fun of finding an artwork for purchase, the fun of vicariously sharing the creative life. Fred has given us all this for many years...” Fred Schimmel was an artist with an unusually prolific career, exhibiting locally and internationally, one with a world of experience and an intimate knowledge of his craft. He was an artist who refused to be quoted, as he firmly believed that “nothing I have to say is important enough to be recorded for posterity.” An artist who lived according to the gospel of his friend Walter Battiss: “Have fun! Have fun! The whole thing with art is... do whatever you want to do, but don’t take yourself too seriously!” This artist will be sorely missed, but his work and life will be celebrated and remembered by friends, family, artists and art lovers. He is survived by his daughter, author Gail Schimmel, and his son-in-law and grandson, Paul and Thomas van Onselen. To see more work go to www.smacgallery.co.za
7 September 2009 – Johannesburg Strauss & Co Important South African Paintings, Watercolours and Sculpture (Entries open till 3 July 2009) Venue: Country Club, Johannesburg, Woodmead at 8 pm 8 October 2009 – Cape Town, 8pm Strauss & Co (Entries open till 15 July 2009) Venue: The Vineyard Hotel, Newlands 13 & 14 October 2009 – London Bonhams The South African Sale 20 & 21 October 2009 – Cape Town Stephan Welz & Co. In Association with Sotheby’s Fine & Decorative Arts, Furniture, Silver, Ceramics & Jewellery Venue: Kirstenbosch 1 February 2010 – Cape Town, 8pm Strauss & Co Important Paintings, Furniture, Silver and Ceramics (Entries open till 10 December 2009) Venue: The Vineyard Hotel, Newlands Auction Houses Contact details Ashbey’s Galleries cc Antique & Fine Art AuctioneersValuers & Appraisers For an appointment please contact: Inge Beck 43 Church Street Cape Town Tel: 021 423-8060 Fax: 021 423-3047 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ashbeysgalleries.co.za Bonhams Contact for SA Artwork: Hannah O’ Leary email@example.com www.bonhams.com/southafrica +44 (0) 20 7468 8213 Stephan Welz & Co. In Association with Sotheby’s Johannesburg 13 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg Telephone: +27 (11) 880-3125 Fax: +27 (11) 880-2656 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.swelco.co.za Cape Town The Great Cellar, The Alphen Hotel, Alphen Farm Estate, Alphen Drive, Constantia 7808 Tel: +27 (21) 794-6461 Fax: +27 (21) 794-6621 Email: email@example.com www.swelco.co.za Strauss & Co Johannesburg 89 Central Street, Houghton, Gauteng, 2198 Tel: +27 11 728 8246 Fax: +27 11 728 8247 General Information firstname.lastname@example.org Cape Town The Oval, 1st Floor Colinton House, 1 Oakdale Road, Newlands, 7700 General Information email@example.com Tel: +27 87 806 8780 Fax: +27 86 654 6100
Ashbey’s Galleries Established 1891
Ashbey’s Galleries has been involved in the World of Art and Antiques for over 100 years. The company’s expertise and experience in the fields of South African art, as well as the general antique market is part of our proud history.
Anton van Wouw (1862-1945), “The Dagga Smoker” 1907, 17.5cm
relationship and engagement with the landscape of his country of residence manifests itself. “I’m a Dutchman”, he said, “but I’m a South African artist.”
4 & 5 August 2009 – Johannesburg Stephan Welz & Co. In Association with Sotheby’s Fine & Decorative Arts, Furniture, Silver, Ceramics & Jewellery Venue: 13 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank
Tel: 021 423-8060 Fax: 021 423-3047 43 Church Street CAPE TOWN
email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ashbeysgalleries.co.za
The name Ashbey’s Galleries have become a household name in Cape Town’s Art and Antiques circles since its establishment in 1891. Operating from their offices and auction rooms at 43-51 Church Street, a Georgian Double Storey Building dating from the mid 1700’s. Ashbey’s Galleries conduct weekly General Auctions as well as Antiques and works of Art auctions every 7 to 8 weeks. Having been involved in the World of Art and Antiques for over 100 years, Ashbey’s continues to offer specialised knowledge, friendly and prompt service, a reputation for fair dealing and authorative catalogues. Ashbey’s Galleries has had many highlights over the years, having held the first exhibitions of some of South Africa’s most respected artists such as Irma Stern (Feb 1922, Feb 1925 & Nov 1932), J.H. Pierneef (Oct 1921), Hugo Naude (Nov 1921), H.W. Trollip and Douglas Tennant (Dec 1921), J.H. Amschewitz ( Jan 1922), Ruth Prowse, Nita Spilhaus & Florence Zerffi (Feb 1923), Gregoire Boonzaier (Aug 1925 & June 1934). The visitors’ books proudly display the exhibitions of many other well known South African Artists, Royalty, Members of Parliament as well as many prominent South Africans. The next Fine Art and Antiques Auction will be conducted on the 16th July 2009 at 10:00; one of the highlights of the sale is a Bronze by Anton van Wouw (1862-1945), “The Dagga Smoker”, 1907, estimate R250 000-350 000. For an appointment please contact: Paul Myson or Inge Beck on 021 4238060 or email email@example.com. All opinions and valuations are confidential.
Published on Sep 13, 2009
Turning away artists he’d scheduled for shows and laying off staff was painful, but turned out to be vital. their ranks in 1997, having inve...