BUSINESS ART APRIL 2010 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Member of the Global Art Information Group
Joburg Art Fair ‘10 - Artlogic’s slickly produced annual jamboree has come to play a productively eclectic role in the cultural life of the city. - The highpoint of this year’s Fair were the Alfa Romeo talks series.
Joburg Art Fair visitors Agnus Taylor’s sculpture at The Everard Read Gallery Stand. Alex Dodd Johannesburg hasn’t hosted a biennale since late last century and in the meantime, in a spirit of calculated contingency, Artlogic’s slickly produced annual jamboree has come to play a productively eclectic role in the cultural life of the city. In his keynote address on Saturday afternoon, Klaus Biesenbach (Director of PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Chief Curator at Large at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Founding Director of Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin) shot down the art fair as a trashy aesthetic supermarket, while celebrating the biennale as the holy ground of zeitgeist curatorial intervention. But in the makeshift context of this postcolonial city, the Joburg Art Fair complicates this tidy binary, servicing a whole range of different sub-cultural desires beyond the primary level of transactionality. For those who don’t usually frequent the city’s galleries,
there’s no doubting that this year’s Fair was an explosion of visual newness. An American art circuit regular was overheard enthusiastically exclaiming that the quality of work on show at this year’s Fair, way exceeded what she’d seen at the recent Armory Show in New York. But for collectors, arts writers and others immersed in the local art world, this year’s Fair wasn’t the spot to track fresh trajectories in artists’ oeuvres. A lot of the work on show had been seen before and, apart from a few exceptions, there wasn’t much evidence of gallerists using the Fair as a platform to showcase new directions or forward leaps in the careers of their artists. This is understandable in the context of an Art Fair, where you don’t get to see a full body of work by any one artist (barring the series of sublimely nostalgic outsize LPs exhibited by Siemon Allen courtesy of the gordonschachatcollection), but rather one or two selected items within a mix of other big name artists. Continued on Page 3
Wayne Barker’s, Super Boring is showing at the SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch. The show is an exhibition of new work which draws on themes, techniques and strategies that Wayne Barker has been utilizing and developing over his entire career. The exhibition runs until 23 May 2010.
Among the plusses Art isn’t one Melvyn Minnaar reviews The Spier Contemporary 2010 But, for all the effort - not to mention all the glorious, yummy money spent and promised - they have, alas, not delivered. There are plusses to this ultraenterprising effort. Art that twists the knife in your gut, or frazzles your mind, is not one. If ‘contemporary’ is as loaded as it is offered in this ambitious showcase’s title, South African art is pretty much in limbo these days. Maybe that’s to be expected in the run-down space of cultural mediocrity our country has become - one where even the arts minister is, well, not very well informed. (Thankfully
nonesuch officials of our banana-republic-in-making were at the great opening party.) But even in this dilapidated state of the nation an optimist can hope that circumstances would elicit a few good, clever cultural kicks in the groin. Artists are supposed to do this. In this instance, they were sourced, it is claimed, from all corners of our beloved country. But, for all the effort - not to mention all the glorious, yummy money spent and
promised - they have, alas, not delivered. Either the Spier Contemporary 2010 signals that our pool of talent is so-so, or there was something wrong with the sourcing strategy. Or the team of selectors, who went through, it is said, more than 2 700 pieces of art submitted, has chucked the baby out with the bathwater. Continued on Page 2
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BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Photo: Cecile Mella
Among the plusses Art isn’t one - Melvyn Minnaar reviews The Spier Contemporary 2010
From Page 1 There are plusses to this ultra-enterprising effort. Art that twists the knife in your gut, or frazzles your mind, is not one. If ‘contemporary’ is as loaded as it is offered in this ambitious showcase’s title, South African art is pretty much in limbo these days. Maybe that’s to be expected in the run-down space of cultural mediocrity our country has become - one where even the arts minister is, well, not very well informed. (Thankfully nonesuch officials of our banana-republic-in-making were at the great opening party.) But even in this dilapidated state of the nation an optimist can hope that circumstances would elicit a few good, clever cultural kicks in the groin. Artists are supposed to do this. In this instance, they were sourced, it is claimed, from all corners of our beloved country. But, for all the effort - not to mention all the glorious, yummy money spent and promised - they have, alas, not delivered. Either the Spier Contemporary 2010 signals that our pool of talent is so-so, or there was something wrong with the sourcing strategy. Or the team of selectors, who went through, it is said, more than 2 700 pieces of art submitted, has chucked the baby out with the bathwater. They finally selected 132 art works from 101 artists, according to the media bumf. Was this over-filtering? Or have the organisers not cracked a vigorous enough response, despite the allure of riches and prizes? Some serious rethinking is needed. Given that the majority of selected artists are just over thirty years of age - in other words, teenagers at the time of our liberation and that optimistic era of a cultural dawn - it seems that challenging confidence, not to mention creativity, has taken a serious knock in the ensuing years. Where have they been? (And where are those, oh so, ‘established’?) For all its aspirations, the project falls short on the very essentials that should propel it: verve and seduction, and, yes, excitement. Missing is the crucial electricity of wow! Deflated, both cerebrally and otherwise, by the average and deficiency of invention, a visitor might feel done in. Even the most generous of post- or alter-modernists, with Danto in their hearts (prompted by limped, excusing catalogue texts), may stifle a yawn at the dullness, the simply
superficial and derivative. There are one-liners that don’t go beyond the door. The old studio sin of indulgence abounds. (For goodness sake, how original is the idea of cyberspace as space? How many carved footballers and caricatures of politicians do we need? What wit is there in pictures of presidents with ribbons? Is a ‘Vlakplaas memorial’ not a horrible mis-conceptualisation?) Not a thing comes across as dangerous here. Few pieces have even a whiff of insolence. (The performative works, uncomfortable as they sit within the context and concept, may be the more daring and adventurous. Not that the video documentaries of those pieces are particularly interesting. Real performances require real audience time and commitment.) Could it be that the art fair syndrome - art for money; not much thought; commodity for neat, yuppie spaces - has infected the idea of a cutting-edge art expo? No dare, just something you can acquire? So what are the plusses of the Spier Contemporary 2010? Top of the list is the wonderful invasion of the glorious, old Cape Town city hall for this, a first time ever, exhibition of contemporary art in the centre of the city. You can walk right in, for gratis, off the street. Having convinced the city authorities, in a remarkable, deft move, to allow the neglected, shabby spaces of the old library in the magnificent building to be utilised, the Africa Centre, organisers of the event, spent a fortune on fixing up the interiors. It is money well spent. Not only is the installation world class, with wonderfully large rooms, airy passages and high-ceilinged spaces most professionally refitted for big art, it proves an important point about re-utilising this great facility as cultural space. (It had stood empty of years, after the library moved, with no-one having an idea what to do with it.) Cape Town, as many have said, can do with a permanent space for contemporary art - and this project shows how it can be done. (Most of the fixing-up work has now been done.) In some cases, like fine stage-management, the installation even raises fairly mediocre stuff up a notch. (The central video room - a
big dark dramatic space with bright oranje monitors - is, in itself, a treat. And Swift’s Aspire outside an exciting, towering presence.) Other plusses are the lovely little coffee café and art goodies shop in the corner. This is just what a show like this needs: a place for visitors to sit and talk. The clear, simple catalogue is another plus, although the printed images are somewhat insipid, the texts a little warbled, and it could do with more information. As to the art. It will be unfair to write off all as average. It will be equally wrong to discourage Capetonians and visitors not to take the opportunity to visit this major effort. There is a little ‘empowerment tool’ built into the project: a people’s choice vote for ‘best’ artwork that you can drop into the glass box as you leave. It’s worth the effort. It’s also worth to give a couple of pieces more than a second look. These may include art by the likes of David Bloomer, Melanie Cleary, Araminta de Clermont and Dave Robertson (great photo studies); Jessica Gregory and Dan Halter (simple video clout); Kurt Pio (splendid historical space conceptualisation); Zakhele Moses Hlatshwayo, Arie Kuijers, Wilhelm Saayman, Xolile Mazibuko, Colin Payne (grimly witty and goofy stuff); Christopher Swift, Jacky Lloyd, Sicelo Ziqubu (clever sculptural explorations); Richard Bollers, Elizabeth Buys, Rudolph Tshie, Sentso Lele, Motseokae Klass Thibeletsa (real painting power); and, for old-fashioned purity of visual impact, David Koloane and Helen Sebidi. If this seems somewhat of a hop-scotch list, it’s exactly what it is. The selectors and judges clearly had their turn (and stand to be judged as well), why not every Capetonian? Of course, the biggest plus of the Spier Contemporary is that it is taking place at all - and that there are sponsors funding the costly project. With the country, province and city’s culture bureaucrats ignorant, or at a lost as to the promotion of the visual arts, this is indeed a brave undertaking. Wide appreciation and applause are required. But there also needs to be a rethinking on the African Centre’s strategy if it is to showcase truly smart contemporary South African art in future. This review first appeared in The Cape Times.
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
(Above) Zwelethu Mthethwa and Samson Mzungu (Below) The opening on Thursday night.
Joburg Art Fair 10 Continued from Page 1 But some moments of freshness or exertion did stand out. At Art on Paper, I felt the jazz in encountering a brand new series of black and white Sam Nhlengethwa prints depicting Miles David and John Coltrane – a return to the essential tune in the work of Nhlengethwa, some of whose recent collages have grown too visually noisy for my eyes. At David Krut’s stand I was struck by a new and poignant delicacy of touch in a series of drypoint etchings by Diane Victor, whose work never seems to flag or wane. And at Afronova, two immaculately detailed fabric works by Billie Zangewa evidenced an artist taking her practice to a more reflective and poetic level. But for me the highpoint of this year’s Fair lay in the richly packed Alfa Romeo talks series. I was lucky enough to catch the presentation by the effortlessly charming Tomaso Galli, who succeeded in transporting the audience to the epicentres of hyperfunded global haute culture and offering fruitful insight into the intercourse between the worlds of art and fashion. Galli who was Director of Corporate Communications for the Gucci Group until 2004, spoke at length about his more recent work with Prada, and of how the Prada Foundation’s support of the contemporary arts has had to remain virtuously exempt of the company’s commercial imperatives in the interests of ultra-cool, ultrasubtle branding. South African companies could learn a thing or two about the power of not slathering their brands all over the arts initiatives they support. Then again, perhaps that kind of ultra-hip understatement is best left to the Venetians and would be lost on the denizens of this brash young metropolis. (So, well done FNB for putting your moolah into popularising contemporary South African art in this enduringly sport-crazed nation.)
Speaking of the metropolis, a small crowd of Sunday morning Art Fair devotees were treated to a refreshingly honest and poetic presentation by the painter Mary Wafer, who draws inspiration from the hectic spatial realities of gritty postindustrial Johannesburg. Wafer spoke of how she immerses herself in a cocoon of music, listening to certain songs again and again on her iPod, in order to create the mood of intensity that fuels her dark and deliciously depopulated, semi-abstract oils. Her almost forensic attention to recreating the mood of particular urban spaces is also influenced by the dark romance of detective novels by writers like Ian Rankin and Henning Mankel. ‘For a long time, I actually wanted to be a detective,’ said Wafer. ‘I even joined the police force, but discovered that I really wasn’t cut out for it.’ This attraction to the film-noir aspects of the detective genre made me think of Kathryn Smith’s collaboration with the crime writer Margie Orford. Her hauntingly evocative crime diorama – in which she explores the ways in which rumours and traces of real/fictional crime fuel her own abundant imagination through the persona of a platinum-blonde broad, called Sophie – was the draw card at this year’s Goodman Gallery stand. The mangled postmodern decadence of contemporary culture was one of the more seductive strands that I enjoyed tracing through the work of Tracey Rose, Liam Lynch, Athi-Patra Ruga and Matthew Hindley. And of course there were other fertile strands of meaning and traces of trends that could be tracked across the work on show at various gallery booths. But for now, after three days of hyper-attentiveness beneath the white lumo lights of the Sandton Convention Centre, it’s time to take a deep breath and let it all settle in the dark sub-strata of my consciousness, where the only truthful work prevails.
Giles Peppiatt By Michael Coulson It’s five years since London auction house Bonhams started to hold sales of SA art. Giles Peppiatt, who runs this arm of the business, concedes that the international market for SA art is still developing, but is adamant that the exercise is worthwhile and believes that the potential is excellent. Though Peppiatt’s original speciality was English watercolours, he’s been interested in SA art for 20 years. “We noticed that some SA art works did well on other sales. In particular, we sold a Sekoto self-portrait for more than £100 000. At that time, the SA market was dominated by Sotheby’s/ Stephan Welz, which we felt was showing some of the signs of, shall I say, complacency that you often find in a nearmonopoly situation. “So we decided it was a market worth getting into. Indeed, we like to think that we’ve largely created the international market in SA art.“ While some recent sales haven’t been unalloyed successes, he refers more than once during our 90-minute talk with obvious pride to the first R100m-plus sale of SA art, 18 months ago. “We got the first really big prices for Irma Stern. We were
lucky. It was just before the Lehman Brothers collapse, with all that did to the art market. But we’re still committed to hold two sales of SA art each year, in the [northern] spring and autumn.” On top of that, Bonhams now also holds sales of art from the African continent. In practice, these will be annual, alternating between London and New York, though this is not a rigid policy. As in the most recent sale, in New York this month, they include SA items, though the focus is elsewhere, notably Nigeria, arguably the only other country south of the Sahara with the population and wealth – and, for that matter, the product -- to sustain an art market. Peppiatt is unbowed by the poor results of the New York sale. “It’s always tough starting out in any new market, and the climate for African art is probably better in London. But we had a good reception in New York, and attracted some new buyers. We also got huge media coverage, especially on the Nelson Mandela graphics, even though they didn’t sell. So we’ll definitely persevere.” Peppiatt sees the international market for SA art as multi-dimensional. “There are foreigners who’ve bought property in SA who want good-qual-
ity local art on their walls. Conversely, there are South Africans who’ve emigrated who want art that reminds them of their homeland. Then there are older expats whose children consider themselves Australian, or Canadian, or whatever, who don’t have their parents’ sentimental feeling for their Stern or Pierneef, and are astounded when they discover how much it can be worth.” Art, he argues, can also be a way for SA organisations to reach out to the SA diaspora. “The night of the sale, Stellenbosch University held a dinner in New York for US-based alumni. Others who’ve linked events to our sales include Old Mutual, Standard Bank and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.” Finally, he believes Bonhams’ auctions have been positive for the art market within SA. “It helps dealers and galleries when they can show that SA art has a value internationally.” Peppiatt gives short shrift to the argument (propounded by, among others, veteran SA auctioneer Stephan Welz) that it’s too expensive for SA residents to sell works of art in London. “That’s taking too parochial a view. Firstly, if you can get a premium price in London, that can more than compensate for the higher cost. Secondly, it assumes that seller, buyer and
art work are all tied to SA. If an SA picture is destined to end up in, say, Portugal, it makes no difference whether it’s sold in Jo’burg or London.” Bonhams’ buyers are split roughly 50:50 between SA residents and others. He sees similarities between the internationalisation of the SA art market and how expats from the likes of Russia and China have boosted the markets for their national artists. But SA art has one advantage over some others – it’s virtually forgery-free. “I’ve only even seen one fake Irma,” he says, “and it was palpable. Even the Brett Kebble Tretchikoff wasn’t a fake, it just wasn’t the painting it purported to be. I sometimes think the SA art market will only reach maturity when we’re faced with a flood of fake Irmas and Pierneefs!” He stresses that SA art is no one-man show at Bonhams, paying particular tribute to the contributions of colleagues George Plumptre (who, ironically, was made redundant last year) and the house’s SA-born director of press and marketing, Julian Roup. So however great you judge Bonhams’ impact to be, it’s clearly in for the long haul. Local auction houses will ignore it at their peril.
Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum 18 March–18 April, Free State Ceramics Competition, Exhibition and Workshops. 08–23 April, Terra: above and below Very large drawings and infused glass works by Jeanette Unite. 22 April–30 May, Retrospective Melted plastic, wall-hung works by Mbongeni Buthelezi. (Main building) 16 Harry Smith Str., Bloemfontein T.051 447 9609
Clarens Johan Smith Art Gallery A fine selection of paintings, ceramics, glass, bronze and other works of art. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1620 www.johansmith.co.za Blou Donki Art Gallery Contemporary Art, Steel Sculptures, Functional Art, Photography, Ceramics. Windmill Centre Main Street Clarens T. 058 256 1757 www.bloudonki.co.za
Gauteng Johannesburg Art on Paper During April, Sara Baartman by Senzeni Marasela. 44 Stanley Ave., Braamfontein Werf (Milpark) T. 011 726 2234 www.artonpaper.co.za Artspace –Jhb 31 March-21 April, 2012 group show”, The 2012 phenomenon is a present-day cultural meme proposing that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur in the year 2012. This exhibition asks artists to engage on man’s fleeting presence on earth and step outside of the paradigm that places man at the centre of his world. Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 8802 email@example.com www.artspace-jhb.co.za Brodie/Stevenson Until 30 April, Men Only/At Home photographs by Sabelo Mlangeni (the winner of the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts 2009.) 373 Jan Smuts Ave., Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034, www.artextra.co.za www.brodiestevenson.com CIRCA on Jellicoe 08-25 April, Recent works by Simon Stone. 2 Jellicoe Ave. T. 011 788 4805 firstname.lastname@example.org Cool Art Space Until 06 April, The Visible World by Terry Borain. 17 6th Street, Parkhurst. T. 011 422 6469
FREE STATE, GAUTENG AND MPUMALANGA SHOW LISTINGS CO-OP Until 17 April, The spirit is not an idea, says the penguin a group show of contemporary artists from Johannesburg and Cape Town. 68 Juta Str., Braamfontein T. 011 023 0336 email@example.com www.co-opjoburg.com David Brown Fine Art 18 March-18 April, Passages an exhibition by Carl Jeppe and Ariana van Heerden. 36 Keyes Avenue, off Jellicoe, Rosebank. T.011 788 4435 firstname.lastname@example.org www.davidbrownfineart.co.za David Krut Projects Until 10 April, William Kentridge, The Nose Series, 2007—2010. New Etchings by William Kentridge. The prints will be launched, along with the book Nose: Thirty Etchings. 140 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com Everard Read Gallery Jhb Until 19 April, The Great South African Nude Group Show Until 04 April, works by Kerri Evans 6 Jellicoe Ave., Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4805 www.everard-read.co.za Gallery 2 08 May-15 June, Transition Artists participating will include: Paul Blomkamp, Hannelie Coetzee, Wilma Cruise, Karin Daymond, Bronwen Findlay, Phillemon Hlungwani, Grace Kotze, John Kramer, Colbert Mashile, Joshua Miles, Hermann Niebuhr, Carl Roberts, Jenny Stadler, and Réney Warrington. 140 Jan Smuts Ave,Parkwood. T. 011 447 0155/98 email@example.com www.gallery2.co.za Gallery MOMO Until 12 April, Blur Zone an exhibition of new works by Lyndi Sales. 15 April- 10 May, works by Shepherd Ndudzo. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 www.gallerymomo.com Gertrude Posel Gallery This gallery has a permanent exhibition of traditional southern, central and West African art. University of the Witwatersrand, Senate House, Jorissen Street, Braamfontein Tel: 011 717 1365 firstname.lastname@example.org Goodman Gallery Until 10 May, Kudzanai Chiurai. (Project Space at Arts on Main.) (Arts on Main Precinct, Corner Main Street and Berea Street, Downtown Johannesburg, 163 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 www.goodman-gallery.com Johannesburg Art Gallery Until 25 April, In celebration of the MarketPhoto Workshop’s 20th anniversary, the acclaimed photography exhibition I am
not afraid. The exhibition is curated by Christine Frisinghelli and Walter Seidl to celebrate the publication of no.100 of the journal Camera Austria, which was dedicated to this exhibition. 21 Feb-02 May, Gae Lebowa an exhibition by George Mahashe. Gae Lebowa translates to home North in this exhibition George Mahashe begins his travels north to seek the wisdom of his ancestry. 21 Feb-18 April, Time’s Arrow live readings of the JAG collection curated by Anthea Buys. Opening @ 5pm on 21 Feb. King George Str., Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3130 Email: email@example.com www.joburg.org.za Market Photo Workshop Until 25 April, The exhibition I am not afraid is being exhibited at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. 10 Feb-02 April, Considering documentary is the third in a series of exhibitions commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Market Photo workshop. (Market Photo Workshop Gallery) Market Photo Workshop 2 President Street, Newtown, Johannesburg. T. 011 834 1444 info@marketphotoworkshop. co.za www.markettoworkshop.co.za Manor Gallery Until 30 April, 83rd National Open Exhibition of the Watercolour Society of South Africa – top watercolourists exhibit. Artworks for this exhibition are sourced nationally and internationally & include works by new aspiring artists who have recently obtained their associateship status. Among these: Arthur Atkins, Colleen Dryer, Helen Lamprecht, Margaret Mason and Susan Kimber. This is a juried exhibition. Edward Selematsela, Malaki Ndlovu and Elias Sewape from the Black Like Us group will also display their work. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive. T. 011 465 7934 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wssa.org.za Museum Africa Until 24 Dec 2010, l’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel Co-curated by Nessa Leibhammer and Natalie Knight. 11 May-11 July, Space: Currencies in Contemporary African Art. 121 Bree Str., Newtown, Johannesburg T. 011 833 5624 www.knightgalleries.net
SPAZA Art Gallery Towards end April, Works by Nikki Swanepoel. 19 Wilhelmina Street, Troyeville T. 011 614 9354 Cell.082 494 3275 Seippel Gallery From 01 April, Plastic paintings by Mbongeni Buthelezi, Plastic (the main space.) Paintings by Linda Shongwe (project space) Here and there photography by Paul Weinberg. Opening 6-8pm on 01 April. Arts on Main, Cnr of Fox and Berea, Johannesburg T. 011 401 1421 www.seippel-gallery.com Standard Bank Gallery Until 08 May, Umtshotsho by Nicolas Hlobo (SBYA) Cnr of Simmonds & Frederick Str., Johannesburg, 2001 T. 011 631 1889 www.standardbankgallery.co.za Unity Gallery This gallery exhibits works by emerging artists, young and old, handcrafted figures and hosts spoken-word events. Currently on show new work by unity artists, including Robyn Field, Lebohang Goge, Jack Matjie, Thomas Ngulube, Vuyo Seripe and many more. Bus Factory, 3 President Street, Newtown. Tel: 082 584 9924 email@example.com www.unitydesign.co.za University of Johannesburg Art Gallery 14 April-26 May, Rendezvous focus original lithography an exhibition of lithographical works from the extensive Elisabeth Pons collection in Paris, France. Includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Ossip Zadkine, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Pontso Sikhosana, and Philemon Hlungwani. University of Johannesburg Auckland Park Kingsway, Campus Cnr. Kingsway and Universiteids Rd., Auckland. T. 011 559 2099/2556 www.uj.ac.za/artsacademy
Pretoria Alette Wessels Kunskamer Exhibition of Old Masters and selected leading contemporary artists. Maroelana Centre, Maroelana. GPS : S25º 46.748 EO28º 15.615 T. 012 346 0728 C. 084 589 0711 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artwessels.co.za
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010 Association of Arts Pretoria Until 07 April, The bluebirds gift by Ilona Petzer. Until 15 April, A sip of vodka by Isabel Le Roux. 16 April-05 May, Silence, Beauty & a Cup o’Tea by Uta Widera-Kleinsorge. Opening 16 April @6pm. 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. T. 012 346-3100 email@example.com www.artsassociationpta.co.za +27 Design Café Until 15 April, A man called Neels. Photographs by Mariki van Graan. Cnr South and Duncan Street, Hatfield, Pretoria. T. 012 362 4975 Fried Contemporary Until 18 April, Collateral featuring Guy du Toit, Richard Forbes, Carla Crafford, Collen Maswanganyi, Gordon froud, Bongi Bengu and others. 430 Charles St, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0156 www.friedcontemporary.co.za Gallery Michael Heyns Until 13 April, New works by Michael Heyns in his gallery. 17 April-08 May, Exhibition of mixed media works by guest artist Martie Bothma Heyns. 351 Lynnwood Road Menlo Park Pretoria T.012 460 3698, Cell.082 451 5584 www.michaelheyns.co.za Platform on 18th 01-23 April, Postscript mixed Media and Performance Art by Maaike Bakker and Francois Jonker. 232 18th Str., Rietondale, Pretoria T. 084 764 4258 www.platformon18th.co.za Pretoria Art Museum Until 25 April, Enter Exit photography exhibition by Pierre Crocquet De Rosemond. 05 March-31 April, Lady Michaelis Paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters from the 17th Century. Until 31 April, South African Art –North Gallery featuring Various South African Artists and a variety of mediums. Permanent exhibition, South African Art. From the earliest artworks up until now (School Syllabus) – South Gallery. Corobrik Collection Ceramic artist in South Africa. This collection represents the development of studio ceramics and the work of the rural traditional potters of South Africa.
North Gallery and Preiss Hall, T.012 344 1807/8 www.pretoriaartmuseum.co.za Pretoria Trent Gallery 10-22 April, Doodles, Group show including Otto Klar, Jaco Benade, Hardus Koekemoer, Diek Grobler, Johann van Heerden, Jan-Henri Booyens, Erna Bodenstein. Until 08 April, Botanical Exhibition, Gillian Condy and her art group 198 Long Street, Waterkloof, Pretoria. T. 012 460 5497. firstname.lastname@example.org www.trent-art.co.za The Tina Skukan Gallery From 11 April, The Sacred Everyday/ Alledaags Heilig an exhibition of paintings and etchings by Zak Benjamin and sculptures by Gert Swart. Opens 11:30am. 6 Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria. T. 012 991 1733 www.tinaskukangallery.co.za UNISA Art Gallery Until 30 April, An Evolving Consciousness exhibition in collaboration with the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Artists on show include Maggie Laubser, Lefifi Tladi, John Muafangejo and others. Main Campus, Theo Van Wijk Building B-block, 5th Floor T.012 429-6255/6823. Ukun1@unisa.ac.za
Mpumalanga White River The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435 www.tlafoundry.co.za Dimitrov Art Gallery 03 April-03 May, Expression of freedom by Branko Dimitrov. Lifestyle Complex, shop no.4 on Cnr. Teding Van Berkhout & Hugenote / Naledi Streets, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. T.013 254 05 24 email@example.com. www.dimitrovartgallery.co.za
Send us your listings to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolution Gallery Until 01 June, Foreign Affair featuring works by Rodney Place and Leila Anderson. Opening @ 6:30 pm. 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 880 4054 www.resolutiongallery.com Rooke Gallery Until 31 May, Chaos paintings by Olaf Bisschoff By Appointment, the Newtown, 37 Quinn Str., Newtown, Johannesburg T. 072 658 0762 www.rookegallery.com
Sabelo Mlangeni: Forgotten Land 2004. Silver gelatin print. To be seen at www.brodiestevenson.com
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Alex Dodd’s Column
Stills from the video installation, Representation: A Discourse, by Christopher Marsberg and Francois van Tonder, featured as part of the Spier Contemporary 2010 exhibition. A bit of a mad night to schedule a performance, if you think about it. The night before the three-day mania of the Joburg Art Fair (or the ‘Art Unfair’, as someone with oodles of streetsmarts, but not so much expendable income recently called it). But still somehow, despite the threat of imminent aesthetic and social glut, I managed to screech down to Fordsburg, skid past the evening worshippers looking like an Essop Brothers photograph against the mosque all lit up against the gritty dusk skyline, and slip into the Bag Factory for the launch of Losing Virginity. The show is the culmination of a three-month Johannesburg residency by artists Su Tomesen (Netherlands), Beate Spitzmueller (Germany) and Pauline Marcelle (Dominica/Austria). Tomesen
– whose work evolves out of the context of the location where it is presented – had transformed the dead space just in front of Sam Nhlengethwa’s hopping studio into a live action shebeen, and I was quickly drawn into the dark looseness of that space by the voice of an earnest young poet who goes by the moniker of Quaz and hangs with a collective of scribes and wordsmiths at the Keletketla Library at the downtown Drill Hall. Quaz’s poignant vocal timing, choice of words, direct approach and punchy take on the social and political issues of the moment made me think about how cynical so many in the sushi-nibbling upper middle class confines of the art world have become about transgressing the ghettoes of class and culture that still keep us so
fractiously divided in this post-rainbow nation. What is it about inequality that inspires such long sentences? It kind of had to be a Dutch artist who brought the shebeen into the gallery because a lot of contemporary South African artists would look down their noses at this kind of boundary-bashing gesture and decry it as being ‘oh so Eighties – been there and done that’. The problem is, we may have ‘been there and done that’ in the late Eighties and early Nineties, cosying up at the Blue Parrot in Yeoville to the sounds of Neneh Cherry and Youssou n’Dour’s Seven Seconds, but those seven seconds passed, and the gulf of inequity and general kwere-kwereness amongst ourselves never did. So now what? ‘So-we-to’, as the fashion label quips? I really hate to say it, but I think I might be with Julius Malema on this – on the need for an urgent and acute wake up to the reality of black poverty in this country. Steve Hofmeyer can strip his moer over Malema’s injunctions to ‘kill the boer’ and revert to racism as a reaction to racism. But getting aggressively reactionary in response to the gluttony and ineptitude of the ANC and the bruising idiocy of a warmonger like Malema will only make things worse. You can bitch about bad governance till the cows come home, but that doesn’t alleviate the very real struggles of the majority of hardworking human beings trying to earn an honest buck in this vile kleptocracy. So right… back to art – and why I raised my middle-class white fist at the end of Quaz’s half-heard poem. Because I sense artists in this country coming alive again – in that acute, burning, fevered sense of the word ‘alive’. In that ‘we can’t stand for this any more’ sense of the word ‘alive’. The directly satirical mood underlying much of the art at this year’s Spier Contemporary Art Awards is similar to the angry, exasperated mood I experienced at a recent meeting put together by Antoinette Murdoch at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in response to Minister of Arts and Culture Lulama Xingwana’s homophobic and morally conservative reaction to photographer Zanele Muholi’s images. It is worth noting and appreciating the fact that artists in this country are making real use of the freedom of expression clause in our Constitution, in the uneasy knowledge that it is starting to feel all the more precious in relation to grim weekly headlines in the Mail & Guardian. Art has always been our litmus, our nerve barometer – and the legacy of great courage among artists and writers in this country is fresh and real. I was interested to discover that there will be no opening address by the Minister of Arts and Culture nor any other representative from the ministry at the opening of the Joburg Art Fair tonight. I wonder why…
Eastern Cape East London Ann Bryant Gallery The Main Gallery Until 02 April, ABSA Atelier Art Competition Regional Exhibition 20 April-03 May, Oil on canvas by Lorna Bradfield 08-25 April, SAN(D) TO SAN(D) and RECYCLE REUSE by Bev Samler. 15 Apr-08 May, An exploration of the Southern African geography” from the South African National Association for the visual arts multi-media display. 05-09 April, The East coast Quilters Guild. (Coach House) 9 St Marks Road Southernwood East London T. 043 7224044 email@example.com www.annebryant.co.za
Port Elizabeth Montage Gallery During April and May, a mixture of Eastern Cape art on show, which will include paintings, ceramics and graphic work. 59 Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth. T. 041-5812893 firstname.lastname@example.org www.montagegallery.co.za Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Until end of April, Animals in art various artists, various mediums. Part of the gallery’s collection. Until 11 April, A selection of selection of 20th Century South African Art. 17 April- 15 May, Insight photography and video from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum’s Permanent Collections. Permanent exhibition, Art in Mind 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. T. 041 506 2000 www.artmuseum.co.za
Northern Cape Kimberly William Humphreys Art Gallery Permanent collection on exhibition. Civic Centre, Cullinan Crescent, Kimberley. T. 053 831 1724 email@example.com www.whag.co.za
Western Cape Cape Town 34 Fine Art Until 17 April, Random Graphics from Private Collections – William Kentridge. Second Floor Hills Building, Buchanan Square 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock. www.34fineart.com Alliance Française Until 19 April, Works by Pierre
EASTERN, NORTHERN AND WESTERN CAPE SHOW LISTINGS Florenchie. During April, L’esprit du sport soccer photographs from around the world shot by Amélie Debray. 155 Loop Str., Cape Town. T. 021 4235699 www.alliance.org.za Art b Until 07 April, 25th ABSA L’Atelier Regional Competition Exhibition. 14 April–05 May, Solo exhibition of sculptures by Ann Marais. The Arts Association of Bellville, The Library centre, Carel van Aswegan Street, Bellville. T. 021 918 2301 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artb.co.za Artscape Until 03 May, 3rd space exhibition featuring Tony Mhayi, Angeline Lea and Tania Milner. ARTSCAPE Theatre Foyer space (Nico Malan) D F Malan Street, Foreshore, CT. T. 021 410 9800 email@example.com Atlantic Art Gallery A permanent display showcasing leading contemporary South African artists. 25 Wale Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5775 AVA 06-30 April, We already know how this will end Gretchen Van Der Byl. & Pooof! by Karen Lijnes. Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town. T.021 424 7436 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ava.co.za Blank Projects Until 03 April, Works by Irène Hug, a Berlin-based Swiss Artist. 07-30 April, Ndizakuyivula iBhayibile-Mea Culpa by Khanyisile Mbongwa. 113-115 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town. T.072 1989 221 email@example.com www.blankprojects.com Cape Gallery Until 17 April, oil paintings by Paula Vize, Elinor CarletonSmith and ceramics by Theo Ntuntwana. 18 April-08 May, works by Frederike Stokhuyzen. 60 Church Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5309. firstname.lastname@example.org www.capegallery.co.za Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. 66 Vineyard Rd., corner Cavendish Str., Claremont T.021 671 6601 Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Main Rd., Constantia T. 021 794 6262 Christopher MǾller Art Dealers in South African contemporary art and South African masters. 82 Church Str., Cape Town T. 021 439 3517 www.christophermollerart. co.za David Porter Antiques Buyers and sellers of South African art. T. 021 683 0580/083 452 5862
david@davidporterantiques. com Erdmann Contemporary / Photographers Gallery Until 24 April, Matters conceptual a group show. Opening nights: 7, 14 and 21 April @ 6pm. 24 April- 29 May, Group show by Deanne Donaldson, Johann Louw, Brownwen VaughanEvans and Elizabeth Gunther. Opens 28 April @ 6pm. 63 Shortmarket Str., Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 email@example.com www.erdmanncontemporary. co.za Everard Read Gallery - CT Until 15 April, Threshold four painters - Anton Brink, Brad Gray, Anthony Scullion and Peter van Straten - use distortion, fantasy, surrealism and satire (amongst other devices) to investigate the realm between sanity and insanity, dreams and reality. 3 Portswood Rd., V&A Waterfront T. 021 418 4527 www.everard-read-capetown. co.za Focus Contemporary 01 April-01 May, A solo show of portraits by Marie Stander. 67 Long Street, Cape Town. T. 021 419 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.focuscontemporary.co.za Gallery F Contemporary and archival South African Art. 221 Long Str., Cape Town T. 021 422 5246 www.galleryf.co.za Gill Allderman Gallery During April, Works by Dathini Mzayiya, Donovan Ward, Donna McKellar, Pincus Catzel, Sophie Peters, Velile Soha, Lionel Davis, Geof Hayland, David van Staden, Isaac Makeleni, Gill Cowen and Giovanna Biallo. 278 Main Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town T. 0835562540 email@example.com Goodman Gallery, Cape Until 24 April, Two projects featuring Mikhael Subotzky with Patrick Waterhouse. 29 April-29 May, Recent works by David Koloane. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd., Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 7573/4, www.goodmangallerycape.com Greatmore Studio 22-29 April, Mentorship exhibition hosted by One Minute Video. 47-49 Greatmore Street, Woodstock. T. 021 447 9699 firstname.lastname@example.org www.greatmoreart.org Houtbay Gallery Until 04 April, works by Koos De Wet, Anastasia Sarantinou and Mariette Bergh 71 Victoria Avenue, Houtbay. T. 021 790 3618/ 021 790 0137 email@example.com www.houtbaygallery.co.za i Art Gallery Until 13 May, An exhibition of Zwelethu Mthethwa’s mural-sized photographs, which have never before been shown in South Africa. 71 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 424 5150
www.iart.co.za iArt Gallery Wembley Until 03 April, Visitor: The Square by Liza Grobler. 07-30 April, Collective Memory by Madelein Marincowitz. Wembley Square, Gardens, Cape Town T. 021 424 5150 www.iart.co.za Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Street Chelsea, Wynberg T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht Str. Cape Town T. 021 423 2090 www.infinart.co.za Irma Stern Gallery Until 10 April, German and South African trio exhibit, Josef Lange-Grumfeld, artist and former cattle farmer from Ankum, Northern Germany, will be exhibiting with fellow countryman, Gerhard Philipp and South African, Theo Ntuntwana. Cecil Rd, Rosebank T. 021 685 5686 www.irmastern.co.za Iziko SA National Gallery Until 15 April, Gallery is closed in preparation for FIFA 2010. 15 April -30 September, 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective a re-hang of the entire gallery is being curated to showcase the very best of South African art. 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town T.021 481 3934 Joao Ferreira Gallery 14 April-15 May, New paintings by Aaron van Erp. 70 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 4235403 firstname.lastname@example.org www.joaoferreiragallery.com Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery 10 – 23 April, An exhibition of oil paintings by Hennie Niemann Jnr In-Fin-Art Building, Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 6075 email@example.com www.johansborman.co.za Kalk Bay Modern 07 April-07 May, The assassination of Shaka woodcuts by Cecil Skotnes. 1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kalkbaymodern.com Michael Stevenson Contemporary Until 17 April, Solo shows by Angela Ferreira and Natasja Kensmil. Walid Raad will exhibit concurrently as part of the FOREX project series. 22 April-29 May, Anton Kannemeyer will exhibit concurrently with Zanele Muholi and, as part of the FOREX series, Glenn Ligon. Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 www.michaelstevenson.com Michaelis Gallery Until 09 April, Stock by Catherine Price. Hiddingh Campus, University
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010 of Cape Town, 31-37 Orange Street, CT. T.021 480 7170 email@example.com Raw Vision Gallery 11 Feb-14 Sep 2010, African Odyssey 20 Internationally acclaimed photographers exhibiting. 89 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, firstname.lastname@example.org www.rawvisiongallery.com Rose Korber During April, Group show featuring Richard Smith, William Kentrige, Deborah Bell, Pamela Stretton and more. 48 Sedgemoor Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town T. 021 438 9152 email@example.com www.rosekorberart.com Rust-en-Vrede Gallery Until 15 April, In Translation a body of new work in mixed media by Theo Paul Vorster. Paintings by Tania Rosenbroch. 20 April–13 May, Salon A: Still by Theo Kleynhans. Salon B: Slice curated by Theo Kleynhans. Participating artists: Jean de Wet, Marike Kleynscheldt, Wendy Gaybba, Christo Basson, Jan du Toit, Lionel Smit, Marlise Keith, Marié Stander, Madelein Marincowitz Salon C: Organic Matter by Marie Peacy. The Cube in the Clay Museum: Tea Bowls by 37 ceramists. 10 Wellington Rd, Durbanville. T.021 976 4692 www.rust-en-vrede.com Salon 91 1-24 April, Out of Africa digital print, screen print and sculpture by Adam Shear and Neill Wright. Opening night 07 April @ 7:30pm. 28 April-22 May, Sifting through the madness featuring Andrew Sutherland, Senyol, Candice Jezek, Jade Klara, Daniel Ting Chong and Gabrielle Raaff. Opening night 28 April @ 7:30pm. 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. T 021 424 6930. firstname.lastname@example.org www.salon91art.co.za South African Museum Until end July, Subtle Thresholds, the representational taxonomies of disease, a mixed media show curated by Fritha Langerman. 25 Queen Victoria Str., Cape Town T. 021 481 3800 http://www.iziko.org.za/sam South Gallery Showcasing creativity from KwaZulu-Natal including Ardmore Ceramic Art. Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Ground Floor. T. 021 465 4672 email@example.com South African Print Gallery Until 30 April, Black on White Straight from the African Art Centre, Durban. In line with the Mission of The African Art Centre, which is to promote the work of artists and crafts people mainly from KwaZuluNatal, but also from the other provinces in South Africa. The group exhibition of eleven art-
ists represented by the African Art Centre, namely Ezequiel Mabote, Gabisile Nkosi, George Msimang, Judas Mahlangu, Linga Diko, Malibongwe Shangase, Thabani Msomi, Mxolisi Sithole, Thulani Makhaye, Vukile Teyise and William Zulu. 107 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town. T. 021 462 6851 firstname.lastname@example.org www.printgallery.co.za These Four Walls Fine Art Until 03 April, Ulwando by Velile Soha and Leboana Lefuma. 16 April- 08 May, The Baiting tree photographs by Lise Hanssen from the Spotted Hyaena project. Opening @ 6pm 16 April. 169 Lower Main Road, Observatory T. 021 447 7393 Cell. 079 302 8073 janet@thesefourwalls www.thesefourwalls.co.za Waterkant Gallery Until 31 May, The Flow of Stone, Scenes from the Desert a solo show of photographs by Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht. 123 Waterkant Street, Cape Town. T. 021 421 1505 email@example.com www.waterkantgallery.com Wessel Snyman Creative Until 15 April, Prospects of chaos and complexity drawings, digital prints, film and installation pieces by Kristine Kronje. 16-30 April, City Slickers Poster Show by Bigwood Collective and Revolution Skateboards, featuring some of the top current local illustrators, designers and graffiti artists, as well as international talent, the show exhibits limited edition poster prints as well as merchandise featuring almost a 100 different illustrators. 17 Bree Street, Cape Town. T. 021 418 0980. What if the World… 01 April-01 May, Tectonic paintings by Jan-Henri Booyens. First floor, 208 Albert Rd, Woodstock, T.021448 1438 www.whatiftheworld.com
Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of old masters. Shop no 3, The Ivy, Kruger Str., Franschhoek T. 021 876 2497 www.galart.co.za The Gallery at Grande Provence Until 14 April, Recent works by Johann Moolman. 18 April-19 May, Current Matters by top South African up and coming, award winners as well as SA masters. Main Road, Franschoek. T. 021 876 8600 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grandeprovence.co.za
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BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Piketberg Anthea Delmotte Gallery Until 26 April, Group show featuring Annelie Venter, Anthea Delmotte, Clare Menck, Glynnis Creamer, Jacolene de Haan, MURG informal academy, Neville Creamer, Sandra Hanekom, Susan Kemp, and Teresa Harling. Opening @ 7pm on 26 Feb. Feathers Inn, 1 Church Str, Piketberg 073 281 7273, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stellenbosch Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings, and Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Str., Stellenbosch T. 021 887 7234 Dorp Straat Galery 10-30 April, Group show featuring Cathy Layzell, Mila Reyneke and Zelda Weber. Church Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 2256 www.dorpstraatgalery.co.za Glen Carlou Estate On exhibition is The Hess Art Collection, including works by Deryck Healey, Ouattara Watts and Andy Goldsworthy. Simondium Rd, Klapmuts T. 021 875 5314 www.glencarlou.co.za Red Black and White Art Gallery in Conjunction with amacoola.com 15 April-06 May, An exhibition of works by Caryn Munting, Coral Fourie, Leanette Botha and Fiona Rowett. 5A Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch. T. 021 886 6281 email@example.com Sasol Art Museum Until 16 April, Woordfees with Andries Botha. 52 Ryneveld Str., Stellenbosch. T. 021 808 3029 SMAC Art Gallery Until 23 May, Super Boring by Wayne Barker.
Melvyn Minnaar ’s Column
De Wet centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3607 www.smacgallery.com Tokara Until 25 April, The spaces between, from looking to depicting celebrating Estelle Marais and her Karoo. Crest of Helshoogte pass on the R310 between Stellenbosch and Franschoek. T. 021 808 5900 www.tokara.com
George Strydom Gallery 04–30 April, Drawing Conclusions? Strydom Gallery’s annual theme exhibition of South African art - a response by a few selected artists 08 June-17 July, Annual Winter Exhibition of Southern Cape Art Selected artwork from artists of the Southern Cape. 79 Market Str., George T. 044 874 4027 www.artaffair.co.za
Knysna Knysna Fine Art 08-25 April, Recent works by Simon Stone. During April, A show by Claude Jammet, An international artist who lived in Knysna for many years. 8 Grey Str., Knysna, T.044 382 5107 www.finearts.co.za
Melvyn Minnaar The Art of Sponsorship A few days after the Spier Contemporary 2010 opened in Cape Town and brought the neglected hallowed halls of the grand old city hall gloriously to life, a couple of NGOs filed an urgent court application to force the National Lottery Board to release funds for their survival. One of the NGOs pursuing court action is involved with culture, and was about to cease operation without urgent funding. Bureaucratic mismanagement (so what’s new?) seems to have kept a massive R6 billion locked up somewhere in the NLB’s coffers, it was testified. Meanwhile the arts (and the poor) are starving. The same day, the Cape Argus reported that Cape Town City Ballet, which has been going for 75 years, faces closure because of “a cut in government funding, dwindling box-office sales and three failed applications for National Lottery Board funding”. In the days running up to the Spier Contemporary’s jolly opening, Mirjam Asmal-Dik sent out a sad, urgent note, indicating that her seven-year-old organisation, Cape Africa Platform, was about to expire as well. This too relates to funding money not effectively channelled by the NLF. But it is also the result of the balls-up with the over-ambitious TransCape project when Cape had to hand over a sum of money to settle a somewhat curious claim Gavin Jantjes pursued against it. The previously oh-so-happy members of the board ran out of steam and decided to round up the Section 21 company. At the time of writing, this had not been sorted out, but unless Cape Africa Platform is completely rehabilitated - include finding funding - it seems that the organisation, which has, for all its faults and mishaps, done pretty well for art and culture in Cape Town, will be no more. The sad thing about those NGOs, the Cape Town City Ballet and Cape is that, like all such organisations, once they die they simply cannot easily be conjured up again. It’s the thing about culture and trust: it doesn’t operate to clinical business rules.
Sponsorship of the arts is essentially an investment that cannot be quantified within the stratagems of capitalism. (Of course, having to play the money game, cunning cultural operators use the jargon: ‘marketing value’, ‘job-creation’ - that sort of thing.) The real payoff has to do with things more esoteric - the human condition, the enrichment of the spirit, whatever. Although that may lead to the promotion of “social cohesion and nation building” ( the misinformed arts and culture minister’s limited view, expressed when she shuddered in horror at a nude or two), these can never be the prescriptions for art and its industry. It is this open-mindedness by the sponsors of the Africa Centre - the not-for-profit organisation that gave us the current Spier Contemporary 2010 and it predecessors, the wonderful Badilisha! Poetry X-Change and the zippy groundbreaking Infecting the City - that is so highly commendable. While the physical results of the present art expo may not be much to write home about, the financial investment by Spier (and others) in the project - and allowing it to run as openly as possible - run into millions of rands. The return is not budgeted for. It is called the art of sponsorship. One of the amazing by-products of the investment of the Spier Contemporary 2010 in Cape Town is what it has done to the old Victorian city hall. Having stood derelict for two years after the library books migrated next door from that delightful theatrical environment (with officials at a lost what to do with the magical spaces), this exhibition shows what can be done there. Perhaps it also suggests very boldly what should be done there. Cape Town, it has often been said, needs a contemporary art space. If not a museum, then an institution which can court cutting-edge art, present it professionally, handle outreach programmes - and be a vigorous cultural asset to the Mother city. The superbly prepared spaces of the old hall are, as they are now, just the place. It will be a sad day, with no other ambition in the hearts and minds of the city bureaucrats, if all that has been done for the present show and to the space is removed.
Abalone Gallery Until 10 April, Lynette Ten Krooden, Ancient Playground. 12-30 Apr, Printed IV – Group exhibition of graphic works and photography by: Diane Victor, Lien Botha,Braam Kruger, Cecil & Pippa Skotnes, Judith Mason, Hannes Harrs, Dirk Meerkotter and Lien Botha. 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T.028 313 2935 www.abalonegallery.co.za
Until 17 April, Random Graphics from Private Collections – William Kentridge. Second Floor Hills Building, Buchanan Square 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock.www.34fineart.com Brad Grey, On the other side: from the Threshold four painters - Anton Brink, Brad Gray, Anthony Scullion and Peter van Straten - use distortion, fantasy, surrealism and satire (amongst other devices) to investigate the realm between sanity and insanity, dreams and reality. 3 Portswood Rd., V&A Waterfront www.everard-read-capetown.co.za
Cover Artist: Wayne Barker at SMAC Wayne Barker’s amjor show, Super Boring is opening at SMAC Gallery on Saturday at 6pm. The show is not a mid-career retrospective but rather an exhibition of new work which draws on themes, techniques and strategies that Wayne Barker has been utilizing and developing over his entire career. In this sense it is not just a summary of his work to date but also a glimpse into what the future holds. The exhibition does show brand new work as well as older important pieces. Super Boring is a curatorial collaboration between Andrew Lamprecht, SMAC Art Gallery and Wayne Barker. A catalogue contextualising his new work in terms earlier bodies of work entitled; Wayne Barker: Super Boring with text by Andrew Lamprecht and contributions by Simon Njami, Carol Brown and Thembinkosi Goniwe will be launched during the Joburg Art Fair, 25 – 28 March 2010, Booth 06. When asked for his comment on the show, cuartor Andrew Lamprecht said: “Super Boring has been billed as a ‘twenty five year retrospective’ in the press. This is true, but not really in the way most people will expect. While many pieces from the past are included the majority of the work is entirely new and shown here for the first time. This recent work looks back on two and a half decades of unceasing production and marks a point in an artist’s life; it may as well be called a ‘25 year pro-spective’ (if Wayne will grant us that!)”. The opening will be followed by a ‘super boring’ party that promises not to live up to its name.
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Dathini Mzayiya and Alexandra-raised Godfrey Majadibodu, who participated in the prestigious international Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Programme.
Glenfiddich invests in local artists Eastern Cape-born artist Dathini Mzayiya and Alexandra-raised Godfrey Majadibodu, who participated in the prestigious international Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Programme, recently presented a selection of their works inspired by their three month stay at the Glenfiddich Whisky Distillery in Scotland at The Rainbow Experience Gallery, Mandela Rhodes Places in Cape Town. Grant Sayers, Marketing Manager for Glenfiddich, explained that creating fine works of art, and the art of creating fine Scotch Whisky has many similarities. “These artists deserve recognition in their own country, and many South Africans are interested in the work of our up and coming artists. It is an outstanding opportunity for an artist to gain international recognition and exposure as well as to grow.” Artists have no set brief and have fairly open access to the distillery complex and all the production facilities in Scotland, and are able to create whatever work they desire. The intention being that the art of making fine Scotch Whisky, the heritage, history and tradition, the production and ageing process, the people, as well as the local Scottish environment, will provide inspiration for the artists. Mzayiya who participated in the residency programme in 2009 exhibited his work entitled “Untitled scenes from the cooperage” - a series of six works in oil pastel and paint, and charcoal and chalk on cask staves. “The work was inspired by the cooperage
environment and the facial expressions of the coopers while they craft these casks. During the process of making this series I was assisted by one of the coopers to collect damaged casks, deconstruct them, and to steam the wood and re-construct it to suit the surface that I wanted to work with,” said Mzayiya. Each work carries a portrait of one of the coopers, some recognisable, while others appear to be composites of one or more. Mzayiya who has worked on animal skins and wood, wanted to work with unusual material, as well as providing a strong link to one of the materials central to the whisky making process. During his 2007 residency Majadibodu painted a large oil on canvas entitled “Busy as usual” which was one of a few artworks on exhibition. Majadibodu was attracted to the art of the coopers through his appreciation of hands on experience and his practical nature. He spent time at the cooperage where he observed the coopers at work, and even took the opportunity to have a try at building his own barrel. Since its inception in 2002 the programme has seen 63 leading international artists from 14 different countries living and working at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown. Each year between six and eight artists from around the world are invited to Scotland for a three month residency to be inspired by the surroundings, community and the distillery itself and to create art. During the residency programme artists have a unique opportunity to live with other artists from around the world and to exchange ideas.
These works form part of the Glenfiddich Collection in Scotland which comprises of over 100 art pieces produced by the 63 artists who have participated in the residency programme to date. These works by Mzayiya and Majadibodu were especially shipped to Cape Town for the exhibition. The programme represents an annual investment of £100 000 plus by Glenfiddich, the world’s leading single malt Scotch Whisky, in the Visual and Contemporary Arts. The programme curator, in conjunction with a network of galleries and curators builds up a selection list from around the globe to select the final six to eight artists who go to live and work at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland each summer for the three month residency. The Glenfiddich Distillery is located in the town of Dufftown which has a population of 2000 and is situated in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Originally open to artists working in Europe, in 2005 the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme opened to artists worldwide. The Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Exhibition is also open to the public until 30 March 2010. The Rainbow Experience Gallery, Mandela Rhodes Place, 23 Church Street, is open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00, Saturdays 09:00 – 18:00, and Sunday 10:00 – 14:00.
Zim artist arrested for exhibition criticizing Mugabe Peta Thornycroft
Work Titles: Nkomo signs accord, Ndebele votes flushed, artist Owen Maseko. See artists website at:www.owenmaseko. com
Zimbabwean artist Owen Maseko was arrested on Friday at a Bulawayo exhibition of his paintings which depict President Robert Mugabe murderous 1980s campaign against Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo The most striking work shows Nkomo seated at a table with Mugabe, and signing a unity accord to enter a coalition government with him to stop the violence against his mostly –Ndebele- speaking supporters. Nkomo, slumped over the table as he signs, has blood pouring on to his shoulders against a background of men all wearing dark glasses. The exhibition had only been open a few hors when police swooped and arrested Maseko and took him o the Bulawayo Police Station. In another raid on an artist three days earlier, police arrested photographer Okay Machisa, and confiscated all his pictures at an exhibition of his images of the violence of the 2008 elections. Human rights activists went to court to force the police to return the photographs were hastily put back in place at the Delta Gallery, for the opening of the exhibition by Movement for Democratic
Change leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. After the opening, police returned and took the photographs away. The exhibition was held to mark Human Rights Day. One of the photographs showed Tsvangirai’s beaten, swollen face after police detained him and scores of his party leaders after a street protest in March 2007. That picture went around the world and widely believed to have played a major role in spurring the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis, leading to the now paralyzed inclusive government. The MDC narrowly won the parliamentary elections in March 2008 and Tsvangirai easily beat Mugabe in the first round of the presidential election, but he pulled out of the second round after hundreds of his supporters were killed, thousands were detained and even more were forced to leave their rural villages. Many of the people photographed are now in police custody, or were victims of Zanu-PF violence against the MDC. First published in The Sunday Independent
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
The honourable minister Xingwana
Image: André Clements
Peter Machen So what’s the difference between art and porn? The question may well have been deliberated for millennia but the answer is simple, although it may – or may not – offend our Minister of (Arts and) Culture who, now famously, walked out of an exhibition featuring Zanele Muholi’s portraits of naked women in bed together. So here’s a definition: With porn, you stop looking after you’ve climaxed. That may sound facetious or just plain provocative but it’s the simple honest truth. Pornography is made to masturbate over, and while millions are the wayward who have masturbated to art at some point in their autoerotic lives, art is made with a wider purpose. Which, in the game of call-and-response that passes for dialogue most of the time in this country, will no doubt lead to charges of intellectual wankery from all sides. But I’ll stop there and suggest that the discussion over porn and art is a one-way street and not particularly useful in any nation-building dialectic. And for examples of just how nation-building things can get, check out the forum on The Times website in response to the story. For the most part, the respondents, who usually seem to spend their time tossing racial epithets at each other, are united in their view that the minister is right in her response to the work – which was featured on
the website. They are, surprisingly enough, nearly all men. While dialogue is great, it’s possible that an ongoing trade in knee-jerk reactions might in fact not help to create a more cohesive society. Porn is porn and art is art and no amount of discourse will change that. They are made for entirely different purposes although of course artists enjoy blurring the boundaries. And of course many porn directors genuinely think that their output is art. And if they installed it in a gallery or a similar space, it would be – just as a urinal, a painting or a plastic lobster attached to a telephone would be. And if ever you’re in doubt, try the wank test. But of course the debate continues regardless and despite my suggestion that the argument is a tired one, I still consented to take part in a panel discussion on the subject organised by Vansa and the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It should be noted that most of the panel also thought that we were flogging a dead horse – which is one of the largely unspoken issues at the core of the discussion. The art versus porn discussion usually devolves into two camps: those who work in the culture industry and those who don’t. And I think that’s for the very simple reason that most artists have already had the discussion with themselves and in great depth.
‘What is art’ sits at the very core of art history, and the answer seems always to be expanding. It should of course be pointed out that Van Gogh was derided by many as “not art” in his time, as were many sung and unsung creative geniuses before and after him. One of the things that did emerge from the discussion though, was concern over the impact of explicit images on children. But as Cheryl Potgieter, a psychologist from UKZN with a deep and rigorous grasp of sexuality and gender, pointed out, it is the parents not the children who are offended. Kids, it seems, have a far less dogmatic approach to things, a point which was beautifully illustrated by my four-year old niece when she wandered into the KZNSA gallery where some of Deborah Poynton’s large scale nude figures were occupying the gallery walls. Having been removed from the painting not because of the nudity but because of the pink icing sugar that was all over her hands, she returned a little later to show her younger sister one of the male subject’s “dong”. The two children thought it was hilarious. Lulu Xingwana would no doubt be a little disturbed.
Kwazulu- Natal Art Show Listings Imbizo Gallery Until 30 April, Shapes and Scapes Richard Scott, Katherine Wood and Philip Briel. Shop 7A, Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito, T. 032 946 1937 firstname.lastname@example.org
A work from: Deborah Poynton: Everything Matters 23 March 2010 – 17 April 2010 showing at The KZNSA Gallery
ArtSPACE Durban 29 March-17 April Mixed media by various artists (The Main Gallery) Works by Isaac Sithole (Middle Gallery) 19 April-08 May, Waters a travelling exhibition featuring Jill Trappler, Kristina Korpela,Leena Patola, Witty Nyide, Jaana Partanen and Eunice Geustyn. 3 Millar Road, Stamford Hill, Durban. T.031 312 0793
email@example.com www.artspace-durban.com Durban Art Gallery Until 01 August, The Interactive Street Child Experience Until 10 May, Dialogue among civilisations an Art for Humanity Project. Until 04 April, Suitcase of memories Durban University of Technology in association with Kulturladen Huchting, Bremen. 2nd Floor City Hall, Anton Lembede St (former Smith St) Durban T. 031 311 2264 firstname.lastname@example.org Durban University Art Gallery. Until 01 April, As part of the Art for Humanity’s conference titled
“Art and social justice” guest Curator Kim Berman will present an exhibition titled “Art as Advocacy: An AIDS action exhibition from Artists Proof Studio” Steve Biko Campus, Steve Biko Road T. 031 373 2207 email@example.com
exhibiting in the Main gallery and the Mezzanine gallery. James Webb exhibiting in the Park Gallery and with an installation on the outside wall. 166 Bulwer Rd., Glenwood. T. 031 2023686 www.kznsagallery.co.za
Elizabeth Gordon Gallery A variety of new South African artworks, including paintings by Hugh Mbayiwa, Nora Newton, Wheildon and Hussein Salim. 120 Florida Rd., Durban. T. 031 303 8133 firstname.lastname@example.org www.elizabethgordon.co.za
KZNSA Gallery 20 April-02 May, PPC (the Professional Practice Course run over 3 months at the gallery, which culminates in a group show)
Margate Art Museum Museums art collection on display.T.039 312 8392 C.072 316 8094 email@example.com
Pietermaritzburg The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery Until 30 April, paintings by
Marion Townsend. The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery at Butterflies for Africa 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 3871356 art@ butterflies.co.za or bluecaterpillarart@hotmail. com www.artsales.co.za Tatham Until 04 April, “Curriculum Curricula” a Visual Arts supplementary exhibition for grades 10-12 using the National Curriculum Statement syllabus. Until 27 April, “African colour notes” an exhibition of acrylic paintings by Nicky Chovuchovu Until 23 April, “The Whitwell collection” (Perimeter Gallery, first floor) Cnr of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd. and Church Str. (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg T. 033 342 1804 www.tatham.org.za
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
South Africa’s photographer, Peter Magubane, is led away by police while covering a story in Alexandra. During the time of Apartheid, he was shot at, detained, and imprisoned.
Peter Magubane receives further international acclaim with winning The Cornell Capa Award The International Center of Photography in New York has announced the annual 2010 Infinity award winners, arguably the most important in the world of photography. Among those to be honoured is South African veteran photographer, Peter Magubane. Magubane will be in illustrious company in New York on the evening of Monday, May 10, when the ICP honours the nine recipients of the 26th annual Infinity awards, the country’s leading awards for excellence in the field of photography. The ICP says it is an opportunity to “acknowledge some of those image-makers whose work has allowed us to see the world anew, and that enables us to better grasp the richness and diversity of our common humanity”. Praising the winners’ contribution to the photographic medium, ICP Ehrenkranz Director Willis E. Hartshorn sais, “They share a commitment to the overarching power of photography and how it can express what is both enduring and new in the human condition. Whether documenting significant historical and contemporary events, shedding light on the dynamism of unfamiliar cultures, or extending the languages we use to describe and better understand who we are, they have provided us with opportunities to re-grasp and re-envision our world.” Peter Magubane is to receive the Cornell Capa award (named after the famous photographer and founder of Magnum). The Lifetime Achievement award is being made to famous photo editor John G. Morris. Other winners are Gilbert C. Maurer/Hearst corporation (ICP trustees award); Raphaël Dallaporta (young photographer); Luc Sante (writing); Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Ameri cans” by Sarah Greenough (publication); Lorna Simpson (art);
Reza (photojournalism) and Gentlemen of Bacongo by Daniele Tamagni (applied photography). ICP’s ongoing mission is to present and champion the variety inherent in the photographic experience. The Infinity awards, first presented in 1985, were created to recognize the contributions of influential photographers and emerging young talent. This program attracts an audience of more than 700 prominent guests annually from the photography, art, and fashion worlds. It celebrates an international group of accomplished individuals who are receiving what is widely recognized as the most coveted honour in photography. Recipients are chosen by a jury from submissions compiled by a changing international nominating committee. The Lifetime Achievement award and Cornell Capa Award honourees are selected by the ICP board of trustees, president’s council, and senior staff. The Trustees award is periodically given by the board for outstanding contributions to the field. The 2010 selection committee comprised publisher Chris Boot, Carol McCusker of the museum of photographic arts, San Diego, and Peter MacGill, president of the Pace/MacGill gallery in New York. Past winners of the top awards have included Robert Frank, Mary Ellen Mark, Marc Riboud, André Kertész, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Berenice Abbott, Richard Avedon, Harold Evans, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Alexander Liberman, Gordon Parks, Helen Levitt, Annie Leibovitz, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Susan Meiselas, Roy de Carava, Malick Sidibé, and Karl Lagerfeld. Peter Magubane was born in 1932 in Vrededorp and grew up in Sophiatown in the suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa. First published in Drum magazine in 1954, Magubane covered many important political events in the 1950s, including treason trials and
demonstrations. After freelancing in London in the early 1960s, he returned to South Africa and worked for the Rand Daily Mail from 1967 until 1980. From 1969 to 1976, Magubane was repeatedly arrested and interrogated for his activities, jailed or kept in solitary confinement for months at a time, and banned from his position at the Rand Daily Mail for five years. In 1976, he was hospitalized after his nose was broken by the police and his house was burnt down. In 1985, he was shot seventeen times at a student’s funeral in Natalspruit. His coverage of the uprisings in Soweto (June 1976) brought worldwide acclaim and led to a number of international photographic and journalistic awards, including the American National Professional Photographers Association Humanistic award in 1986, in recognition of one of several incidents in which he put his camera aside and intervened to help prevent people from being killed. From 1978 until 1980, Magubane worked as a correspondent for Time magazine, after which time he moved to New York. Magubane has photographed for several United Nations agencies, including the High Commission for Refugees and UNICEF, and his photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Life, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Paris Match, and The Washington Post, among others. His honours include the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri (1992) for his lifelong coverage of apartheid, the Robert Capa Award (1986), and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mother Jones Foundation (1997). He has received honorary doctorate degrees from several universities in South Africa and will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Columbia University in New York in 2010.
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Robert Hodgins 1920 - 2010 “For me, it is very simple. The act of painting at a particular moment is able, for reasons I neither understands, nor even try to understand, to open up the whole world of my experience, my thinking, my aspirations. “ Robert Hodgins was born on 27 June 1920 in Dulwich, London. In 1938, he immigrated to South Africa, and joined the Union Defense Force in 1940. In the Second World War, he served in Kenya until 1941, then in Egypt until 1944. During the same year he returned to England and was discharged after the end of the war in 1945. From 1947-1950, Hodgins studied part-time and from 1950-53, he studied full-time at the Goldsmith’s College of` Art, University of London. He first studied teaching, and then art. In 1951, he obtained an Arts and Crafts Certificate, and in 1953 a National Diploma of Design, the equivalent a major in painting. He returned to South Africa in 1954. Between 1954-62 he taught painting and drawing at the Pretoria Technical College, and from 1962-66 he worked as a journalist, art critic and then Assistant Editor of Newsweek. As senior lecturer he taught at the Department of Fine Art of the University of the Witwatersrand from 1966 to 1983. Thereafter he painted full-time.
Robert Griffiths Hodgins (27 June 1920 – 15 March 2010)
The Goodman Gallery shares in the sad loss experienced by his many friends and colleagues when Robert Hodgins died around 4 a.m. on Monday the 15th of March, 2010. He had suffered respiratory illness for 3 months, and had been hospitalized. Born in June, 1920 in Dulwich, London, England, Hodgins first emigrated to South Africa in 1938, returning to the UK and wartime service in North East Africa soon afterward. He later completed his art education at the prestigious Goldsmith’s College, University of London, and returned to South Africa in 1953. He lectured at the former Pretoria Technical College and was for a time a journalist and critic with Newscheck magazine. From 1966 until he retired to paint full time in 1983, Hodgins lectured in painting at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Despite having exhibited since the early 1950’s, it was until 1981 when he was properly recognised. In the 1980’s, many artists began to develop unique styles, and made anti-apartheid or socially conscious statements. Robert Hodgins was not the exception, and began satirizing figures of power. The impact of these works was such that the Standard Bank National Arts Festival hosted a major retrospective exhibition in 1986. Robert Hodgins can be described as an expressionistic painter and graphic artist of historical events, images, figures and impressions. His icons of malevolent businessmen in pinstriped suits, prison cells, historical references and political tyrants still reappear in his recent works. Although the human form is the subject matter of many of his paintings, it is colour, space and placing that plays a very important role in the works.
(Goodman Gallery 2000) He works in oil, acrylic, tempera, and in various graphic media. Although the human form is the subject matter of many of his paintings, it is colour, space and placing that play an important role in the works. In his own words: “Being an artist is about putting something into your subject matter that isn’t inherently there. You are not at the mercy of your subject matter, it’s the content, and what you put into it, what you do with it, what extract from it, and what you put it with, that is so exciting. If you are aware of this, then you begin to build on the content of your whole life. Before you know where you are, you’re already thinking about the next work, and you could live to be 300. Paintings can be onenight stands or lifetime love-affairs - you never know until you get cracking”.
“There are paintings that stem from memory and from a sombre look at the human condition. Paintings about the construction and confusion of contemporary urban life, but also paintings about the pleasures of being alive, pleasures that crowd in upon the pessimism everywhere - that crowd in and refuse to be ignored”.
Hodgins has exhibited extensively in South Africa, London, France, the United States and Netherlands for over six decades.(From SA History Online)
respected mentor, a massive positive force of energy, an inspiration to many and fount of knowledge and understanding – he was all these things to those who knew him, and more. Just a wonderful man, dear friend, and terrific human being, who was also widely regarded as South Africa’s greatest contemporary painter. We at the Goodman Gallery are saddened at his passing which will leave an enormous gap in our lives.
loss of the great ancient library of Alexandria. (Robert would say: “less of the ancient, if you please!”) We shall miss Robert greatly, but feel sure his adventures will continue wherever he is now.
Image: Artists Press
Robert Hodgins lived a long and successful life, and found being ill “tedious, dear boy, just too tedious!” He was aware the end of his life was near, and “quite ready to depart this mortal coil if I cannot paint!” He was an accomplished and well-loved artist, a great friend and an extraordinary human being in that he was so constantly and energetically involved in The Great Human Drama, right to his last day. Fortunately he has left a legacy of excellent work behind him, which in our museums, academic and other public collections will continue to enrich our lives for many years.
He was a national treasure: a towering talent, an important influence on generations of students and followers of the fine arts, a
Possessed of a mischievous and curious eye with which to critically evaluate the doings of humankind, a lively wit, the sensitivity to include himself in his impressions of our species and a healthy cynicism, Robert was the keenest observer of life one could meet. We are all much the poorer for his passing, and he will be sadly missed even by many who knew him only through his output of paintings and graphics. Writing this, I am aware that our sadness is for ourselves, those who are left behind, in a world which will always be less exciting, less colourful, less amusing and less intelligent without him. He was a human treasure house of knowledge, and the loss of his prodigious mind and memory for poetry, mythology, music and literature with him, seems like the
I count myself lucky to have met and known him.
Robert Hodgins taught me at Wits, many years ago, and he was one of very few inspirational tutors who was genuinely ‘awake’ and interested in the students and our work and our minds, and not only in his own work, his own mind and his own ego.
Over the years whenever we met up, he was as welcoming, forthright and engaging as always..
My condolences to his beloved ones.
He once gave us an essay to write, and I produced mine in backward-written handwriting - he had to sit in front of a mirror for a few hours in order to read my copious essay - then he responded in
Genuine, humourfilled, insightful, un-gimmicky, and a bloody marvelous painter. A great person and a great artist,and a great S African.
Neil Dundas The Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
Robert, I salute you! Arlette Franks, Artivist, Polokwane City/Limpopo
SOUTH AFRICAN ART AUCTION HOSES BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Next up at Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg sale on 24 May.
Irma Stern, 1894 - 1966
Still Life with Dahlias and Fruit Signed and dated 1960 Oil on canvas 100 by 92,5cm R4 000 000 – 6 000 000 A magnificent Irma Stern painting entitled Still Life with Dahlias and Fruit is one of the many impressive works coming up for auction at Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg sale on 24 May 2010. For Irma Stern, still life painting was a genre that allowed her to explore colour combinations, spatial dynamics and composition, without being constrained by mimesis. While portraiture required some degree of similitude, still life was for her the ideal genre in which to experiment. When compared with earlier interpretations of the same subject, this painting ably demonstrates how far she was able to push the medium. Two earlier versions of the same subject have been sold by Strauss & Co’s much admired auctioneer, Stephan Welz. A Still Life with
Fruit and Dahlias, painted in 1946, sold at auction in November 1999 in Johannesburg and is featured on the catalogue cover and Still Life with Dahlias, painted in 1947, which is included in Marion Arnold’s handsome monograph, Irma Stern: A Feast for the Eye. Reflecting on the two earlier paintings in relation to the later work, Welz says, “It’s rare that one can trace an artist’s development so clearly. Throughout my many years in the art field, there’s been an assumption that earlier works are superior to later works. Yet the versatility of this later work disproves that. In Stern’s many travels she must have come across Abstract Expressionist paintings and the European Lyrical Abstractionists and she would have been excited by the freedom with which they approached painting. I’ve no doubt that she revisited this subject with renewed passion.” In both earlier works, Stern employ modulated colour, tonal values and shadows to achieve convincing three-dimensional form. However, in this later version of the same subject, painted in 1960, the brilliant colours and complementaries are splashed across the canvas revealing a freedom of expression not evident in her earlier paintings.
Her colour was never freer or bolder. An almost delirious explosion of brilliant, hot colour - vermillion, cerise, peach, Naples yellow, pink, mauve - holds the centre of the painting while complementaries of blue, green and purple reverberate with visual excitement at the edges. Painting the dahlia petals with thick impasto and radiating lines gives the impression of whirling dervishes confirming the artist’s palpable enjoyment of paint. By contrast, the saturated, luminous citron yellow of the vase continually draws the eye back to the pulsing heart of the picture. Beside it, the unexpected clash of papaya on a pink cloth, with magenta highlights and green swirls, is entirely unpredictable. Painted in 1960 when the artist was 66, and clearly demonstrating her confidence to paint with abandon, this is one of the finest examples of her later paintings where she luxuriates in the pleasure of paint. Her lack of interest in persuading the viewer that these are ordinary objects existing in convincing space and her commitment to treating the picture plane as a flat surface on which to enact her painting, suggest that Stern was closer in spirit to her international, post-war contemporaries than she has been given credit for.
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Stephan Welz & Co. Johannesburg Art Auction 21 April Johannesburg Two day, five session auction with focus on painting Stephan Welz & Company one thousand lot sale leads up to two sessions of Paintings on 21 April A slight change to the session sequencing of the first Johannesburg sale of the year will see the 20 & 21 April Stephan Welz & Company auction ending with two sessions of paintings. The first day of the auction is comprised of three sessions and includes carpets, furniture, ceramics, decorative arts, silver, watches, clocks and jewellery. On 21 April, the focus switches to Paintings, with a wide array of works on offer ranging from British and Continental Paintings, Watercolours and Prints to South African Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, including both Traditional and Contemporary works. At 14h00 on Wednesday 21 April, the fourth session of the sale (and the first of the day!) commences with Books, Maps, Africana Pictures, Prints and Memorabilia and then moves on to the Painting section of approximately 120 lots. Amongst the artists up for offer in the session are Sydney Carter, Erich Mayer, Dorothy Kay, William Timlin, Cecil Higgs, Ruth Squibb, Kenneth Baker, Walter Battiss, Christopher Tugwell, Wessel Marais, Sydney Kumalo, Dan Rakgoathe, Joe Maseko, Nat Mokgosi, Winston Saoli and Joseph Sithole. Two interesting works in this session are Rupert Norman Shepard’s, Young Ndebele women in a village setting featuring a pre-sale estimate of R6000 – R9000 and the nonfigurative Nico Roos, Abstract landscape, estimated at R7 000 – R10 000. The session ends with several contemporary works, including the likes of Braam Kruger, Nicolaas Maritz and Judith Mason. The evening session , the final session of the entire sale, commences at 18h30 with four classic and collectable cars being offered at low estimates ranging from R250 000 for a 1949 MG TC up to R1 400 000 for a 2005 Bentley Continental GT. The session then moves on to a five lot charity auction for the South African Ballet Theatre (SABT), including Lot 831, a pair of autographed pointe shoes worn by the late Dame Margot Fonteyn and Lot 833, a Walter Battiss painting, titled The Dancer. All proceeds received from the sale of these lots will help ensure the continuation of the SABT. The remainder of the session, dedicated to approximately 170 paintings, beginning in customary fashion with the British and Continental paintings and prints, features works by Alfred Wheelers, Marino Marini and Andy Warhol. The Traditional and Contemporary South African Art section features a wide array of paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures including the names of Frans Oerder, Hugo Naudé, Erich Mayer, Sydney Carter, Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Maurice van Essche, Gregoire Boonzaier, Alexander Rose-Innes, Vladimir Tretchikoff, Anton Van Wouw, Edoardo Villa, Walter Battiss, Alexis Preller, Cecil Skotnes, George Pemba, Ephraim Ngatane, Adriaan Boshoff, Fred Page, Robert Hodgins, Sam Nhlengethwa and William Kentridge. The cover lot, Lot 916, is an early Alexis Preller, Still life with chair, featuring influences from both Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin and the unmistakable yellow chair. This work has a presale estimate of R600 000 – R900 000. Another Preller, Lot 917, Study with skull, a later work, is also expected to draw interest at its pre-sale estimate of R400 000 – R600 000.
and a pumpkin, carries an estimate of R400 000 – R600 000, whilst the more impressionistic work Lot 873, Two nude women in profile, is comparatively estimated at R150 000 – R200 000. A sombre toned and somewhat futuristic work by Fred Page, Lot 986, Old Church, Port Elizabeth, is estimated at R100 000- R150 000. The sale’s sculpture section offers a wide selection of traditional and contemporary works. Lot 902, The dagga smoker, an exceptional vignali casting, is believed to have been produced during Anton van Wouw’s life and approved by the artist before leaving the foundry, is estimated at R250 000 to R350 000. An early Edoardo Villa, lot 912, ABSTRACT FORMS, of just under 1m in height, has a pre-sale estimate of R70 000 – R100 000. Also on offer are works by Anton Smit, Zoltan Borbereki, Norman Catherine and Laurence Chait. A punchy and bright Walter Battiss oil Lot 913, The family, is conservatively estimated at R80 000 – R120 000. Two works of equal vibrancy and animation, Lot 988, Three characters in search of a painter and 989, Man in a shiny suit, by Robert Hodgins are respectively estimated at R120 000 – R160 000 and R80 000 – R120 000. Also featured in the contemporary section is lot 990, Interior Scene With Red Couch, a fresh and quite substantial Sam Nhlengethwa estimated at R60 000 – R90 000 and a few works by Braam Kruger. William Kentridge, a well known name to the contemporary art market is featured in several works on this sale, including a charcoal and pastel drawing, Lot 992 Arc/Procession 6, estimated at R200 000 – R250 000. The session ends with a number of smaller works by contemporary artists such as Kim Berman, Conrad Botes, Claudette Schreuders and Judith Mason.
Venue All auction sessions and pre-auction viewings will take place at:Stephan Welz & Company 13 Biermann Avenue (cnr Oxford Road) Rosebank, Johannesburg Viewing Times Friday 16 April 10h00 – 17h00 Saturday 17 April 10h00 – 17h00 Sunday 18 April 10h00 – 17h00
Lot 916, is an early Alexis Preller, Still life with chair, featuring influences from both Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin and the unmistakable yellow chair. This work has a pre-sale estimate of R600 000 – R900 000
Auction Session Tuesday 20 April 10h00
Session 1 : Lots 1 -169
Carpets and Rugs; Ceramics; Electroplate; Silver Tuesday 20 April
14h00 Session 2 : Lots 170 - 350
A Piano; Furniture; Clocks; Watches
The South African section begins with offers from our Traditional artists. Three Oerders from the early 1900’s are on offer: Lot 844, Going to the market, (R300 000 – R500 000) and Lot 845,Two horses with a cart, (R80 000 – R120 000), both works capturing the essence of rural life in Holland. Lot 846, Christ appears to the disciples, (R200 000 – R300 000) is one of only five known religious works to have been painted by Frans Oerder during the First World War. Also featured early in the session is a moderately large Erich Mayer Lot 853, Kroonstad, vaal river, an exquisitely painted Sydney Carter Lot 858, African figures around a camp fire, and a Willem Hermanus Coetzer, Lot 881, View from the drakensberg, one of the few works to feature snow-capped mountains in the distance. All three works carry a pre-sale estimate of R50 000 – R80 000. Also up for offer is a sizeable Nils Andersen Lot 879, A farm yard scene, estimated at R30 000 – R50 000.
Tuesday 20 April 18h30 Session 3 : Lots 351- 550
Two portraits by Maurice van Essche which have been captured with sensitivity and estimated at R200 000 – R300 000, can be seen in Lot 887, Portrait of a young boy, and Lot 888, Pensive woman. Lot 872, Portrait of an austrian woman, a portrait larger than most works by Maggie Laubser, carries an estimate of R500 000 – R800 000. Staying in the tradition of portraits, Lot 923, Seated figure on a blue chair, a bold carved and incised wood-panel by Cecil Skotnes is estimated at R400 000 – R600 000. There are several works by Skotnes on sale, including two other carved and incised wood-panels and a selection of portfolios.
Charity Auction for the SA Ballet Theatre
Lot 901, STILL LIFE WITH POINSETTIAS by Vladimir Tretchikoff, is a vividly captured still life, estimated at R250 000 – R350 000. An Irma Stern gouache, Lot 875, Still life with flowers
Irma Stern gouache, Lot 875, Still life with flowers and a pumpkin, estimate of R400 000 – R600 000
Diamonds; Jewellery; Unset Gemstones Wednesday 21 April 14h00 Session 4 : Lots 551 - 820
Another Preller, Lot 917, Study with skull, a later work, is also expected to draw interest at its pre-sale estimate of R400 000 – R600 000.
Books; Maps; Africana; British & Continental Paintings; Traditional & Contemporary South African Paintings Wednesday 21 April 18h30 Session 5 : Lots 821 - 1005
British & Continental Paintings; Traditional & Contemporary South African Paintings & Sculptures Please address all enquiries to the Johannesburg office of Stephan Welz & Company 011 880 3125 For further information, online catalogue and absentee bid forms, please visit www.swelco.co.za
Robert Hodgins, Lot 988, Three characters in search of a painter
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Bonham’s London - SA art auction sale By Michael Coulson Bonhams’ latest, seventh, offshore sale of SA art may not support the auction house’s view that London has become the centre of the SA art market, but was much more positive than some of its predecessors. The historic SA flag and copy of the Freedom Charter were sold before the auction and the remaining 133 lots in the main evening session were 71% sold by number and 82% by value. The session grossed just under GBP2.4m (including buyer’s premium but not taxes), about 16.5% above the low estimate of just over GBP2m. Some works went for well above their high estimates. Top price was GBP356 000 for a Pierneef landscape (estimate GBP180 000-GBP250 000), followed by GBP192 000 for a Gerard Sekoto Cape Town market street scene (est GBP120 000-GBP180 000),GBP168 000 for another Pierneef (est GBP100 000-GBP140 000) and GBP120 000 for an Irma Stern flower study (est GBP100 000-GBP120 000).
Anton van Wouw (South African, 1862-1945) ‘Kruger in ballingschap’ Sold for £19,200 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium
Nine of the top 12 estimates (lows of GBP40 000 and upwards) sold, those not already mentioned going within their estimate ranges. Good prices lower down the scale included GBP45 600 for a Maggie Laubser Woman in a Landscape and GBP50 400 for a Laubser portrait of a woman (both est GBP20 000-GBP30 000). Of the two Tretchikoffs, Kwela Boy fetched GBP22 800 (est GBP15 000-GBP20 000) and The Try GBP8 400 (est GBP7 000GBP10 000). The works attributed to Nelson Mandela failed to sell. The SA flag signed by Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and F W de Klerk and flown at Mandela’s inauguration was bought by a Londonbased SA businessman and will be returned to the SA government, while the copy of the Freedom charter, signed by the vendor Leon Levy, then president of Sactu, and the presidents of the four other signatory bodies was bought for the nation by a consortium of Lonmin, Lord Renwick (a former UK ambassador to SA) and the Mantis group (parlayed out of the Shamwari game reserve into an international upmarket game reserve and boutique hotel group by Port Elizabeth’s Gardiner family). The prices paid for these have not been disclosed, but it’s rumoured that the Freedom Charter went for GBP50 000. At the afternoon session of minor works, 61 of 97 lots were sold, or 62.9%, a gross of GBP100 000 being 98.5% of the low estimate of GBP101 500. There were no notable prices.
Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993) Market Street Scene, Cape Town (circa 1943) unframed Sold for £192,000 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium
Bonhams values the whole sale at GBP2.6m, equating to R28.5m. This appears to include an element of rounding; by my count the gross was just under GBP2.5m, or about R27.2m at the exchange rate on the day of the sale of R10.96 and 116% of the total low estimate of about GBP2.14m. The sale may not have set many artists’ records but overall justifies the optimism of Giles Peppiatt, Bonhams’ director of SA art that the sale marks the “start of a long march to real international recognition and appreciation.”
Walter Whall Battiss (South African, 1906-1982) Abstract with colour block Sold for £27,600 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium
Dorothy Kay (Irish, 1886-1964) ‘A Bit of Glamour’, a portrait of May Hunt Sold for £6,600 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African, 1886-1957) A Cape avenue, possibly Worcester Sold for £60,000 incl of Buyer’s Premium
BUSINESSART | APRIL 2010
Strauss & Co. Cape Sale By Michael Coulson It may not have matched the hype of last year’s maiden outing at the Jo’burg Country Club, but a gross of R33m for Strauss & Co’s first auction of 2010 – this time, at Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel – is satisfactory enough by any standards. True, that R33m includes items other than SA art, but the gross for the latter, of about R28.2m, is itself pretty impressive. Six lots went for R1m or more, including several artist records, but what is perhaps more testimony to the resilience of the market is that both the afternoon session of minor works and the main, evening session realised more than 100% of the aggregate low estimates. The afternoon session went particularly well. Of 135 lots of SA art, 110 sold, or 80.9%, but a gross of just over R3.1m was 123.4% of the low estimate of R2.5m (adjusted for the no-show of lot 229, a minor John Meyer). Not surprisingly, the Timlins were the features. Only five of the 30 failed to sell, and above-estimate prices included R189 000 for The Arrival and R123 000 for The Building of a Fairy City (both estimated at R80 000-R120 000). Others fetched R89 000, R78 000 (twice) and R56 000 (also twice). No other works in the afternoon session reached R100 000.
Anton van Wouw, R2 228 000 Bad News (Slegte Nuus) Record for Anton van Wouw Record for a South African Sculpture
In the evening session, 92 of the 123 lots sold, or 74.8%, for a gross of R25.1m, 106.5% of the low estimate of R23.5m. The tone was set early, when Anton van Wouw’s Bad News, was bid up to R2.228m (est R1.2m-R1.4m), a record not only for the artist but for any SA sculpture. The cover lot, Walter Battiss’s Bathers, went for R1.337m (est R900 000-R1.2m), a Cecil Skotnes painted wood panel for R1.225m (est R600 000-R900 000) and Jane Alexander’s Racework R1.058m (est R800 000-R1m). Just below R1m, but also an artist record, was R947 000 for Stanley Pinker’s Night (est R500 000-R600 000). The other seven-figure prices were R2.117m for an Irma Stern beach scene (est R2m-R3m – considering that quoted prices include buyer’s premium and any taxes, this was actually below estimate) and R1.058m for a Freida Lock interior (est R800 000R1m) – like Pinker, Lock is attracting increasing attention on auction. A landscape of hers went for R724 000 (est R600 000-R800 000). All 13 top estimate works (low estimates of R500 000 or more) sold. Those not previously mentioned are R501 000 for a Maggie Laubser seascape (est R500 000-R700 000), R891 000 for a Pierneef landscape (est R800 000-R1.2m), R947 000 for a Jean Welz portrait (est R500 000-R700 000) and R780 000 and R613 000 for two more Skotnes panels (est R600 000-R900 000 and R600 000R800 000 respectively).
Jane Alexander R1 058 300, Racework – in the event of an earthquake Record for Jane Alexander
Adding the two sessions together, 202 of total 259 lots (78.0%) sold for R28.2m (108.3% of the low estimate of R26.1m). In the sale-within-the-sale, all but two of the 20 lots from the Dodo collection sold, for R1.4m, no less than 145.7% of the low estimate of R965 000.
H Pierneef R668 400 Limpopo River, Record for a casein by Pierneef
Nicholas Hlobo: Standard Bank Young Artist 2009: Umtshotsho Standard Bank Gallery 31 March to 8 May 2010 Monday to Friday: 8am - 4.30pm Saturday: 9am - 1pm Tel: 011 631 1889 www.standardbankarts.co.za
Nichola Hlobo, Ingubo Yesizwe, 2008 (detail). Leather, rubber, butchers hook, gauze, ribbon, acoustic cover, fabric, wood, zippers and steel. Installation view, Tate Modern, London. Photo: Marcus Leith and Andrew Dunkley, Tate photography SBSA 41011
Business Art April 2010