The South African Art Times: SA’s leading visual arts publication | August 2011 | Free | Read daily news on www.arttimes.co.za
Sean O’Toole interviews the 2011 ABSA L’Atelier Photo: winner John Hodgkiss Photo: Jenny Altschuler
ART TIMES | NEWS / EDITORIAL
AUGUST 2011 Daily news at www.arttimes.co.za
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The more things seem to stay the same, the more they change Our August edition confirms to us here that we are thundering into the second half of the year, which means the yearly thrill of the Joburg Art Fair is around the corner in September. The second season of art auctions are here with Bonhams, Strauss & Co. and Stephan Welz & Co. battling it out to get the best prices for a rising middle market of quality work, and a sure stabilising, for now that is, of the greats. The contemporary art auction concept seem to be increasing taken up by galleries such as the Goodman, who take the chance of clearing their storerooms for potentially
new and interesting art. Springtime also brings with it many art routes who’s concept of providing the art lover with a good day out, and something different, is taking on quickly in every dorp. On a growth level, The Woodstock Foundry, though not only strictly art but also design is opening its doors for trade in November, while Cape Town is being pushed as Design Capital (see the yellow flags!). Lastly there are unconfirmed reports that Linda Givon’s restraint of trade of 3 years with The Goodman Gallery has just ended. Has Linda got tired of pushing up sea sand with her toes as she said she would do with her retirement ? If you cant get enough of us see our daily updates on www.arttimes.co.za Best. Gabriel Clark-Brown
I am Yvette Dunn an independent artist from Mtubatuba in KZN. I am not attached to any gallery and have had to promote my own work, push for my own exhibitions and network to create opportunities for myself without the support Gallerists usually provide their cash cows. As a reward for my tenacity and commitment to my practice I have just had an opportunity to exhibit alongside one of my mentors Bernie Searle. In April this year we travelled to Brugge in Belgium where we exhibited in a show called: Beyond the Horizon. This achievement amongst many others stirred a conversation around themes of self representation versus Gallery representation. I am aware that this is a highly debatable topic. With Galleries an artist can focus on their work, have both emotional and financial support and all in all seems like every artists’ dream come true. However there is also the notion of creative autonomy, agency and freedom of expression that is offered by self representation. The artist can be their own professional agent and control is not mediated as is it in galleries. I have worked for Michael Stevenson Gallery and this opportunity gave me a glimpse of what
one would need to successfully manage one’s own career. I find that I am still approached by artists to assist them in their careers, something I was doing for the three years while with MSG & also after I was retrenched. I was soon frustrated because I didn’t have the financial support to back these fellow artists and also work on my own work. In the end I decided to put those ventures on hold whilst I taught (as I am still teaching) art in Empangeni, St Catherines High School. Operating from a sleepy semi rural town further pushes me into the margins of the visual arts community. Of the artists who live and work in the rural areas those who are represented by Galleries are comfortable in their on going presence and visibility due to the pillars they enjoy from being attached with established galleries. It is this realization that has prompted me to write this letter and request that Art Times considers a page dedicated to profiling Independent Artists. This grants all artists exposure, it affords SA Art Times a space where curators seeking young blood come to as an automatic point of reference. Yvette Dunn
Dear Yvette, thanks for your letter, this edition we compiled with your request in mind with having commissioned pieces relating to young artists and curators. We would like to bring back our old page 13 young artist profile that gained much interest - Ed. Dear Gabriel In the rush to stay ahead of the rat race, one sometimes forgets to show appreciation for a job well done. The Art Times has really developed into a must-read publication, especially since changing to the smaller format. I thoroughly enjoyed the July 2011 edition. The articles by Wilhelm van Rensburg on two
respected and admired stalwarts such as Elza Miles and Karin Skawran were insightful and well-written. His up-beat take on the Pretoria art scene provided excellent reading - it is really gratifying to see so much happening in our capital. Thank you for an informative magazine and keep up the good work. Best Annali
The Facts We would like to apologise for our mis- spelling of a number of artists and mentioned people in our July edition. Thanks to Eunice Basson for pointing this out. We seriously don’t usually clock up as many spelling errors, but the Pretoria Piece was a Great exception. Here goes: Diek (not Dick) Grobler, Alex Duffey (not Duffy), Jeanne van Eeden (not van Eden), Edoardo (not Eduardo) Villa, Ania Krajewska (not Krajefska), Sharlene (not Sharleen) Khan, Karin (not Karen) Skawran,
Bongani Mkhonza (not Mkonza), Retief (not Retierf) van Wyk, Innibos (not Inni Bos), Michèle (not Michelle) Nigrini (not Negini), Alette (not Alleta) Wessels, Celia de Villiers ( not de Villierrs), Nathani Lüneberg (not Nathane), etc. We will write to Microsoft soon with an updated list of famous SA artists names and spelling for their spell check. If you find any factual errors or mistakes in our magazine, please let me know. Best Editor. firstname.lastname@example.org SA ART TIMES. August 2011
2011 ABSA L’ATELIER ART AWARD WINNERS / NEWS | ART TIMES
2011 Absa L’Atelier Art Award winners
Part of Grose’s winning triptych entitled Colour separation. To view all finalists work see www.arttimes.co.za Read the Ian Grose interview on page 11 A host of bourgeoning South African artistic talent has once again been unearthed in the Absa L’Atelier Art Awards, Africa’s pre-eminent annual art competition held at Absa Gallery Towers North, on Tuesday 26 July 2011. This includes Ian Grose, this year’s overall winner, and Isabel Mertz, who was awarded the 2011 Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist with an income of less than R60 000 per annum. Now in its 26th year, the Absa L’Atelier Art Awards is rated as the longest-running and most influential art contest on the continent. It pays homage to both established and emerging young local artists and their compelling artistic vision. That vision was a predominant theme this year. Quality and the growth of quality in the work of new artists are two of the primary focus areas of the competition. In fact, the judging panel led by Vulindlela Nyoni commented that during the course of the selection process, “new and interesting visions emerged in the guise of newly realised practitioners” while other more established artists had “matured in their vision”. Thematically, the winners’ works explore a wide range of subjects but with a clearly growing introspective on the part of the artists to the world they live in. To this end, matters of absence, home, origin and individuality feature prominently in these works. This can clearly be seen in Grose’s winning work – Colour, separation – an oil on fabriano, a triptych, that speaks to the concepts of visual language, translation and loss. “As a painter, the idea of loss and the traces left behind, became, for me, inextricable with a more personal kind of loss. Thus the work features a bed – the arena of love, death and loneliness – and a comma in the title, suggesting separation as a subject in itself. I liked that the creases in the linen and imprint of the human figure in the beds reflected the function of painting and photography as a trace of the departed,” Grose explains. Similarly, Mertz’s highly praised mixed media SA ART TIMES. August 2011
piece, Anthropomorphic spaces III, represents South Africa’s inner cities, using maps of the country combined with the artist’s own interpretation of these spaces. The piece comprises panels created out of cast Lego pieces made from a wax and cement mixture. While cement is an inherently strong material, by mixing it with melted wax instead of water, the Lego pieces become delicate, fragile and can easily be distorted. This reflects the constant transformation one finds in cities. Grose and Mertz were chosen as the first and Gerard Sekoto winners respectively out of 78 finalists. Mertz also earned herself a Merit Award. The three remaining Merit Awards were awarded to Amber Jade Geldenhuys, Alice Gauntlett and Sarah Spring. As part of his prize, Grose wins R110 000 in cash and a six-month sabbatical at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France courtesy of Absa. Mertz wins a three-month sabbatical at the Cité, French language classes and nationwide touring exhibitions sponsored by the French Embassy, French Institute and the Alliance Française. Both prizes include airfare and free access to galleries and museums in Paris. All four merit award winners receive R25 000 and the remaining five top ten finalists - Sofia Stodel, Gerhardt Coetzee, Jesse Hammond, J. van Schalkwyk and Bambo Sibiya - receive a R2 000 award. Paul Bayliss, Head of Arts at Absa says: “This competition should be seen as a launch pad for a career in the visual arts. Thematically, the work on show this year in the final exhibition explores a wide range of subjects. What is clear is a growing introspective or subjective response on the part of the artists to the world that they live in.” The competition is open to young artists between the ages of 21 and 35, and attracts entries from across the country, which is open to public viewing during the regional judging rounds. An exhibition of the top 100 works will be on public display from 27 July 2011 until 19 August 2011 at Absa Gallery, Upper Ground Level, Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street. 05
ART TIMES | NEWS / OUTA LAPPIES: JAN SCHOEMAN OBITUARY
Outa Lappies: Jan Schoeman 1926 - 2011
Photo: Cobus van Bosch
Outa Lappies: philosopher and master recycler Vivienne Holtzhausen remembers Outa Many articles have been written and stories told about the man known as Outa Lappies (real name Jan Schoeman). He has featured large in the artistic history of the Karoo and especially the village of Prince Albert. Described in the foreign press as a “Green Peace Activist” and locally as the “Patchwork Philosopher and Karoo Artist”, he
is all of these and more. Before I share my impressions on meeting this enigmatic man I must take you back a little in time. In the late 1990s I came across a photographic study of the Karoo and its people in a book by Obie Oberholzer. It featured photos of a man in a wonderful patchwork coat and hat set against the desolately beautiful backdrop of the Karoo. As patchwork and quilting are my passions I was
immediately fascinated by him. After further research I discovered that he shared two other passions of mine: recycling and wandering around the Karoo. However, where I drove in the comfort of a car or on a motorbike, he walked, pulling behind him an amazing creation: his ‘karretjie’, a homemade rickshaw decorated with feathers, old shoes, lanterns and pots. Apparently he had set himself a goal to walk the proverbial “ten thousand miles” and had an obsession with wandering, probably a result of his nomadic childhood. During the day he would pull his rickshaw, which generally towed a train of gradually diminishing wagons, along the highways and byways of the Karoo, and sometimes further afield, picking up discarded objects along the road that he would later turn into his artworks. At night he would park his rickshaw next to the road and light it with candles whilst he slept in the veld. His ‘karretjie’ would resemble a train passing in the night – a picture I later discovered forms part of his imagery. Whenever he returned to Prince Albert he would embroider a map of his journey, featuring highlights of his trip, commentary on life in general and many of his philosophical thoughts, which he calls his “chapters”. There is quite a strong Biblical reference to much of Outa’s work. I heard that he had been born under a bush between Willowmore and Aberdeen, sometime between 1913 and the 1920s, to wandering sheep shearers Stefaans and Delia Schoeman, and that he occasionally lived in a tree on a farm on the Prince Albert road. In August 1999 I wrote him a letter, which I addressed simply to “Outa Lappies, Prince Albert”, in which I asked him whether he sold his embroideries. In February 2000, much to my surprise, I received a reply in which he apologized for the delay in answering (he’d been wandering) and told me that he’d nearly finished building a special wall on the Prince Albert Road. He also informed me that his embroideries went for R2000
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
OUTA LAPPIES: JAN SCHOEMAN OBITUARY/ NEWS | ART TIMES but that if I was a pensioner and couldn’t afford one he’d give it to me! I couldn’t afford one but had no desire to take advantage of his simple generosity so I wrote back and told him that I would come to visit him sometime. Time passed, as it inevitably does, and although we visited the Karoo a great deal we just never seemed to get to Prince Albert. I read that in 2001 he’d been made the Western Cape’s Tourism Personality of the Year. Then, in November last year, my husband and I decided on a whim to take a ride there on the bike. After we’d explored the area I walked into a shop in the main street and my eye was immediately drawn to some artwork hanging in a window. Imagine my delight on discovering that it was one of Outa’s pieces – a beaten metal shape, punctured by pokerwork and lit by broken glass and bits of indicator lights, featuring a hand and a heart. My darling husband bought it for me and on the accompanying certificate I found a contact number. I called and made the acquaintance of a couple who act as Outa’s agents who arranged for me to come and visit him in person, along with some friends of mine from our local textile art group. I was delighted that he’d agreed to see us as he doesn’t like to receive too many visitors. We arrived at his present home, a tiny railway cottage, on a hellishly hot day in February. Outside stood his ‘karretjie’ amid drooping sunflowers - his tribute to Van Gogh. In the trees surrounding the cottage hung his creations, constantly reflecting and refracting light. He emerged from the squalid interior bent completely double and greeted us with a broad grin while his large hands flitted like birds. He wanted to put on his special wizard hat for the meeting but his fingers wouldn’t work so I helped him. As I tied the ribbons under his chin I examined his face. It is beautiful; full of character, nervous energy and humour, and his eyes sparkle. Immediately, Outa Lappies started talking. He is a great philosopher and has opinions about everything. He describes business as a ‘game’ one has to unfortunately play to survive - this in reference to his works that are sold by galleries. He is a wonderful story teller and told us, in a nutshell, that he had Standard Two and a half but that he could do anything he put his hand to and was not afraid to stand back, even from a Master of Arts. He was busy burning words into a piece of wood when we arrived, which said, in a sort of strange High Dutch, that if you don’t start doing something creative when it is given to you, you will lose it and “there will be no ending”. What surprised me was how articulate he is, speaking a mixture of pidgin English, High Dutch and even French and German. He told me that he had received part of his education from a farmer’s wife. I wondered, too, at his vast knowledge of the outside world despite living in such an isolated place. The world, in the form of admirers, truly
comes to him. He said that on the night he was born his father expressed the hope that this child would be the one who would make something out of nothing and he has fulfilled that wish by creating beautiful and interesting pieces from found items his whole life. Outa Lappies has chosen to live as a true hermit, sleeping on a concrete floor surrounded by piles of scrap metal and fabric. A basket full of letters and newspaper articles about him from all around the world stands in one corner. There is even a thank you letter from Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to whom Outa sent a lantern. Outa’s philosophies are simple: I have my hands and can make something out of nothing. Leave the world a better and prettier place than you found it. Whatever you achieve plough back into the community, which he does by giving a portion of his earnings to the local school as well as teaching the local children to recycle. He makes wagons, lighthouses, hands and animals using a combination of crushed tin, broken glass, pokerwork, nails, sticks, feathers and other found items. The wall he built along the Prince Albert Road is reminiscent of Gaudi and full of nooks and crannies where he would place lights for travelers to be guided by. He is a man driven to create beauty wherever he goes and described to me how an idea will take root in his mind, settle in his heart and hands and then shackle him. This intrigued me and I asked why he felt his work shackled him. He replied that he had to create his ideas; they would not let him go until they were done. Outa Lappies is truly an Outsider Artist, as was Helen Martins of The Owl House fame, and there is a purity and honesty in his work. I believe he is a national treasure who has been largely ignored by the South African community, which is sad because he has so much to teach us. Most of his ‘chapters’ have gone overseas - a huge loss to South Africa, as they are a record of this remarkable man’s humorous and sometimes poignant observations of his journeys and his joy at living so close to nature’s beauty and harshness. As we were getting ready to leave he made me sit next to him on the step of his house and he wrote me a letter and I quote: “ Ik Outa het winter 1929 begin met scraps. Vandag 2011 is ek dankbaar. Yours, Outa PA Weg” I was very sad to take my leave of Outa but hope to visit him again soon. Meanwhile he inspired my friends and I to create our own ‘Tributes to Outa’ in textiles and recycled items. Vivienne Holtzhausen lives in the Pinkhaus in Great Brak, a retreat for people seeking quiet and a creative environment. Visit the website at www.thepinkhaus.weebly.com
It is reported that during a particularly cold spell in Prince Albert, Outa was wanting to warm up some water to give to some kittens in his possession, on making a fire to heat the water his cloths caught alight and he was rushed to hospital by friends, where he died of his injuries later that night. Some of the Prince Albert towns folk have started to talk about a small art museum for Outa.
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
ART TIMES | NEWS / INTERVIEW WITH IAN GROSE
Never introduce yourself at a bar as an artist Sean O’Toole chats to this years ABSA L’Atelier winner: Ian Grose Look for the lightning, he says. So I do, but I don’t find it. Eventually, after a couple of left and right turns in a warehouse space off Roeland Street, in central Cape Town, I find the door, I think, leads to painter Ian Grose’s studio. The two orange motifs on the door don’t look like lightning. I knock. The man who opens looks different to how I had imagined. Thinner. The 26-year-old painter beckons me inside. Ian Grose’s studio is small but airy, on the disciplined edge of untidy, its walls decorated with photos and art ephemera. There is a logic to the wall display, a schema, but I don’t ask what. Grose’s paintings, which generated a lot of chatter when they first went on show at the Michaelis School of Fine Art’s 2010 graduate show, they’re here too. Their dissolving realness and muted palette make you look harder at what is being portrayed. An unmade bed. A dun landscape. Lindsay Lohan, two of her. Dressed in prison orange, Lohan looks down at me as I quiz the painter. It is a few days before his debut solo exhibition at Blank Project, a sellout show that prefaced his latest coup by two months: in late July it was announced that Grose had won the 2011 ABSA L’Atelier Art Award. But this is all in the future. Unknown. He was born in Joburg, he tells me. We talk about growing up in Bryanston, Joburg traffic, moving to Cape Town aged 12, starting a new life, a new school, Rondebosch Boys’ High. <<Start recording>> S.O: You mentioned earlier that you were one of artist Andrew Putter’s many protégés. When did you meet him at Rondebosch? I.G: When I started doing graphic design, which was 2001. S.O: Was he a legend at the school? I.G: My brother, who is two years older than me, was in his class. His class included Rowan Smith and a few people who became quite involved in the Cape Town art scene. And I suppose I was looking at this activity happening two years ahead of me and I was quite keen to kind of get involved in it. S.O: But you didn’t come from an artistic family? I.G: Not at all. S.O: So what were you doing to manifest your creativity? I.G: I made little films. S.O: Were you using online software? I.G: Well in those days software was pretty basic so we were using analogue cameras, well sort of home video cameras. They were pretty crap in terms of quality and resolution. S.O: Narrative films or just experimental things? I.G: Narrative and experimental. S.O: Narrative like a school play filmed? I.G: Well, there was a narrative but at that time it was pretty obscure. No dialogue. S.O: Was this for you or for projects for school? I.G: It was for myself but I managed to submit it for my graphic design portfolio, which was pretty cool. S.O: And, the experimental stuff: were you filming skateboarders or was it truly experimental? I.G: I actually did film skateboarders but in a certain kind of narrative. I was about seventeen/ eighteen at the time. S.O: Was it something that you wanted to follow up on when you left school? I.G: Yeah. In High School I was thinking “I’m either going to go to film school or study literature” – I’m glad I didn’t go to film school. S.O: What prompted you not to? I.G: The quality of film schools in Cape Town. S.O: So you enrolled at UCT? I.G: I had a gap year where I wanted to consolidate these certain threads of production – painting and filmmaking in particular – and then after that I enrolled in UCT. S.O: During the time of Steven Watson? I.G: Yeah. I actually took a seminar with him and he introduced me to [Jorge Luis] Borges, which became fully influential too. S.O: I see you have a Borges work on your Blank Projects show, a portrait of his one translator, Norman Thomas di Giovanni. [Sounds of paper shuffling] I’ll come to Borges, but first I want to ask this. Is painting a lonely profession? I.G: I think so but in a good way. S.O: [Sounds of paper shuffling] Okay, so I wrote out this Borges quote from 1934, when he broke off his relationship with his lover. I.G: Well he had quite a few relationships, which he then broke off. S.O: He wrote this: “I ask myself anxiously, where am I? And I realized I didn’t know. I thought, who am I? And I couldn’t say. I was filled with fear. I thought: this disconsolate wakefulness already is hell, this pointless wakefulness will be my eternity.” A beautiful piece. What draws you to Borges? I.G: At first it was because I didn’t have the attention span for novels. He has these cryptic short stories – the name ‘short stories’ doesn’t even seem to apply – I sup-
pose his little thought experiments and his paradoxes. It’s the conjunction of poetry and philosophy. I don’t really know of anyone who mixes the two fields successfully. S.O: He is such a reference point, across disciplines. I know a lot of artists who like him. Anyway, I want to talk to you about wakefulness – “pointless wakefulness” and “disconsolate wakefulness”. I’m just wondering, when you’re standing in front of a canvas painting, is it a process of becoming wakeful, or is it more meditative and dreamy? I.G: For many years I described the process as meditative. I was doing these commission portraits and people asked me if it was boring painting some picture of the son of a rich person. The word boring never really entered into my mind, so I would describe it as meditative. Now painting is pretty much different because I can’t really just switch off and go on autopilot. S.O: Because wakefulness, to me, implies an alertness, even if it’s disconsolate. I.G: There is a very exhausting alertness that is involved when I paint. S.O: What is it an alertness to – Is it things around you? Experiences? A Sensation? Is it just purely visual alertness? I.G: On a simple level its just alertness to the picture I’m working from. I found that I can never become alert to a picture in a sense that I cannot become more alert and learn more about it, even if it’s just the simplest little picture from a magazine. S.O: Back to UCT, you were paying some of your tuition fees by doing commissioned portraits. I.G: Well not tuition but I was paying my lifestyle fees. S.O: How many portraits did you do during that phase? I.G: Not many, I never advertised. Things just sort of came to me from word of mouth. S.O: Were they fairly realist portraits? I.G: Oh yeah. Here’s one of them. S.O: It’s very photorealist. I.G: Well that one in particular, the family was very keen on photorealism, and I was happy to oblige. Now I don’t think I could do that. S.O: Did you work from a sitter or did you take photographs. I.G: Photographs. S.O: This obvious facility you have to paint photorealist portraits, was it always there. I.G: It developed. I made some shocking paintings years ago. But I usually made shocking paintings when I was trying to get away from the photograph, and I made some pretty shocking attempts at photorealism. It took a few years to develop. S.O: Where are those shocking examples? I.G: I’m not sure actually. In fact I was throwing them away and then a friend of mine salvaged them; he owns them, but I don’t know where they’ve gone actually. S.O: What made you decide after you’d finished your B.A to go to art school, because clearly you could have done this as a career or as a lucrative sidebar to a different career. I.G: It was never very fulfilling, in that it wasn’t unfulfilling and I do actually quite like some of the portraits I made, but for each of them I had to be asking myself a certain question with regards to paint and images and I set myself certain challenges with each portrait. The last ones I did were in 2009 and by that stage I had to seriously force myself through these paintings because I had answered the questions already and they weren’t challenging. I knew from the start actually that it couldn’t have been a career. S.O: You enrolled in a post-graduate diploma at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. Why? I.G: I had a certain facility as a painter and then I wanted to go to art school and turn that. S.O: To corrupt it. I.G: To corrupt that facility and become an artist. I put myself on the fast track and then I didn’t want to do a Masters because I would’ve ended up there for three years, which I thought was too long. So I took a year to try and figure out what my inclinations were and my own interests and how to articulate these things with paint. S.O: How did you resolve it? By blurring things? Let’s take a concrete example, say the Lindsay Lohan mug shot portraits on the show. There are two very distinct portraits of her in prison orange jumpsuits. If I look at the one, it’s very crisp, very graphic, but with the other I get a sense that the portrait subject is beginning to dissolve. I.G: I suppose the first thing to say about these ones is that I found these images and I thought they were remarkably successful portraits. It was quite disheartening because I had spent a few years trying to make successful portraits and I felt that these were doing a better job than I did. The photographic images. Something about them, they looked painterly, which was surprising given the context in which they were produced. They really struck me. What I wanted to do and why I ended up painting them is that I was thinking a lot about taking images and
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Ian Grose, Cape Town - the day before being told that he had won the ABSA L’Atelier Art Award Photograph: Jenny Altschuler reproducing them. And taking a different path in reproducing them. And ending up at pretty much the same place, in that there is a higher degree of likeness, whereas the photographic pictures were produced in this certain context of police or bureaucracy, probably under a climate of antagonism or fear or whatever. I was taking the pictures through this different route by taking them into a studio and reproducing them in this painterly mode, which I had associated with this certain fascination and this certain love of something. And then ending up in the same place and seeing if the final product’s meaning is altered by its history of coming into being. S.O: Where did you find those portraits? On the net or in some physical form? I.G: On the internet. S.O: Why were you looking at Lindsay Lohan? I.G: I was looking for a mug shot of Mischa Barton, which I’d seen in a magazine. I didn’t know which actress it was and came across the Lohan portraits. I thought they were successful. S.O: Google’s images are fairly small. Did you have to try and find larger versions or did you use the thumbnail? I.G: I used the thumbnail, really bad jpeg, which is why the colours go strangely saturated. S.O: The pixels almost dematerialize. I.G: Exactly. I quite like that. I’ve been thinking a lot about contemporary idiom of painting. A lot of the time I’m blurring things because these marks seem just too traditional and I prefer to just rub them off. But in terms of that jpeg, that certain handing of colour, I’ve tried to sort of emulate that in painting. S.O: Your Blank Projects exhibition will present work from your Michaelis graduate exhibition. There are two works missing, a pair of unmade beds. An unmade bed is a recurring subject in photography. What’s your interest in it? I.G: I would get home at night and be confronted with my bed and bed sheet. S.O: You make it sound very menacing, to be confronted by an unmade bed. You felt guilt at not making your bed? I.G: [Chuckles] I would see my bed sheet – maybe it was the light, or maybe it was because I’d spent the day looking at art history books – but it always strongly evoked this whole art history tradition of drapery and sheets, the reclining nude and all the kind of sumptuous drapery that surrounds this reclining nude. S.O: It’s strange how it becomes a point of observation for viewers and critics. I know with Deborah Poynten, some people say, “Wow, she paints curtain really well!” I’m sure she doesn’t want people looking at her paintings obsessing over the curtains, you know, it’s the figure. I.G: I’d probably look at the curtains too. I suppose you are supposed to look at everything. S.O: Let’s talk about all the dealer courtship that followed your graduate show. I.G: It wasn’t unanticipated, in fact, it was quite strongly hoped for. I was thinking that if I don’t have dealer courtship then there’s a problem. I dealt with it by picking the best gallery to show my work. I’m pretty reluctant to stick to a gallery at the moment. I don’t want to become part of a stable or anything since I still feel I’m very young and I have a lot of ideas to get through and clarify for myself. S.O: You also participated on a group show at the Goodman Gallery. It comes with its own very daunting reputation. Was it cool? Not cool? I.G: It was great. At the moment I’m honestly trying to be on as many group shows as I can. For that show in particular they’re experimenting with using their storage area as an exhibition space. They offered the opportunity to a number of different emerging artists. S.O: Sounds like a dirty word, “emerging”. I.G: Emerging, yeah. It’s been coming up allot lately. S.O: There are many painters but one doesn’t get the sense that there is much conversation around painting in South Africa. It’s just an activity that individuals do. There’s no sort of big discussion around different trends and that. You see Penny Siopis try to kind of create debate and that. Is that something that would
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
interest you, or does it not matter that there’s no public conversation? I.G: Obviously I’d prefer that there were more people talking about painting. More lively debate. S.O: What about in your circle of friends? Are there any painters? I.G: I’m good friends with Georgina Gratrix. We talk about painting a lot. S.O: Do you lend her all your bright colours? I.G: Well I wouldn’t actually lend her anything. Because it would come back destroyed. I’m friends with her and Linda Stupart. S.O: How do those conversations help your work? They are both people that I think spend a lot of time thinking about art. I.G I was alarmed when I realised that people can be artists and yet be in a completely different world. You can be a figurative painter working in the same city as another figurative painter who is your friend and the conversations that you are having in your work can be completely divorced from your friend’s conversations. But still I have to remain convinced that these painting need to happen otherwise if that starts waning then there’s no point in carrying on. If you see a painting as a certain line of a conversation that happens throughout history then lots of the people I’m talking to or talking about, I’m being quite explicit in mentioning them. So there quite a clear line you can trace back. But these people are mostly dead and they’re mostly European. S.O: Who? I.G: Edouard Manet is a big one, Degas, Richter, photographers. This could just evolve into me talking about my influences. S.O: It’s a question that one tries to avoid. I.G: Exactly. S.O: On one level being a South African painter is a very difficult thing because one’s encounter of pictures is often as reproductions, not as fact, and they look very different when you see them. Is that something that you’re very aware of? I.G: The work behind you, which is a reproduction of a Manet. I’m explicitly trying to deal with this sort of situation, of being a South Africa who encounters this tradition of painting almost always by reproduction. These works exist on a pretty small scale. Mostly in a book. Mostly completely flat and texture-less. Something you can sort of hold in your hand. S.O: Pretty much like how one consumes a celebrity like Lohan. They just exist as pictures. Do you have a business card? I.G: No. S.O: My question actually is at what point did you start calling yourself a painter as opposed to a student? I.G: Probably a few months ago. Definitely not artist, never artist. You never want to introduce yourself at a bar as an artist. S.O: You sound like you had bad luck with that when you did once introduce yourself. What happened? I.G: Terrible. I’ve actually just kept away from that name. S.O: You make painter sound respectable. I.G: I think something about its specificity makes it excusable. S.O: Is it the difference between saying I’m a writer versus a novelist or a poet. I.G: Yeah, well saying you’re a poet, that’s very tricky. But yeah a few months ago when it became clear that I can do this fulltime then I started calling myself a painter in bars. S.O: Does it at least come with some form of remuneration or pay check? I.G: Yeah. I’m still waiting to sell these works and it’s been pretty tough, financially. I’ve sat on them for a few months now. S.O: So Lindsay will finally get to go to wherever she wants to go. Interview first published in mahala.co.za, adapted for AT
Nathaniel Stern in a lily pond at Emmarentia Park in Johannesburg.
Nathaniel Stern Nathaniel Stern chats to Wilhelm van Rensburg about Love, and his latest solo exhibition in Johannesburg at Gallery AOP in August 2011, entitled Giverny of the Midwest, Stern has become a latter day, albeit electronic Monet. The best decision of my life was to chase Nicole Ridgway halfway around the globe, and make her agree to spend her life with me.” So says Nathaniel Stern, world-renowned media artist. When he first met her, Stern was finishing his Masters of Fine Arts in digital art at New York University, where she was a visiting fellow. He was completely enamoured with Ridgway the moment she began speaking. “She had that beautiful accent (now so familiar to me), and she was the most brilliant and generous person I had ever encountered. For two months I basically harassed her with a flurry of e-mails and letters on her door, and by sliding my arm in hers in the hallways, until she relented and agreed to go on a date with me. And then she stood me up!” Figuring that Nicole was far too decent to do such a thing without reason, he checked and found a note saying that she was attending a talk by Vito Acconci at Cooper Union. Stern’s response was to show up at that same lecture with another woman on his arm – and one whom he knew would have to leave early for a class – so he could have another shot at Nicole. Finally, the two had their drinks at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge (cheap but watered down bourbon and soda) talking non-stop into the night. That cold February in the East Village in 2001 was when he decided to follow her back to South Africa, where she held a tenured position in the Drama Department at Wits. “I lived in New York until my early twenties,” Stern says, “but I grew up in South Africa.” 10
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, Stern quickly established himself. As video artist and performance poet, he worked with PJ Sabbagha and the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative on The Double Room, which took the FNB Vita Award for Most Outstanding Presentation of a Contemporary Work (2001). The Mail and Guardian newspaper tersely referred to him as ‘digital guy’ for some time after that. As teacher, he began working with Christo Doherty, Head of Digital Arts at Wits School of the Arts, lecturing in the newly established MAFA program (2002). And as fine artist, Stern won a merit prize at the Brett Kebble Art Awards for his interactive installation, stuttering (2003). With the money from that prize, he bought the software that enabled him to create a major winning work at the second and last Kebble awards for another interactive installation, step inside (2004). At this point, Stern was offered a solo exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG, 2004 - 2005). The Storytellers, featuring both a 6-channel and 1-channel video installation, a large-scale interactive art work, and over 3 dozen prints, was sponsored by the American consulate and the JAG itself. “But that still wasn’t enough to cover the show,” Stern begins, an edge of sadness in his voice. He explains that Braamfontein-based Andrew Meintjes, “who was becoming a good friend,” agreed to produce the prints for the show at no initial cost. SA ART TIMES. August 2011
INTERVIEW WITH NATHANIEL STERN / NEWS | ART TIMES
Nathaniel Stern and his wife Nicole Ridgway
“As a believer in my work, he said I could pay him back once the pieces sold.” Only hours after their agreement was reached, Meintjes was shot dead in his studio, the culprits getting away with nothing more than a cell phone. “It still haunts me,” Stern vocalized. With only weeks to spare before the opening, Stern was able to use his Kebble winnings for art yet again, this time parlaying the money for his museum show. The Storytellers was dedicated to Meintjes. “In between all of this Nathaniel and Nicole flew back to New York to get married, and Stern did a short residency at Cornell University where he continued to produce video art; he collaborated with Marcus Neustetter on various work and exhibitions (both on- and offline), and worked on a second award-winning piece with PJ Sabbagha. In 2006 back in Johannesburg, a major breakthrough occurred in Stern’s work. He produced a custom battery-pack and hardware in order to attach a desktop scanner and laptop to his body, and scan or perform art works in the landscape - chief of which was in a lily pond at Emmarentia Park in Johannesburg. The scanned data was compressed into narrow horizontal or vertical strips (playfully coining a new –ism in art, namely Compressionism) and then stretched and edited on his computer to form a new piece. “I thought of the resultant prints as fundamentally electronic works, in which I attempted to bridge the analog and the digital; but a graduate student at Wits who I was teaching at the time, Richard Kilpert, said these were the best prints he had ever seen. So I asked: ‘Teach me about printmaking?” This led to a whole new direction in Stern’s practice. He soon teamed up with Jillian Ross at David Krut, publishing a new body of work and portfolio for his exhibition Call and Response with Alet Vorster at Art on Paper Gallery (now GALLERY AOP). Stern jokingly laments that Voster did not like the work he first showed her on his laptop, but she took a liking to the prints as soon as she saw them in the real world a few weeks later, and eventually published the catalog for his highly successful solo show (2007). This was also the time, however, when Stern decided to leave South Africa to
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
pursue a PhD abroad, with Nicole and their newborn, Sidonie Ridgway Stern. Most of the programmes he looked at were either practice-based, or focused on visual interpretations of contemporary work. Stern wanted to pursue written research on interaction and performativity in media art. This landed him study with Professor Linda Doyle at Trinity College, the University of Dublin, in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department of all places! “Here I was, a fine artist, in an Engineering Department, pursuing a humanitiesbased PhD,” Stern observes wryly. “Linda did not have a clue what I wanted to do, but she was completely open to my interests and had no agenda of her own; and most importantly, she asked really smart questions.” During his two-year stay in Dublin, Stern continued to exhibit there, in Cork, Johannesburg, New York and more, and completed a short residency in Belgium. While he and his family initially intended to return to South Africa on completion of his doctorate, after submitting his dissertation to his supervisor in 2008, Stern accepted a full-time position in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), moving his wife and now two-year-old back to the United States literally a month before the global economic crash. ‘Like most other places during the economic recession, it was not kind to the arts or education, and I have to live with budget cuts and forced pay cuts now; but I’m having a great time of it nevertheless.” He loves his colleagues in his department, and has been collaborating with local, but globally known American artists since his arrival - Jessica Meuninck-Ganger and Yevgeniya Kaganovich in Milwaukee, and Scott Kildall in San Francisco – and writers such as Mary-Louise Schumacher at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The majority of his work now combines new and traditional media – concrete sculpture with 3D imaging, prints with video, electronics and mechanics with sculpture – a trajectory he credits Compressionism with. Within three years, and thanks to major shows, awards and publications worldwide (including the Venice Biennale, Transmediale and several solos and duos in London, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Johannesburg), he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. At UWM Stern manages a fantastic mentorship programme, working with students who help him with his installations, prints and various forms of participatory work, while gaining important experience in the studio and in relation to professional practice. “As in South Africa, where I always did community work in the arts, I am continuing to help build the arts in Milwaukee, by working with organizations like The Upgrade and Milwaukee Artist Resource Network. In fact, I am trying to combine my efforts across cities. I’ve already brought several of my American collaborators to South Africa, and am currently trying to bring South African folks to UWM – taking advantage, for example, of renowned author and director Jane Taylor’s trip to the states in the Fall.” South Africa, Stern says, is still home. He plays an active role in the arts, plugs his friends and colleagues into each other’s life and careers, and tries to come back to visit everyone and exhibit new work as often as he can – wistfully avowing to move back one day. His latest solo exhibition in Johannesburg is again at GALLERY AOP in August 2011, where he takes the scanning of water lilies to a new level. Entitled Giverny of the Midwest, Stern has become a latter day, albeit electronic Monet, basing his 2 x 12 meter installation on the Impressionist’s famous Water Lilies painting in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He will also show a selection of older work and a new 6-channel video installation as part of Transcode, curated by Gwen Miller, at UNISA, this September, then museum, gallery and festival exhibitions in the states, New Zealand, and Canada in the weeks that follow.
Dale Yudelman wins the Ernest Cole Award 2011
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SA ART TIMES. August 2011
/ NEWS | ART TIMES
Photographer Dale Yudelman is the first winner of the newly established Ernest Cole Award for photography in South Africa. On the 30 June the adjudication committee chose his project – “From the Hip”, from a final selection of five entries.Yudelman describes his project as being “Inspired by the Ernest Cole exhibition I saw in February this year, which documented life under apartheid. My series looks at life ‘under democracy’ and consists of vibrant daily reflections; shot in passing, with the simple motivation of noticing what is.”“The aim is to deliver an account accurate and vivid as any documentary anthology of contemporary life and the way in which ordinary citizens experience their current social and political circumstances.” There were sixty-seven entries for the inaugural annual award, from which five finalists were chosen. Four honorable mentions were awarded to: Jabulani Dhlamini, Marc Shoul, Graeme Williams, and Thabiso Sekgala. Dhlamini’s project “Amawele “(The Twins) beautifully reveals the specific uniqueness of each identical twin, despite their immediate aesthetic similarities. Shoul’s ongoing project humorously and sensitively captures
small town Brakpan inhabitants living their lives in contemporary South Africa. Williams’ “Painting over the Present” focuses on the interiors and exteriors of poverty stricken people’s homes. He says that, “It has been surprising to find that although the areas differ in many ways, there are almost always individual s who seemingly refuse to be subsumed into the starkness that surrounds them.” In “Homeland”, Sekgala explores the complexity of people’s relationships with the former ‘homelands’ of apartheid South Africa. The award, managed by UCT Libraries, will enable Yudelman to complete his project, culminating in an exhibition and the publishing of a book, by Jacana, next year. The Ernest Cole Award is the largest photographic award in South Africa and has been established to stimulate creative work in South Africa. The award offers the winning photographer R150 000 with which to work on a photographic project of their choice with emphasis on human rights and social change.For more information about the award and next year’s deadline go to www.ernestcoleaward.org
Images (L-R) Dale Yudelman at Milnerton Market plot 2011, Dales selection of cameras, 100 % Boer, Poster behind security Gate, Heidi- Sexworker, Dale Yudelman by Jenny Altschuler SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Sit Down and
ART TIMES | NEWS / CENSORSHIP OF THE ARTS SEMINAR - DUT- DURBAN
The Art Times publishes two reports on the evening
Stand Up and Be Counted by Greg Streak First published on artthrob.co.za Sit Down and Shut Up was a seminar evening held on July 13th at the Arthur Millar Hall on the Durban University of Technology’s City campus. The purpose of the evening was to open up some debate around censorship of the arts, built heavily around the saga of Andries Botha’s Public Elephant sculpture. By now you’re probably wondering what the point of this would be, given the already excessive debates this has generated over the past year and a half. Yes, it’s been well over a year and still nothing, so that is the point. It is nationally apparent that the Durban City moves particularly slowly on things, perhaps in part because of arrogance, but I suspect mostly because of ignorance, the two of which are a clearly a dangerous combination. Sit Down and Shut Up provided a platform for the joint contribution of Stephen Pete and Sarah Pudifin (both with distinctive honours within the legal fraternity), Zanele Muholi (visual artist / activist), Eric Applegrin (Durban City) and Andries Botha (visual artist). Within a two and a half hour session there was obviously much said, much debated and many questions asked – but not all necessarily answered. Whilst four of the speakers were champions of the arts, fighting the cause, Applegrin was the lone apologist / defender. And let’s not forget the 100 odd plus audience that were very much an art crowd too. They talk about safety in numbers, but lets forget about that for the moment. The interesting subversion here is that Applegrin plays the role of Goliath and the rest the collective role of David. Stephen Pete and Sarah Pudifin are currently co-authoring a major article that will appear as a two-part contribution in volumes 2 and 3 of the legal journal Obiter later this year. Their joint contribution at the evenings proceedings was perfectly balanced and illuminated many interesting aspects of the laws enshrined within our constitution, not withstanding section 16 (1) which includes a) freedom of the press and other media; b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; c) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research, and importantly: d) freedom of artistic creativity Pete and Pudifin provided some case studies and elaborated on the constitutional rights of an artist / artwork. If it wasn’t already clear, the Ethekweni Municipality is in deep shit. That’s where the arrogance / ignorance theory comes from. How could you so blatantly violate the constitution (arrogant) – unless you simply don’t have a clue what it actually contains (ignorant). Ironically, the Cities saviour thus far has been the artist, Andries Botha himself. His calm composure and willingness to engage this process, belies the inner turmoil of having been treated in such an unacceptable manner. It is interesting to note, that what is playing
itself out in Durban is merely a micro example of what is playing itself out on a National level, where the ANC government seems to lead through this arrogance / ignorance binary … and so it’s no wonder that this then filters down. Zanele Muholi contributed her impassioned fight for black lesbian women in South Africa. Most notably her infamous collision with Minister Lulu Xingwana whose statement that images of nude lesbian women are “… immoral, offensive and going against nation-building” is once again a blatant disregard for the South African Constitution that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexuality. The much vaunted “best constitution in the world” will read more and more hollow the longer ignorant politicians are allowed to make a constant mockery of it. Enter Goliath. Eric Applegrin was brave in his mere presence, but hey that’s what he gets paid to do, to take it on the chin (or temple). He began by suggesting that this entire fiasco was his own fault, his responsibility, since he maintains that he never followed due process in actually notifying the council of the project in the first place. It is pretty much public knowledge that it was one individual, driving a black SUV that actually caused all of this brouhaha. Andries didn’t make the sculpture in secrecy and one night just plonk the three enormous elephants in the middle of the freeway. He was approached by the city. He engaged a committee that included a Durban Art Gallery representative and presented the idea in microscopic detail. This committee then appointed Andries, signed contracts and paid retainers. They did studio visits and prepared the site for installation that was 80% complete before knight-rider interjected. At times there is a fine line between brave and foolish and this is one of those; brave for Eric to take the blame, but foolish to be the fall guy. There is actually no real issue here. Simply one mans insecurity with a defunct political party. That’s the problem with politicians; an over inflated sense of self - everything is about them. In this instance, a conceptually rich, site-specific and possibly the best piece of contemporary public sculpture we have to date in our city, was taken from being an ancestral incarnation of the last elephant reportedly shot in the Warwick precinct, to being an IFP propagandist sculpture? Uh? Even more difficult to believe is the City’s collective backing of such a ludicrous connection and sadly the Durban Art Galleries spineless silence in its contributions to wagging the dog. Andries Botha ended the evening with another tragically beautifully account of his ordeal. The resilience is commendable, the ability to endure such continued onslaught, unbelievable. Botha has had a host of support, primarily by individuals who have stuck their necks out and criticized these nonsensical proceedings. What has been dis-heartening to witness is the lack of support from the so-called “ Art Institutions”. When our art institutions, our supposed bastions of the arts are lead by bureaucrats who see their positions as just a job and have no real vested interest and vision, it is no wonder that Durban is considered a cultural backwater. When they are more concerned for “city funding and favour” instead of their mandate, there is a problem. History has a way of recording all of this. They heeded the call to “sit down and shut up” when what was really needed was to stand up and be counted. Greg Streak is a visual artist and owner of Source Creative an arts consultancy based in Durban
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
CENSORSHIP OF THE ARTS SEMINAR - DUT - DURBAN / NEWS | ART TIMES
Censorship of the Arts Ilsa Thompson Last Tuesday evening, Durban Artist Bernice Stott in collaboration with the KZNSA Gallery facilitated a forum on censorship of the arts. A hundred or so people attended in the beautifully-restored Arthur Smith Hall on the DUT City Campus in Durban in order to grapple with the issues surrounding censorship and its impacts on artists and the visual arts. Stott, who has herself had her work censored at the Constitutional Court, observed in her preamble: “Apartheid, and other repressive governments, have feared art, artists and the right of all people to enjoy free artistic expression. Sit Down and Shut Up is an awareness-raising event whose aim is to reach the South African art community and the government to work together against Censorship.” The seminar had five guest speakers, including photographer and lesbian activist Zanele Muholi and sculptor Andries Botha. Joining them on the podium was city official Eric Apelgren along with lawyers Stephen Pete and Sarah Pudifin, who are publishing a paper on censorship and public art. Pete quoted from a paper by Albie Sach, Rebellious Spring, and summarised: “During the last twenty years or so since Albie Sachs’s dream of a society based on the widest possible recognition of openness, difference and pluralism – a rainbow nation, if you want to use what has now unfortunately become a clichéd term – has not been realised. Pete explained: “If it is correct that liberal values such as tolerance, open-
We are proud to announce the opening of a second art gallery in Somerset West in the near future
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Art censorship in the spotlight at forum hosted at Durban’s DUT
ness and diversity should be central in guiding South Africa’s democracy, what does it mean for art? We believe that these values should shape state policy in relation to the funding and commissioning of public art, as well as the general response of state officials to public art. Promotion without undue promulgation would be our ideal: hands off and arms length. Our constitution has it right: we have principals before us; we just need to follow them through. Zanele Muholi explained that from a personal perspective, “Art articulates our issues and claims spaces which have been refused to us. My work is about history, memory and archive. I am a visual activist and my work is based on political issues.” She spoke passionately about frustrations relating to funding, judgment, perceived senses of morality and about power in the hands of ill-equipped officials. She concluded: “Elephants may be stuck in the mud, but lesbians are stuck in the graveyards of South Africa,” Next up was Eric Apelgren who heads the Department of International and Governance Relations for the city of Durban. Apelgren is one of the few city officials who cares deeply about the arts and increasingly takes responsibility for the beleaguered elephants: “I feel like I am the person who caused all the trouble with the elephants. I initiated the process of getting Andries to do the work,” he explained. Apelgren spoke about the inability of city officials to understand the complex, layered symbolism of the elephants and their historical, social and environmental significance: “What went wrong was that I failed to allow Andries direct access to the city to explain directly the symbolism of his vision. I myself understood but I did not explain it to the people who mattered,” Botha has become the reluctant poster boy for arts censorship, having had two major public artworks censored: his elephant sculptures by the eThekwini Municipaluty and his King Shaka by the Zulu Royal household. He spoke articulately on the topic ‘Things we do not want to hear or see’. Botha carefully unpacked his disappointment, frustration and anger at the handling of his work. “As a visual artist, I cannot but note that our role in participating within this vigorous public discourse has increasingly relegated itself to the prosaic function of entertainment or embellishment. What I have noted is a gradual diminishing culture of political patience where oppositional sensibilities which are essential to the notion of our collective idea of national identity, is shrinking. This could be the ruining of a great imaged South Africa” he said. - The KZNSA Gallery’s seminar was partnered by Africalia, The Human Elephant Foundation, Durban University of Technology, Bartel Arts Trust, Art for Humanity, eThekwini Municipality and The Centre for Creative Arts.
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ART TIMES | INTERVIEW: BRENDAN BELL / MEETING THE MAKERS, KZN CRAFT AT IT’S BEST
Meeting the Makers
blandness of mass market consumerism? And do you think the show is reflective of a certain zeitgeist of the times, regardless of whether that was the intent? Brendan Bell: I think some crafters have deliberately chosen to opt out of the fast lane in general, preferring a quieter existence in pleasant surroundings such as the Midlands. In order to make a living, though, crafters have to be aware of trends in mass market consumerism. I’m sure many are tempted to feed that consumerism – it must be a difficult juggling act. I have noticed there is also a tendency with some crafters and/or groups to pander to trends in interior decoration. I’m undecided whether this is a bad thing or not. As for reflecting the Zietgeist of the times? It’s probably more of an antidote to the harsh, brash, tasteless American-style materialism which South Africans seem intent on embracing. And no, it wasn’t intentional, but since you mention it, I think it’s very clear we had a different agenda in our searches.
Peter Machen speaks to Brendan Bell, director of the Tatham Art Gallery, about Meeting the Makers – the major exhibition of the craft of KZN which recently opened at the Tatham, and which has involved years of preparation, and months of roadtrips around the province in search of transcendent craft objects. PM: There are a lot of people who might have been involved exclusively in ‘art’ production 10 years ago who are now making craft, in part because it’s more saleable to the general public, at lower prices and higher volume. Despite this move, these people still view themselves as artists and many of them also exhibit in serious galleries. Do you think there’s a degree of compromise inherent in this process? Or is it simply a case of artists using different mediums of expression? BB: There will always be this debate about the exclusivity of the unique object. Is a limited edition of a moulded ceramic vessel any different from an edition of artist’s prints? In South Africa we’ve had to compromise our western aesthetic superiority in order to be more inclusive of peoples where cultural production does not embrace painting, sculpture and graphics. We’ve had to adjust our vision and look at items of material culture not as ethnography, but as having aesthetic value. Purists would probably disagree, and would say that art museums collecting items of material culture with an aesthetic slant in mind, for example, are changing meaning, decontextualising objects and patronising makers. But how else do South African art museums accommodate the creativity of all its cultural groupings? Peter Machen: All of the objects on display in Meeting the Makers are handcrafted, even if they are produced with the help of machines. Do you think that the broad contemporary embrace of craft (regardless of what the art world might think) is a response to the
PM: Can you tell me about some of the things you saw on your travels that really blew you away - ideas and executions that you had never seen before? BB: One thing I really found exciting were the grass animals made by Florence Shezi. Her bread-and-butter income is from traditional grass brooms. She told us she was instructed by her ancestors in a dream to start making animals and birds with her grass. We bought six, one of which is on the show. I am fascinated that the animals are the result of experimenting with the grass weaving technique – and producing something very new as a result. I have always had a soft spot for Bheki Myeni’s carved wooden animals. They used to be highly finished, but I prefer his more recent rougher surfaces. But more than that, I am stunned at his ability to coax complex interrelated forms from pieces of wood. It’s sort of magical, even spiritual – like Michelangelo releasing the figures from his marble blocks. PM: Were there any objects that you saw – and perhaps bought – but didn’t select for the show that were remarkable in their conception but failed to make the grade because of poor technical execution? BB: Yes there were. I don’t want to be specific but there were instances where we misjudged or felt obliged, or were simply caught out by our own enthusiasm. For some reason we started off thinking that groups of three objects would look good in a display. So we bought too much! The final selection process partly involved choosing one or two from three, and partly looking again with clear heads. We asked Sue Greenberg from Artisan Gallery to help us with the final selection. She cut through our personal favourites and demanded answers to awkward questions – which was exactly what we needed. PM: When you came across extraordinary objects, were the crafters generally working by themselves, or had the concept been developed with the help of a mentor? Were there cases where works had been designed by co-ops? BB: There were certainly objects which were made co-operatively, often designed by the mentor/owner and executed by trained staff. I think of FAB designs, Usisi Designs, Zenzulu, Umcebo Trust, even Koop Designs. In Maputaland, Sibusiso Ndlazi worked with a number of friends/relatives in making various parts for his mobiles. But there were also extraordinary objects made by individuals, among them Bheki Myeni, Lindsay Scott, Andrew Walford, Josephine Mdungwa, Jennie de la Hunt.
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
MEETING THE MAKERS, KZN CRAFT AT IT’S BEST / INTERVIEW: BRENDAN BELL | ART TIMES
SA Craft highlight exhibition takes place at The Tatham Gallery: Images L-R Bongekile Nala, Widas Mtshali- Wooden dog, Andrew Walford, Guido & Coralie van Besouw, Jabu Mnguni Umkhamba - tree, Siphiwe Dlamini and Ntombi Nala. Below Brendan Bell by Peter Machen. PM: Do you think that you can train traditional crafters to develop their own contemporary aesthetic that engages with modernity and mass markets, or do you think it’s an intuitive expressive/creative skill that some people have and others don’t? And in this shift to modernity and individuated expression, is there not a danger that we will lose traditional forms forever? BB: I think of the Mdukatshani wire weavers who produced the most beautiful ukhambashaped bowls for a project called Threads of Africa, using gold, silver, copper and brass wire. First, the weavers would not normally have had access to such expensive materials. Second, the patterns and forms they made were workshopped with people who had a specific aesthetic in mind. The sense of modernity reflected in the vessels is external to- the makers. Given the opportunity, I think the weavers could improvise variations of the basic theme, but I wouldn’t say it originated from their own innate intuitive skills. In so many cases we met crafters who were producing extraordinarily fine traditional objects, but there wasn’t much evidence of innovation in the sense of ‘taking the material for a walk’ or pushing the boundaries. The manner in which the homes of many of these fine crafters were decorated was, to my mind, telling – aspiring to middle-class taste, Bradlows and net curtains. And yes, there is the danger of us losing traditional forms, but it’s not because of any shift in the material, skill or technique of the current crafters. It’s because the younger generation has aspirations to a culture of immediate gratification. Making fine craft is “old fashioned”, too much like hard work. It’s so much easier to sms on the cellphone or slob out in front of the TV. PM: It’s one thing to develop the skills of crafters and encourage them to produce contemporary designs, but do you think there’s a parallel need to educate the broader public and specifically the global art audience about the expressive depth of craft? Or do you think that that the job has already been done? BB: I really don’t know that one can educate the broader public, or entice them to appreciate things that are not socially and aesthetically acceptable to a kind of group mentality. Our world is aspirational – and it isn’t for fine design or superb technique or a sense of modernity as I would imagine them – it’s to a vulgar taste typified by the mass media, particularly television and new electronic media. The expressive depth of craft is a totally alien concept to the majority of South Africans. There is no concept that good craft is anything but expensive frippery. If you want decorations and interior design objects, then Mr Price Home is as close as it gets. It’s affordable, reproducible, and doesn’t make one feel like an alien, someone who doesn’t tow the accepted ideas of what constitutes mass production taste. “I buy it because my friends all have one” – or “it fits in with my concept of what American soap operas deem fitting for set decorations”. PM: What proportion of the crafters whose work is on show in Meeting the Makers have never had their work exhibited before? BB: I haven’t counted, but I think it’s a small proportion. Despite my cynicism, good crafters are valued by a small proportion of our population, so many of them have had their work exhibited before. PM: How big do you think the market is for exquisitely produced traditional craft? Is the market supported predominantly by local or overseas buyers?
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
BB: It’s a small, exclusive niche of people who have travelled, are educated and moneyed, and who have developed a sophisticated sense of taste in some way or other. I imagine most of the “good” craft produced in this country has a better overseas viability. Tourists want mementos, not good craft, and we are specialists in providing those en masse. And I have a sneaky suspicion that the Chinese are manufacturing a lot of it. PM: What proportion of craft in general do you think is being purchased by foreign buyers? BB: A huge proportion. The reason? South Africans don’t have any respect for the handmade. As long as it’s cheap, and glitzy, it’s fine. PM: Do you think the explosion of high-end craft that’s available through websites like etsy.com has helped to inculcate a greater respect for craft and handwork in the global culture? Do you think it’s here to stay, or just a fad? BB: Etsy.com may have influenced a more tasteful purchasing habit amongst those who have access to the means – email, internet, credit card – and always, money. But it’s too much – a complete overload of sensation and temptation. I think it’s very sad that we’ve lost the sense that local has value. Despite its appeal to nationalist sentiments, there’s a lot of good in the idea that “local is lekker”. PM: There’s a massive craft movement happening around the world, and in South Africa. Do you think as a result of this exhibition the art world will finally recognise craft as an equally valid medium of expression? I know the argument is over for many, but there are still those who insist on the divide. BB: The argument that craft is equal to the so-called visual arts is not over by a long stretch – and it won’t be until South Africans begin to value their own incredible creative potential. We can do it in our music, we can do it in our literature, we can do it our dance – so why not in our craft? I think that too often we look to the outside as a measure of our success. Those of us who don’t are on the right track. PM: Finally, the exhibition and the accompanying book include a strong focus on the crafters themselves, an attempt, it seems, to reconnect the crafters with the public who buy their work. This connection is usually broken by distance and the commerce of craft which often involves many middlemen and the exploitation of crafters. You have provided contact details for all the crafters – which I think is fantastic and very important in terms of the long term impact of this show. But are there any mechanisms in place to prevent the exploitation of the crafters and their work? I should point out that this last question about the exploitation of crafters should not be taken in a paternalistic light. Anyone can get taken for a ride. Even the conventional – supposedly non-exploitative – process of markup and distribution consistently screws creators of all kinds. BB: It’s not paternalistic to protect people from exploitation. Without empathetic protection, many crafters in this country will be exploited. Which is precisely why we have been very careful to provide sensible and sympathetic contacts for crafters who may otherwise be at the mercy of the unscrupulous. I’m afraid though that, in the end, the need to survive and put food on the table for the family, will determine the extent to which crafters will allow themselves to be exploited.
Meeting the Makers: Contemporary Craft of KZN opened at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on 28 July. The show runs until 18 September.
Gary van Wyk (with hat) at his well attended opening at The Photographerâ€™s Gallery CT. Photo: Fanie Bekker
Diane Victor new lithographs
Collection August 2011
Migrant Labour (Flying Horse). Hand printed lithograph, 50 x 65 cm. Edition 25.
Unisa Art Gallery, Kgorong Building (New Entrance Building) Ground Floor, Main Campus, Preller Street, Pretoria, 0003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (012) 441-5683
The Artists’ Press Box 1236, White River, 1240 • Tel 013 751 3225 email@example.com • www.artprintsa.com
Art Times Diane July 2011 advert1 1
FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA | SA GALLERY GUIDE
Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum Until 14 August, “Pedestrian Paintings (2006-2011)” by Andries Gouws in the Main Building. The exhibition is a combination of the interiors and still life works known from Gouws’ previous shows, as well as a series of paintings of feet on which he has been working since 2006. 25 August – 7 Sept, 23rd Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture and Architecture Exhibition in the Main Building. The architect Peter Rich has accepted the invitation to present the 2011 Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture and Exhibition at Oliewenhuis in Bloemfontein. He designed the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre which received the World Building of the Year Prize at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2009. 16 Harry Smith Str, Bloemfontein. T.051 447 9609
Clarens Art & Wine Gallery on Main The Gallery houses an exquisite collection of art by well-known artists like Gregoire Boonzaier, J.H. Pierneef, Pieter van der Westhuizen, Erik Laubscher, Jan Vermeiren, Marjorie Wallace, Eben van der Merwe, Conrad Theys, Hennie Niemann, Hannetjie de Clercq, ceramics by Laura Du Toit, sculpture by Fana Malherbe & Jean Doyle, glass by David Reade & Shirley Cloete and numerous others. 279 Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1298 or Anton Grobbelaar C. 082 341 8161 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artandwine.co.za Blou Donki Art Gallery A vibrant contemporary art gallery, housing a wide variety of contemporary art works, functional art, steel sculptures, bronzes, handmade glass and specializing in photography. Windmill Centre, Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1757 email@example.com www.bloudonki.co.za Johan Smith Art Gallery The gallery permanently exhibits a wide variety of classical and selected contemporary art works featuring Johan Smith, Elbè van Rooyen, Elga Rabe, Graham Carter, Nicole Pletts, Gregoire Boonzaier, Otto Klar, and various others. Specializing in ceramics, the gallery supports artists such as Hennie Meyer, Karen Sinovich, and Heather Mills, among others. Collectable bronzes, and handmade glass by David Reade, also available. Windmill Centre, Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1620 firstname.lastname@example.org www.johansmith.co.za
Gauteng Johannesburg Artspace –Jhb Opening 3 August @ 6pm, “Pillory” featuring paintings by Dylan Graham, until 31 August. 1 Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 880 8802 email@example.com www.artspace-jhb.co.za Christie’s International Auctioneers. Gillian Scott Berning, Independent Consultant. T 031 207 8247 Gillian.firstname.lastname@example.org www.christies.com CIRCA on Jellicoe 4 – 28 August, “(IN)SOMNIUM” Sculpture (mixed media), Digital Print and Drawing ( Pastel on paper) by Andries Botha. 2 Jellicoe Ave. T. 011 788 4805 email@example.com David Brown Fine Art David Brown Fine Art has relocated to Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City situated below the Michelangelo Hotel and next to Montego Bay Restaurant. T. 011 783 7805 firstname.lastname@example.org www.davidbrownfineart.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
David Krut Projects 28 July – 10 September, “Skin” photography by Gary Schneider. Walkabout with the artist Sat 30 August @ 11am. 140 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com Everard Read Jhb 4 – 28 August, “SHIFT” A Group Exhibition featuring: Pauline Gutter - oil on canvas, Walter Voigt – Oil on Canvas and Brennan Seward - Ink on paper. 6 Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Jhb. T. 011 788-4805 email@example.com www.everard-read.co.za Gallery AOP 30 July - 13 August, “Giverny of the Midwest” Digital prints by Nathaniel Stern. 20 August - 3 September, “Linocut prints” by Sandile Goje. 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark) T. 0117262234 www.artonpaper.co.za Gallery MOMO Until 22 August, “Kibira Nimoja” black & white photography by Andrew Tshabangu. 25 August - 19 September, a solo exhibition of photography &mixed media installations by Ayana Vellissia Jackson. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Jhb. T. 011 327 3247 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gallerymomo.com Gertrude Posel Gallery This gallery has a permanent exhibition of traditional southern, central & West African art. University of the Witwatersrand, Senate House, Jorissen Str, Braamfontein. T. 011 717 1365 email@example.com Goethe - Institut Until 26 August, “N1” photographic project by Dave Southwood. Goethe-Institut, 119 Jan Smuts, Johannesburg T. 011 442 3232 www.goethe.de Goodman Gallery Until 6 August, “Battiss & Company” presents well-known as well as rarely and never before exhibited work by the late artist and will also include a section of the gallery dedicated to work by artists and people close to him both personally and professionally. 14 August, Goodman Gallery 2011 Auction featuring works that have either never been seen on exhibition or have rarely or intermittently been made available to the South African public. A portion of the proceeds will go to the organisation SHOUT for a Safer South Africa. 163 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 firstname.lastname@example.org www.goodman-gallery.com Goodman Gallery Projects Until 31 August, “Light and Variable Winds with a Large Long Period Swell” by Thomas Mulcaire & Ricardo De Oliveira. Arts on Main, 264 Fox Str, City & Suburban, Jhb. T. 087 830 0880 F.011 788 9887 email@example.com www.goodman-gallery.com Grahams Fine Art Gallery The gallery houses one of the finest collections of art in South Africa, their focus is on absolute quality and are proud to offer an extensive selection of works for sale. Unit 46, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cnr Cedar & Valley Rds, Broadacres, Fourways, Jhb. T. 011 465 9192 firstname.lastname@example.org www.grahamsgallery.co.za Grayscale Gallery Until 3 August, “Facial Recognition” an exhibition celebrating portraiture featuring artists: Rasty, Sean Perrins, ben, Ling Bot & Kabelo Gift. 33 De Korte Str, Braamfontein, Jhb. T. 011 403 0077 www.pressurecontrol.co.za/NET 16 Halifax Works by Michael Heyns, Leon Muller & Mimi van der Merwe can be viewed by appointment in Johannesburg at 16 Halifax Str, Bryanston. Dana MacFarlane 082 784 6695 www.16halifaxart.co.za In Toto Opening 4 August @ 6pm, “Transience” a series of photographs by Michael Meyersfeld, until 30 August. 6 Birdhaven Centre, 66 St Andrew Str, Birdhaven. T. 011 447 6543 email@example.com www.intotogallery.co.za
SA GALLERY GUIDE | FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA water’s role on earth, from sustaining life and fuelling economies to its presence in belief systems, religions and rituals. Cnr of Simmonds & Frederick Str.’s, Jhb. T. 011 631 1889 www.standardbankarts.co.za
Johannesburg Art Gallery Until 14 August, “A.R.C. @ JAG (Acoustic Resonance Collector)” is the latest work by visual artist, Richard John Forbes. Until 28 August, “Looking as learning”: art in the 2011 schools curriculum, an exhibition of international and SA artists focused on the current school curriculum. Also on view is the ongoing, updated installation by Stephen Hobbs in the Auditorium Entrance. King George Str, Joubert Park, Jhb. T. 011 725 3130 firstname.lastname@example.org www.joburg.org.za
Stephan Welz & Company 16 & 17 August, Auction of Decorative & Fine Arts, Ceramics, Silver, Furniture, Jewellery & Books. 13 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg. T. 011 880-3125 email@example.com www.stephanwelzandco.co.za
Manor Gallery Opening on 7 August at 11:30 am, “Black Like Us” a group exhibition of many artists including Sam Maduna, Edward Selematsela, Abe Mathabe, Makiwa, Nali Gama & Mind Shana to name a few, until 3 September. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive, Fourways. T. 011 465 7934 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wssa.org.za
Stevenson Johannesburg Until 5 August, “Inkanyiso” photography by Zanele Muholi. Opening 11 August, an exhibition of video works by Dineo Seshee Bopape. 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Jhb. T. 011 326 0034 email@example.com www.stevenson.info
Market Photo Workshop 3 August – 1 September, an exhibition by Thandile Zwelibanzi. 2 President Str, Newtown, Entrance Bus Factory, Jhb. T. 011 834 1444 firstname.lastname@example.org www.marketphotoworkshop.co.za Resolution Gallery Until 13 August, “Dencity” a collaborative exhibition by André Clements and Daniel Hirschmann. Opening 20 July at 12noon, an exhibition of new work by photographer Chris Saunders presents “S’PHARA PHARA” a photo essay that documents the The Real Actions Pantsula Dance Crew from Orange Farm, until 17 September. Unit 4, 142 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 880 4054 email@example.com www.resolutiongallery.com Standard Bank Gallery Until 1 October, “Water, the [Delicate] Thread of Life” a group exhibition comprises work by a host of artists, such as Deborah Bell, Penny Siopis, Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, Jackson Hlungwani, Walter Oltmann, Norman Catherine, William Kentridge, Georgie Papageorge, Simon Max Bannister, Alan Crump, David Goldblatt, Andrew Verster, Noria Mabasa, Strijdom van der Merwe, Moshekwa Langa, Marcus Neustetter, Karel Nel, Willem Boshoff and Durant Sihlali. Through their collective artworks, the exhibition traces
Strauss & Co. Fine Art Auctioneers & Consultants. Country Club Johannesburg, Corner Lincoln Rd & Woodlands Drive, Woodmead. T. 079 407 5140 firstname.lastname@example.org www.straussart.co.za UJ Art Gallery 3 – 24 August, “Roommates- The Mute Opera: Paul Boulitreau & Friends” and “Rooftop III” an exhibition of sculptures by six artists: Lukas Thobejane, Sanna Swart, Craig Muller, Kay Potts, Gordon Froud & Sybrand Wiechers. Cnr Kingsway & University Rd, Auckland Park, Jhb. T. 011 559 2099 email@example.com www.uj.ac.za/artscentre Upstairs@Bamboo Opening 5 August at 6pm “OBJECTions: Dreams and Nightmares” by Philippe Bousquet and Geraldine Fenn. The works showcase the diverse skills of the two artists: from carving in ivory and working in precious metals, to modifying found objects and installation. Until 14 August. Cnr 9th Str & Rustenburg Rd, Melville, Jhb. T. 011 486 0526 www.bamboo-online.co.za
Eric Sher Fine Artist
www.ejsart.webs.com facebook: Eric Sher Art
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2011/07/14 9:32 AM
FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA | SA GALLERY GUIDE The White House Gallery The gallery has a wide ranging portfolio featuring renowned masters such as Chagall, Marini, Miro, Moore, Portway, Pasmore, Stella, Picasso, Dine & Hockney - to name a few. Also the more affordable works of up and coming artists in Britain and France, along with globally acclaimed South African artists. Shop G11 Thrupps Centre,Oxford Road, Illovo,Johannesburg. T. 011 268 2115 www.thewhitehousegallery.co.za
Pretoria Alette Wessels Kunskamer The Alette Wessels Kunskamer operates as an Art Gallery and Art Consultancy, specialising in South African art as an investment, dealing in Old Masters, and selected contemporary art. Maroelana Centre, 27 Maroelana Str, Maroelana, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0728 www.artwessels.co.za Association of Arts Pretoria Until 17 August, “Fopspeen: Moving Pictures” with works by Diek Grobler, Charles Badenhorst, Jansen Lourens & Marinda du Toit 12 - 31 August, “Sirens” an exhibition of digital prints by Debbie Cloete. 19 August - 7 September, an exhibition of paintings by Willie van Rensburg. 26 August - 14 September, an exhibition of ceramics by Minette Zaaiman. 173 Mackie Str, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. T. 012 346 3100 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artsassociationpta.co.za Bolsmann on Brooks Fine Art Gallery Until 20 August, Iconic works created with mixed media by Ina Pfeiffer, impressionistic landscapes in acrylic by Wessel van der Merwe & miniature landscapes in watercolour by award winning artist John van Niekerk. 163 Brooks Str, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 362 6698 C. 083 454 1797 email@example.com www.ericbolsmann.co.za Casta Diva’s Vissi d’Arte In conjunction with Trent Art until the end of August, an exhibition of artworks by Mark Enslin featuring 12 of Mark’s wildlife canvasses. Casta Diva Guest House, 67 Albatros Str, Nina Park, Pretoria. Contact: Liza at Vissi d’Arte – T. 012 542 4449 firstname.lastname@example.org Fried Contemporary Until 20 August, “History” artists exhibiting are: Nathani Lüneburg - Video and prints, Guy du Toit - unique bronze sculpture, Carla Crafford - black chrome ink prints on wood & Rozan Cochrane - filtered light and shadow works. 27 August - 1 October, “Aperture” Participating artists are: Nicola Grobler, St John Fuller, Kai Lossgott and Strijdom van der Merwe. 430 Charles St, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0158 email@example.com www.friedcontemporary.com Front Room Art & Artists Sun 31 July – Sat 13 August , “Spaces [within : without : between]” Paintings and sculptures by Deon Lemmer, Kevin Panagos, Gretchen Parrock, Alison Riordan, Jennifer Snyman & Elria Trahms. The Green Olive 229 Zambezi Ave, Derdepoort East Jennifer Snyman 082 451 5584 www.frontroomart.co.za Gallery Michael Heyns The Gallery has moved to 194 Haley Str, Weavind Park, Pretoria. Contact for more info: T. 012 804 0867 firstname.lastname@example.org www.michaelheyns.co.za PanDora Art House Until 5 August, PanDora Art House and Postbox presents: “The Whatness of Allhorse” a group show with participating artists: Peter Mammes, Katharine Meeding, Retha Ferguson, Diaan Mynhardt, Guy Standly, Liebet Jooste, Koos Van Der Wat, Martinus Van Tee & Melanie de Bruyn. PanDora Art House, 621 Berea Str, Muckleneuk, Pta. C. 0849973903 email@example.com www.pan-dora.co.za Pretoria Art Museum Until 17 August, an exhibition of artworks by Severa Rech Cassarino, Marco Cianfanelli and Lorenzo Nassimbeni in collaboration with the Venice Biennale. Permanent display of South African art in the South Gallery. T.012 344 1807/8 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pretoriaartmuseum.co.za St Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery Until 30th of August, an exhibition of recent acquisitions by the gallery. Artists featured: Andre Naude, Helena Hugo, Simon Stone, Norman Catherine, Anton
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Smit, Judith Mason, Penny Siopis and others. 492 Fehrsen Street, Brooklyn Circle, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 4600284 email@example.com www.stlorient.co.za The Tina Skukan Gallery Until 11 August, “Enter the Mad Carpenter” an exhibition of new works by Craig Müller. A collection of unorthodox functional aesthetics, humorous drawings and playful sculptures. Opening on Sunday 14th of August at 11h30am and can be viewed until 8 September, A combined exhibition and book launch by two sisters Visual Artist - Liekie Fouché “Travelling Light” and Afrikaans writer - Fransi Phillips “Net ŉ Lewe.” 6 Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria T. 012 991 1733 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tinaskukangallery.co.za Trent Gallery Opening Saturday 6 August 10.00am to 12.30pm, closing 17 August, Annette Pretorius, Acrylic paintings and Bronzes. Opening Saturday 20 August 10.00am to 12.30pm, closing 31 August, Erna Bodenstein, works on paper. Cnr Milner & Long Str, Waterkloof, Pretoria. T. 012 460 5497. Trent.email@example.com www.trent-art.co.za University of Pretoria Ceramics Southern Africa, Gauteng Region is hosting “The Ultra-Furn Regional Ceramics Exhibition 2011” at the Edoardo Villa Museum, University of Pretoria from 11-25 August. The opening will be Thursday 11 August, 18h00 for 18h30. For enquiries: Ceramics SA T. 011 791-5153 or email Ceramicssa@icon.co.za Edoardo Villa Museum, Old Merensky Building on the main campus of the University of Pretoria. T. 012 420-2968 www.up.ac.za UNISA Art Gallery During August, UNISA 50 Years Art Collection. Kgorong Building, Ground Floor, Main Campus, Preller Str, Pretoria. T. 012 441 5683 firstname.lastname@example.org
Limpopo Polokwane Polokwane Art Museum 5 August – 30 September, “Alter Images” by Majak Bredell 70 Schoemann Str, Daniel Hough Cultural Centre Contact: Mr Amos Letsoalo, Curator T. 015 290 2177 C. 082 664 0952 AmosL@polokwane.gov.za
North West Potchefstroom NWU Gallery Until 2 September “Standard Bank Young Artist Michael MacGarry: End Game.” Installation by Michael MacGarry. North-West University Gallery, Building E7, NWU Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffman Str, Potchefstroom. T. 018 299 4341 email: email@example.com NWU Botanical Gardens Gallery Until 2 September “Eugenie Marais: Something Happened” Painting by Eugenie Marais North-West University Botanical Gardens Gallery. T. 018 299 2753 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mpumalanga Dullstroom Art @ sixty seven A selection of fine art, ceramics and blown glass art pieces, by well-known local artists. Shop no9, 67 Naledi St, Dullstroom, Mpumulanga. T. 013 254 0335 email@example.com www.shopat67.com
SA GALLERY GUIDE | MPUMALANGA , WESTERN CAPE / CAPE TOWN Dimitrov Art Gallery During August an exhibition “Sensual” by international artist Zoritza. Lifestyle Complex, shop no.4 on Cnr. Teding Van Berkhout & Hugenote/ Naledi Street, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga T. 013 254 0524 C. 082 679 5698 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dimitrovartgallery.co.za The New Dimitrov Art Gallery is situated in the Trams Alley shop no.1 , along the R 540 ( Naledi Drive ). Opening exhibition “Expression of Freedom” by renowned artist Dimitrov.
White River The Artists’ Press Professional collaboration, printing and publishing of original hand-printed artists lithographs, by the Artists’ Press. Also artists books, monotypes & letterpress prints, particularly for artists working in SA. Waterfield Farm near White River, Mpumalanga T. 013 751 3225 email@example.com www.artists-press.net The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery A collaboration and network for the avid art patron and collector as well as a full service facility for the artist. This is the place where you will find a unique and superior item or have something commissioned that you have always envisioned. Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 & Numbi Roads White River T. 013 758 2409 www.tlafoundry.co.za
Western Cape Cape Town Absolut Art Gallery 5 - 28 August, “Masters” exhibition featuring a collection of the top masters in South African art. Works available : JH Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, Frans Oerder, Cecil Skotnes,Hugo Naude, Maurice Van Essche, Tinus De Jongh, Robert Gwelo Goodman, Adriaan Boshoff, Adolph Jentsch, JEA Volschenk, Ephraim Ngatane, Walter Battiss, William Kentridge, Erik Laubscher, Conrad Theys & many more... Shop 43 Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, Carl Cronje Drive, Tyger Valley, Bellville. T. 021 914 2846 Gerrit Dyman Jr C. 072 699 5918 www.absolutart.co.za. Art b August – September 2011: 2011 Vuleka Art Competition 01 – 05 August – entries to be submitted to Art b Gallery 24 August – 30 September – Vuleka Exhibition of Selected works. The Arts Association of Bellville, The Library Centre, Carel van Aswegan Str, Bellville. T. 021 918 2301 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artb.co.za/gallery.htm Artvark Gallery Until 31 August, mixed media sketches by Claire Christie. Until end September, “Gugulethu Men” sketches by George Frederik Myburgh. 48 Main Rd, Kalk Bay T. 021 788 5584 email@example.com www.artvark.org AVA Until 5 August, “Mien” a portrait series by Paul Birchall www.paulbirchall.co.za and “A Wounded Surface” paintings by Lauren Palte Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Str, CT. T.021 424 7436 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ava.co.za Barnard Gallery Until 31 August, “Muse” featuring paintings by Tracy Payne. 55 Main Str, Newlands. T. 021 671 1666 email@example.com www.barnardgallery.com Blank Projects. Until 3 September, “data_capture_Lost & Found” by Katherine Bull (Painting and Performance) & “¡ALPTRAUM!” Conceived by artists Marcus Sendlinger (Berlin) and Jay Stuckey (Los Angeles), a group exhibition of drawing by many artists. 113-115 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T.072 1989 221 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blankprojects.com Cape Gallery Until 6 August, “Let the Children Play” recent oil paintings by Makiwa Mutomba. Opening on 14 August at 4.30pm “Wild Life Exhibition” until 10 September. 60 Church Str, CT. T. 021 423 5309 email@example.com www.capegallery.co.za
Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. Visit the new gallery at Cape Quarter Square, 27 Somerset Rd, Green Point. T. 021 4213333 www.carmelart.co.za Casa Labia Open to the public from Wednesday 17 August up to and including Sunday 9th October, “Intimate Surfaces - An ArtSideIn Exhibition” Main Featured Artists: Makiwa Mutomba (oil on canvas with palette knife),Nicole Susan Pletts (oil on canvas), Sol Smook (oil, acrylic & mixed media on canvas) and Sue Greeff (oil on canvas, mixed media & charcoal on paper). Africa Nova at Casa Labia Cultural Centre, 192 Main Rd, Muizenberg. T. 021 788 6068 firstname.lastname@example.org www.casalabia.co.za The Cellar Private Gallery The Cellar Private Gallery of Art deals exclusively in original & investment art, offering works by a variety of renowned & upcoming SA artists. 12 Imhoff Str, Welgemoed, Bellville T. 021 913 4189 email@example.com www.thecellargallery.co.za Christie’s International Auctioneers. Juliet Lomberg, Independent Consultant. T. 021 761 2676 firstname.lastname@example.org www.christies.com David Krut Projects Cape Town 9 August until 1 October, “Countermeasures, Part 2” paintings by Johannesburg artist Mary Wafer. Montebello Design Centre, 31 Newlands Ave, CT. T. 021 685 0676 email@example.com www.davidkrutprojectscapetown.com The Donald Greig Bronze Foundry and Gallery Donald Greig is a specialized wildlife sculptor and his sculptures ranging from life-size to paperweights will be on display. The foundry will do a bronze pour on most days and the entire ‘Lost Wax Casting Process’ can be viewed by the public through special glass windows. The Nautilus Building, No.14 West Quay Rd, V&A Waterfront. T. 021 418 4515 firstname.lastname@example.org www.donaldgreig.com Ebony Currently showing until 31st August: Photography by Glenn Green and Mixed Media canvases by Aidon Westcott 67 Loop Street. Cape Town. T. 021 876 4477 email@example.com www.ebonydesign.co.za Erdmann Contemporary /Photographers Gallery Until 13 August, “Private Public” a photographic exhibition by Gary Van Wyk. Opening 17 August, “Present History II” featuring: Paul Weinberg, Jurgen Schadeberg, Willie Bester, Johann Louw, Jan Neethling, Laurina Paperina, Nicola Vinci, Erik Chevalier & many more, in multiple mediums. Closes 17 September. 63 Shortmarket Str, CT. T. 021 422 2762 firstname.lastname@example.org www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za Everard Read CT Until 10 August, a new solo exhibition by painter Sasha Hartslief. Opening 6:30pm August 11 – 25 August, “Red Data”, an exhibition of nature studies incorporating botanical art by acclaimed Cape Town-based artists Lisa Strachan & Nic Bladen. 3 Portswood Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, CT. T. 021 418 4527 email@example.com www.everard-read-capetown.co.za 34 Fine Art “Ensemble” group exhibition includes major works in various media by Norman Catherine, William Kentridge, Roger Ballen, Asha Zero, Lionel Smit, Jop Kunneke, Motel 7 as well as new work by Esther Mahlangu and others. The exhibition also includes work by International artists Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami as well as the work of Cape Town Urban Contemporary artist Jade Doreen Waller. Winter times from 12 May - 8 Sept : Sat 10h30am – 13h30pm only or by appointment. 2nd Floor, The Hills Building, Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock. T.021 461 1863 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vgallery.co.za / www.34fineart.com Gill Allderman Gallery In August, Michael Goldblatt - A photographic exhibit of Good Men Ageing in their Space, Now. Goldblatt shares the gallery with David Liknaitzky Sculptures...a journey with wood, steel, stone and a few found objects. Concord House (Pam Golding Building), Cnr Main & Summerly Rds, Kenilworth. C.083 556 2540 email@example.com www.alldermangallery.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
WESTERN CAPE | SA GALLERY GUIDE The Framery Art Gallery Until 13 August, “Reflections of Inner Truth” by Loyiso Mkize. 67G Regent Rd, Sea Point. T. 021 434 5022 firstname.lastname@example.org Goodman Gallery Cape The gallery will be closed from July 23 – 10 August for annual winter break. 16 July – 3 September, “EAT ME” a group show featuring the following artists: Ghada Amer & Reza Farkondeh, Joel Andrianomearisoa, Reza Aramesh, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Kendell Geers, Frances Goodman, Sigalit Landau, Kalup Linzy, Gavin Turk, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas and Tracey Rose. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock. T. 021 462 7573/4 email@example.com www.goodman-gallery.com Hout Bay Gallery New artworks by Sarah Danes Jarrett, David Kuijers, Koos De Wet and many more. Open 7 days a week. 71 Victoria Ave, Hout Bay. T. 021 790 3618 F. 021 790 3898 firstname.lastname@example.org www.houtbaygallery.co.za iArt Gallery Until 31 August,” Open Books” a group exhibition with participating artists: Audrey Anderson, Willem Boshoff, Tom Cullberg, Keith Dietrich, Stephan Erasmus, Liza Grobler, Sandra Hanekom, Marlize Keith, Norman O’Flynn, Chad Rossouw, Fabian Saptouw, Mark Splendid, Coljin Strydom, Heléne van Aswegen, Jan van der Merwe & Barbara Wildenboer. Work of various mediums. Until 31 August, “Towards an Architecture of Loss” by Beth Armstrong: Limited edition prints from a series of Engravings as well as sculptural works as well as a New Ceramics exhibition by Ruan Hoffmann. 71 Loop Str, CT. T. 021 424 5150 email@example.com www.iart.co.za iArt Gallery Wembley Until 17 August, “The Animals in Alice” Limited edition prints by Wilma Cruise. Wembley Square, Gardens, CT. T. 021 424 5150 firstname.lastname@example.org www.iart.co.za Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Str, Chelsea Village, Wynberg. T. 021 761 2816 & Buitengracht Str. CT. T. 021 423 2090 www.infinart.co.za Irma Stern Gallery The permanent collection is on display showing Irma Stern’s development as an artist whose subject matter included exotic figures, portraits, lush landscapes and still lifes conveyed in a variety of media, ranging from oils and water colours to gouache and charcoal. Cecil Rd, Rosebank, CT. T. 021 685 5686 www.irmastern.co.za Iziko SA National Gallery Until 14 Aug, “The Indian in Drum Magazine in the 1950’s” a photographic exhibition. Until 21 August, “Random Works” a selection from the permanent collection. Until 11 Sept, “Through the Lens of Durban’s Veteran Photographer” photography since 1945 by Ranjith Kally. Until 25 September, “Tretchikoff: The People’s Painter” a retrospective exhibition of works by Vladimir Tretchikoff. 25 Queen Victoria Str, CT. T. 021 467 4660 www.iziko.org.za Iziko Michaelis Collection Ongoing, Dutch treat: Dutch works from the 17th–20th centuries in Iziko collections Iziko Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Greenmarket Square, CT. T. 021 481 3800 email@example.com Iziko Good Hope Gallery (The Castle) Ongoing exhibition of oil paintings, furniture, ceramics, metal & glassware from the William Fehr Collection. Buitenkant Str, opposite the Grand Parade, CT. T. 21 464 1262 firstname.lastname@example.org Iziko SA Museum Until November, “Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape.” 25 Queen Victoria Str, Gardens, CT. T. 021 481 3800 email@example.com
Kalk Bay Modern For a surprising collection of contemporary modern art, seek out the first floor entrance of an enigmatic gallery situated opposite Kalk Bay harbour. The New Kalk Bay Modern gallery and craft shop showcases an eclectic mix of local South African art talent along with quality crafts from developing community groups. 1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kalkbaymodern.com Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery A large selection of artworks by new and prominent South African artists and SA old Masters. 31 Kommandeur Rd, Welgemoed, Bellville. T. 021 913 7204/5 email@example.com, www.artpro.co.za The Lovell Gallery Until 13 August, Group Exhibition of the winners of The Lovell Gallery Artists Competition. 22 August - 23 September, “The Field” by Berna Thom one of the winners of The Lovell Gallery Artists Competition. The gallery has moved to 139 Albert Rd, Woodstock, CT. C. 084 627 2951 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lovellgallery.co.za Rose Korber Art From 1st August until 15th September, an exhibition entitled “The Language of Colour” - features oils, watercolours, mixed media works & collage by noted Cape Town abstractionist, Cynthia Villet who has been referred to as “one of the foremost artists of her time, a brilliantly creative, poetic spirit in the tradition of Paul Klee, Ben Nicholson and Jules Bissier.” Also on view until the 30th September is a superb selection of recent lino-cuts by William Kentridge. These rivetting works in black and white, are a welcome return to this powerful medium by the maestro after some twenty years. 48 Sedgemoor Rd, Camps Bay, CT. T. 021 438 9152 C.083 261 1173 email@example.com www.rosekorberart.com Rust-en-Vrede Gallery Until 3 August, Salon A: “Weaverbird” Ronel Coetsee weaves with pure cotton during the duration of the exhibition, Salon B: Functional and non-functional ceramics by Linga Hojem, Salon C: Etchings by Frieda van Zyl. 16 August – 8 September, In Salon A: Kiki Kemp: The artist’s confession – works in Ink on rice paper, In Salon B: Talitha Deetlifs: Lead sculptures of the feminine form and In Salon C: Marianne Burger: Being in Africa – mosaic works. In The Office Showcase: Ceramic work by Hennie Meyer. 10 Wellington Rd, Durbanville. T.021 976 4691 www.rust-en-vrede.com Salon 91 Until 6 August, “Winter Wonderland” a group exhibition by some of this country’s most talented young illustrators, as well as a handful of budding international stars. Opening 10 August @7:30pm, “Figuring Difference” a group exhibition of painters: Lara Feldman, Patsy Groll & Daniel Popper to name a few, until 3 September. 91 Kloof Str, Gardens, CT. T 021 424 6930 firstname.lastname@example.org www.salon91.co.za SMAC Art Gallery, Cape Town Until 30 August, “Collection 14” featuring works by the following artists: Jake Aikman, Wayne Barker, Willem Boshoff, Barend De Wet, Georgina Gratrix, Kay Hassan, Anton Karstel, Johann Louw, Whitney McVeigh, Samson Mnisi, Sue Pam-Grant, Joachim Schönfeldt, Simon Stone, Herman van Nazareth, Ed Young & Jacques Coetzer. In-Fin-Art Building, Cnr of Buitengracht & Buitensingel Str, CT. T. 021 422 5100 email@example.com www.smacgallery.com South African Jewish Museum Until 27 November, “Zapiro: Jiving with Madiba” an exhibition of work by the well-known cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro, all of which depict or otherwise involve Nelson Mandela. 88 Hatfield Str, Gardens, CT. T. 021-465-1546 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sajm.info South African Print Gallery A wide selection of fine art prints by South African masters and contemporary printmakers. Opening Saturday 13 August, recent prints by Jane Eppel. 109 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 462 6851 email@example.com www.printgallery.co.za
Johans Borman Fine Art Currently showing a selection of works by SA Masters Hugo Naudé, Maggie Laubser, Gerard Sekoto, Walter Battiss and Cecil Skotnes. New works by Walter Meyer, Jacobus Kloppers and Hussein Salim. In Fin Art Building, Upper Buitengracht Str, CT. T. 021 423 6075. firstname.lastname@example.org www.johansborman.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
WESTERN CAPE | GALLERY GUIDE Stephan Welz & Company Auctioneers of Decorative & Fine Arts. The Great Cellar, The Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia. T. 021 794 6461 email@example.com www.stephanwelzandco.co.za Stevenson Cape Town Until 3 September, “Second Nature” an exhibition of new photographs by Guy Tillim. Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 462 1500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stevenson.info Strauss & Co. Fine Art Auctioneers & Consultants. The Oval, 1st Floor Colinton House, 1 Oakdale Rd, Newlands. T. 021 683 6560 email@example.com www.straussart.co.za Worldart 20 August – 3 September, “Urban aesthetic” by artists Ricky Lee Gordon, Paul Senyol & Linsey Levendall of Bison. The exhibition will consist of four large paintings – one work by each artist and a fourth which is a collaboration. 54 Church Str, CT. T.021 423 3075 firstname.lastname@example.org www.worldart.co.za
Franschhoek Ebony Currently showing on the 1st Floor: A series of paintings by Gerard Sekoto, Gordon Vorster, Charles Gassner and Maud Sumner. 4 Franschhoek Square, 32 Huguenot Str, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 4477 email@example.com www.ebonydesign.co.za Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of South African old masters & contemporary art. Shop no 3, The Ivy, Kruger Str, Franschhoek T. 021 876 2497 www.galart.co.za The Gallery at Grande Provence Until 10 August, “New Identity” a group exhibition with Dustin Kramer, JP Meyer, Madelein Marincowitz, Dale Yudelman, Zhann Solomons, Bongi Bengu, Louise Hall, Gordon Froud, Anton Smit, Ruhan Janse van Vuuren & others. Opening Sunday 14 August at 11h00am and runs until 8 September, “Habitat” an exhibition showcasing paintings and drawings by renowned South African artist, Brahm van Zyl. Donna McKellar features in the Project Room with “Cathedral” a body of work ranging from miniatures to large scale landscape paintings. Main Rd, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 8630. firstname.lastname@example.org www.grandeprovence.co.za Holden Manz Collection The Holden Manz Wine Estate is proud to announce the opening of its Art Gallery in the city centre of Franschhoek Village. The Holden Manz Collection is focused on contemporary local art and showcases works including charcoals, collages, oils, drawings as well as photography & prints. 30 Huguenot Str, Franschhoek T. 021 876 44 02 email@example.com www.holdenmanz.com
Legendary service & advice Custom made hand-finished frames Conservation framing with museum glass All work done in our own workshop Original art by local contemporary artists
Why settle for “run-of-the-mill” framing when you can have something custom made at an affordable price? If you are going to frame it, show it off at its best! Wolfe Street Chelsea Wynberg 021-761 2816 Buitengracht Street Cape Town 021-423 2090 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.infinart.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Is Art The Ilse Schermers Art Gallery at Le Quartier Français is a fine art gallery specialising in contemporary South African art. Well known as well as upcoming artist’s work is shown. Sculptures from some of South Africa’s leading artists are shown in the charming herb and sculpture garden behind the gallery. The gallery also houses a shop, touches and tastes, where selected pieces of art and craft is sold. 16 Huguenot Str, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 8443 email@example.com www.is-art.co.za
George Strydom Gallery SA and Master artists on display until October 2011. Painting, sculpture, photographs, jewellery, ceramic & glassware on show by the following artists: Simon Stone, Brad Gray, Hanneke Benade, Gregory Kerr, Greg Schultz, Leigh Voigt, Piet van Heerden, Pierneef & Erich Mayer. 79 Market Str, George. T. 044 874 4027 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artaffair.co.za
Hermanus Abalone Gallery During August, in the Main Gallery: A selection of works “Inspired By Africa” works by Raymond Andrews, John Clarke, Leonard Matsoso, Nico Roos, El Loko & Carl Roberts, and in the Annex: Graphic and photographic exhibition of works by artists Lien Botha, Amy Schoeman, Cecil Skotnes, Pippa Skotnes, Lucky Sibiya and others. 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T. 028 313 2935 email@example.com www.abalonegallery.co.za Bellini Gallery & Cappuccino Bar 1 to 14 August, Cabinet Exhibition: “Treasure Chest” Various artists - mixed media. 167 Main Rd, Hermanus. T. 028 312 4988 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bellini-gallery.co.za Originals Gallery The art studio and gallery of Terry Kobus. See the artist at work in his studio and view his latest paintings in an intimate gallery space. Shop 22 Royal Centre, 141 Main Rd, Hermanus. T. 083 259 8869 email@example.com www.OriginalsHermanus.blogspot.com Shelley Adams Studio & Gallery A permanent exhibition of artworks by Shelley Adams in her personal studio space. She also offers ongoing art courses, crit classes and workshops. 19A Royal Centre, Main Rd, Hermanus. C. 072 677 6277 www.shelley-adams.com Walker Bay Art Gallery View the wide selection of paintings, sculpture & ceramics by established as well as up and coming South African artists. 171 Main Rd, Hermanus. contact: Francois Grobbelaar 028 312 2928 firstname.lastname@example.org www.walkerbayartgallery.co.za
BRETT DEACON 082 661 5732 021 790 2604 email@example.com We are the original and first picture hanging company in South Africa, established in 1989. Picture Hanging Services provides a professional service for expert layout and hanging of all artworks – corporate and residential. No job is too big or too small. We work with many respected interior designers, artists and galleries in South Africa and all over the world.
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The Cape Gallery, 60 Church Street seeks to expose fine art that is rooted in the South African tradition,work which carries the unique cultural stamp of our continent. Featured above is artist Cobus van der Walt
THE CAPE GALLERY
Open: Mon - Fri: 9h30 - 17h00 Sat: 10h00 - 14h00 Tel: 27 21 423 5309 Fax: 27 21 424 9063 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.capegallery .co.za
American express, Mastercard, Visa & Diner cards are accepted. Reliable arrangements can be made to freight purchaces to foreign destinations.
SNEAK PREVIEW FROM 3 JULY 2011
Jiving with Madiba Jonathan Shapiroâ€™s Mandela 14 JULY TO 27 NOVEMBER 2011
MUSEUM ADMISSION NOW ONLY
R15 Kids Free!
WESTERN CAPE | GALLERY GUIDE
Dale Elliott Art Gallery Exhibition of new images of the Garden Route by Dale & Mel Elliott Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre, Knysna. Anneline: T. 044 382 5646 email@example.com www.daleelliott.co.za
Lookout Art Gallery A fine selection of interesting contemporary paintings, sculptures & blown glass. The Courtyard, Lookout Centre, Main Str, Plettenberg Bay. T. 044 533 2210 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lookout-art-gallery.co.za
Knysna Fine Art Opening 17 August at 6pm, “INDEX: 40 Leading Works, the Sanlam Art Collection” Curated by Stefan Hundt of the Sanlam Art Collection. The exhibition closes 3 September 2011. A guided tour of the exhibition will be presented by Stefan Hundt on 18 August 2011 at 11:00 in the gallery. Thesen House, 6 Long Str, Knysna. T. 044 382 5107 C. 082 5527262 email@example.com www.finearts.co.za
Langebaan Bay Gallery Until end of August, a new exhibition entitled “Flowers, Feather and Fur” will be on during the West Coast Flower Season. Marra Square, Bree St., Langebaan. Contact: Daphne 073 304 8744 firstname.lastname@example.org www.baygallery.co.za
Oudtshoorn Artkaroo Gallery 4 – 7 August, ArtKaroo Klein Karoo Klassique Program: ArtKaroo Linocut Workshop. Discover your creativity anew with the classic art of lino-cutting ,and take home a hand pressed set of 5 . Presented by print artist Etienne van Zyl at ArtKaroo Gallery. All art materials included. 6th August starting at 9h00 ends 12h00 7th August. Book at ArtKaroo-(places limited!) R490p/p “Earth Mother Sky Father” Group exhibition re evolving gender energy and the dynamic integration thereof. Open 9 till late. “Lisl Barry Solo”Collection of Karoo inspired oils by the Gamkaberg artist Lisl Barry exhibited in the foothills of the Swartberg -@ Swartberg Country Manor. 107 Baron van Reede, Oudtshoorn. T.044 279 1093 email@example.com www.artkaroo.co.za
Paarl Hout Street Gallery Visit their Winter Gala Exhibition from 30 June to 15 August. The Hout Street Gallery specialises in South African paintings and fine art and offers an extensive range of ceramics, sculpture, creative jewellery, glass, crafts and functional art. 270 Main Str, Paarl. T. 021 872 5030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.houtstreetgallery.co.za
Piketberg (West Coast) AntheA Delmotte Gallery Group exhibition with AntheA Delmotte, Clare Menck, Mary Duncan & Jeanette Unite untill 25 October. 47 Voortrekker Str, The Old Bioscope, Piketberg. C. 073 281 7273 email@example.com
Prince Albert Gallery Until 10 August, Niel Jonker exhibits his landscape paintings executed in situ at various Western Cape locations, as well as a full compliment of figurative bronze sculpture including the much publicised ‘Fighter on the Roof’. 57 Church St. Prince Albert T. 023 541 1057 www.nieljonker.co.za
Somerset West Liebrecht Art Gallery During August, a group show of works in a variety of mediums. Participating artists: Corlie de Kock, Salome Briers, Elaine Schraader, Jeanne Hendriks, Jaco Coetzee, Diane White, Susan Kruger-Grundlingh, Liza Meyer, Neels Coetzee, Heidi Beyers, Hazel Swart, Keith Byron, Annaliese Brink & Marius Maritz. 34 Oudehuis Str, Somerset West. T. 021 852 8030 C. 082 304 3859 vineyardartists@ gmail.com www.liebrechtgallery.com Marzé Botha Art Gallery Dealers in original South African Art situated in the Wine Cellar of the Lourensford Wine Estate. Lourensford Rd, Somerset West. T. 021 847 2300 C. 082 847 1022 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mbgallery.co.za
Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings & Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Str., Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 7234 101 Dorp Gallery 12 – 26 August, “Verse in Komberse” - Interwoven thoughts & memories on quilted designs by Marie Schoeman. Creative quilting and embroidered phrases on fabrics collected on the artist’s travels through Africa. 101 Dorp Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3385 email@example.com www.slee.co.za Glen Carlou Estate On exhibition is The Hess Art Collection, including works by Deryck Healey, Ouattara Watts & Andy Goldsworthy. Simondium Rd, Klapmuts. T. 021 875 5314 www.glencarlou.co.za
The Alette Wessels Kunskamer, founded in Pretoria in 2003, is a prestigious fine art gallery, that prides itself in specialising in the art of the “Old Masters” and a few selected contemporary artists. The art of Stern, Pierneef, Sumner, Boonzaier, Naude, Van Wouw, Rose-Innes, Skotnes, Battiss, Preller and other famous artists, find their way to satisfied clients who collect fine art as an investment, complimenting their collection.We do our utmost to find art of good quality for clients and investors throughout the country as well as overseas. We pride ourselves in our service and expertise. The gallery is situated at the Maroelana Centre, in the East of Pretoria and is open Monday to Saturday or by appointment. Telephone  346 0728, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.artwessels.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
SA GALLERY GUIDE | WESTERN CAPE / KZ NATAL SMAC Art Gallery Until 26 August, “Abstract South African Art: Revisited” featuring works by the following artists: Kevin Atkinson, Kenneth Bakker, George Boys, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Christo Coetzee, Trevor Coleman, Nel Erasmus, Charles Gassner, Sydney Goldblatt, Sydney Kumalo, Erik Laubscher, Louis Maqhubela, Albert Newall, Douglas Portway, Cecily Sash, Fred Schimmel, Larry Scully, Cecil Skotnes, Frank Spears, Hannatjie van der Wat, Eben van der Merwe & Edoardo Villa. De Wet Centre, Church Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3607 email@example.com www.smacgallery.com Stellenbosch Art Gallery An extensive selection of paintings, sculpture, handmade glass & ceramics by selected Western Cape artists are on offer to the discerning buyer. 34 Ryneveld Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 8343 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stellenboschartgallery.co.za The Tank Art Gallery @ Stellenbosch Hills Until 30 September, an exhibition of works by Lynn Douglass, Glenda Chambers & Sue Chambers. Situated at Stellenbosch Hills Wine Cellar, Vlottenburg Road, Stellenbosch T. 021 881 3828/9 email@example.com www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za US Art Gallery (University of Stellenbosch) Until 6 August, “Let Them Eat Cake” by Nastassja Hewitt. Cnr of Dorp and Bird Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 808 3524/3489
Villiersdorp Elliott Art Gallery Themed Boland and Overberg Exhibition by Dale and Mel Elliott 80 Main Rd, Villiersdorp. T. 028 840 2927 firstname.lastname@example.org www.daleelliott.co.za
Wilderness Beatrix Bosch Studio Unique works in leather as well as paintings & photography can be viewed at her studio. 57 Die Duin, Wilderness. T. 044 877 0585 www.beatrixbosch.co.za Pharoah Art Gallery Following the fire that destroyed the gallery in June last year the newly opened gallery features an exquisite collection of Peter Pharoah’s fine art originals & prints including rich colourful portraits, unforgettable African wildlife and bold textured abstracts that are inspired by his travels around Africa. Wilderness Centre, George Road, Wilderness T. 044 877 0265 C. 076 976 2629 email@example.com www.peterpharoah.com
Kwazulu- Natal Durban The African Art Centre Until 6 August, a solo exhibition of recent works on paper by Vulindlela Nyoni. Opening 10 August, until 2 September: In honour of Women’s month, the African Art Centre will be mounting an exhibition of mixed media artworks by Dina Cormick titled “Honouring the Stories within Every Woman – Images for the Journey.” 94 Florida Rd, Durban. T. 031 312 3804/5 firstname.lastname@example.org www.afriart.org.za ArtSPACE Durban Until 6 August, “Playoff” - Gordon Froud and Lance Friedlande - Main, Corridor and Middle Gallery & “History of Bollywood” by Ranjit DAHIYA (India) – Front Room. 8 – 27 August, “Migration” mixed media by Cally Lotz, Floris van Zyl, and Sue Physick – Main Gallery & “CUT” oil paintings by Robert Bolter - Middle Gallery. 29 August - 10 September, “further” bronze sculptures & oil paintings by Sarah Richards – Main Gallery & “extra-ordinary” photography by Sally Giles - Middle Gallery. 3 Millar Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban. T.031 312 0793 email@example.com www.artspace-durban.com The BAT Centre Until 26 August, 2 exhibitions: “One Step Forward” a solo exhibition of paintings by Everaldo Matonse at the Menzi Mchunu Gallery and “Identity a-waits” a solo exhibition of paintings by Sihle Biyela at the Democratic Gallery. 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban. T. 031 332 0451 firstname.lastname@example.org www.batcentre.co.za
Christie’s International Auctioneers. Gillian Scott Berning, Independent Consultant. T 031 207 8247 Gillian.email@example.com www.christies.com Durban Art Gallery Until 10 August, “Journeys” a solo exhibition by Ayesha Adam with works in acrylic & oils on canvas and pen & colour pencil on textured paper. For more info contact Ayesha: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com C. 082 4786 346 T. 031 262 1842 Until 19 August, “Inqola Noseyili” a photographic exhibition by Durban visual artist Lwazi “King Zorro” Xaba For more information please call 031 311 2264 or Njabulo Mtshali (Curator) on 083 771 3635 Smith Street, Durban CBD. KZNSA Gallery Until 20 August: In the Main Gallery: “Location - Block A, Thokoza Women’s Hostel” a new photographic installation by Durban photographer, Angela Buckland. In the Mezzanine Gallery: “Phenomenal Engagement” – jewellery design and printmaking, presented as installations by Chris and Marlene de Beer. In the Multi-Media Room: “Isomorphicintergrammar – Code Switching” installation by Lolette Smith. In the Park Contemporary Gallery: A showcase of works from six artists. Digital prints by Peter Engblom, Anthea Martin presents watercolour landscapes, large-scale charcoal drawings by Tori Stowe, prints by Cally Lotz, new work by Joseph Manna, and monoprints & lithographs by Thami Jali. 166 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood. T. 031 277 1705 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kznsagallery.co.za
Margate Margate Art Museum Museum’s art collection on display which comprises a variety of modes, techniques and media that attempts to reflect the cultural and artistic diversity of the KZN region. Margate Civic Centre, Dan Pienaar Square, Vikings Rd, Margate. T.039 312 8392 C.072 316 8094 email@example.com www.mam.org.za
Pietermaritzburg The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery Until 18 August, an exhibition by Dianne van Wyk (Durban artist) who has developed her talent over the last few years and has a wonderful way of portraying people. She uses mostly acrylic and then uses outlines of pastel to create the detail. The gallery is closed from 18 August and re-opens on the 1st September. At Butterflies for Africa, 37 Willowton Rd, Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 387 1356 firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com www.butterflies.co.za Tatham Art Gallery Until 18 September, “Meeting the Makers: Contemporary Craft of KZN” an exciting and groundbreaking exhibition of crafters from throughout KZN including established designers such as Andrew Early, Egg Designs & Sibusiso Mbhele to unknown artists from remote parts of the province. Cnr of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd & Church Str. (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 342 1804 www.tatham.org.za
Umdloti The Audrey Rudnick Gallery Surrealist Paintings, Sculptures and Pod People by Audrey Rudnick. 77 North Beach Rd, Shop no.10 Upper Level, Umdloti Centre, Umdloti. T. 031 568 2445 firstname.lastname@example.org www.audreyrudnick.com
Underberg The Underberg Studio A gallery specializing in South African fine art landscape photography and ceramics. Owned by photographer Lawrance Brennon & his potter wife, Catherine Brennon, the gallery is set in a delightful garden facing the mountains. Currently on show is a photographic exhibition entitled ‘Disintegration’ featuring Lawrance’s black & white pinhole images and a selection of Catherine’s newest ceramic work. 21 Ridge Rd, Underberg. Signage from R617 T. 033 701 2440 C. 072 141 9924 / 082 872 7830 www.underbergstudio.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
WOODSTOCK FOUNDRY/ EASTERN CAPE | SA GALLERY GUIDE
The miracle of Woodstock: The Woodstock Foundry gets an extreme make over (top) groundplan (bottom left) The Courtyard (bottom right) Photo’s: Jim Wolf
The next big thing: The Woodstock Foundry A creative wave is gathering further momentum in Woodstock, Cape Town with the announcement of a large creative and design arts hub opening in November, named The Woodstock Foundry. The Woodstock Foundry is situated on the corner of Albert and Plein Street, which is a few blocks down from the Biscuit Mill. The Woodstock Foundry comprises of 4 large buildings on the corner of Albert and Roads that would host The Bronze Age Foundry works, a design school- Olive, numerous working design studios, as well as a restaurant and
Eastern Cape East London Ann Bryant Gallery The East London Fine Art Society presents: “The Peep Show Exhibition” an exhibition of works in miniature. Entries are invited for this exhibition & closing date for entries is Tuesday 16th August. For further information contact Leon or Terry at 043 7224044. Exhibition Opening Thursday 18th August @ 6:30 PM at the Ann Bryant Coach House. Exhibition closes 4 September. Until 13 Aug at the Coach House, “Escapade” a two woman art Adventure Exhibition by Xenia Winther & Maxie Steenkamp, these artists work mainly in oils and acrylics. Until 28 August in the Main Gallery, “South African Photography 1950 – 2010” a historic photographic overview of South African culture and lifestyle from the 1950’s to the present, comprising mostly of black and white photography. 9 St. Marks Rd, Southernwood, East London. T. 043 722 4044 email@example.com www.annbryant.co.za Malcolm Dewey Fine Art Ongoing exhibition of oil paintings by Malcolm Dewey plus works by a selection of local artists. Floradale Centre, Beacon Bay, East London. T. 043 7481229 firstname.lastname@example.org www.originalart.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
barber shop. The Woodstock Foundry will be a destination space, housing a mix of tenants from creatives to retailers to entrepreneurs- an environment where the buyer is closer to the maker. The design village would centre around an open air courtyard that knits the community together. The opening of The Woodstock Foundry will take place in November 2011. See the Art Times for more details closer to the time.
Vincent Art Gallery The gallery houses an exceptional collection of fine arts, sculptures, blown glass, ceramics, exclusive jewellery and decor items. 2 Donald Rd, Vincent, East London. T. 043 726 4356 email@example.com www.vincentartgallery.co.za
Port Elizabeth artEC (Previously EPSAC) Until 5 August in the Upper Gallery, the St Thomas Exhibition. This exhibition will showcase the results of the Young Artists Development Programme based at St Thomas School in Gelvandale. Opening 2 August 5.30 for 6pm in the Lower gallery, the “One Love” group exhibition. 9- 19 August in the Upper Gallery, the Earthed exhibition by Brenda Strumpher and Brenda Davis. 16 – 26 August in the Lower Gallery, the Woodturners Guild Exhibition. 30 August - 9 September in the Lower & Upper Gallery, ArtEC Annual Exhibition: the “flagship” exhibition of the year, the adjudicated annual highlights the highest standard of work by Eastern Cape artists. 36 Bird Str, P.E. T. 041 585 3641 firstname.lastname@example.org www.artecpe.co.za Ron Belling Art Gallery 9 - 26 August, “Déjà vu 4 two, Hunter & Ruth: A retrospective from 1959 – 2011 ” Mixed media by Hunter and Ruth Nesbit. 30 Park Drive, P.E. T. 041 586 3973 email@example.com www.ronbelling.co.za
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SA GALLERY GUIDE | EXHIBITION REVIEW / BEGULLING: THE SELF AND THE SUBJECT / IRMA STERN MUSEUM
Kirsty Cockerill’s ‘Beguiling: the Self and the Subject’ at the Irma Stern Museum is an admirably intelligent curatorial venture. Lloyd Pollak Painting, photography and sculpture engage in a spirited colloquium, drawing comparisons, pointing up differences, underlining weaknesses and indicating strengths. Each art work illuminates all the others, bringing new dimensions of meaning to light. Although theoretically this is precisely what a curator is supposed to do, it rarely happens in practice, and ‘Beguiling’ is an exemplary exception to the rule. Kirsty juxtaposes Stern’s familiar, oft-reproduced figural paintings with recent specimens of cutting edge art that too revolve around the human body. The past comments on the present, and the present on the past as the two enter into fierce competition. In doing this, Kirsty charts a dangerous course as like is not compared to like. In the context of South Africa’s brief art history, the Sterns enjoy old master status, whereas the contemporary works are so new, there is as yet no consensus as to their worth. The show gets off to a splendidly disconcerting start with Kirsty bracketing Georgina Greatrix’s ‘Unpainting Kirsty’ with Stern’s abrupt portrait of Helene Kriel, a flat-chested, frankly ugly sitter with an interminable nose, portrayed in unflattering profile as she closes her eyes with impatience during the course of the sitting. Closed eyes recur in Irma’s charcoal drawing of a Pondo girl where they carry a different meaning. Exposed to Irma’s ruthless scrutiny, the black woman seeks to establish succoring contact with the atavistic bedrock of her culture and belief system, and she retreats into the deepest substratum of her being to face the artist’s gaze. No such interplay between painter and sitter takes place in Greatrix’s portrait. Kirsty wears that indispensable little black dress that Coco Chanel decreed de rigueur for the modern, professional women, and the artist presents her in a purely frontal head and shoulders format. However this is no formal portrait, for Kirsty’s features dissolve behind an obliterating spool of heavily impasted, gestural swipes. The trails of pigment proclaim that Greatrix’s goal is not representation, but explosive mark-making, and the exacerbated brushwork and free-standing clots of paint record the ferocity of her assault upon the canvas. Individuality is similarly expunged in the Essop’s photograph of a Muslim lady completely hidden by a black veil. Behind her a carpet depicts the main destinations of the Hajj, the mosques of Mecca and Medina, identifying the woman with her religion, and phrasing a devastating critique of the Islamic suppression of women. Chatting to the Essop twins, I learned that the female sitter was Husain in disguise, and that the slippery play with gender alludes to the necessity of concealing any deviance from sexual norms in Cape Muslim society, making the image emblematic of the erotic mysteries concealed behind the appearance of closeted conformism. The effacement of the female personality by traditional societal roles also forms the subject of Claudette Schreuder’s forceful bronze, ‘Eclipse’ in which the face of the mother proudly presenting her child to the world is almost entirely concealed by that of her son.
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In another photograph, Husain Essop in traditional Muslim attire and a Che Guevara beret, invokes another prejudicial stereotype applied to Muslims, that of the dreaded fundamentalist terrorist. This is paired with Stern’s compelling portrait of an Islamic Sybil or prophetess endowed with an electrifying aura of power and authority. This haggard Cassandra fixes us with a baleful gaze as she solemnly uplifts her arm in a magnificent, rhetorical gesture of forbiddance. In this joust between the time-honored art of painting and photography, Irma usually unseats her opponents. Her painting of a uniformed maid seated on a kitchen chair as she awaits Madam’s summons, speaks for itself. The reluctant domestic bridles with resentment at her servitude, and the blank grays of the opaque window panes hint at a future of closed horizons. The work needs no gloss in the form of Zanele Muholi’s accompanying photograph. Irma’s ‘Reclining Nude’ depicts a classically inspired, al antica naiad. SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Stealing Stern’s thunder The curator is the star of this show
Images (L-R) Kirsty Cockerill infront of Georgina Gratrix: Unpainting Kirsty 2011 and Irma Stern’s: Portrait of Helene Kriel- Oil on Canvas-1959 (Photo credit: Nasief Manie/Foto24) Below: Zanele Muholi: Massa and Minah II, 2008 Image courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Cape Town (Right) Irma Stern: Maid in uniform, oil on canvas, 1955 This superb incarnation of an ideal of languorous, yielding femininity presented in a realm beyond time and place, is executed with such conviction, that we accept her without demur, whereas the companion piece, Nontsikelelo Veleko’s modern Lorelei luxuriating beside the sea is so posed, propped-up and over art-directed that it reeks of contrivance. However Irma does not always have the last word. Kirsty’s juxtapositions also spotlight the deceptions inherent in her beguilements. ‘The Hunt’, an idyllic, Rousseauist pastoral, presents Africa as a prelapsarian Eden where noble savages live in primal innocence. Proudly naked, or nigh naked, huntsmen happily commune with each other, their dogs and bountiful nature during a break in the chase. Eager, young acolytes hearkening to a wizened elder imply tradition, continuity and the transmission of ancestral wisdom. Guy Tillim’s adjacent photographs of camouflaged, teenage soldiers contest the truth of the painting, and present a diametrically opposed image of Africa as the site of SA ART TIMES. August 2011
savage internecine warfare and bloodshed. Steven Cohen too highlights the limitations of Irma’s art. The photograph ‘Chandelier’ records a performance in which Cohen, clad in his signature high heels and vampy, transvestite attire, engaged with homeless, unemployed black shack-dwellers at the climactic moment when the police were bull-dozing their homes. The image equates victims of homophobic prejudice with victims of racial, economic and political oppression, raising awkward questions about race, gender, sexual orientation, income distribution and land ownership. Although Irma lived during the heyday of Grand Apartheid, she never addressed its iniquities directly, and the juxtaposition of the gritty photograph with her frothy ballet painting draws attention to her all too frequent flights into decorative fantasy and mythologizing. ‘Beguiling’ is an education for the eye, and one hopes another demonstration of Kirsty’s wizardry awaits us soon. 35
ARTLife | GALLERY BUZZ / TRACY PAYNE â€˜S SOLO SHOW AT THE BARNARD GALLERY
Michelle Graham; Clive Du Toit; Karen Simpson; Phoebe Simpson
Tracy Payne and Gallery Director Chris Barnard delivering opening speech
Tracy Payne with her model
Therese Tomes, Janis and Bobby Slingsby and Kelly Thomes ABSTRACT SOUTH AFRICAN ART REVISITED AT SMAC ART GALLERY
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
ARTLife THE SOUTH AFRICAN
“Circular energies and cycles: of movement growth and change interest me …The circle is the most potent of all sacred symbols” states Eppel. Read her interview overleaf. Photo: Jenny Altschuler
Jane Eppel: Artist Printmaker UCT in 2001. Her first solo show, ‘Orient’ation’ (Irma Stern Museum, 2006) reflected her travels from Mumbai to Kyoto as seen through a series of meditative paintings. In her next solo offering ‘Sanctum’ (Bell Roberts, 2008), Eppel’s dreamlike narratives were populated with a cast of family and friends, the scenes set predominantly around her home in Cape Town. These paintings represented the artist’s interest in rootedness and the concept of an archetypal, universal, mythical home.
Photographs and text - Jenny Altschuler Jane Eppel’s homepage on her website introduces her known bodies of work as “glimpses” into her own personal meditative space, quietly fusing opposite elements of “privacy and accessibility, personal and public and the mysterious and the mundane” within her renditions of ordinary moments. (quoted from the late Prof. Neville Dubow’s opening address of Eppel’s exhibition, Sanctum, in 2008). Visiting the artist at home in her current surroundings in the Clovelly mountains, just past Kalk Bay, confirms this description and reveals that it was indeed a foresighted prediction on Dubow’s part. Eppel’s latest prints veer towards this dichotomy of opposites in her growing appreciation and awe of the minute and ordinary life species around her home environment. This fascination with the spectacle of the ordinary balances mystery and clarity of minute detail, appreciation of the living energy within and the intense reminder of mortality. What is hardly visible to the human eye is intensified and cradled within the delicate strokes of Eppel’s etched lines and almost invisible embossing. Yet the complexity of life’s networks, from fragile spider webs and wing-veins of insects, to the constellation of stars in our universe is referenced as interconnected in the cosmos. Born in Cape Town, Eppel graduated from the Michaelis School of Art, 38
Since 2009 Eppel has participated in numerous group shows and art fairs. She has increasingly been drawn to exploring the medium of printmaking, and since April 2011 has been focusing exclusively on copperplate etching. This is the predominant medium of her newer work, recently exhibited in a joint show with botanical sculptor and partner Nic Bladen, at Rust en Vrede Gallery in April 2011. Conceived as a collaboration, the show ‘Natural Selection’ is inspired by the artists’ equal fascination and love for indigenous Cape flora and, in Eppel’s case, insect life. Both are passionately engaged in daily routines of creating works that ‘preserve’ and celebrate the natural world. The interconnectedness of their home, studios and surrounding nature is certainly telling of a deep engagement in the appreciation of detail and depth even within the minutia that make up the cosmos. While Bladen’s sense of ecological responsibility is reflected in his impetus to record detailed castings of entire indigenous plants, many of them threatened, Eppel’s considerations seem more cosmic, acknowledging the ethereality of cycles within a greater harmonious infinity. “Circular energies and cycles: of movement growth and change interest me …The circle is the most potent of all sacred symbols” states Eppel. She recognizes that circles are also about metamorphosis and concedes that there is a downside to the cycle: that of the inevitability of deterioration and death before rebirth and regeneration. “The little creatures and entities that I am depicting are fragile and flimsy,” she speculates, “…but they do regenerate, entering into cycles of metamorphosis. Wheel-shaped webs, for example, spun by a group of spiders called orb weavers, are created, destroyed and recreated over and over. Did you know that a well-made web can support up to 4,000 times the weight of the body of the spider that built it?” she utters in awe.
Jane Eppel will be exhibiting at The South African Print Gallery Opening 13 August @ 10 am see: www.printgallery.co.za for more work SA ART TIMES. August 2011
(images: L-R ) Infinity: Etching, Jane busy drawing on etching plate, delicately cut out flying insects ready to arrange and print Below: Dragon Fly, Spiders web, Dragon Fly and Constellate Medium etching prints.
As a relatively recent printmaker, Eppel’s techniques are adventurous, extending the boundaries of the traditional etching processes. From finding ways to stabilize and crystallize spider webs, to printing from tiny hand-cut etching plates of dragonflies, moths, butterflies and other insects, she is in the process of forging a highly personalized style, creating new territory for herself within the established medium. “For ‘Natural Selection’ I individually hand-cut and filed each of the 40 or so copperplates. Each work is made up of a number of tiny plates, in different configurations and formations. The smallest plate, the bee, is 2 cm x 2 cm and the largest, the dragonfly, has a wingspan of 12 cm. When I place all the plates flatly together my entire collection takes up little more than an A4 space! The prints however range from 15cm x 15cm to 55cm x 55cm” she discloses. Sometimes embossing over an already printed work or printing onto it with a ‘real’ specimen, Eppel’s process remains conscious of, and empathetic towards the ethereality of life. In ‘Constellate (Southern Cross)’ (2011) the circular print is constructed from a composition which mimics the pattern of the Southern Cross. The lunar and branched ermine moths, (common names) are placed with other indigenous species, onto the Southern cross star-map. The black paper background of this piece allows for light to be absorbed in contrast with the delicate silver ‘stars’ which hang as if in deep space. This work, as in a number of the other pieces, includes tiny embossings, which are almost unnoticeable, forcing the viewer to approach the works from an intimate distance in order to appreciate the whole. The absence of ink also reminds of the delicacy of life span and invisibility of the insect community, but the SA ART TIMES. August 2011
comparison with the stars speaks of everlasting regeneration. “This is only the beginning of a series of the major constellations of the Southern night sky,” Eppel promises. Sets and cycles are set up, generating life streams, in particular streams of metamorphosis, generation, degeneration and regeneration. In the work titled ‘Infinity’ Eppel uses the symbol of the concept of forever, placing 23 insect characters connected in a mathematically perfect flow which conjures balance, harmony and peace in equal cohesion. “The work is romantic in a way, because it offers the idea and promise of ‘forever’. It’s incomprehensible and enigmatic and I am drawn to its possibility.” she states. That the subjects are minute creatures with very short life spans increases the attention to their exquisite life force, drawing attention to their otherwise unnoticed existence. This revelation of their moment, whether in flight or perched next to a web is the spectacle. Being privy to this spectacle places the viewer as a witness to the drama of the ordinary, increasing the attention to, and therefore the value, of every being, small and large, short-living or long-lifed, adding to the pathos of life as a whole. Mortality is thereby cocooned within the preservation of all living creatures, as by preserving their living moments, attention is drawn to their sure demise. Eppel’s upcoming exhibition at the South African Print Gallery, Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, will showcase a selection of the artist’s work over the last 10 years. The exhibition will open on Saturday 13th August at 10 am. 39
DAVID ZETLER’S - HOUT STREET GALLERY - WINTER SALON - HELD IN PAARL
Johannes du Plessis, Jill Colley, Kervin Cupido and David Zetler
Estelle de Jager, Shelley Hellig and Gail Zetler
SCENES FROM THE ABSA L’ATELIER AWARDS 2011, JOHANNESBURG
EDITOR’S CHOICE : PICTURES THIS MONTH
Cloth from Pedestrian Paintings (2006-2011) by Andries Gouws now showing at The Oliwenhuis, Bloemfontein
Kim Lieberman: Tribe 2010: Blood red hand made silk lace, bronze figures That is going to be at the Love Lace exhibition in Sydney. www.powerhousemuseum.com/lovelace/ http://vimeo.com/24360546
Mermaids from Goodman Gallery Jhb
Steven Hobb’s installation as part of the JAG 100 Celebrations
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
| ARTLife BEGULLING: THE SELF AND THE SUBJECT / IRMA STERN MUSEUM
Diana and Deon Viljoen and Christopher Peter
Michael Rolfe and friend
GARY VAN WYK’S OPENING AT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS GALLERY
Handing over of 3 commissions by Aleta Michaletos to Philippine High Commission in Pretoria
Mr Eric Aquino (charge d’Affaires Philippine Embassy), the artist Aleta Michaletos and Ex- Ambassador and Vice- President of SANAVA, Mr Anton Loubser Photographer: Gabriella Botha SA ART TIMES. August 2011
The Italian Ambassador, HE Elio Menzione (also a keen art collector and art connoisseur), the artist Aleta Michaletos and her husband Dr Theunis Botha Photographer: Gabriella Botha 41
Walter Battiss - Ferd the Third at The Goodman Gallery
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Makiwa’s work in the WSSA’s Black like us showing over 60 black artists
‘Proud Lioness’ by Frans Mulder, from Bedford has had one of his works selected for the Artists for Conservation Exhibition, Vancouver, Canada.
Get the all new Fred Page Book out now www.fredpage.co.za For more details
Jane du Rand completing a mosaic at newly revamped The Spa at The Twelve Apostles which opens in September
Corner works SA ART TIMES. August 2011
works relating to Alzheimer’s to be seen at The Spaza Gallery Johannesburg. I was interested in this disease that ravaged his brain, so slowly over more than ten years. I researched and found images of brain matter affected by Alzheimer’s multiplied thousands of times. What the medical text books called fibrils, amaloids, plaques and fibrillary tangles – I saw as beautiful abstractions and painted them alongside images of my father’s deterioration during the last year of his life. Perhaps this was an attempt to make meaning, make beauty out of a devastating loss. 43
Contact Malcolm at: Malcolm Dewey Fine Art 60 Darlington Road Berea, East London e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 043 726 0421 or 083 711 9888 web: www.originalart.co.za Making up for lost time may be one way of explaining Malcolm Dewey’s committed approach to oil painting. Having spent an extended period of his adult life as an attorney, Malcolm chose to follow his love for art professionally. Art is now part of each day for Malcolm whether behind the canvas, framing or meeting fellow artists and collectors in his gallery. He readily admits that art presents great challenges and without passion and dedication an artist may face hard times. “For me painting is about light, colour, composition, but mostly about the emotion a subject evokes and how to capture that on canvas. To have the best chance of doing so I prefer a painterly approach rather than illustration. I also prefer painting instinctively using impasto techniques to bring out spontaneous effects as paint and brush work together, laying on generous amounts of pigment. Where possible I paint outdoors as this compels me to paint spontaneously.“
Olive Grove Sunrise
Malcolm likes to follow his heart when choosing a subject rather than sticking to one topic and will paint what interests him. However, landscape is still his first choice when seeking out the qualities of light, shape and contrast that he so enjoys painting. “Art requires a generous approach both in spirit and method. I believe that paintings should have impact and they must convey the artist’s emotion otherwise the viewer will be disappointed. I do want a painting to stand out and resonate. A great painting will continue to give satisfaction for many years, hopefully for generations and artists must aim to achieve this with their works.“ Malcolm resides in East London and, together with his wife Kerrin, runs his gallery, Malcolm Dewey Fine Art and studio at 60 Darlington Road, Berea. Malcolm’s gallery displays his works and those of a selection of local and national artists. “Both my wife and I value our brief time on earth and art has helped us focus on beauty, creativity and sharing, which seems like a good way to spend one’s time!” Malcolm also supplies artists with top quality Maimeri products and is always happy to chat about art to visitors.
Sunrise at Blanco Farm
Return to Harbour
ESTÈ MOSTERT From a very young age Estè exhibited a particular aptitude for Fine Art. Impressionism means the total impression of the eye and soul, a eeting instant in time, which is caught on canvas – the atmosphere, the moment, the colour and light. This is what Estè Mostert strives for in every work. “Only when colour, line, composition and atmosphere are integrated does the work have meaning for me,” she says. She sees her work as a romanticization of the everyday realities which surround her. Her experiences are transposed to an ‘escape-from-the-world’ environment where as old of world gentleness rules, something which is almost non-existent today. Her art is often seen as dream and reality taking hands.
In her search for an individual style and character she began experimenting with rice paper and mixed media. The grain of the rice paper enhances her technique of acrylic, gauche and pastel. Estè now also works in oils and acrylics and glaze. Her technique in this medium is based on Impressionism, with a soupcon of her own style. In her contemporary style she liberates her imagination. This enables her to experiment between reality and the world of dreams. The honesty portrayed in her work characterises her old world values and is no attempt to offer commentary or reect social trends. Her word reects a shared experience of that which lies beyond reality.
You are invited to a solo exhibition of
EstĂ¨ Mostert at Alice Art Gallery 3rd and 4th September 2011 8am - 4pm RSVP at 083 331 8466 Email: email@example.com Flute Player
Woodstock, Cape Town
Kobus KotzĂŠ was born in 1938 in Aliwal North where he grew up and lived until 1994. As a farmer his love for nature inspired him to start painting in 1967. His first solo exhibition was held in 1971, after which many solo and group exhibitions followed. His paintings are included in many private homes and corporate collections, locally and internationally. During 1994, Kobus and his wife Joe moved to Bloemfontein, where he joined an art group and was stimulated by other artists. It was also easier to visit galleries countrywide from Bloemfontein. Kobus paints mainly in oil, but also loves watercolour and is an associate of the Watercolour Society of South Africa (AWSSA). He was inspired by impressionists like Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet, and Sisley, as well as local masters like Pieter Wenning, Hugo Naude, Gregoire Boonzaier and Alexander Rose-Innes. Over the years he developed a unique sense for mixing and using colour. His paintings are filled with emotion and atmosphere. His palette is neat and well organised and his paintings are a combination of realistic and impressionistic work. Kobus takes photos as they tour the country and abroad and paints these scenes using the photos as a reference. Whenever the urge for peace and silence arises, Kobus and Joe retreat to their country house at Rosendal, where the surroundings of the beautiful Eastern Free State mountains inspire them even more. The art talent is also strong amongst Kobusâ€™ family members. His wife Joe is also a professional artist
painting primarily in acrylics. She is well known for her paintings of street scenes, tea gardens and landscapes with buildings. Two of their daughters, Hanlie and Mariaan, are also professional artists. Mariaan studied art and works in acrylics and oil. Hanlie is well known for her contemporary paintings, combined with poetry.
Kobus’ son, Floris and his wife Anine, owns The Kotzé Art Gallery in Bloemfontein and they are responsible for marketing Kobus and Joe’s paintings countrywide. Kobus says: I thank God for my talent. My love for nature inspires me. I believe that an artist should always strive to improve. I also believe that an artist can only become successful through hard work.
Kobus’ work (and the works of his wife and daughters) can be seen in various galleries across the country and features strongly in the Kotzé Art Gallery in Bloemfontein. (www.kotzekuns.co.za) Kobus can also be contacted directly on 082 776 3985 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Die Wit Huis
The Whitehouse Gallery
The Whitehouse Gallery has become an important source for Contemporary American & European Art, as well as modern masters such as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore & more, in South Africa and worldwide. With a wide-ranging inventory consisƟng of painƟngs, drawings, sculpture, and prints, one may nd signicant examples by arƟsts Alexander Calder, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, David Hockney, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Frank Stella, Victor Pasmore, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and many more. Seven years down the line from The Whitehouse Gallery’s rst exhibiƟon in 2004, their client base has expanded considerably. Today, in the sophisƟcated, modern environment the gallery has successfully created, art enthusiasts oŌen rub shoulders with established collectors from both the corporate and private sectors, exchanging views and insights into their ever growing and changing works of art. The Whitehouse Gallery embodies the consultancy’s evoluƟonary progress. Their new premises in Illovo provides serious investors, new collectors and browsers with an unrivalled visual art experience. 11 THRUPPS ILLOVO CENTRE, Oxford Road ILLOVO P.O. Box 496, Melrose Arch 2076 Tel: 2711 268-2115 Ɓ Fax: 2711 268-2129 WEBSITE : www.thewhitehousegallery.co.za EMAIL: email@example.com: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alive Art has considerable experience in the art and picture framing trade and provides a high level of quality, reliability, service and compeƟƟve prices to a diverse range of customers throughout the region. The company is based in Johannesburg South Africa. The rm delivers a variety of framing services to creaƟve businesses and the general public, which are designed to be cost eīecƟve for everyone. With a fully Ʃed workshop, including a computerised mount cuƩer for great precision and value for money, the business also has expert staī helping clients to nd soluƟons to all framing requirements. Alive Art has a wide customer base, including various galleries, arƟsts and photographers, as well as serving the needs of the general public. Call Alive Art to discuss any art and framing needs. UNIT 9 VINTECH PARK, 45 4th STREET, WYNBERG P.O. Box 496, Melrose Arch 2076 Tel: 2711 786-8514 Ɓ Fax: 2711 786-8318 EMAIL: email@example.com
BUSINESS ART BUSINESS ART | NEWS
Fine art dealer : Warren Siebrits has exhibited at Art Fair’s in the past but has found it more beneficial being a part of SAADA’s fairs.
SA Antique Dealers Association’s 46th annual Fair includes a selection Fine Art dealers The annual fair of the South African Antique Dealers Association in Johannesburg has been held every year now for the past 46 years and will again be held at the Wanderers club at the end of October. It is a well established event on the calendar of antique collectors and followers. These collectors and followers will always make a point of visiting a SAADA Fair and will spend a few hours browsing, knowing that they will see some unique and interesting pieces. At a SAADA fair you can be sure to always find a range of traditional English and Continental furniture, as well as some interesting silver and other object d’art. In the past few years, we have seen an increase in 20th century design. What is interesting to note though is that last year saw three art galleries, The White House Gallery, Warren Siebrits and Christopher Moller exhibiting at the SAADA fair in Johannesburg and that these three dealers will again be exhibiting this year. So what is it about a SAADA fair that keeps these dealers coming back? I should point out at this stage that SAADA is the top, most prestigious association of antique dealers in the country and the rules of a SAADA fair are strict. Only members of SAADA or members-in-waiting can exhibit on a SAADA fair, which means that all three of these galleries are in fact members. When I asked Warren Siebrits why he had chosen to become a 52
member of an association of antique dealers his response was because, to him, SAADA represents a high quality, well established brand that has integrity and he wanted to link his name and brand to this. He remembers SAADA from when he first started out working at Sotheby’s over 20 years ago. So why are all three of these galleries choosing to exhibit at the SAADA fair as opposed to any other fair in Johannesburg? Melanie Sher from The White House Gallery believes that it is because it is the most upmarket, exclusive fair in Johannesburg. She adds that The White House Gallery’s stand, with its selection of modern and contemporary art, always stands out. The days of a Victorian chiffonier needing a heavy old masterpiece in oil from the same period are over. These days people are mixing styles and periods, while always maintaining good taste and quality. For this reason contemporary artworks fit in beautifully with antiques. Christopher Moller says that the reason he has chosen the SAADA fair is because he gets results. Christopher wanted to become a part of something bigger. Joining SAADA makes him a part of a family, working together, helping each other and building a brand under one name. “By working together we can co-ordinate our marketing under one brand name, associating ourselves with the best experts in the field, offering the most beautiful objects and achieving social prestige”.
SAADA has built up a reputation of expertise and quality. They have also built up a solid client base of big collectors. The same collectors that buy antiques, will buy art. Clients are looking for beautiful objects for their homes. SAADA is known for offering high end value items to its clients. One of the reasons that Warren Siebrits chooses to exhibit at the SAADA fairs is because it has a strong promotional angle. Warren says that because SAADA has been going a long time it has credibility and draws a very strong market that is well established. He says that there is not a lot of cross over to the audience that is drawn by the big Art Fair’s. Warren has exhibited at Art Fair’s in the past but has found it more beneficial being a part of SAADA’s fairs. So what can you expect to see at this year’s fair from these dealers? Well, none of them are giving away too much just yet on what they are putting together, but you can be assured of the highest quality of contemporary and modern artworks spanning the likes of Cecil Skotnes and Walter Batiss to William Kentridge and David Goldblatt among others. Visit the SAADA fair at the Wanderers Club, 21 North rd, Illovo from the 28th to the 30th October 2011. The fair is open daily from 10am to 6pm. For more details go to www.saada.co.za SA ART TIMES. August 2011
NEWS | BUSINESS ART
Global reports show ‘passion investments’ now bona fide investment class Globally, assets under management in art and other emotional investments have risen to just short of $800-million, according to a recent report compiled by Fine Art Wealth Management*. In addition, the 2011 Capgemini World Wealth report has a chapter devoted to the growth in ‘passion investing’ by high net worth individuals globally. What this means, according to Stefan Hundt, head of Sanlam Private Investments’ (SPI) Art Advisory Service, is that ‘passion investments’ have now become a firmly established global asset class.
Locally the art market has seen a divergence, with record prices still being achieved for quality pieces, but prices are stagnant for mediocre art. “A number of investors have adopted a more prudent outlook now, from the highs of 2010. Demand for Irma Stern’s art, for example, has remained strong yet increasingly selective, but Stern is not a market indicator. So while the bubble hasn’t burst, it has certainly deflated quite a bit.” Hundt estimates returns of between 10 and 12 percent a year on good art, but warns poor pieces will not sell.
Hundt heads up the first service in SA dedicated to advising high net worth individuals on art investing and also curates Sanlam’s R128-million art collection. He says more and more high net worth individuals around the world are shifting wealth into ‘passion investments’ which include musical instruments (violins are popular), rare letters and autographs, wine, stamps and art. “There is growing confidence in these investments, particularly as traditional financial markets continue to be volatile. In addition, according to the Capgemini report, the fast growing number of high net worth individuals in emerging countries is hiking these investments as the newly-rich purchase luxury vehicles, art and jewellery.”
Hundt says the international conference also highlighted the role the internet has played in making information about art more accessible and the market more transparent. “The art market is not regulated worldwide. As a result, many enthusiastic amateur investors have been taken for a ride as some gallery owners may tout everything in their shop as being an investment. But on what basis do they say this? Thanks to the information age, however, people have become better informed buyers.”
Speaking after attending the 5th Art Investment Conference 2011 at the London Business School in London recently, Hundt says dedicated art investment funds have performed well over the past year and are growing in popularity. “Established funds in Europe and America performed well when compared to equity and bond markets. The Fine Art Fund, for example, has returned more than 25 percent per year on sold assets since its launch in 2001. US fund, The Collectors Fund, claims to have returned more than 28 percent. And the managers of art funds are also bullish about 2011. “They are promising eight percent real returns in the year ahead – that’s what they’re telling their clients.” He, however, warns that many art funds are not transparent investment vehicles and as yet South Africa does not have any such investment vehicles. Looking locally, Hundt said art prices have not suffered the same level of volatility as equities, although, prices for mediocre art in South Africa have deflated since the highs reached in 2010.
Technology has also helped smaller auctioneers become as accessible as their more famous peers. In South Africa some five years ago, there was only one serious auction house selling local artworks. “Now there are a number of auction houses that sell artworks by publishing fully illustrated catalogues. This is an indication of the growth in significance of the art market, and the huge jump we’ve gone through.” Hundt, however, warns that speculators still actively seek victims in order to make quick returns for themselves. “That is why investors should remain wary when buying art and other ‘passion investments’. Get competent, professional advice. This may prove crucial in differentiating between those artworks that will turn into good investments and those which may be little more than corporate wallpaper.” *a specialist wealth management consultancy in London led by Randall Willet Sanlam Private Investments; Sanlam Art Collection Curator Stefan Hundt Tel: 021 947 3359 Cell: 083 457 2699 Email: Stefan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulbagh Spring arts Festival Highlights • For the first time ever, and for two days only, the incredible walled secret garden of a local arts patron will be open to the public. This unusual sculpture garden in the foothills of the Witzenberg features commissioned works by well-known African and South African artists, including a 3m high statue of Madiba made entirely from beads. • Arno Carstens, lead singer of SA rock band Springbok Nude Girls, will perform at the Saronsberg Theatre on the Saturday night, together with a local renowned guitarist Albert Frost. Multi-talented Arno’s surrealist artworks will also be on display at Saronsberg wine estate. The Tygerberg Camerata and other local musical groups are to perform throughout the weekend. • Carl Stassen Auctioneers will be putting 150 pieces of good art, including original Pierneef and Boonzaier works, will go under the hammer. • Village Art Loop – More than 30 visual artists, both local and from further afield, will be exhibiting and others will perform in 25 venues in Church and Van der Stel Streets. • Tulbagh Valley Arts Meander – 15 out-of-town exhibiting venues will be open – including wine estates, historic homes, artists’ studios, private collections and gardens. • The Galgeheuwel reserve walk - this gentle walk up to the recently restored lookout offers panoramic views of the village and surrounding valley. Tulbagh itself lays claim to being South Africa’s third oldest town after Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and was made famous by the devastating earthquake of 1969 and consequent restoration of an entire street of historic houses, comprising 32 National Monuments. The festival artwork was designed by one of our local artist Tina Nel – using THE MASTERS works - Vasek Matousek ‘Lady in the Mountain’ embellished with Christo Coetzee Profiles. For more information please contact Patty Nieuwoudt at Tulbagh Tourism on 023 230 1375 or look at the website: www.tulbaghtourism.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
BUSINESS ART | STEPHAN WELZ & CO. JOHANNESBURG SALE HIGHLIGHTS
Stephan Welz & Co. Johannesburg Auction of Traditional and Contemporary Art
This month, Stephan Welz & Co (Pty) Ltd will hold its Johannesburg Auction of Traditional and Contemporary Art. Headlined by lot 425, Irma Stern’s Young Arab (R10 000 000 – R15 000 000), the sale will reveal several rarities of South African art, including exceptional works by other iconic artists including Maggie Laubser, J H Pierneef, Alexis Preller, Lucas Sithole, Cecil Skotnes and Edoardo Villa. The auction will also feature offerings by local bluechip contemporary artists namely Marlene Dumas, William Kentridge and Simon Stone. Lot 496, Simon Stone’s Three Landscapes (R80 000 – R120 000) (illustrated inside front cover) displays a distinctively intuitive and innate understanding of colour and form. Stone’s work is also often recognisable through the whimsical displacement of figures and objects in relation to their environment. Fellow artist and writer Braam Kruger observed that it “…is for his oil paintings that (Stone) is highly respected by his peers one and all, for the works themselves and for his incorruptible resolve to approach every painting on its own terms. If you want to start a South African art collection, then begin with Simon Stone, because I can declare quite unequivocally and with genuine admiration that he is the best painter in our country.” Also included in the 170 items available for purchase is Cape Town artist Asha Zero, lot 499, and Japanese sensation Takashi Murakami, lot 326. The sale will take place at Stephan Welz & Co (Pty) Ltd at 13 Biermann Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg. For further information, please contact our specialists at 011 880 3125. Please note website has changed to www.stephanwelzandco.co.za To view the e-catalogue, please go to http://www.stephanwelzandco.co.za Lot 425, Irma Stern’s Young Arab (R10 000 000 – R15 000 000) Maggie Laubser, Lot 499, Asha Zero,C. TXIII.O (R20 000 – R30 000) Lot 326 Takashi Murakami: Here comes the media (R10 000 – R15 000)
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Port Elizabeth’s Grand Lady Athenaeum is ready to celebrate the next 160 years The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with the financial support of the NLDTF, has been commissioned to restore the ‘Grand Lady’ of Arts and Culture of Nelson Mandela Bay which is situated at the corner of Castle Hill and Belmont Terrace. Historical: The Athenaeum was founded in the 1850’s to promote cultural activities. It died out in the 1880’s. In 1893 the Young Men’s Institute, the School of Art, the Naturalists’ Society and the Camera Club combined to reassert the right of the Athenaeum to occupy a part of the City Hall. The Town Council offered to bear most of the cost of the present building which was opened in 1896. In the early years of the 1900’s it became mainly a social club and changed its name, but it has since again become a centre for cultural as well as social activities. After the Second World War the Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society rented and enlarged the Loubser Hall extension which is now the Ford Little Theatre. The building is one of the few examples of the classical style of architecture in the city and was designed by George William Smith. It was declared a national monument in 1980. This year Arts and Culture organizations have rallied around the MBDA initiative and have revived the Athenaeum Council. The Council will run the building and create a hive of activity in the Arts, Culture and Heritage. The Athenaeum will become the focal point of the Arts once it is finished, and, with the partnership of the ARTS JOURNEY, NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL and Mandela Bay Tourism, it will become a ‘Creative Collective’ of Nelson Mandela Bay. 56
Photo’s : Gerhardt Coetzee
The official launch and opening of the Athenaeum was on the 17 June 2011 which formed part of the 2011 National Arts Festival Fringe Program with an Exhibition of 200 Eastern Cape Artists as well as an Exhibition of leading potters including (numerous) award winners. The following organizations presently make up the Athenaeum Council (organisations representing Arts / Crafts / Theatre / Drama / Film / Dance etc are more than welcome to apply for membership of the Athenaeum Council) PE Shakespearean Festival Society [P.E.S.F.] Art EC– Eastern Province Society Of Arts And Crafts [Epsac] The Port Elizabeth Camera Club [P.E.C.C.] Port Elizabethse Afrikaanse Amateur Toneelvereniging [ATKV-PEAAT] ATKV – Streekkantoor Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan PEMADS Mandela Bay Development Agency [MBDA] Friends Of The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum East Cape Children’s Choir Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Music Association (NEMMMA) School Of Music, Art And Design, Faculty of Arts For more informations see: www.artsjourney-nelsonmandelabay.co.za
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
SPEECH BY CEO NAF TONY LANKESTER ON OPENING PE’S ART JOUNRNEY | BUSINESS ART
Opening address of Arts Journey by CEO NAF Tony Lankester : Athenaeum Port Elizabeth The Exhibition “ART AND ARTISTS of the Easter Cape” is one of 9 venues that form part of the Arts Journey - Nelson Mandela Bay - all venues are part of the NAF Fringe programme. Tony Lankester: “Thank you first of all for inviting me to speak tonight. This is a beautiful space not just in itself, but for what it represents, what it means for the people of the city and, most importantly, what it says about the value we place on creative spaces. I’m told – by those who wield a palette and paintbrush in a manner more effective than me – that artists view the world as their inspiration, and that what we see on the canvasses they create, in the sculptures they chisel and in the words they write, is an attempt to capture a notion, a thought, a philosophy, a dream, a nightmare, an argument, a suggestion or provocative statement. An artist’s work is always just a single piece of the puzzle they create in their lifetime, the argument they have with the world around them, the visual representation of a moment in their minds. All of this seems to suggest to me that Oscar Wilde was right when he said “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” Or, as Tom Stoppard wrote in Travesties, “To be an artist at all is like living in Switzerland during a world war.” So it’s a source of fascination to me to watch what is happening in the art world in Port Elizabeth… this healthy spirit of collaboration and co-operation by your artists, this almost counter-intuitive coming together for the purposes of creating alone. You’re finding strength in numbers. Or put another way, you’re finding safety and comfort in numbers and in community. On the one hand it’s encouraging. On the other, the reasons behind the notion that artists in South Africa today need to find comfort, is chilling. The arts are under threat. We know this. And the threat isn’t obvious – it’s not blatant, out and out censorship, arrests, muzzling and the clumsy, sometimes violent attempts at forcing a party line from every pen and paintbrush. History has recorded that in totalitarian states in the past, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Today’s threat is in many ways more insidious. It’s the threat of neglect. Of disregard. Sometimes even disdain. The threat comes from the absence of regard for the arts we see in our society. It comes from the fact that children can leave school without ever having touched a musical instrument, written a poem and read it aloud on a stage, without having experienced the exhilaration of a live performance. And I’m not talking about Shakespeare, Mozart or Rembrandt. Of course I include them, but I talk also of the words of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and JM Coetzee, the choreography of Keita Fodeba, the music of Cesaria Evora, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba, the art of Sokari Douglas Camp and William Kentridge. Art Galleries are left to crumble or get by on the bare minimum, libraries can’t keep their doors open, and public spaces for art appreciation, practice and immersion in the arts are few and far between and, inevitably, driven by the passion of a few individuals and the cash of a few benefactors. Increasingly, and perhaps logically, the arts are taking a back seat in our society. So Arts Education – that is both education about art and education through art, for children and for adults – remains a distant dream. Yes, we have other important things to do with the public purse. We have houses to build, schools and hospitals to create out of thin air, jobs to create and the elderly and vulnerable to protect and care for. Those are important. But so too is something else: social cohesion. South Africa, as we keep hearing, is in desperate need of this “social cohesion”. It’s a phrase that sadly exists mostly on the pages of politician’s speeches and is seldom seen in the way we prioritise the arts. Because social cohesion is a nice phrase that essentially means we need to learn to find each other again. We need to pull ourselves together as a society and discover our humanity again after decades in which that humanity was trampled upon and left both the trampled and the trampler poorer and weaker. But the truth is this. We’re not going to find ourselves on the battlefields of the rugby or football fields; nor will we across a boardroom table, in the corridors of parliament or as we drive past each other in rush hour. We’ll find ourselves SA ART TIMES. August 2011
only through the arts. We’ll find each other through song, uplifting words well spoken, dance, music, celebration, mutual appreciation of beauty. But we live in a society where this is spoken about but never acted upon. Consider this quote: “The artist does not create for the artist: He creates for the people and we will see to it that henceforth the people will be called in to judge its art”. Those words resonate with us all because they represent a chilling arrogance on the part of the speaker that feels familiar to us. There’s a threat implied in those words (“we will see to it”); and an implication that the arts and free expression somehow need to serve an unseen master. No-one here would be surprised if I told you they were the words of certain political leaders we’ve had in our distant past, or even perhaps some from more recent times who may or may not have controlled the purse strings of the arts. But they didn’t. They were words spoken decades ago by Adolf Hitler. The sad thing is, they feel as if they could have been said in this country. The threat is marching toward us and its path is being cleared by neglect, disdain and disregard. As a result some of our languages will fade away; the nuances of our many rich cultures will begin drifting backward into the dust kicked up by McDonalds, the iPhone, MTV, and Idols. And the less a country realizes that, the more it falls to the artist to shout it from the rooftops. And if the rooftops don’t exist for shouting, then the artists need to take it upon themselves to build the rooftops, and then to begin shouting. And that’s what you’ve done here. Fortunately, today in South Africa, we have an Arts Minister who is more likely to be listening than many we’ve had in the past. So maybe your shouting will not be in vain. The threat comes from another direction, though, even less in our control. As the global economy flounders and recession bites, big corporates have less and less available to spend on perceived luxuries like the arts. Wallets are slammed shut, budgets are cut and big business is thinking like small business again. But it’s depressing only if you focus on the here and now. How will we perceive this era in 50, 60, 70 years’ time? Let’s learn and take comfort from what has come before. n the 1930s America was in the grips of the Great Depression. But it was in that decade that the jazz standard Summertime was written; that Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller came to the fore, and we saw the birth of swing. Artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning hit their stride; and buildings like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center were completed. Andrew Mellon gave his $25 million dollar art collection to the American people and contributed $10 million to the construction of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The world saw great works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thornton Wilder and John Steinbeck. And in case you thought everyone was wandering about feeling sorry for themselves, remember that the 1930s gave us Dr Seuss and Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people. I mention this all for one reason only – to demonstrate what I think we all know: that artists, architects, musicians and writers will always find a way to make their voice heard. No matter how dire the circumstances, no matter how hopeless it all seems. History has proven to us that the arts can survive in the absence of a strong economy; but an economy can be stimulated and can flourish through artistic endeavour. As I look at this wonderful space tonight, I’m reminded that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “In the mud and scum of things / There always, always something sings.” And the opening of this building is a reminder to all of us that the arts will always prevail; and that the arts will always have a home in the hearts and cities of civilized nations. I applaud those of you who have made this happen. Who have kicked down the doors of bureaucracy, had sleepless nights, gone out cap in hand to bring this vision to life. The work you have done is important. What you have created is immense. And you’ve made sure that, somewhere in the heart of Port Elizabeth, something will always sing.” www.artsjourney-nelsonmandelabay.co.za 57
BUSINESS ART | SA ART AUCTIONS 2011 REVIEWS
Jane Alexander . It is far preferable to fly when your knees and elbows ache 2011. Oil painted bronze. Series: 1/5 Sold R 120 000
Michaelis Alumni and Staff Auction raises R 720 000
Michaelis School of Fine Art hosted it’s Alumni and Staff Auction in aid of bursaries and scholarships at the school. Stephan Welz, Managing Director of Strauss & Co. and his team auctioning off ninety lots of work by prestigious and up and coming artists, raising a substantial sum with which the art school will establish a fund to support talented and needy students’ studies. This was the first time that the school hosted an auction of this magnitude, with work generously donated by such a number and range of former graduates. The generosity of the artists and the bidders together made for an exciting evening, with many lots being bid off at well above the catalogue estimate. The excitement in the room was palpable, especially when the top lots of Marlene Dumas, David Brown and Jane Alexander’s work were hotly bid for. Stephen Inggs, Director of the School, commented how gratifying it was that alumni had given so generously towards raising funds for bursaries and scholarships to benefit future generations of students. Key Lots that sold well included: Jane Alexander . It is far preferable to fly when your knees and elbows ache 2011. Oil painted bronze. Series: 1/5 R 120 000 / Jane Alexander . Attendant. 2011 Pigment print on cotton paper. Edition: 100. R 34 000 / David Brown .The Butcher from the series 11 Deadly Sinners 2009 Bronze cast Edition: 5/6 R 70 000 / Marlene Dumas . United Europe 2005 Piezograph, Edition: this work 7/20 AP, total edition: 75 R 50 000 / Penny Siopis . Siestog 2003 Spitbite, sugarlift, aquatint, burnishing, scraping and monoprint R 30 000 / Brendhan Dickerson . Zumazela 2010 Bronze R 30 000 / Jake Aikman . Cold Front (With Man ) 2011 Oil on canvas R 22 000 58
The evenings MC Mark Banks Photo: Dale Yudelman
AVA’s 40-year celebratory auction tops R 300K The Association for Visual Arts held its 40-year celebratory auction held at the Upper Eastside Hotel on Wednesday, 22 June. A vibey crowd gathered and was treated to champagne, great food, wine and entertainment from the host of the evening, Mark Banks. 52 works donated by some of South Africa’s top artists made this one of the AVA’s biggest fundraising events ever. The response and bidding frenzy of the 160 people attending the auction made it a success The event will help the AVA gallery and its Artreach programme to meet its mandate of supporting and developing established and emerging artists and to continue with its programme of professional and challenging exhibitions. Be sure to keep an eye out for the AVA’s continuing celebration of its 40-year anniversary, with two curated exhibitions showcasing many of the artists who have emerged through the Gallery.
Seen with art critics: Lampbrecht and Pollak : Amaler- Raviv’s poster work at the Tretchikoff catalogue launch at the Book lounge
Amaler- Raviv’s Tretchikoff public poster gives R 25 000 to community Amaler-Raviv removed a Tretchikoff poster from a pole in the mother city and painted her reaction to this exhibition at the National gallery. This painting then sold on auction for R 25,000 donating money to other artists in the community. Posters of this painted poster are available at R50 each from galleries around the city of Cape Town This intervention continues the process of making the image accessible to the people www.amaler-raviv.com / email@example.com / 0832310860 SA ART TIMES. August 2011
STRAUSS & CO. / SA ART AUCTIONS 2011 | BUSINESS ART
Irma Stern: Two Arabs. signed and dated 1939. oil on canvas 58,5 by 83,5cm in the original Zanzibar frame Estimate: R20 000 000 - 25 000 000
Strauss & Co’s Cape Town Sale: Monday 26 September Stunning Stern comes to the market The star of the show in Strauss & Co’s September 2011 auction in Cape Town is Two Arabs by Irma Stern. This painting is one of the highlights from a group of works painted by Irma Stern in Zanzibar in 1939 where she spent four months. It ranks equally with two major Sterns recently sold at auction, Arab Priest, which achieved R33 411 915 and Bahora Girl, which sold for R26 062 159. It is certainly one of, if not the most important painting to be offered at auction in South Africa over the past decade and will no doubt create a great deal of excitement amongst collectors. Stern, in her book on Zanzibar published in 1948, described the island as “the gateway to the centre of Africa”. Since her first visit there in 1939, Stern was captivated by the place and its peoples which remained a great source of inspiration throughout her career. Here two men, with their heads draped in richly coloured turbans, share a moment of intense reflection over a cup of coffee. In Stern’s own words: “Their hands gesticulating, their faces expressed depths of suffering, profound wisdom and full understanding of all the pleasures of life – faces alive with life’s experiences”. The painting is finished with a superb carved wooden frame decorated with flowers and foliage. The purpose of these symbols, originally designed as door ornamentation, is to bring good fortune to the household as described by Stern. Having been held in select private collections, the painting has a
good provenance and has not been seen publically since it was included in the exhibition Homage to Irma Stern, presented by the Rembrandt van Rijn Art Foundation for the Cape Arts Festival in 1968 at the Rembrandt van Rijn Art Centre in Stellenbosch, the Pretoria Art Museum and the South African National Gallery. What makes this painting so highly regarded and sought-after is the manner in which Stern fuses her passion for African themes with European traditions of painting that can be traced back to the greatest nineteenth- and twentieth- century masters from Eugène Delacroix through Vincent Van Gogh to the German Expressionists with whom she was closely associated in her formative years.
Auction of South African Art, Furniture, Silver and Ceramics Cape Town, Monday 26 September 2011 Day Sale at 3pm, Evening Sale at 8pm The Vineyard Hotel, Newlands PREVIEW: Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September 10 am to 5 pm WALKABOUTS with Stephan Welz and Emma Bedford, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September at 11 am ENQUIRIES & CATALOGUES:021 683 6560 / 078 044 8185 firstname.lastname@example.org Please visit our website www.straussart.co.za
‘Coming To The City’ (2011) by Clive van den Berg is a 3m x 18m mosaic artwork that is Nando’s biggest art commission to date. It adds to an already extensive collection of South African art that is installed in all 243 UK restaurants, which have been effectively transformed into “galleries” aimed at showcasing and supporting Africa’s artistic community. The installation of the Van den Berg piece is also an indication of the central role South African artists are being given in the new store designs being revealed in Nando’s homegrown restaurants over the coming months. SA ART TIMES. August 2011
BUSINESS ART | OBITUARY / LUCIAN FREUD
Lucian Freud, 2010 Photo: Stephan Agostini/AFP/Getty. (Right) Benefits Supervisor Sleeping was sold at Christie’s in New York for $33.6 million, a record for a work by a living artist.
Lucian Freud, OM, who died on July 20 aged 88, was the most celebrated British figurative painter of the late 20th century Freud was thought of primarily as a painter of portraits, but though his subjects were often well-known people, he was no society portraitist in the manner of Sargent or Boldini. His purpose was not to flatter, and the starkness of his images, many of them highly detailed nudes, have few precedents in the art of the human form. So early was Freud’s reputation established – while he was still a teenager – that for almost all of his career he was able to paint on his own terms, and only what he was interested in. “My work,” he said, in a remark at once typically truthful and egotistic, “is purely autobiographical. It’s about myself and my surroundings.” The results of this subjective outlook divided both the critics and the public. For many, Freud was a master of capturing the quintessence of a sitter, his paintings being, as he said, not like people but of people. Though his stature was perhaps increased by his having few great contemporaries, he was hailed as the heir of Rembrandt and Hals, both of whom he greatly admired. Others found the stern intensity of Freud’s scrutiny unsettling and too uniform, thinking his paintings revealed not their subjects but his view of humanity. His pictures were said not to celebrate the differences between individuals, but their melancholy similarities – an opinion reinforced by the anonymous titles Freud gave many of his works, as if they were exercises rather than pictures of real people. The counterpart to Freud’s determination to make use of his life in his work was that his life itself became something of an exhibition. There was a quasitheatrical streak in his personality and, though it was exaggerated by speculation, he gained a reputation as a rake, a snob and a Lothario. Freud consorted with both high and low society. He had many beautiful and well-born lovers, some of whom sat for him, while perhaps his most celebrated model was a grossly fat homosexual nightclub dancer, Leigh Bowery; indeed, Freud painted few men who were not homosexual, saying that he admired their courage. Entertaining though gossip about his life and his inspirations was, it shed little light on Freud’s work, and detracted from the one constant in it, his ambition. Certainly, Freud told the critic David Sylvester, he needed models whose “aura was the starting point of his (Freud’s) excitement”. But by the end, the picture was all he felt about, and each revealed to him “a great insufficiency that drives him on”. Thus, after numerous sittings, the 11th Duke of Devonshire was summoned back to Freud’s studio because the artist had not got the silk of his subject’s shirt quite right. “Rembrandt would have done it, and I’m damn well going to do it too,” said Freud. The remark revealed not only the standards Freud hoped to emulate, but also the hunger of a great painter to inspire the sort of reaction to 60
art had by Jose Ortega y Gasset on first seeing Las Meninas: “This isn’t art, it’s life perpetuated.” Lucian Freud was born in Berlin on December 8 1922, the middle brother of three. His father, an architect, was the youngest son of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Lucian’s mother was the daughter of a rich grain merchant, and he had a comfortable childhood, growing up in a house near the Tiergarten, being schooled at the Französisches Gymnasium and holidaying on his maternal grandfather’s estate. It was an environment that from an early age he found overprotective, and even as a young boy he made regular forays into rougher neighbourhoods to escape the smothering attentions of his parents and nannies. Such expeditions were evidence of a nature that was to prove both curious and wilful. The rising tide of anti-Semitism in Germany and the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor prompted the Freuds to move to England in 1933. They settled in Mayfair, not far from Green Park, the setting of the earliest of the many stories that spattered Freud’s reputation with mud. It was said that the origins of Lucian’s near lifelong estrangement from his younger brother Clemens, later the MP Sir Clement Freud, lay in an adolescent race around the park. When his brother threatened to win, Lucian called out “Stop thief!” and Clemens was promptly seized by passers-by. The story seemed improbable, but that it could sustain repetition at all was proof that many were willing to believe the worst of the adult Freud. Though capable of great charm, as his amorous conquests testified, in later years he became notorious for his temper, once punching Harold Macmillan’s son-inlaw, Andrew Heath, after he had taken Freud to task over his treatment of his wife. Freud was well-known for his bitter feuds. He eventually fell out with, among others, arguably his closest friend, Francis Bacon, one of his earliest patrons, Lord Glenconner, and his dealer, James Kirkman. Lucian was sent to Dartington Hall, the progressive boarding school, from 1933 to 1937, and then for a year to Bryanston, from which he was expelled for disruptive behaviour, said to have culminated in his driving a pack of foxhounds into the school’s chapel during Matins. He devoted most of his time at Bryanston to riding and to drawing, in which he was encouraged by Sigmund Freud’s gift of some prints of Brueghel’s paintings. At 15, Lucian enrolled at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, but in 1939, dissatisfied with the school’s classically-oriented curriculum, he moved to the East Anglian School of painting. That same year he took British nationality. The East Anglian School was run by the artist Cedric Morris, who was the first to persuade Freud to begin working with paint. SA ART TIMES. August 2011
LUCIAN FREUD / OBITUARY | BUSINESS ART He forgave his pupil when Freud left a cigarette alight and burned the school down. By now Freud had been recognised as a prodigy and had a sketched selfportrait accepted by Horizon, for which he also drew portraits of its editors, Cyril Connolly and Stephen Spender. Freud took a studio in Maida Vale and cultivated a bohemian image, stalking through wartime London in a fez and fur coat, a bird of prey perched on his wrist. Among his other eccentricities was the refusal for many years to have a telephone in his studio; until the late 1980s, friends could contact him with any certainty only by telegram. Freud guarded his privacy jealously, and one potential biographer claimed he had abandoned the project after receiving mysterious and threatening telephone calls. In 1942 Freud enlisted in the Merchant Navy and served for three months on the convoy vessel Baltrover before being invalided out. But his brief service confirmed his instinct that he would find such raw milieux attractive and stimulating, and when he returned to London he rented a studio beside the Grand Union canal, the border between working-class Paddington and better-heeled Little Venice. The divide mirrored that which Freud maintained in his social life. He moved easily and steadily between the two worlds, perhaps breakfasting at a workmen’s café before driving his Bentley rapidly (if erratically) to Soho for a day’s drinking and betting with Jeffrey Bernard or the photographer John Deakin. Freud was a notorious and reckless gambler, and in 1983 was warned off the Turf after reneging on debts to bookmakers of some £20,000. At night he would return to the West End, a spare figure immaculately dressed, this time perhaps for a drink with the Duke of Devonshire before moving on to a nightclub in Berkeley Square. It was a Pimpernel-like existence that amused some of his friends and infuriated others, notably Francis Bacon, with whom he finally fell out over what Bacon (who was of gentle birth himself) perceived as Freud’s snobbish cultivation of position. Certainly, Freud eventually forsook Paddington for the grander environs of Holland Park; but the view from his flat was of the tower blocks of Shepherd’s Bush. Freud was given his first exhibition in 1944 by the Lefevre Gallery. By now he was concentrating on painting rather than on drawing, working in a style some thought influenced by Surrealism. Thus the subject of Quince On A Blue Table (1943-44) is somewhat overshadowed by the baleful zebra’s head that thrusts from the wall above the table. Freud, characteristically, denied having been influenced by another style. From 1946 until 1948 Freud lived and painted in Greece and France, where he met Picasso, who responded to the tartan trousers Freud was wearing by singing It’s A Long Way To Tipperary. When Freud returned to England it was to begin teaching at the Slade, and to marry Kitty Garman, the daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein. Freud’s wife became the subject of his first important series of portraits, notable for their flat contours, stylised line and stark lighting. The wide-eyed subject of Girl With Roses (1946-48) and Girl With Leaves (1945) is treated with an unsettling, detached sensuality reminiscent of 15th-century Flemish portraiture or, more recently, of Ingres – so much so that Herbert Read called Freud “the Ingres of existentialism”. This period of Freud’s work culminated in portraits of two of his closest friends – Francis Bacon, whom he painted on copper, and the photographer Harry Diamond. The latter portrait is suffused with tension born of the unnatural lack of animation in Diamond’s face and posture, a calmness belied by his clenched fist and aggressive open stance. In the painting, Freud hints at a barely suppressed violence beneath Diamond’s static exterior and externalises it in the shape of a man-sized and threateningly spiky potted plant, one of several to appear in his work. The portrait brought Freud the Arts Council prize at the Festival of Britain, for which he was the youngest artist given a commission. Freud divorced his wife in 1952, prompting his father-in-law to remark: “That spiv Freud turned out a nasty piece of work.” The next year he married Lady Caroline Blackwood, daughter of the 4th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. They were divorced in 1957, and she later married the poet Robert Lowell, who in 1977 was found dead in a New York taxi with his arms clasped around Freud’s portrait of the blonde-haired young Caroline. She died in 1996. By the late 1950s Freud had begun to pull away from the neo-romanticist SA ART TIMES. August 2011
contemporaries such as Graham Sutherland and John Minton with whom he had been grouped, and he gradually evolved a style of work that was to sharply divide the critics. His portraits began to become more tactile, demonstrating eventually an almost sculptural fascination with flesh and its contours. Freud abandoned the fine lines of his early work for broader strokes – swapping sable brushes for hogshair – and began to work with a more limited palette in which greasy whites and meaty reds predominated. His subjects were also often foreshortened or seen from a peculiar angle, a change in technique brought on by Freud’s beginning to paint while standing up rather than sitting. Most of the best-known works that Freud executed in the next 40 years were of nudes, rather vulnerable figures usually placed against a white sheet on an iron bed or on an old Chesterfield sofa in Freud’s studio. The subjects often seemed to be tired or even asleep, yet Freud’s gaze remains tireless, even pitiless under the glare thrown by an interrogator’s 500 watt bulb. Moreover, there is little independent communication between sitter and onlooker, for the eyes of Freud’s subjects rarely meet any outside the studio. Freud sometimes ascribed the change in his style to a conversation with Bacon in which he was urged to put more of his own life into his work. Some critics who sought evidence of this concluded that what was going into the work was Freud’s dissatisfaction with his own life. In particular, Freud’s soured romances were said to have left him with a contempt for women that made him paint them as a voyeur. He was accused of being cerebral, cruel or macabre, and, in the words of David Sylvester, having the eye not of a painter but of a pathologist. There was certainly little respect for frail mankind in Freud’s work, and many of his pictures seemed to convey only the tedium of existence, the waiting for death. Thus, in perhaps his best-known composition of the 1980s, Large Interior W11 (After Watteau) (1981-83), Freud replaced the lively flirtation among members of a comic troupe in Watteau’s original painting with a group of his own children and friends, seemingly bored and lost in their separate thoughts. The painting was sold in 1997 for £3.75 million, a record for a living British artist, although the money went not to Freud but to his former dealer, James Kirkman, with whom he had fallen out. Yet if there was no outright affection for humanity in Freud’s work, there was no hostility either. Rather, there was evidence only of an unwearying fascination with the human form, and of a striving to be faithful to it in all its moments, by turns sullen, proud and tender. Freud displayed a distinct feeling for the last of these qualities, notably in portraits painted in the 1980s of his elderly mother, of his daughter Bella, and in compositions featuring dogs, such as Double Portrait (1985-86), in which the hand of a sleeping subject cups the muzzle of a similarly drowsy hound. Freud continued to paint into old age, among the most remarkable of his later works being the full-length naked self-portrait Painter Working (1993), which seemed to depict him as an elderly satyr, shod, almost comically, in a pair of ancient fell-walking shoes. It was a rare explicit glimpse of Freud himself in a body of work that otherwise was introspective only by proxy. He exhibited regularly and had a number of retrospective showings of his paintings, including one at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1998 and a large show at Tate Britain in 2002. Since the millennium there have been solo exhibitions in New York, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Venice, Dublin, The Hague and Paris. Comparatively few of his paintings, however, are in public collections. Between May 2000 and December 2001, Freud painted the Queen, with controversial results. In May 2008, his 1995 picture Benefits Supervisor Sleeping was sold at Christie’s in New York for $33.6 million, a record for a work by a living artist. Freud was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1983, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1993. It is difficult to be precise about Lucian Freud’s progeny, but there appear to be at least 13. He had two daughters by his first marriage. He had four children by Suze Boyt, one of whom is the novelist Rose Boyt; by Katherine McAdam, he had two sons and two daughters; by Celia Paul, he had a son; and he had two daughters by Bernadine Coverley, the writer Esther Freud and the fashion designer Bella Freud. 61
Nushin Elahi’s London Letter Watercolour is both a glorious medium to work in, and a demanding one. Once begun, the artist must be able to take the flow of the paint and play with it. It is notoriously difficult, and many fine artists pale at the thought of allowing that magic combination of paint and paper to determine the outcome of their work. It is extremely fragile too, which is why one seldom sees such a lush collection of watercolours together in a setting like the Tate, where Watercolour runs until 21 August.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s strong landscapes and delicate Harvest Moon, William Blake and Samuel Palmer are just some of the gems on display. There is an attempt to instruct in the changing way the medium has been used, with painting kits from Turner and Queen Victoria. Yet after that it is as if the Tate ran out of material, and besides the gloriously glowing saturated colours of Anish Kapoor, Patrick Heron and Howard Hodgkin they could find no post-war artists to define the medium. Instead they show feeble work, such as Tracey Emin’s insipid daubs and a large modern acrylic canvas that seems totally out of place in an exhibition on watercolour. It is bizarre to find such imbalances in a single show, and they would have been better to reduce it by at least a third than leave the work to peter out to inconsequential. What it does show is how rarely watercolour is used in the modern world of installation art.
Turner’s Blue Rigi at Sunrise This is a large exhibition, and one with many major works, not least of all Turner’s Blue Rigi at Sunrise, a small painting that can take being blown up to an image two storeys high outside the exhibition hall, such was Turner’s mastery of the medium. It is a chance to see work normally kept in darkened rooms, or dimly lit where watercolour’s eternal enemy – light – won’t destroy the pigment.
Jacob Epstein’s Rock drill The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World, also at the Tate (until 4 Sept) struggles to ever get off the ground. Touted as the first real investigation into this short-lived British movement, one is left with the feeling that there is a reason they have never warranted a show. The movement was almost immediately overshadowed by war, and soon lost artists like Henri Gaudier-Brzeska to the fighting. There is very little major work on display, largely because most of the work by founder Wyndham Lewis from that period ended up lost in America. Bomberg’s Mud Bath
Bean painting The show starts with ancient maps and tiny cameo portraits, with finely detailed botanical paintings, animals and birds, many of them from places such as Kew, the Maritime Museum and the Natural History Museum. There is a plethora of Victorian watercolours – large, bold and detailed, they look more like oil paintings, and then there are the war painters, painstakingly recording horrific injuries, blackened landscapes and burnt ruins. Thomas Girtin’s exquisite White House at Chelsea, Edward Burra’s war, 62
SA ART TIMES. August 2011
NUSHIN ELAHI’S LONDON LETTER | BUSINESS ART The significant pieces on show fall into the category of Cubism and Futurism, both of which Lewis rebelled against. While fascinating to see the ardour with which they railed against the age, the detail of what belonged to the different movements of the time now seems irrelevant. As such it becomes a rather academic treatise, involving much to read and study and little to view. Surprisingly the Tate doesn’t make full use of key figure Ezra Pound’s verse to fill in the gaps on the somewhat blank walls.
The Wellcome Collection in Euston Road is a place full of quirky pieces, all with some reference to the medical side of life. A major exhibition takes a closer look at something which surrounds us, but we are often reluctant to confront. Dirt: the Filthy Reality of Everyday Life (until 31 August) travels across centuries and continents to explore our ambivalent relationship with dirt. Bringing together around 200 objects spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the exhibition uncovers a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past, and points to the uncertain future of filth, which poses a significant risk to our health but is also vital to our existence. There are paintings by Pieter de Hooch, the earliest sketches of bacteria, John Snow’s “ghost map” of cholera, beautifully crafted delftware, Joseph Lister’s scientific paraphernalia, and a wide range of contemporary art. Out of Australia - prints and drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas features works by Australian artists from the 1940s to the present. This is the first big show of Australian art of any kind in London for over a decade, and it is the first of Australian works on paper of this scale to be held outside Australia. Drawn from the British Museum’s impressive collection, it begins with the rise of the ‘Angry Penguins’ group of artists, amongst them Sidney Nolan (best known for his iconic images of the bushranger Ned Kelly), and continues to include contemporary artists. (until 11 September)
The most powerful pieces are from Jacob Epstein, who never classed himself as a Vorticist, with the monstrous scale of his Rock Drill and the African forms of other sculpture, Gaudier-Brzeska’s monolithic head of Ezra Pound, the angular shapes of Bomberg’s Mud Bath and Lewis’s abstracted metropolis, Crowd. The anguished cry of rebellion against the encroaching mechanisation of the world stays with one, but the detail of this brief movement doesn’t.
Frank & Caroline Mouris, Frank Film. In an age when every urban teenager expects to be able to make movies on their phone, the Barbican offers a fascinating insight into the history of animation as part of global contemporary culture with Watch Me Move (until 11 Sept). Starting with shadow cinema and the first cartoons, it offers a wide sweep both historically and geographically. So William Kentridge’s Shadow Procession runs alongside a modern Chinese clip, the Lumiere brothers’ dancing skeleton and Japanese anime. Superheroes range from Popeye to Superman, there’s a section on characters like Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse, period pieces such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and fables from around the world. Both educational and entertaining, the Barbican can be proud that the technology behind this absorbing show, with over 170 clips running simultaneously, is completely unobtrusive. Now known as a music venue, London’s Roundhouse started out as a train shed. During August the 24 pillars that form the basis of this iconic Victorian building will be holding a giant 360° screen made of nearly 6000 pieces of silicon rod. Curtain Call is by Israeli designer Ron Arad, the subject of recent exhibitions at MOMA, the Barbican and the Pompidou Centre. The installation will form a vast circular curtain stretching to three storeys in height which will become a canvas for new work from artists including film-maker Christian Marclay (whose 24-hour The Clock has been such a hit), cartoonist David Shrigley and many more. (9 to 29 August). SA ART TIMES. August 2011
Sidney Nolan: Ned Kelly
Water, the [Delicate] Thread of Life Water is fundamental to every aspect of life on earth. Through the eyes, minds and creative endeavours of South African artists such as Willem Boshoff, Karel Nel, William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Deborah Bell, Norman Catherine and Marcus Neustetter, this exhibition explores the many facets of one of the most precious and threatened commodities on earth.
Standard Bank Gallery 29 July – 1 October 2011 Monday to Friday: 8am – 4.30pm Saturday: 9am – 1pm Tel: 011 631 1889 www.standardbankarts.co.za
Simon Max Bannister, Return, (From the Series Plastikos), 2010, Reclaimed Polyethylene. Collection: The Artist. SBSA 89807 -6/11 Moving Forward is a trademark of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
South African Art Times