THE SOUTH AFRICAN
ART TIMES December 08 - January 09 • Full version also available at www.arttimes.co.za
Zavick & Ulric’s washline fire burns brightly
THE SOUTH AFRICAN
December 08 - January 09 • Issue 12 Vol 3 • Subscription RSA 180 p.a • Dec / Jan Print & Distrib. 7 000 copies • Full online version available at www.arttimes.co.za
Stefano Unterthiner Troublemaker Animal Portraits - Winner 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum , London, UK. To be seen, with other amazing images at The SA National Gallery. see www.iziko.org.za for details
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South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09
Artists do battle (again) with the Moustache Gallery
The South African
Art Times Dec 08 - Jan 09 www.arttimes.co.za Published monthly by
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Deadlines for news, articles and advertising is the 20th of each month. The Art Times is published in the last week of each month. Newspaper rights: The newspaper reserves the right to reject any material that could be found offensive by its readers. Opinions and views expressed in the SA Art Times do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint of the editor, staff or publisher, while inclusion of advertising features does not imply the newspaper’s endorsement of any business, product or service. Copyright of the enclosed material in this publication is reserved.
Stefano Unterthiner Troublemaker Animal Portraits - Winner 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year owned by The Natural History Museum , London, UK. To be seen, with other amaizing images at The SA National Gallery. see www.iziko.org.za for deails
This category - one of the most popular in the competition - invites portraits that capture the character or spirit of an animal in an original and memorable way. The home of Sulawesi blackcrested macaques is the forest, and that was where the group that Stefano followed for weeks spent most of its time, in Tangkoko National Park in the north of the island. But when the macaques’ search for food took them to the coastal edge of the forest, they ventured along the beach to scour the rocks for fallen fruits and nuts or, in the case of the young ones,
to paddle in the waves. This young adult, nicknamed Troublemaker, was more interested in Stefano. So getting a close-up wasn’t difficult. Handling Troublemaker’s mischief, though, proved more of a challenge. ‘He would leap at me and kick off my back like a trampoline,’ says Stefano. ‘It was part play, part confrontation, part attention-seeking, part curiosity.’ Trouble-maker’s expression captures, Stefano says, ‘the spirit of these wonderful monkeys’, and the setting makes it an unforgettable portrait. © Stefano Unterthiner / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008
The South African Art Information Directory 09 The trusted and most comprehensive SA Art Information Directory 2009 (SAAID 09) is nearing completion, and will be available early in 2009. Now in its 6th edition The SAAID 09 provides the user with a wealth of art information - both in terms of size and access into the South African arts community- and is South Africa’s white and yellow pages of the South African art world. Advertising from R 200 - R 3000 See www.saaid.co.za for more details
Artists Nico Eilers and Gavin du Plessis are not charmed by Laurens Barnard of the Moustache Gallery Caitlin Ross Questions over the running of the Moustache Gallery in Stellenbosch have again been raised after a painting by local artist Gavin du Plessis was found damaged and discarded on the side of a farm road in October. The damaged painting, a 92cm x 92cm oil on canvas titled Cape Town ’73, is a hyper-realist work which formed part of du Plessis’s first solo series in 1973. It was found by a farm labourer at the Nooitgedacht Estate who noticed it had a price tag and the artist’s name on the back. Estate chef Maryke Reuvers said she managed to track du Plessis down by Googling his name. Du Plessis said he was alarmed when he got the news, as he had been told by Moustache Gallery owner Laurens Barnard that his painting had been “packaged and sent to a buyer in Germany”. “I was not aware that Stellenbosch was in the Bundesrepubliek,” said du Plessis. He said he had been
paid the agreed-upon sum of R15 000 by Barnard, but nonetheless felt “shocked, insulted and hugely disappointed”. Barnard has paid him for the painting but he nonetheless made out an affidavit stating: “As far back as November 2007 Mr. Laurens Barnard, owner of Moustache Gallery, informed me he had packed and sent off the artwork to a ‘buyer in Germany’.” Barnard said that he was awaiting confirmation of payment from the German buyer and that this is the first he’d heard of the painting being missing. He said some paintings that he had been storing in his house in Somerset West were transported to a storeroom on the same road as the one on which du Plessis’s work was discovered. “It could be that it fell off…maybe it was stolen.” Capt. JF Brits, in charge of the investigation, said he has been on leave and has thus not had time to get started on the case.
But du Plessis is not the only artist involved with the gallery who is “mystified” by missing works or money, an issue that was reported on by the SA Art Times in June 2008. Durban-based artist Julia Forman said at Barnard’s request she had sent two acrylic paintings to an auction in 2006. Barnard allegedly contacted her immediately after the auction to inform her that one piece was sold for R2 500 and the other would be sent back to her. “There was a point when I did get hold of him, and it seemed he was under pressure from a number of artists because he was committed to returning the work,” said Forman. But she said subsequent attempts to get both her painting and money from Barnard have been unsuccessful. Painter and multi-media sculptor Nico Eilers said after the same auction he had to threaten Barnard with legal action before Barnard agreed to a meeting at the gallery, at which, Eilers said, he failed to arrive. He said a woman at the gallery handed him some of his works, but one of his sculptures was still missing. Barnard evaded directly answering questions on the missing works, saying only that “most” of his artists have been paid and that he has “done a lot more for artists in this country than other people, putting their work in my gallery”. “Lots of people owe me money but you don’t see me running to the papers,” he said.
South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09
Media24 back off from defamation claim against photographer
Staff writer In another David and Goliath court case, Media24 appear to have bitten off more than they’d like to chew when they attempted to sue Cape Town photographer and copyright fundi Geof Kirby for defamation after he questioned the legality of their freelance contracts. But in a turnaround, rather than breathing a sigh of relief at the withdrawal, Kirby would like to haul them back to court to face up to their syndication activities, which Kirby believes have been illegally carried out with no recompense to freelancers, for at least two decades. It seems Media24 unwittingly sprung their own trap when, following an email to colleagues within a closed e-group expressing this opinion, they served him with a letter demanding a retraction within 24 hours or face a R100 000 defamation suite. But Kirby, incensed at the contracts Media24 expected freelancers to sign, as well as by their “bullying tactics”, refused to back down. He said Media24 were using their contracts to legitimise their foreign syndication practices, which he said he “believed” were illegal in terms of existing legislation, which includes the South African Copyright law (1978) with amendments, and the Berne Convention, to which South Africa is a signatory. On the cover of their contracts Media24 state that their agreement
is merely a restatement of the law itself, something which Kirby said is “disingenuous”. “In fact it’s actually an attempt at deceit, especially in light of Media24’s past behaviour in trying to enforce rights they didn’t have.” In section six of their agreement they state the freelancer has to hand over all intellectual property rights and their moral rights (i.e. the right to be identified as the author and not to have their work mutilated in any way) to Media24. Furthermore, the section indemnifies Media24 from “any claim made against it that the use of the work infringes any copyright or other Intellectual Property rights held by a third party and against any loss incurred by Media24 pursuant to such a claim”. This effectively makes the freelancer assume the responsibilities of a publisher, said Kirby, as should the publisher be sued for publishing an image, the freelancer would have to pay the costs. The main reason Media24 want to grab all these rights, he said, is so that they can syndicate the work on their business-to-business syndication arm, Images24, without having to pay the author of the work a cent. Their foreign syndication, he says, goes back to the ‘80s. After refusing to retract, a summons for defamation of character - in Afrikaans, was delivered to his door. He said he sent it back politely asking for an English
translation. Media24 responded by saying he would suffer a default judgement if he didn’t deal with it in seven working days. Kirby then found a lawyer and started preparing his defence. He said he has found three legal opinions which argue that Media24’s foreign syndication violated South African copyright and the Berne Convention. And, he said, whether or not corporations can sue for defamation is an unanswered legal question in this country. (The well-known SAB vs. Laugh it Off case involved infringement of trademark) After two “false starts” in court, Media24 withdrew the case subject to both sides bearing their own costs. He said he does not know why they withdrew, but suspects that his requests for contracts pertaining to photographers whose work he knew had been syndicated abroad indicated the background knowledge he had, and put them on the run. However, Kirby has refused to bear his own costs as he says doing so would effectively penalize him for a case which never went through court, and has filed affidavits compelling Media24 to meet his costs on a taxed basis. Responding to emailed questions, Media24 communications head Lutfia Vayej said: “Media24 has al-
ways acted in good faith to protect its good name and reputation and in the Geof Kirby matter Media24 acted within its rights. Media24 confirms that for operational reasons and for good relations with photographers generally, the matter was withdrawn.” In response to questions posed over the validity of their contracts in relation to South African copyright law and the Berne Convention, Vayej said copyright was a “complex area of law” that was subject to “a very high level of specialization”. “We therefore do not wish to express a legal opinion without taking specialized advice.” The final settlement date of the case is at this stage unknown.
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South African Art Times.
letters to the editor
Editorial This month sees the 3rd year of the SA Art Times, which is thrilling especially after one of banks who issued me with one of the three credit cards that I took out to start this Art Times with - thought it novel that I survived their high rate of interest on the card, and has come in for funding an exciting series of artists profiles next year. This edition is a little different to others in so far as it should, we hope reflect more on suggestions that we received from a well supported readers survey. To this regards there are more artists, captains of industry profiles and some amusing, and sad stories, and more pictures. I hope that most of the typos and spelling that we experienced at the start up of the paper, are a thing of the past, this was due to a serious bottleneck in the production of the paper. Thanks for everyone’s very generous support, both financial and words of encouragement, it’s gone a long way and it means a lot to all of us here. Here’s to next year and, hopefully, my wish - many more and diverse local art publications that cover these interesting times that we are living in. Thanks again and here’s to a great creative year ahead to you. Gabriel
The Editor South African Art Times I refer to Veronica Wilkinson’s review of Jean Campbell’s book I Adore Red in your November issue. Wilkinson makes the ludicrous assertion that Campbell’s book contains ‘significant art historical information’. Half-truths subtly laced with spite do not make good or meaningful art history. The book consists of poorly-written autobiography and worthless anecdote framed around paintings and drawings that are mired in mediocrity. Pedestrian prose perfectly parallels a turgid handling of paint. Outing herself as a profound admirer of the ‘art theory’ and practice of Vladimir Tretchikoff, Campbell exposes herself as wholly bereft of any understanding of the concepts of kitsch, ‘camp’ or even the ironic. Her underhand swipes at the late Professor Neville Dubouw (sic) and the New Group are personal vendettas more than anything else. Wilkinson has either failed to notice or is too polite to admit that Campbell’s book is merely a glossy axe-grinding exercise in self-justification and self-promotion. The reviewer Ambrose Bierce once said of a book that ‘its covers were too far apart’. His comment fits I Adore Red perfectly. Hayden Proud
The Editor South African Art Times I SAW RED With reference to Jean Campbell’s book ‘I Adore Red’, reviewed by Veronica Wilkinson in your November issue, I must comment. I am a past student of the former Foundation School of Art, where I studied for and obtained two Diplomas over a five-year period in the 1980s - in Fine Art (Painting) and Book Illustration. Apart from many other bitter and vindictive statements about personalities in the South African art world, Campbell has made unfounded statements about The Foundation School of Art. This was a private, independent institution which offered 3- and 4-year fulltime courses in accordance with the syllabus specified in its prospectus. It produced excellent results in Fine Art (Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture), Graphic Design, Photography and Book Illustration. Its motto ‘Sans Travail Rien’ – without work nothing – epitomised what it stood for. Diplomas were awarded on the basis of external examination by suitably qualified professionals, teaching at tertiary level institutions. To illustrate my point, here are names of some of the examiners: Lyn Smuts, Cecil Skotnes, Geoff Grundlingh, Evelyn Cohen and Judith Mason. To impugn the integrity of persons of this stature by implying that they might have ‘rubberstamped’ the Diplomas for payment seems to me, to be libellous. The school provided an alternative to institutions such as UCT and the Cape Technikon. Many former students of the School have made names for themselves and some are recognized artists and represented in the SA National Gallery. Disadvantaged students from varying cultural backgrounds enjoyed bursaries awarded by the school. Also, I know that the school obtained sponsorship from outside sources on a regular basis for needy students. Unlike Campbell, many of us who obtained diplomas from the School can only look back at that period with gratitude.
South African Art Times
Jean Campbell’s book it seems is actually an excuse to publicly lash out at individuals and art Institutions in general, which she misguidedly felt, had wronged her. In view of what she has written, I’m sorry that i bought the book, a complete waist of my money.
December 08 - January 09
The Cape Gallery seeks to expose you to Fine Art that is rooted in an African tradition that is both eclectic and diverse. We rotate our exhibitions monthly touching your imagination with the unique cultural stamp that is our continent.
2008/12/04 12:32:30 PM
We exhibit an extensive collection of work by leading South African Artists. Featured left are “Red Petals” and “ Cats do like affection” by David Kuijers. 60 Church Street Cape Town Tel: +27 21 423 5309 Fax: +27 21 424 9063 Email: email@example.com Web: www.capegallery.co.za Mon - Fri: 09h30 - 17h00 Sat: 10h00 - 14h00
2082 SAAID Art Times David Kuijers 1
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Conrad Botes, Crime and punishment., Image courtesy of The Michael Stevenson Gallery.
SOUTH AFRICAN ART GALLERY SHOW LISTINGS FOR DECEMBER Eastern Cape
East London Ann Bryant Art Gallery 04 - 21 Dec Ceramic Secrets of the Eastern Cape, Eastern Cape Ceramics Association Exhibition 9 St Marks Road, Southernwood, East London T. 043 722 4044 Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum 04 Dec – 25 Jan, Who’s Who and What’s New 2008, A celebration of local talent, 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth, Tel. (041) 586 1030, www.artmuseum.co.za
Free State Bloemfontein
Oliewenhuis Art Museum Until 04 Jan, Anthology – a mid-career retrospective, Lien Botha, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein T. 051 447 9609
Apartheid Museum Until 31 Dec, Transitions, Paul Emmanuel Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road Ormonde Ext. Brodie/Stevenson 15 Jan – 14 Feb Paintings by Robyn Penn 373 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034 www.artextra.co.za Art on Paper Until 18 Dec San Art: etchings, lithographs and linocut prints 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), Tel. (011) 726 2234 www.artonpaper.co.za Artspace - JHB Until 24 Jan, Oppitafel VIII (Group Show), A group exhibition featuring ceramic art and lighting design, 24 Jan – 03 Feb,Flower Couture Jhb, by Franz Grabe 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, T. 011 482 1258 www.artspace-jhb.co.za David Krut Art Resources 15 Nov – 15 Dec, Recent Editions, Bruce Backhouse 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com Gallery MOMO 04 Dec – 05 Jan, Group Exhibition 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 www.gallerymomo.com Goodman Gallery 20 Nov – 12 Dec, Real Beauty, photography by Jodi Bieber 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg, www.goodman-gallery.com GordArt Gallery Until 13 Dec, Maureen de Jager, Grace da Costa, David Ceruti and Ludumo ‘Toto’ Maqabuka Johannesburg T. 011 726 8519
Johannesburg Art Gallery Until 01 Mar 09 Disturbance - An exhibition featuring Scandinavian and South African Contemporary Art. Gerard Sekoto Youth Festival, Oneday-event, 16/12/08, 04 Nov – 02 Feb 09, Artist at the Nando’s Project Room # 3, Themba Shibase. R30 Until30 Mar Retrospective Exhibition -Thami Mnyele and Medu King George Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3180
UNISA Art Gallery 29 Nov – 16 Jan (closed 24 Dec – 04 Jan 09), UNISA final Year Visual Arts and Multimedia Students Exhibition
Standard Bank Gallery Closed until February Until Dec 06, Judith Mason Retrospective Exhibition Cnr. Simmonds & Frederick Streets, Johannesburg, 2001 Tel: 011 631-1889 www.standardbankgallery.co.za University of Johannesburg Arts Centre Gallery Until 10 Dec, Modular Repetition, Gordon Froud University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway campus cor Kingsway en Universiteits Rd, Auckland Park Tel. (011) 559 2099/2556 Warren Siebrits Modern & Contemporary Art 27 Jan – 06, Mar, Prints, Multiples and Photography VI Until 10 Dec, Stefanus Rademeyer - Crystalline Variations. 140 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg, Tel. (011) 327 0000 www.warrensiebrits.co.za
Art Space - DBN Until 17 Jan, 6th Annual Affordable Art Show 3 Millar Road, Durban T. 031 312 0793, www.artspacedurban.co.za Bank Art Gallery 06 Nov – 06 Dec, Memento Mori, Bronwen Vaughan-Evans, 217 Florida Road, Morningside, Durban T. 031 312 6911 www.bankgallery.co.za Durban Art Gallery Until 31 Jan 09, Construct: Beyond the documentary Photograph, Curated by Heidi Erdmann and Jacob Lebeko. Featuring Roger Ballen, Zander Blom, Lien Botha, Jacques Coetzer, Abrie Fourie, Nomusa Makhubu, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Barbra Wildenboer, Dale Yudelman, Bernie Searle. Until 15 Feb 09, Indian Ink, Indian South Africans in the media: A photographic history of propaganda and resistance. Until 18 Jan 09 Standard Bank Young Artist 2008: Lolo Veleko. Second Floor, City Hall, Smith Street, Durban, 031 3006238
Until 24 Jan,Benefit of Doubt,Sculpture by Adrian Köhler. Until 24 Jan, Four, A group exhibition 34 Long Street, Cape Town T. 021 426 4594, www.34long.com Art B Gallery 03 Dec – 21 Jan, Self of Nowhere, Susan Kruger-Grundlingh and ‘Stripped’ ceramics by Hennie Meyer, Photographic exhibiton by Stanford artists Annalize Mouton and lampshades by woodturner Attie van der Colff,28 Jan – 25 Feb Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville T. 021 918 2301, www.artb.co.za Association for Visual Arts (AVA) Wrapped, Ready and Counting down - Artreach fundraiser, 15 & 17 Dec. 19 Jan – 06 Feb,Exhibition of works by Lindile Magunya, Mwande Zenzile and Kilmany-Jo Liversage 35 Church Street, Cape Town,Tel. (021) 424 7436, www.ava.co.za Bell-Roberts Contemporary Art Gallery Until 17 Jan, Prospects of Babel, Photographs by Greg Marinovich & Leonie Marinovich. Pieces of 8,Sculpture by Kevin Brand. Until 17 Jan,Wood and Clay, Noria Mabasa,22Jan – 21 Feb. 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, www.bell-roberts.com Blank Projects Until 19 Dec, Point Blank, Pippa Stalker.[c.t.] drawings sounds video. Esther Ernst & Jörg Laue. 198 Buitengracht Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, www.blankprojects.blogspot.com
Alette Wessels Kunskamer Exhibition of Old Masters and selected leading contemporary artists. Maroelana Centre, Maroelana. GPS : S25º 46.748 EO28º 15.615 Tel: +27 (0)12 346 0728 Cell: 084 589 0711 www.artwessels.co.za Centurion Art Gallery 15-31 Jan, Exhibition of Mixed Media and Paintings, by the Centurion Art Centre Tel: +27 (0)12 358 3477, www.pretoriaartmuseum.co.za
Plett Observations (Bruce Backhouse) at the Upperdeck Gallery forms part of its Summer exhibition. See more at: www.upperdeckgallery.co.za
Fried Contemporary Art Gallery 29 Nov – 24 Jan 09 Paper + +, Pascual Tarazona, Lien Botha, Lindi Sales 430 Charles Str, Brooklyn, Pretoria Tel: 012 346 0158 www.friedcontemporary.com
Kizo 09 Dec – 10 Jan,Against the Wind,Natasha Barnes Shop G350 Palm Boulevard Gateway Theatre of Shopping Umhlanga T. 031 566 4322 www.kizo.co.za
Magpie Gallery Until 02 Jan, An evening with Tretchikoff, A collection of playful works by a variety of quirky artists Shop 21B, Southdowns Shopping Centre, Centurion T. 012 665 1832 www.magpie.co.za Pretoria Art Museum Tel:(012) 344 1807/8, email@example.com PAM- South Gallery Until Dec 08, A story of South African Art. A selection of artworks from the permanent collection of the museum. Includes works of early 20th century painters. Resistance artists of the 1980s and artists of the 21st century PAM - North Gallery 04 Dec – 10 Jan 09,Tshwane University of Technology Students: Applied Arts Exhibition Albert Werth Hall - 11 Dec – 25 Jan 09, Croation Drawings Pretoria Association of Arts 18 Jan – 05 Feb Exhibition of all SANAVA branches 173 Mackie Street, New Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, 0181, Tel. (012) 346 3100
KZNSA Gallery Until 11 Jan, SUSS’Tainable design, Industrial and product design,fashion and jewelry,books on art,editioned prints,drawings and sculptures 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, T. 031 2023686, www.kznsagallery.co.za
Northern Cape Kimberly William Humphreys Art Gallery Until 31 Dec, Lino-cut artists, Alan Grobler. Until 31 Dec, Photography, Marlene Neumann Civic Centre, Cullinan Crescent, Kimberley, Tel. (053) 831 1724, www.museumsnc.co.za
Cape Gallery Until 13 Dec, Recent Paintings by Jen Lewis. 14 Dec – 10 Jan, New work by David Kuijers and glass beads by Ingrid de Haast and Diana Ferrera 60 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 5309, www.capegallery.co.za David Krut Publishing: Fine Art and Books Until 15 Dec, Mirror: an exhibition of watercolour monotypes, Bruce Backhouse 31 Newlands Avenue, Cape Town T. 021 685 0676, www.davidkrutpublishing.com Erdmann Contemporary / Photographers Gallery Until 31 Jan, Home is my castle: Lien Botha, Angela Buckland, Jean Brundrit, Abrie Fourie, Diek Grobler, Luan Nel, Collen Maswanganyi, Maré van Noordwyk, Nontobeko Ntombela, Jurgen Schadeberg, Themba Shibase, Leonora van Staden, Bronwen Vaughan-Evans and Dale Yudelman 63 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za Everard Read Gallery - Cape Town 11 Dec – 04 Feb Summer Exhibition,Painting and sculpture,including Anton Brink, Ricky Dyaloyi, Hanneke Benade,
Vusi Khumalo, John Meyer and Velaphi Mzimba, amongst others Portswood Rd, V&A Waterfront Goodman Gallery, Cape Until 17 Jan, (REPEAT)from the beginning by William Kentridge. 24 Jan – 21 Feb, Flux by Deborah Bell. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 7573/4, www.goodmangallerycape.com Irma Stern Museum 10 Dec – 17 Jan Ceramics by Clementina van der Walt. Joe Faragher, 11- 19 Dec. Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town T. 021 685 5686, www.irmastern. co.za South African National Gallery Until Jul 09, Scratches on the Face. Until 15 Mar 09, Voices of the Ancestors Until 08 Mar, I am not me, the horse is not mine, an installation of 8 film fragments by William Kentridge. 12 Dec – 15 Mar, Wildlife photographer of the Year Exhibition, Until 22 Mar, Past/Present, Andrew Verster Government Avenue, Company’s Garden T. 021 467 4660, www.iziko.org.za João Ferreira Gallery Asleep Inside You, Kate Gottgens, Until 27 Dec, 26 Nov – 20 Dec, Naked, In Association with Mica Curitz (at 80 Hout Street Cape Town): Cathy Abraham & Jenny Schneider. 05 – 29 Nov, Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings including Leon Vermeulen, Lauryn Arnott, Douglas Portway, Michael Taylor. Loop Street, Cape Town Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery From 02 Nov, Carla Bosch solo 33 Chantecler Avenue, Eversdal,Durbanville, Tel. (021) 913 7204/5, www.artpro.co.za Michael Stevenson Contemporary Until 10 Jan 09, 13th Annual Summer Exhibition - 10 projects including Nicholas Hlobo, Deborah Poynton, Zanele Muholi & David Goldblatt, plus Andrew Putter, Paul Edmunds and Daniel Naudé. Ceramics by Hylton Nel also on show. Cain and Abel,Solo exhbition of new works by Conrad Botes. 15 Jan – 21 Feb, Nollywood,Solo exhibition of photographs by Pieter Hugo Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 www.michaelstevenson.com Sanlam Art Gallery Until 16 Jan 09, Decade Highlights from 10 years of collecting 2 Strand Road, Bellville Tel. (021) 947 3359 www.sanlam.co.za Urban Contemporary Art 17 Dec - 24 Jan,Twenty Artists, Twenty Portraits 46 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town T. 021 447 4132, www.urbancontemporaryart.co.za What if the World… Until 17 Jan, Big Wednesday, Major Group Exhibition First floor, 208 Albert Road Woodstock T. 021 448 1438 www.whatiftheworld.com The Castle 15-Dec, Generation Y, Artwork from the Artists Internship Programme Goodhope Studios, The Castle, Darling Street John Klynsmith Until 15 Jan, Exhibition of Art, Jewellery and Sculptures John Klynsmith Studio, 17 Rochester
Road, Bantry Bay,Tel: (021) 434 3026. Rose Korber 15 Dec – 11 Jan, 17th Art Salon at Rose Korber Art 48 Sedgemoor Road, Camps Bay, Tel: (021) 438 9152, www.rosekorberart.com Franschhoek Gallery Grande Provence Until 09 Jan, Angels, Group Exhibition, Main Road Franschoek. 01 - 28 Feb, Feast, Louis Jansen van Vuuren, 60th birthday celebration. T. 021 876 8600 www.grandeprovence.co.za George Strydom Gallery Until Nov 09, 40th Annual Summer Exhibition, Selected artwork from established SA Artists Tel. (044) 874 4027,www.artaffair. co.za, Marklaan Centre, 79 Market Street, George
Stellenbosch Dorp Straat Gallery Until 16 Jan, Christmas Group Exhibition, Curated by Mike Donkin 144 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 2256 www.dorpstraatgalerie.co.za Sasol Art Museum 14 Jan – 28 Mar,Retrospective Exhibition, Judith Mason 52 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch. 7600 University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery Until 08 Jan, 30 x 30 sale/verkoping - 5th year students. 12 Jan - 07 Feb, Masters Degree students (exams), Visual Arts Dept. Stellenbosch University cnr of Bird and Dorp Streets, Stellenbosch SMAC Art Gallery 27 Nov – 15 Jan 09, Retrospective Exhibition, Fred Schimmel at 80 De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 3607 www.smacgallery.com Stellenbosch Art Gallery Permanent exhibition of Conrad Theys, John Kramer, Gregoire Boonzaier, Adriaan Boshoff and other artists. 34 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch T. 021-8878343 www.stellenboschartgallery.co.za Red Black and White Gallery 07 Feb – 07 Mar,Exploring lines,Strijdom van der Merwe 5a Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch, 021 886 6281, www.redblackandwhite.co.za Hermanus / Stanford Stanford Galleries 20 Dec – 04 Jan Exhibition of works by Peter Diggery, Lorna Skaife and Charles Kamangwana. 11-13 Queen Victoria Street Stanford Tel: 028 341 0591 www.stanfordgallery.co.za
Send your show and event listings to: firstname.lastname@example.org
South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09
David Robinson, One of the works at 136 Campground Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town
(left) Thami Mnyele with the Medu Group art ensemble retrospective work will be shown at The Johanesburg Art Gallery from end of November. (right) Thami Mnyele, there goes a man
The Hout Street Gallery Summer Salon The Hout Street Gallery Summer Salon opens on 4 December and runs until the end of February 2009 at: 270 Main Street, Paarl. The Gallery is open Monday Saturday from 08:30 - 5:30 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 - 5:00 pm. Visit www.houtstreetgallery.co.za or contact 021 872 5030. The Evangelist by Ann Lindsell-Stewart
Nontsikelelo Veleko Wafakingoma Phakathi Kwam, Umdloti, KwaZulu Natal 2007 (detail)
by Nontsikelelo Veleko, Standard Bank Young Artist 2008 on view from 20 November 08 to 18 January 09 Durban Art Gallery 2nd Fl., City Hall, Smith St., Durban Tel: 031 3112264/9. Mon - Sat 08:00-16:00 Sun 11:00-16:00
Fanning the Flames What and who is fanning the eternal braai in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town Between them is the chair where I sit and write, hoping that their refracted and separate visions will always somehow inform mine.
ART PIG Alex Dodd
At Hipper’s latest solo at the Obert Contemporary I was thrilled to discover that he is still exploring the same difficult territory with the same exacting attention to the pristine sensuality of his surfaces. After a Model features a series of not exactly black and white, but valium grey paintings, several of which could quite happily adorn a contemporary edition of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Sharing a highly refined aesthetic with the work of Sanell Achenbach and Doreen
THE ARTFUL VIEWER Melvyn Minnaar Denial in Venice
Work by Bongumusa Hlongwe at the DUT Gallery, Durban. Work by Mark Hipper showing at the Obert Gallery, Jhb. The first work of art I ever bought was a large-scale charcoal drawing by Mark Hipper. It was part of the controversial show that earned him a banning order from the new regime at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 1998. The exhibition, which touched on the awkward area of children and eroticism, was one of the first flourishes of South African public life that prompted the new state to reveal its inherent moral conservativism. My purchase was informed less by the so-called edgy and explicit nature of the show than with the context of its reception and the complexity of moral dogmatism. The work I fell in love with was a bold charcoal drawing that now hangs in my study opposite a poster from a show I saw at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1997. The Stenberg Brothers: Constructing a Revolution in Soviet Design was a show that celebrated the beauty – the seductive eye candy – of Soviet propaganda. But back to Hipper. In the central strip of a large sheet of crisp white paper is a black-and-white image of a young girl’s face. She gazes directly at the viewer through a pair of spectacles and, in optometrist’s lettering in the white strip above her face, are the enigmatic words: ‘Good vision should be maintained.’ What do the words mean? That we should have our eyes checked regularly? That is it important to maintain a good outlook on life? Well, of course it is. But there is an unnerving fascist twinge to the phrase: an insistence on good vision at any cost. And what is ‘good’ vision? Who determines what is ‘good’ and what is not? Having grown up in apartheid South Africa and lived through the blinding idealism that fuelled the transition to a new nationalism – that although not remotely as dire as the previous version, is still nationalism and still flawed – these are ideas that really get under my skin. In my office the bespectacled girl in the Hipper drawing faces a bespectacled man in the Stenberg Brothers poster – two figures eternally locked into an unspeakable tension between different ways of seeing.
Southwood, Hipper’s paintings are all about memory and desire, social discipline and awkward personal submission to controlled group behaviour. They are drawn from 1950s Department of Education manuals for physical education instructors, and anatomy books that illustrate a particular directive or lesson. Imbued with the ominous nationalism of the era, these images are also strangely, unnervingly erotic. The pale white tones of the young girls’ thighs are highlighted by the blackness of their regulation shorts and crisp white sport shirts as they run, jump and do cartwheels, casting their strange shadows across the blank sports field… My next excursion to the opening of siblings Alexandra and David Ross’s In Camera at Resolution Gallery was a continuation of the erotically charged black and white theme. Alexandra Ross’s series of dimly lit nude self portraits are printed onto metal plates referencing Victorian daguerrotypes. You have to get up really close to see the luscious curves of the naked body in her strip of images, evoking a naughty through-the-keyhole feeling. Whereas her images are small, dark and provocative, the largescale photographs that face them are flooded with grainy light. David Ross shot his bedroom scenes with a cell phone and enlarged the low-res files almost to the point of disintegration, giving one the dreamy sense that the figure in the image is only half there – an ideal medium for the portrayal of that ‘morning after the night before’ sense of absence and perhaps even loss. Whereas Alexandra’s images have a Victorian studio feel, David’s recall the sexuality of Jean Luc Goddard movies. Both series are unashamedly nostalgic in feel – adding to that sense of something that is not quite there, bodies that can’t quite be had or experienced in full – this being an essential ingredient in the visual or literary sense of the erotic. Not having, not fully remembering, not being able to go back… so we’re left with the decided desire for more.
THE ART COWBOY Peter Machen There is a gentle unspoken feud between myself and the Durban University of Technology’s Fine Arts Department. Every year I attend their year-end exhibitions. And every year I complain publicly about something. It’s become something of a joke in fact. This year they made a map – something that I have been requesting in various media for years – “to make Peter Machen happy”. Funny thing is, though, if I hadn’t run into one of the lecturers the day before I wouldn’t even have known the show was happening because no-one invited me. Not that I need a personal invitation but as one of a very small circle of people in Durban who write about art, they could have sent me an email. Or even announced it in the papers. A billboard, whatever. Or maybe I’m being naïve and they simply didn’t want me to come and start my complaining. But I don’t think that the Tech has ever realised the flattery inherent in my continual criticism. The department, against all odds – facing the perpetual cost-cutting and diminishing resources that seem to defined modern institutional life – regularly produces promising talent and is a vital cog in Durban’s creative sector. And that talent should be made to look as good as possible on the one night of the year that the public gets to see the work it produces. It should shine. It should sparkle. It should sell. And some years they get it right.
This year wasn’t too bad. There was the aforementioned map. There were arrows pointing people in the right direction (which really helped. It’s the first year that I’ve not walked around with a small crowd of people looking for the art). And there was some very promising young artists. But much of the work lacked curation. Which sounds like a tiny thing but it’s so important. You can’t just make a bunch of art and leave it lying around the room. If you do that it’s kind of not art anymore (unless perhaps you’re making work that is about leaving it lying around the room). I’m not saying any of the students took precisely that approach but a few of them came pretty close. There’s a degree of arrogance inherent in nearly all art-making. “Look! I made this”. This is the arrogance of the gallery, of the white wall, the cistine chapel, the arrogance of not doing a real job, of not going out into the fields. The DUT is a governmental academic institution. It’s not allowed to be that kind of person. But just for one night it should try to pretend. It should treat all it’s students’ work as jewels of the night, rare and precious as some of it is. Were I more of a lunatic I might even suggest they produce a catalogue every year... And so to the art. And instead of saving the best for last, I’ll dive right in. This year was the first time that a single talent had dominated my memory of the show so exclusively. Of the thirty or so young artists whose work was on show, one talent stood out high above the others. If his fourth year exhibition is anything to by, Bongumusa Hlongwe is already poised for the international stage. An accomplished painter and sculptor, his work echoes established talents such as Willie Bester and Andries Botha, but – importantly – even as his works reference these masters, consciously or not, there is a profound sense of a unique artistic vision, Hlongwe’s various narrative strands virtually bursting out of the work. As well as being technically versatile and producing work so rich in content and concept, CONTINUED on Page 19
Paolo Lughi is the coordinator of the press office of la Biennale di Venezia, and was rather surprised when he was told his office is wrong. It probably wasn’t his fault. His office had issued a release announcing that one of ‘the countries present for the first time’ in the upcoming Venice art fest (number 53, from June 7 to November 22, 2009) is South Africa. (Together with Andorra, Gabon, Montenegro, Pakistan, Monaco, and the United Arab Emirates, by the way.) Dearly-departed and very-alive South African artists surely sat up in stunned disbelieve at such misinformation. Before the cultural boycott kicked in, South Africa regularly had artists at the biennale. And, since the early 1990s, quite a number have managed to get there and flaunt their skills in the Giardini di Castello or somewhere in the halls of the Arsenale. Of course, one can easily dismiss this bit of nonsense as a faux-pas by lesser-informed, hyped-up media personnel. (The record was set straight via e-mail from Cape Town.) Those who have been tracing the history of South Africa’s relationship with the arcane establishment and system that makes la Biennale, however, will suspect this ‘misspeak’ the result of yet another bureaucratic entanglement. The first thing that sets one thinking, reading between the lines of that press statement which reported that “the president ... Paolo Baratta, along with the director .... Daniel Birnbaum, met today ... the representatives of the nations participating ...”, is that word ‘representatives’. Who, from our mission in Italy (surely a diplomat), was that representative - clearly clueless to the fact that South Africa has been represented at the Venice biennale for yonks? Since 1993, when South Africa, on the cusp of democracy, had a hastily-arranged presence, the link between South African art and the world’s oldest showcase of its contemporary production has been a gothic maze. Blame it on the bureaucracy; both sides.
That year, South Africa’s small, eye-catching show Affinities in the palazzo Giustinian Lolin, seemed a cheerful prelude to the fact that the country would, the following year, for the first time, get a national department of arts and culture. Fat lot of good that did for a formal relationship between Venice and SA, 14 years down the line. In 1993, with DAC and the national arts council still just a good idea in Madiba’s head, one expected some fumbling to hastily arrange things for such a very public international show. We had been out of that picture so long, no-one knew what to do. But we did it. Those with memories of the business of art and politics will recall how during the dawn of democracy ‘consultation’ and ‘representation’ were the guilty buzz-words. Participating in anything arty meant organisers had to egg walk every step of the process. (How this stymied some careers and promoted others, is worthy of a future art history doctorate.) Nevertheless, the Venetians were as excited as the rest of the world of South Africa’s (artistic) liberation, and their invitation was warm and wide open. The problem was how to ‘facilitate’ it. (Another buzzword in those heady days.) The ‘old countries’ embedded in the 113-year history of the Venice biennale traditionally had (still have) ‘national pavilions’. In those colonial days, such an individual showcase for an anointed artist was, of course, a bold, competitive demonstration of the state and power of nations. By the late 20th century these pompous buildings cluttered up the gardens. As a far-flung colony in the early days, South Africa wasn’t in the game, and by the time we were invited as a liberated nation, space had become an issue. Yet new spaces have been opened up elsewhere in the city and the organisers too had become award that even art history had moved beyond the confines of the national. So the invitation to South Africa has, since 1994, been open and welcoming. The problem was - and clearly remains - on the South African side. It’s mostly one of will, money and commitment. Bearing in mind that the 53rd Venice Biennale is six months away, South African artists shouldn’t hold their collective breath. At the time of writing, Paolo Lughi had nothing to report to expectant South African art fans. As could be expected, no information was forthcoming from the DAC.
South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09
Summer Salons 08/9
Frans Oerder, Reading the bones on exhibition at Sanlam’s Decade Show until 16 January 2009.
Sam Nhlengethwa: Tribute to William Kentridge 2008, Litho. To be seen at the Rose Korber 17th Summer Salon 15 Dec - 11 January 09 (See advert on rhs of page)
AM NOT ME, THE HORSE IS NOT MINE, An installation of 8 film fragments. 11 December 2008 – 8 March 2009 at the Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.
Woman with Crayfish by Jan Vermeiren to be seen at The Hout Street Summer that runs until end of February 09. Visit www.houtstreetgallery.co.za
Work by Strydom van der Merwe on a group exhibition entitled Christmans Group show open until 16 January 09 at Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch
s Kids under 16 get in free s Visit any one of our 12 museums
museums of cape town
around the Western Cape
s Join our summer school programmes
www.iziko.org.za Putting a spin on history
General Enquiries Email: email@example.com / Telephone: +27 (0)21 481 3800
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Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a satellite of the National Museum, Bloemfontein
2008/10/16 05:11:09 PM
DALE ELLIOTT IN ‘THE ARTIST’ MAGAZINE Western Cape artist Dale Elliott has recently been invited to have his instructional art approaches covered in extensive articles in three consecutive issues of the well-known British ‘The Artist’ monthly magazine. Speaking from his Villiersdorp studio and gallery, Dale informed how the editor of the magazine, Sally Bulgin, visited his gallery some months ago and invited him to produce the articles, setting out his ’10-steps’ approach to oils and acrylics, together with additional art input. Dale submitted the illustrated multi-image material by mid-year, and the articles appeared in the October and November issues, with the final submission due to appear in the December publication. Dale kept the subject-matter bright and South African. The first demo was of an extensive Boland landscape; the second an informal settlement, and the December issue covers the steps in painting a karoo farm panorama The Elliotts have for many years been at the forefront of the Painting Holiday concept, and Dale has developed techniques and approaches which are unique and are now available on CD Rom and DVD. In the definitive publication on the Garden Route, ‘The Paradise Coast’ by Patricia Storrar, Trent Read in a chapter on the artists of the area writes that Dale “has probably taught more people to paint than anyone else in the country..” Over the past three decades the Elliott Art Studios have hosted over 3000 creative folk on their varied Courses, and many lives have been changed by the exposure to the right-brain world. Their courses include indoor and outdoor painting options, and they cater for all levels of expertise – from beginners to advanced artists, in their state-of-the-art teaching studios at Villiersdorp. There has been a big response to the Artist articles, and Dale has been answering dozens of queries from interested folk in many distant lands. His steps in painting are covered on his extensive website at www.daleelliott. co.za as are full details of his courses. He can be contacted at e-mail dale@ daleelliott.co.za or phone no. 0288402927. The Artist magazine has a most informative website at www.paintersonline.co.uk
South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09 2008
Artist details sought by Standard Bank collection Standard Bank will be publishing a catalogue of the corporate art collection in the new year and would like to include all the artworks in the collection. To date 250 artists/ family members/copyright holders have given permission to publish works in the catalogue. Below is a list of those artists that we have not been able to contact at all. If anyone can help with any leads please contact:Judy Legrange Tel. 011-631-2533, Fax 011-636-7515, Email Judy.Legrange@standardbank.co.za List of artists - information needed: Nils Andersen,Gerard Bhengu, Zoltan Borboreki, Robert Broadley, W Buhler,Jan Dingemans, Enslin du Plessis, Paul du Toit, shengi
Duma, Viola Fitzroy, Bruce Hancock, Cecil Higgs, Mary Hillhouse, S J Hlatswayo, Job Kekana, Otto Klar, Alexander Klopcanovs, Fritz Krampe, Frieda Locke, Speelman Mahlangu, Chabani Manganyi, Isaac Masisi, Reuben Mateman, Fanie Matjie, Erich Mayer, Terence McCaw, Gladys Mgudlandlu, Lettie Mhlangu, Nomadie Mhlangu, David Mogano, John Mohl, Billy Molokeng, Julian Motau, James Mphahlele, Rose Msangu, C Nxumalo, Derrick Nxumalo, Owen Owen, Denise Penfold, Roland Pitchforth, Douglas Portway, Sibusiso Sabela, Roderick Sauls, Bongani Shange, Edwine Simon, Poppie Skosane, Rose Skosane, Nita Spilhaus, Cecil Thornley Stewart, Roy Taylor, Anna Masangu Thabane, Cecil Thuketana, Ishmael Thyson, Allan Turton, Maurice van Essche, Vuyile Voyiya, Paul Wiles and David John Yule
A work by Clementina van der Walt that forms part of her show entitled: Hearth at the Irma Stern Gallery, Cape Town. Opens 10 Dec 08 until 17 January 09.
Paintings stolen at Johannesburg
Manifestation Two, one of two paintings by Lesley Bergere stolen from a Johannesburg gallery. Johannesburg - Two valuable, original oil paintings were stolen from a Parkhurst, Johannesburg, art gallery where they were to have been exhibited, their owner
said on Sunday. The artist, Lesley Bergere, said she was busy setting up her paintings for an exhibition that opened at the weekend when she went to the kitchen for a few minutes.
A drawing by Mark Kannemeyer, Lorcan White Storm 2008 Pen and ink drawing. Exhibition entitled Zombie was at the Art on Paper Gallery, Johannesburg.
“When I returned to the gallery I realised something was missing and when I checked against my list, I discovered that two paintings had disappeared.” Bergere was “shocked and astonished”. The theft was reported to the police. There had been a number of people in the gallery at the time of the theft, Bergere said. The stolen paintings are called Manifestation Two, depicting butterflies emerging from a vacuum, and an abstract titled Red Crescent, featuring warm, amber colours.
A Wavescape surfboard, meticulously decorated by underground comic artist Andy Mason (and surfer) fetched R 17 000 on a fundraising auction. Proceeds went to the NSRI and Shark Spotters
John Meyer, Dreams of the city, to be seen at The Everard Read Gallery Cape Town, Summer Show.
Daniel Novela Art Studio One of worth visiting art places in South Africa is the studio of Daniel Novela, one of the black landscape impressionists that South Africa has ever produced before. His studio is situated in Khuma between Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom. Just one and half hour to drive from Johannesburg to see this humble international and highly gifted artist.
Daniel Novela in his studio
Sheep going home. Oil on canvas
To visit Daniel Novela art studio please book an appointment and for more information on how to get there or for a preview see: www.danielnovela.co.za or email to email@example.com or contact Daniel Novela at: Studio: +27 18 489 1780 Fax: +27 18 489 1777 Cell: +27 82 262 3600
EdnaFourie g a l l e r y
McGregor Route 62
EXCLUSIVE HOME of the paintings of
083 302 5538 www.ednafouriegallery.co.za
This is an opportunity for all serious art collectors: individuals, groups, executive corporate, art galleries and Museum Curators, art auction Managing Directors and many others. Among those who have visited Novela studio is the world renowned Mr Carlos Parreira, the former BafanaBafana Coach as well as Mr Robert Du Preez the Managing Director of Mr Price who all have made a good collection of Danielâ€™s work.
South African Art Times.
December 08 - January 09
Standard Bank celebrates 25 years of supporting South Africa’s young artists Standard Bank, one of the leaders in art sponsorship, has announced its Young Artist award-winners for 2009, celebrating 25 years of sponsorship of the arts. These awards, seen as one of the most prestigious of their kind in the country, honour young South African artists who have not yet gained widespread national exposure or acclaim, but who are making a significant mark in their field.
the winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art. “I am truly honoured to have been chosen and hope to give audiences something new and innovative,” he enthused.
These awards honour and actively promote the talent of these young artists, providing them with a platform for experimentation of new innovative concepts and ideas. Besides providing them with financial support, it gives recognition to their talent. The winners of the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are as follows: Nicholas Hlobo for Visual Art Jacques Eugene Imbrailo for Music Ntshieng Mokgoro for Drama Kesivan Naidoo for Jazz Thabo Rapoo for Dance
1981 Richard Grant, John Theodore, Jules van de Vijver, 1982 Janice Honeyman, Neil Rodger, Lindy Raizenberg, 1983 Paul Slabolepszy, Malcolm Payne, David Kosviner, 1984 Peter Schütz, Ken Leach Standard Bank - 1820 Foundation 10th Anniversary Special Award: Lamar Crowson, 1985 Marion Arnold, Maishe Maponya, Sidwill Hartman, 1986 Andrew Buckland, Gavin Younge, 1987 William Kentridge, Hans Roosenschoon, 1988 Margaret Vorster, Mbongeni Ngema, 1989 Johnny Clegg, Marthinus Basson, Helen Sebidi, Gary Gordon, 1820 Foundation Special Award Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1990 Robyn Orlin, Fée Halsted-Berning, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, 1991 Peter Ngwenya, Andries Botha, Darrell Roodt, 1992 Deon Opperman, Tommy Motswai, Raphael Vilakazi, Kevin Harris, 1993 Christopher Kindo, Sibongile Khumalo, Pippa Skotnes, 1994 Jerry Mofokeng, Sam Nhlengethwa, Michael
As part of their prize, each of the winners will be featured on the Main Programme of the 2009 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2 - 11 July 2009). This platform gives them the license to present a new innovative piece of work which audiences will see for the first time. Nicholas Hlobo knew about the awards but never dreamed that he would have the opportunity to exhibit in Grahamstown as
The 2009 National Arts Festival runs from 2 – 11 July and for further information visit www. nationalartsfestival.co.za. Previous Winners
Williams, 1995 Jane Alexander, Boyzie Cekwana, John Ledwaba, Abel Motsoadi, 1996 Lara Foot Newton, Trevor Makhoba, Vincent Mantsoe, Victor Masondo, 1997 Lien Botha, Geoffrey Hyland, Sibongile Mngoma, Standard Bank Special Award for vision, commitment and contribution, Alfred Hinkel, 1998 David Mudanalo Matamela, Debbie Rakusin, Bongani Ndodana, Nhlanhla Xaba, Aubrey Sekhabi, 1999 No awards made. 2000 Zenzi Mbuli, Gloria Bosman, Alan Alborough, 2001 Tracey Human, Brett Bailey, Fikile Mvinjelwa, Walter Oltmann, 2002 Gregory Vuyani Moqoma, Sello Maake Ka Ncube, Prince Kupi, Brett Murray, 2003 Moya Michael, Yael Faber, Dumisani Phakathi, Angela Gilbert, Berni Searle, 2004 Kathryn Smith, Mncedisi Shabangu, Portia Lebohang Mashigo, Tutu Puone, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (posthumously), 2005 Wim Botha, P J Sabbagha, Andile Yenana, Mpumelelo Grootboom, 2006 Concord Nkabinde, Churchill Madikida, Hlengiwe Lushaba, Sylvaine Strike, 2007 Acty Tang, Bronwen Forbay, Shanon Mowday, Pieter Hugo, Akin Omotoso, 2008 Dada Masilo, Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko, Jaco Bouwer, Mark Fransman, Zanne Stapelberg.
Untitled by Chris Slack, one of the works on exhibition at the new UCA Gallery, Observatory CT of 20 artists displaying 20 works. The show starts 17th December and will run until the 24th January 09 . See more details at: www. ucagallery.co.za
ART LOVERS, HERE IT IS HOT OFF THE PRESS AND AVAILABLE NOW! The 2nd Edition Guide to artists & galleries along the Garden Route. Pick up your copy at tourism offices, information centres, selected hotels, B&B’s and tour operators from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn. Tel/Fax: +27 (0)44 620 4042 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Estelle Jacobs, respected Cape Town arts administrator recieves her reward.
Finally, Acknowledgement in Bronze for Estelle Jacobs That all-artist friend for all seasons, retired AVA director Estelle Jacobs, was finally given a just reward (well, sort of - if you think a curious, but elegant little bronze fits that bill) when she was named winner of this year’s Western Cape trophy for contributing to the visual arts. A vivacious, dramatically blackdressed Jacobs received the trophy, design by Charles Haupt of Bronze Age, from the provincial director of arts, culture and language, Jane Stuurman-Moleleki, at a rather odd awards dinner in the Bloemendal party boma on the Durbanville hill. The annual awards, in various categories, are made by the Western Cape provincial government’s department of cultural affairs and sport. Quite unique, it has been going for nine years. If you didn’t know that, it is because, for all their good intensions, the department seems rather inefficient in getting the message out. After all, if you honour someone you want to world to know. (How about inviting the media?)
Very few of Estelle’s great many fans knew, never mind had been invited to the party. Had they been, the applause would have been tremendous. Her contribution to the local arts over the 15 years at AVA, and before, is indisputable. Well done, Estelle. But the organisers can jack up these worthwhile awards. The process itself too is rather clouded. Beyond newspaper advertisement, very little is known how decisions are made. (Some very strange names got themselves onto the ‘nomination’ lists!) Maybe the department needs a little advice to jack up the project, process and party. * Other winners are: Mthobeli Phillip Guma (heritage resources); Jan Corewijn (lifelong contribution to conservation); Antonia Malan (historical archaeology); Bertdene Laubscher of the Togryers-museum (new museum project); Alfred Hinkel (dance); Theo Vilakazi (drama); Camillo Lombard (music); Jungle Theatre Company (innovative community
art and culture project); Bethesda, Bergrivier Association for persons with disabilities (disabilities in art); Nyanga Arts Development Centre (innovative community art centre); Cape Education Trust, Early Learning Resource Unit (promotion of multilingualism); Ntsiki Ntusikazi (promotion of three official languages); Andries van Niekerk (promotion of marginalised indigenous and SA sign languages); Rocklands library (Teresa Denton) (community-involved library); Table View library (Elmarie Weldman) (best library/librarian); Francois Verster (promotion of archive services); Thandi Swartbooi (achievement of women in the arts, culture, heritage, language, libraries, archives); Ama-ambush (achievement of youth in that field). Lifetime achievement awards were presented by MEC Cameron Dugmore to Sithathu ‘Boks’ Mkonto, Sulaiman Christian and Johaar Mosaval. ‘Legends of the arts’ awards were made to Errol Dyers and Christopher Kindo.
Nicolas Hlobo: Standard Bank Young Artist 2009 An artist inspired by everyday Theresa Smith Daily News, Tonight (Text from Newspaper)
Nicolas Hlobo. Photo Artthrob
Art was not taught at school when Nicholas Hlobo grew up in Transkei, but his teachers always asked him to draw on chalkboard. His friends called him an artist, but he never considered a fine arts career even going so far as to take a computer course after matric, at the insistence of his father ?I had this feeling, this urge that I had to go and study art, but even then I wasn’t sure,? said Hlobo. It was only in 1998 that he started working on his portfolio and sat the entrance exam for Wits Technikon.
Nicholas Hlobo: Umphanda ongazaliyo 2008. Rubber, ribbon, zips, steel, wood, plaster. Photo: John Kennard Image courtesy of Michael Stevenson
A B.Tech in Fine Arts followed and today the 34-year-old has exhib ited his art - solo and as part of a group -all over the world, including Rome, London and New York. Hiobo has gained an international reputation for his experimental use of materials, using non conventional, found materials such as rubber or leather to tell his stories. “I draw with a knife,” he said. The Joburg resident draws inspiration from things around him. “Nature, architecture, dance especially, performance art ... I’m inspired by my surroundings and the city I live in.? What does winning this award mean to you? I’m very grateful to be acknowledged, encouraged and motivated to work harder I view it as a way of saying to me ?thank you for contributing towards writing our cultural history?. It’s like someone has pressed the accelerator and now I have to tell more stories to share my culture with the world. What do you bring to your art form? I’d say it’s my courage to tackle the subjects that I do, celebrating my identity and my heritage. My identity as in my ethnic identity as a Xhosa, then being a homosexual man and thirdly my South African
identity My national identity is my ethnic heritage but also includes my colonial heritage and all the influences of being South African. Some people prefer if we all stayed away from talking about being black, or Xhosa or South African, some of my friends say I’m digging a hole for myself But I find it important that we acknowledge difference, because our differences are what makes us a diverse nation. To me, my work and the material I use are an attempt to challenge visual arts or fine arts conventions. What is a drawing supposed to look like? Must it be in pen or pencil? Why not cut it? Isn’t that a drawing? Why not use rubber instead of casting with clay or carving stone? Why not use something else, something metaphoric. Whatever I use, -it’s there to add to the story I’m telling. Who has been your greatest inspiration? My grandmother my mother’s mother After she died, it was my other grandmother Any ideas what you’ll present in Grahamstown” I’ve got some ideas, it’s like baking bread, I’m still waiting for the dough to rise. Then I’ll knead it again and put it in the pan.
Art that explores culture and taboo SOWETAN, Time Out
(Text from Newspaper)
After his successful solo exhibition at the ICA Gallery in Boston in the US, award-winning visual artist Nicholas Hlobo’s striking art has put him on par with the country’s best. Born in 1975, Hlobo uses rubber~ leather and ribbon to explore Xhosa traditions, homosexuality and other issues that are taboo for some people. When Time Out visited Hlobo at his studio in the heart of Jozi, he was putting the final touches to a huge piece that he calls Ingubo Yesizwe. He says the piece will be flown to London for an exhibition that opens there on December 8. Hiobo’s works are not easily understood by laymen, or laywomen for that matter. He explains: “I don’t want my work to be straightforward. I want people to understand it in their own way. When art is too obvious, it insults people’s intelligence.? His medley of artistic creations reflect liberalism, but on the whole they reflect reality. Culturally, however he is generally very open-minded. Hlobo says his latest work is inspired by the skin of cows, which is used metaphorically. He explains: ?Initially it started very small, but the idea grew. I used a cow as a metaphor. “If you look closely, the piece resembles a landscape. Cows represent wealth in African culture. So this piece is very central and it speaks a lot about African culture,” says Hlobo. “If you look at the shape of the piece, it is changing. It is like life and politics in this country”. “Life is not static, it changes all the time.” Hlobo has established his profile both in South Africa and internationally. Recently, he exhibited at the
Studio Museum in Harlem in New York and at Haunch of Venison in London. He credits his success to his international exposure. “Traveling all over the world and being exposed to different cultures has made me grow. “The way I approach my work has also changed,” Hlobo says. Previously, he has produced interesting works such as Kwatsityw iziko, Izele, i.qqirha Lendlela, Vanity In the Making, Umtya Net hunga and Hermaphrodite. Hlobo is the winner of the Tollman Award for Visual Arts 2006. He recently won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts 2008. “I am truly honoured to have been chosen for the award and I will do my utmost to continually give audiences something new and innovative,” says the excited Hlobo. After his successful solo exhibition at the ICA Gallery in Boston in the US, award-winning visual artist Nicholas Hlobo’s striking art has put him on par with the country’s best. Born in 1975, Hlobo uses rubber~ leather and ribbon to explore Xhosa traditions, homosexuality and other issues that are taboo for some people. When Time Out visited Hlobo at his studio in the heart of Jozi, he was putting the final touches to a huge piece that he calls Ingubo Yesizwe. He says the piece will be flown to London for an exhibition that opens there on December 8. Hiobo’s works are not easily understood by laymen, or laywomen for that matter. He explains: “I don’t want my work to be straightforward. I want people to understand it in their own way. When art is too obvious,
it insults people’s intelligence.? His medley of artistic creations reflect liberalism, but on the whole they reflect reality. Culturally, however he is generally very open-minded. Hlobo says his latest work is inspired by the skin of cows, which is used metaphorically. He explains: ?Initially it started very small, but the idea grew. I used a cow as a metaphor. “If you look closely, the piece resembles a landscape. Cows represent wealth in African culture. So this piece is very central and it speaks a lot about African culture,? says Hlobo. “If you look at the shape of the piece, it is changing. It is like life and politics in this country. “Life is not static, it changes all the time.” Hlobo has established his profile both in South Africa and internationally. Recently, he exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York and at Haunch of Venison in London. He credits his success to his international exposure. “Traveling all over the world and being exposed to different cultures has made me grow. “The way I approach my work has also changed” Hlobo says. Previously, he has produced interesting works such as Kwatsityw ?iziko, Izele, i.qqirha Lendlela, Vanity In the Making, Umtya Net hunga and Hermaphrodite. Hiobo is the winner of the Tollman Award for Visual Arts 2006. He recently won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts 2008. “I am truly honoured to have been chosen for the award and I will do my utmost to continually give audiences something new and innovative” says the excited Hlobo Nicholas Hlobo: Umphanda ongazaliyo 2008. Rubber, ribbon, zips, steel, wood, plaster. Photo: John Kennard Image courtesy of Michael Stevenson
Student Graduate shows 08 Cara Gilloughley - Ring Mistress, Ruth Prowse School of Art
Student Graduate shows ‘08 Finishing (Art) School: Kindling Nostalgia
Melvyn Minnaar traipse through local end-of-year student shows WC
It’s a day or so after the opening, a hot midday in Stellenbosch, and Joe Foster is rather irritated. Mumbling about the riff-raff who seems set on sabotaging his artwork by writing comments on the black board and fiddling with his chicken and easter egg sculptures, he sets out to straighten the display.
chicken - a mini-monumental version of the plastic township sidewalk hybrid - and dance-hall decorated easter egg will fit such high places. He’s clearly been thinking about art-making and another of his conclusions is the rough cardboard walk-in Vibe Collector in the room next door: a put-down of the highbrow if anything. These are the room and lecture halls of the university’s ‘Department van Visuele Kunste’, where the annual year-end open-house students’ show is an added attraction for those tourists who’ve marked down on their lists all the Dylan Lewis bronze animals prancing on the town’s street corners. If there’s one thing that such intrepid arty types are usually
Not too hot, in Stellenbosch, it seems and lesser so than last year. Beyond the cool of the fine jewellery (it really needs, as does the Ruth Prowse, its own show) and run-of-the-mill commercial graphic designs, one wonders whether these students are really challenged by their institutional guardians. Much of the student art looked, well, ordinary, even half-hearted.
tOf course, painting itself is more often than not a medium informed by nostalgia and Chad Barber’s fine canvasses seemed drenched in such otherworldliness. (A su perb, ghostly Below II marks him as one of the show stars). Master student Jake Aikman has already taken on painting as a serious vehicle and the work in the gallery is up to scratch. But it was Julie Donald’s dense ‘white paintings’ in
Perhaps that is a little unfair to say about the like of Niel Vosloo’s photo imagery, Zahn Rust’s cheerful wild graphics and Ferdinand Kidd’s intense drawings and paintings. They did well.
the Egyptian that somehow took on a striking presence and got one thinking.
A lot of the Stellenbosch work seems driven by a curious nostalgia. It could be a sign of the times. At Ruth Prowse’s final-year show, nostalgia was everywhere. André Roth’s skills with charcoal (Starshine with daddy and teddy), Tarryn Gordon’s with bleach added, and Christopher Zinne’s portraits of vulnerability all drew on a sometimes naïve-looking nostalgia. Like as if the world is cut off from this, their, reality. Elzahn Nel’s art seemed to drive the nostalgia beyond her nice drawings to the monomania of buttons bearing sentimental pictures, and the melancholy of a forlorn silent sixties radio. Luckily there was Cara Gillougley’s naughty photo prints in the foyer to cheer us up with their awkward playfulness. Playfulness was hard to find at the Michaelis, but nostalgia there certainly was (and the expected silliness here and there).
He certainly looks the part of an art student a-few-years-down-theline: butt-hanging jeans, dreadish locks and a stagey demeanour, but the irony of his violated art installation doesn’t seem to have hit home. If you play and perform with quisquilian stuff that looks like material that others discard, you may well expect some spectators to be enticed to join in the sport. After all, the last thing a budding artist wants is for her/his art to be put on a bourgeois pedestal. Not that Foster’s delicious yellow
looking for in these shows it’s the unbridled, go-for-it exploration of talent and contemplation that is only allowed when you’re young and experimentally-a-gogo. So how did this year shape up?
Racine Williams’ lighthouse took up on that theme. (Maybe, like Shane Marks’ sweet ‘drawing machine’ and clever prints, one of the few playthings.) But the theme was more vigorously explored in he projects by Ariane Questiaux (reminiscing about the ‘Belgian Congo’), Katharine Jacobs (a cheerful, funky ‘escapist’ installation) and Lauren Fletcher (prints about prints about patterns).
It seems as if this year there was stronger conceptual interrogation in some senior student studios. Pieter Cilliers’ exquisite formalism gives nostalgic minimalism a kick in the butt. These are truly beautiful pieces, with their whiffs of Whiteread Beauty also seems to be the unexpected result of Tenille Robertson’s clever photo essay about ‘crowds’ in which high-energy people and masses turn into elegant graphic patterns. ‘Beauty’ could only ironically apply to the delicious, but quirky photo project that led Keelin Pincus to search out nudists for full-frontals. There is plenty of humour here - note that relaxing Werner’s plumpy Anesca is engrossed in her novel Jy Erf die Blomtyd! The grand prize, the Michaelis, every art student’s aspiration, this year, went to Robert Watermeyer. And there can be no argument that his photographic series about border posts is the best work on show. Elegant and tight in concept, understated and formal in execution, yet full of visual adventure and emotional power, these are top-notch images. If one wondered elsewhere whether art student stil consider themselves challenged, Watermeyer undoubtedly set the bar high for himself. He knows how to work that camera and get viewers to step up.
(1) Joe Foster Vibe converter. (2) Joe Foster Chicken with wagging wings ande tail (3) Ferdinand Kidd, Rocket (4) Zan Rust, Painting. (5) Van Aardt, P. (Vrydag, 11 Januarie). Sjef (21) sterf tragies. Eikes Stadnuus 59-1. (6) Stuart Bird: Grapes of Wrath (7) Keelin Pincus, Neil and Beulua, Sun Eden Naturist Resort, Gauteng (8) Claudia Ramos One sheep at a time (9) Tenille Roberts Ballet Congregation (10) Lauren Fletcher Vidi, Vici, Veni (11) Linda Stupart You Do it To Yourself (and that’s what really hurts) (12) Jessica Vandeleur, Paris Hilton (detail) (13) Nicole du Preez, Police (14) Jessica Vandeleur, Paris Hilton (detail) (15) Lucas Grant (16) Taryn Racine
Annual roundup of student shows 2009: UNISA, University of Johannesburg and Rhodes University. By Gordon Fround
I was once again privileged to see three exhibitions by tertiary institutions as end of year shows. These exhibitions are the showcase of the student works from various art schools at the exit points for degree’s and diplomas. I was fortunate to be in Grahamstown while their show was on and to see the difference between work produced at Rhodes as apposed to the institutions upcountry. The major difference, I think has to do with degrees of subtlety. While UJ and UNISA are often bold and perhaps even brash in their exploration of issues of
social commentary and identity, the Rhodes students tend towards the subtle shifts in perception from subject to artwork. An example is found in Rhodes student Nicole du Preez who photographed policemen and women in the town. At first glance, these appear as mug shots and then a sense of discomfort creeps in and these ‘protectors’ almost appear menacing in their blandness and their scale. Similarly, Luke Kaplan set about photographing every inhabitant of the town Klein Wupperthal. The 300 or so inhabitants stare out of the images at the viewer and yet the variety of faces and subtle shifts of lighting render these as individuals mostly benign and ona few a bit scary. A very different feeling is evoked from these faces as opposed to those of the police. Another photographic series ‘The Star” by Jessica Vandeleur deals
with newspaper intervention. This student has used Paris Hilton as her subject and skilfully inserted the socialite’s image into photographs from the press media, particularly the disturbing images of the xenophobic attacks. This almost seamless juxtapositioning, enlarged and printed on newsprint is visually effective and quite disturbing. The sculptural works of Lucas Grant employ resin casts of life-sized pigs in seemingly playful positions interacting with farming implements. On closer inspection, the playfulness becomes sinister and perhaps even torturous. The
implication in terms of abuse both of animals and mankind with the white pig as metaphor becomes a chilling reminder of torture, abuse and genocide reminiscent of Orwell’s Animal Farm. UNISA student work is very thorough and thought through and each student presents a body of work as a mini exhibition. The work that really stood out for me was that of Ronit Yudelman. Her clear resin casts of rotund female forms that house colourful objects like ‘perfect’ Barbie dolls and .... comment on perceptions and aspirations as well as the psychology behind perceptions of the feminine as seen through the eyes of various sectors of society. They are beautifully crafted and luscious and yet contain a social message. Similarly her photographs of
people moving very quickly (in a gym or at an airport) speak of the endless motion of the rat race and the futility of this movement. These works are aptly titled ‘going nowhere-slowly’. This psychologistturned-artist has many interesting comments to make and promises to be a light to watch in future. The University of Johannesburg has two exit points, a three yeardiploma and a four-year degree. In this year’s offerings, the work of the diploma students was more impressive than the degree students. The clarity of ideas and
that unpacks the discomfort of enforced domesticity and the expectations placed on a young white afrikaaner woman. Racine also explores her identity but in a very different way. Not nearly as uncomfortable but certainly as powerful as Coetzee, she traces her feminine roots through four generations of female family members. She obfuscates images of these women by overlaying pattern forcing the viewer to squint in order to get a semblance of the image. 4 Large black patterned ink portrait drawings stare out
technical finish of the third years was superior to most of the seniors. The works of two third-year students in particular stood out: Taryn Racine and Marie Coetzee. Coetzee spent the year building a claustrophobic room wherein painful memories dwell. These memories inhabit the walls, hiding in cracks and tears as drawings and family portraits through which threads are stitched obliterating the image. Wallpaper extends into manadalas of paper doilies that frame symbolic vaginal images. This domestic scene drips with household objects altered, disrupted and rendered as dysfunctional. Coetzee’s control of lighting, minimal colour usage and material intervention create an extremely uncomfortable space
across a room and are met by the stares of four tightly rendered, almost photographic portraits with subtle images and symbols sewn into them hinting at the personal history of each protagonist. The effect is visually electric and the versatility of this student sublime. Social commentary and personal identity once again seem to be the order of the day in most of the student works at all three of these institutions. I am particularly pleased to see the return of the well made or crafted and finished art-object that goes beyond merely the concept but employs the ‘old-fashioned’ notion of beauty in the making that enhances the meaning of the content. Gordon Froud Director of gordart Gallery, Johannesburg.
Durban University of Technology (DUT) Peter Machin (continued from page 10) Hlongwe is also that rare young artist capable of channeling the zeitgeist through his own deeply resonant language. Along the way to Hlongwe’s exhibition, which I actually saw last, I was literally stopped in my tracks
– in a strange dumbfounded way – by a series of collaged images, courtesy of second year student Amy-Jo Windt. My first response was “what-the-hell?” and then “wow, these are brilliant”. Combining an art-brutishness with an inverted exploration of fashion and identity, Windt’s simple distortion of perspective and proportion is tinted with a joyful menace. While her oeuvre still has the essence of work-in-progress, there is a deftness and inherent strangeness to her work that promises great things to come. And it was fascinating to see her precisely constructed ceramic work, suggesting an artistic schizophrenia, which is always useful. Another young artist who left an impression was Pakiso Tsekiso. His use of words and images double-hinges on a residue of popular culture and a grasp of the genuinely poetic. His brisk simple images combined crisply with the texts and the result linger in the ghost of personal meaning. His work occupies the highly linguistic visual street culture of Durban in which taxis, buses and grafitti dance with poetry, sex, god and calls for personal responsibility. But more than simply exploring the culture, it seems to be a part of it, an extension that would be as at home in a beautifully curated
white room or slapped onto the concrete of a freeway intersection or an urban wall. The vision of these three artists and of several others that I saw, crystalised and matured to various degrees, reflects my only real reservation about much of the other work on display. It too often felt that the students were working too slavishly within the confines of contemporary South African art production, and also – on occasion – too much within the particular confines of the Tech and the influence of lecturers and other students. Across media and disciplines much of it felt samey. In fact, some of the technically best work lost its shine because its discourse was too familiar. If you can’t do new, you’ve got to be
technically brilliant. Both is ideal. Then there are those whose ideas are not new or technically brilliant but still manage to break through. I’ve seen countless painting in which notions of memory and nostalgia are expressed through a degraded paint process – particularly at Tech shows - and so I was surprised that I was so taken by Nicole Erasmus’ haunting renditions of childhood, although not all of her work impressed equally. Other ones-to-watch included Sabelo Khumalo whose silkscreened digital photographs of Shisa Nyama stands stretched the borders of the medium while his collaboration of with US design supremo Mick Hagerty were delightful and substantial. The multidisciplinary work of Zama Mthiyana and Thembeku Ngcemu also impressed, as did Saskia Whitehead’s sublimely executed explorations of femininity. But these last three artists, as is so often the case with student art, still need to find their own voice. It is a quest that delivers infinite rewards.
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Warren Siebrits, Director: Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary.
By Michael Coulson I first ran across Warren Siebrits at Trent Read’s contemporary art gallery in Parkwood in the early 1990s, and that relationship was a crucial stage in his development. Like many of us, he regrets the failure of that venture. “It was a well-conceived business, but launched when the art business was at rock bottom. You could pick up Pierneefs for R160 000-R180 000, and nobody was interested in modern art.” Only Ricky Burnett, with his Tributaries show, had previously explored this field, Siebrits feels. Unlike many gallerists, Siebrits says he fell into the art world largely by accident. To defer national service, after matric he enrolled for a BCom at the then RAU (now University of Johannesburg). There he met Stefan Welz’s son Conrad. They became friends, and Siebrits says that visiting a house like a lived-in museum is what first led him to appreciate beautiful objects.
Welz offered him a job after the ultimately unavoidable military service. But though the experience was invaluable, he didn’t feel the auction business was for him. “An auctioneer is purely an agent, he can’t choose what to deal in. And there’s some horrible stuff out there!” So he was thrilled when Trent asked him to join him, and stayed virtually until the gallery closed in 1995. Between then and opening his own gallery in 2002, Siebrits was at various times arts adviser to bodies like the Gauteng Legislature, Gencor (now BHP Billiton, in association with his great friend Kendell Geers) and the Sandton Convention Centre. He briefly ran Metroplex, a gallery operating from two shop windows in Rosebank, and with Johans Borman curated and published Aspects of SA Art, a big show at the Convention Centre.
He remembers buying the likes of Jane Alexander, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins and Joachim Schonfeldt for the legislature collection at what would now be bargain-basement prices. Gencor was a different challenge. Then CEO Brian Gilbertson said the collection must reflect the changing nature of society, to try and help the staff adapt. “But initially this had the opposite effect. Many of the older, more conservative staff found the work offensive, and complained that ‘Satanists were at work’ “. But Gilbertson stuck to his guns. Siebrits kept driving through Parkwood, past the site of Clive Kellner’s defunct Camouflage gallery with a “To Let” sign in the window, and was increasingly intrigued by the availability of a ready-made space. He also needed a big space for Kentridge’s Casspirs Full of Love project, and eventually couldn’t resist the challenge.
With time, his exhibitions have taken on an individual identity, with a strong social conscience. His latest show, for instance, includes a large collection of “struggle” posters, marking protest meetings and the deaths of activists like Neil Aggett. His social awareness is also reflected in his commitment to wear a hat daily for a year, in commemoration of the senseless death of his friend Sheldon Cohen.
Siebrits does not buy much art for himself, saying it would be wrong to compete with his clients. He does collect vinyl records, of which he now has over 10 000,
and books, especially on SA art. But his life is so bound up with his business, one can’t imagine he has much time to listen to, or read them.
Other shows encourage younger, lesser known artists, which he sees as an important function of commercial galleries. Another feature is the excellent, well-written catalogues he produces, which set a high point recently with Jo Ractliffe. Helped by sponsorship, this cost upwards of R300 000 – more than 10 times what he normally spends. He sees catalogues as both important historical documents and evidence of provenance, beliefs he also drew from Stefan Welz.
Interior of Gallery
Photo: Ryszard Kasiewicz
Artistic Director of Documenta 13 Announced Rip, Stitch, Mix and Burn: Zavick Zaroff Botha and Ulric Roldanus set fire to a washing line piece, entitled “Fresh Laundry”, Llandudno Beach, 21 November 2008
Rip, Stitch, Mix and Burn Zavick and Ulric Remix Sculpture For more info and review: http://davidrobertlewis.wordpress.com
by David Robert Lewis
WHEN early 20th Century critic of psychoanalysis Karl Kraus proclaimed, in his attack against Freud and the Austrian school: “From now only piracy will be permitted,” he was merely answering the terrifying problematic which American, Ralph Waldo Emerson had previously delineated: “It is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others, as it is to invent,” consequently all forms of appropriation, whether they be the outright theft of the remix pirate, the anti-hierarchic nomadism of the schizophrenic or the mashup culture of the hip-hop musician, are all really just comments on the artistic process we call invention.
To be alive in the maelstrom of today’s insanely literary pop culture, to write about art, is to risk offending highbrow critics who maintain theory is the sole prerogative of the academic, that any discourse is invariably that of the Western Canon vs the Other and all activities, including the activity of art should, and can only be, understood from within the realm of polite bourgeois society, through a lens provided by domestic homeland safety security regulations, 2010 soccer stadiums and a city by-law prohibiting urination, belching, farting in public and noxious odours?
Take Zavick Zwaroff Botha and Ulric Roldenaus’ recent collaborative excursion into the public art arena. A series of washing lines that have appeared across the City, from Gugulethu to Thibault Square, The Kramat to Slave Monument on Church, echoing the earlier interventions by Garth Erasmus and Victor Peterson, who erected a simple Washing Line over a decade ago, during the 1996 District Six sculpture festival: “The need to remember every detail of what has been lost haunts those who have lost it: the instinct of the amputee to exercise the absent limb. The urgent desire to re-establish the security of what is known and familiar; of that which reminds you of yourself, and says to others that you exist.”(1)
“Fresh washing” by the non-existent, the absent stage like Jan Van Schalkwyk’s landscape entitled:
‘Kassiesbaai Washing Line’, a poor imitation of an earlier Constable, who no doubt would also have issues with who did the laundry when, and in what order. Servant, worker, waterman, thief. Looking at art through detergent is like examining the proverbial water closet. How much has changed, in power relations and the strength of OMO, since the first troglodyte dreamt up this most laborious of practices and then proceeded to paint and sculpt the end product - forgetting about our rights to a living wage, or the problem of not owning the means of production which in turn produced what we like to refer to as visual art? “In the Netherlands we don’t have laundry lines, says Ulric, over an Amstel at the Obscafe, here I encountered these lines again...” My carefully crafted notes are rendered into meaningless laundry list by a group art exhibition held later at Michael Stevenson, requiring the writer to decipher hieroglyphics, code by Sun Ra. “I have vandalised my work,” offers Zavick who expresses a penchant for quilting and embroidery. Incisions into the cultural landscape of Cape Town that beckon us all to take cognisance of the process of bricolage, elucidated by the grand semiotician Roland Barthes in the Empire of Signs - the artist as revolutionary DIY, an eternally recurring and everpresent ‘nowever’amidst a clusterbomb of found objects or objets trouves. When all one has is a box of lion matches, and an Amstel, a bonfire will do. Rip, Stitch, Mix and Burn, with the type of arson that is required to turn theory of the haphazard, into chance, extraordinary aggregate of molecular love, incendiary performance art, nocturnal emissions of toxic fumes, the nightly annihilation of self practised by practitioners of Butoh and advocates of Zen. I encounter the quilty duvet inspired: “Washing line”, (there can only be one, all of the rest are replicas) strung between two poles on Llandudno beach. Zavicks laundry is caught up in moral exegesis on the joys of igniting the Atlantic sunset with gaseous plumes, offending a bunch of art directors who are trying to shoot a Thomas
Cook travel commercial. I am a tourist trapped in a Swedish movie by Russian film director, Andre Tarkovsky, you know the one – Sacrifice – all time best picture & f-ck Ingmar Bergman. Supa’dog’s underpants are now being sacrificed with a long slow burn that is caught on multi-dimensional digital chips and filtered back to those of you who live in the future – Ozzy Osbourne burning a guitar like Jimi Hendrix in a remix scene from Francis Ford Coppolla’s Apocalypse Now -- the attack on bourgois art theory has begun, still we are living in a pastiche of cross-referential excess. What one desires, or needs is 50seconds of WaWaWa, how many WWWashinglines were set on fire? According to Wikipedia Washingline fires have started to catch-on. The fire department is worried. The mayor is no longer taking calls, but wants a ban on laundromat bonfires in place before 2010. With all this laundryline sampling art, what next? A soap commercial from Pears and Mary Quant? Could soap become the next bubble, as highbrow executive art galleries are doomed to reproduce in comic detail the artefacts of the day, (mortgage bonds, class traitors) what could be considered theatre in the round dished up to the well-healed, the sartorial few who live on sushi lunches and demand easily digested, and saleable pap for bread. The only solution lies in a total denial of any form of representation. In the same way it is impossible to identify the water that forms a river because a river can only exist by the grace of its movement. The sphinx has spoken. To the death of art and an ode to its destruction. (1) Emma Bedford and Tracy Murinik Re-membering that placepublic projects in District 6. District 6 Public Sculpture Exhibition 1996. [David Robert Lewis has written art reviews for the Cape Times. His involvement in visual arts includes, Gallery Mau Mau, Sub Liberation Underground, Invisible Graffiti, Human Etchings, amongst other things]
Nicola Danby, director of Artinsure – former head of BASA; Dr Fred Scott, well-known art collector and speaker at the event; with Gordon Massie, MD of Artinsure who has brought his international expertise to South Africa and partnered with Hollard to deliver specialist insurance for investors in art. Bottem: (left to right) Lee-Ann Dobrescu, Operations Manager of Hollard Insurance Partners; Clive Kellner, head of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Gordon Massie, MD of Artinsure
Art is big business and growing steadily despite financial world crashs There has been an unprecedented growth in the value of art globally and South Africa is keeping pace, said Nicola Danby, director of Artinsure – formerly head of BASA. She was speaking at a recent event held by Artinsure and Hollard in Johannesburg to discuss the ‘value of art in the South African context’ with leaders in the field who gathered to hear art insurance expert, Gordon Massie and well-known collector Dr Fred Scott talk on the subject. “Latest annual figures of global art sales are $25 billion with a 19% increase in value last year, particularly in contemporary pieces created from 1960 onwards,” MD of Artinsure, Gordon Massie, said. He pointed out that the last time the financial world crashed in the 80s the value of art crashed with it. “But this time the development has been different with the art world being bolstered by investors from Middle East Royal Families and BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China who have been buying high value works in spite of the shaky situation in the financial world.” An example of this, he said, was the fact that Damien Hirst opened his solo show the day after the Lehman Brothers crash and AIG rescue plan and netted himself a profit of $200 million. “Whilst there is evidence of a correction taking place, Art continues to sell as evidenced in recent sales. At a major sale I was at in early November an investor
said to me ‘You would not believe there is a credit crunch going on out there!’” Massie says good news for local investors is that well known South African artists are also becoming international brands and the local market is experiencing significant increases in values. As an example, he explained that if a South African investor in art had spent 100 Euros on an Irma Stern work in 1997, today it would be worth 1500 Euros. “As art develops into a truly attractive investment, owners need to be sure that their insurer appreciates the true value of their art works. There have been recent examples where claims were inexpertly handled. For instance in one specific example, a R12 million painting by a well known South African artist was stolen and due to lack of expertise, the insurer offered to replace this premier painting with another painting by the same art ist. The trouble was the intended replacement painting only had a market value of R500 000. Underwriting and evaluating art is a specialist area and collectors need to be sure they are protected effectively against loss by people who understand the art world and true market values.” Massie also demonstrated by using true examples that fire is the biggest risk to artwork followed by accidental damage and then water damage. “Whilst theft is a risk the probability of a theft is lower than these three risks,” Massie said.
The curator Carolyn ChristovBakargiev, and author of the very first monograph on William Kentridge, has been selected as the artistic director of Documenta 13, scheduled for June, 2012, in Kassel, Germany. The CEO of Documenta and the Fridericianum museum, Bernd Leifeld, announced that the supervisory board of Documenta unanimously agreed to her appointment, following a proposal by the international ‘finding’ committee. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is one of a new generation of international curators and art commentators on the fast track. She is familiar with South African art, mainly through her association with William Kentridge, whose local retrospective of 2004 she co-curated. She has just had a major international success as artistic director of the Sydney Biennale, but is based at the Castello di Rivoli museum of contemporary art in Turin as chief curator. From 1999 to 2001 she was at the PS1 contemporary art centre in New York. Christov-Bakargiev graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pisa, Faculty of letters and philosophy, in 1981. Her master thesis was on the relation between contemporary poetry and painting. Her appointment to the highly-visible, globally-influential post as director of Documenta 13, comes with high kudos. The ‘finding’ committee reads like a who’s-who of the contemporary art world: Joseph Backstein (director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow), Manuel J. Borja-Villel (director Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid), Kathy Halbreich (associate director Museum of Modern Art, New York), Paulo Herkenhoff (formerly director of Museu Nacional Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro), Oscar Ho (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Udo Kittelmann (director Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt), Kasper König (director Museum Ludwig, Köln), Elizabeth Ann Macgregor (director Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney) and Rein Wolfs (artistic director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel).
Ross Douglas Michael Coulson From studying grassland sciences in Pietermaritzburg to promoting international art events may not sound a logical career path, but Ross Douglas, whose Artlogic company organises the Johannesburg Art Fair, makes it sound sensible enough. Though he didn’t complete that degree, after switching to philosophy and economics Douglas started his career in ecotourism, first in the Okavango and then Mozambique. When Mozambique’s tourism industry was slow to get back off the ground after the 1993 election, Douglas produced a documentary on the demobilisation of Frelimo and Renamo soldiers. He returned to SA the following year to make documentaries for TV channels like SABC’s 50-50 and National Geographic. When the burgeoning of witless reality TV slashed budgets for more worthy projects, he switched to making commercials and planning the long (and still!) awaited Great SA Film. This too ran up against budgetary constraints, but educated him in the basics of film production. Deciding on another fresh start, he persuaded William Kentridge to adapt his Soho Ekstein videos as an event with 35mm film production and live music. Presentations in New York, London, Berlin and Milan were a huge success, says Douglas, and emboldened their next venture: Kentridge wanted to stage his successful European production of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute in SA. This required major corporate sponsorship. Douglas says he was turned down by Standard Bank, which was heavily involved in its Picasso & Africa exhibition, but was fortunate enough to bump into Paul Harris of FirstRand and Rand Merchant Bank. Banks were then in great shape and RMB, which had for years sponsored annual Starlight Classics concerts, was looking for further arts sponsorships. Harris as well as being an art collector of note, is also a shareholder in the Everard Read Gallery, so is au fait with both the aesthetic and commercial sides of the art market. In return for branding rights, RMB paid a fee and put up an unsecured interest-
free loan. The production ended up costing R11.5m, and Douglas says “It broke even. We managed to pay RMB back in full – though it took time.” But, says Douglas, “One-off projects are a terrible business model. You can’t capitalise on them. So though Flute was a success – it sold out in both Jo’burg and Cape Town – we needed a sustainable business model that we could repeat every year. “We did some research and found that art fairs are popular internationally. An internet search identified 247 worldwide, before we stopped counting. I even went to Delhi to see how the Indian art market, which is estimated at US$750m a year, works. “It took some time for us to come up with a model that would work locally. Thanks to Harris, First National Bank then came on board as the major sponsor, followed by BMW and Telkom.” Douglas is not starry-eyed about why corporates sponsor the arts. “They need success at a number of levels. Sponsorship helps build the brand, in terms of both general awareness and social responsibility, and provides an opportunity for interaction with clients. “But too often in SA delivery doesn’t match up to the promises. The challenge is to keep a contemporary art event going to gain credibility and continuity, and we’re trying to do that.” He admits that times are hard, but is confident that the 2009 fair will build on this year’s. “There’s no doubt that we’ve grown the market. Six months after the event, one leading Cape Town gallery told us that 70% of his business was coming from people he’d met at the fair.” But he’s not resting on his laurels. As the Art Fair settles down, it should no longer demand all his time. He’s built up a great data base, and is looking for other ways to exploit it. Nor has he dropped his interest in ecology: his other passion is global warming, and with his partner Cobi Labuschagne he’s started Greenlogic, which he wants to become as important in the local green space as Artlogic is in art.
Jodi Bieber: From Real Beauty; Claire: ‘I’m 81 years of age and I like myself. My attitude changed when I developed cancer 7 years ago and I decided I didn’t want to die and I wanted to live and I changed my attitude completely towards life. By being aware that you may die, you have to be strong and pull yourself through it and change your thinking completely, and that’s why I am so comfortable with my body. So comfortable with myself and I’m always reaching out to do exciting things’. 2008
Documenting unruly women
Mary Corrigall meets Jodi Bieber, the documentary photographer who has caused a buzz with her latest study of daring women
Jodi Bieber Warm, unpretentious and frequently smiling, Jodi Bieber is immediately likeable. Her congeniality has no doubt worked in her favour, especially as a documenter photographer with an interest in insinuating herself into realms far removed from her own white middle-class milieu. Certainly with her latest exhibition, entitled Real Beauty, which sees women of all shapes and sizes posing in their underwear, it must have taken some convincing to have persuaded all these women to allow Bieber to capture their bodies, flaws and all. Revealingly, Bieber draws a blank when I ask about her relationship with her subjects. The inference is that whatever the nature of the afflations she strikes with her subjects it isn’t premeditated. “I think that if you are honest people can pick that up. I try to capture something of who they (my subjects) really are. It might not be who they are, but who I think they are.” In Real Beauty Bieber assumed a hands-off approach, allowing her subjects to choose how they would
like to present themselves. While some clearly pander to the male gaze, others are confrontational assuming defiant poses. “It is a rebellion, the ultimate reason the women did the project was that they wanted to make a stand for real beauty. It talks about how we present ourselves in front of the camera as women. For me it is about a celebration (of beauty) and going against the media.”
years of South Africa’s transition to democracy. Photography immediately appealed to Bieber as it allowed her to express herself and delve into other ways of living. “Photography is a tool, I can’t paint, I can’t draw. Coming from a middle class background, photography gave me that opportunity to cross over to the other side, that privileged situation where I could
spective on life changed because of all the death (I witnessed). My mind was dark and that’s where I was for ten years; looking at those kinds (of subjects).”
The New York Times magazine. During this time Bieber’s focus shifted from covering news events to documenting real-life narratives. It was Linda Givon, founder of the
Jodi Bieber, Babalwa
From Real Beauty; Lucille: ‘I am today because of my belief in myself, my religion and more basically my upbringing, my foundation was strong. And if it wasn’t for my foundation, the people in my life when I was growing up, I don’t think I would have been here today’ 2008 After enjoying a long career as a photojournalist – albeit that she eschews the title - Bieber is acutely aware of the inner workings of the media. Upon completing an informal education in photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg, she joined The Star newspaper as a trainee, covering the
really explore what is happening in this country.” When Bieber first entered the realm of photography in the early nineties, the political situation in South Africa was volatile. This shaped Bieber’s early aesthetic. “I was posted at Ulundi (where pre election violence was rife) they were dark times. My whole per-
The work Bieber produced during that period of her career featured in her acclaimed 2006 book, Between Dogs and Wolves, which documents South Africa’s dark underbelly, capturing gang life in townships and the destitute. A sense of hopelessness pervades images of impoverished children wandering through a desolate, neglected urban landscape. In the mid-nineties came Bieber’s biggest break when she was invited to participate in the prestigious World Press master class in Holland. After completing the course, she was catapulted into the international media, freelancing for magazines such as Geo, Stern and
Goodman Gallery empire, who recognised qualities in Bieber’s photography that aligned it with art. Although Bieber feels that her work has always straddled the art realm, at first she didn’t grasp
Givon’s interest. “I didn’t understand what it meant. She told me she had a show for me in Belgium and I told her I was busy shooting.” But with a magazine editors losing interest in documentary photography, Bieber was grateful that art galleries presented an alternative platform to showcase her work.“A lot of photojournalism is about recording and while my work has appeared in the media and that’s where I come from I believe that I have never recorded. I believe I have always interpreted. I hate that word photojournalist, I am a photographer.” Bieber says its art critics who have defined her work, invested her work with meaning, not the art gallery context that has begged new readings. Ultimately, Bieber is only interested in bringing her work closer to the general public.“I have shown my photographs in a village and in an art gallery, it makes no difference to me.” • Real Women is showing at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg Jodi Bieber From Real Beauty; Brenda: ‘I think if you believe you are beautiful, you will appear beautiful to the world’ 2008
Gouws’s fascination of
Steve Kretzmann Slowing down the viewer’s gaze is the aim of self-described “DutchSouth African Buddhist-Calvinist bourgeois artist-philosopher” Andries Gouws’s meditative paintings. “Any worthwhile art demands a meditative or contemplative eye; a pace of looking that is many orders of magnitude slower than what is typical for our age.” This view on his work gives us an idea as to why Gouws also teaches philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Durban campus. But while academia pays the bills now, he “hopes” to be a full-time artist within a year or two. And with the first three of his new series of paintings of feet being accepted for the 2001 Spier Contemporary, and his fourth winning the prize for painting at the Ekurhuleni Awards earlier this year, his hopes are well on the way to becoming reality. His ‘feet’ painting, which he started on around the beginning of last year, hold the same pathos as a good portrait, in fact one might
argue they are portraits in terms of the depth of the sitter’s character they portray. His focus on feet came about unexpectedly – as many good or interesting things do - born out of a need to “move beyond the confines” of what he had been doing for the previous 15 years. “I had in the past occasionally drawn feet, and once even made a silkscreen to go with Ritsos’s two line poem: The nights go by with big strides That’s why the loveliest statues stand with their feet together. But I had never expected that I’d ever focus on feet the way I’ve been doing,” he says. It seems the subject matter Gouws has concentrated on over the years has always been rather surprising to him. Living in Holland for 16 years after studying art in Cape Town (at Michaelis), Italy, Düsseldorf and finally Amsterdam, he said he “pined” for the South African landscape and climate and started off painting “big, colourful, gestural abstract” paintings in acrylics before moving on to graphics. Back in South Africa, having sold
his treasured 500 kg Artel etching press and returned to oils, he said he imagined he would paint the landscape and nudes, things which “grabbed my gut most directly”. But he soon ended painting interiors and still lifes, unexpectedly connecting with a Dutch tradition that while in Holland he had felt he did not belong to. Arguably, his feet paintings remain in the tradition of interiors and still lifes, although with a twist that puts them in a new realm. “These feet do not have the same meditative quality of my still
lifes and interiors. They are more confrontational; engaging with feet disconcerts me – they look back at me in a way objects in a still life or interior don’t.” He says his wife has commented that the paintings of feet are “unexpectedly religious”. Though Gouws’s wife is “as much of an unbeliever” as he says he is, the religiosity of the work shouldn’t be that surprising taking into account his expressed admiration for Velasquez and Rubens, although
he suggests his current paintings “suggest other triggers: El Greco; Grünewald, Caravaggio even”. His earlier work, he says, “often suggested that Vermeer and Piero were the artists I had looked at more closely”. But returning to the religiosity of feet, it is interesting to note that he started concentrating on people’s pedal extremities in “late 2006/early 2007”, shortly after former apartheid minister Adriaan Vlok’s famous washing of Director General in the Presidency Rev Frank Chikane’s feet. Asked whether there was any
connection to that highly publicised action and his choice of subject matter, Gouws says: “One never knows! I hadn’t thought about it. Feet perhaps reflect some more elemental aspect of our being - more closely linked to violence, vulnerability, and then I suppose the aspect of asking for, and giving forgiveness, isn’t such a big step from there.” Pretty feet are also few and far between, and Gouws does not hide the battering that his subject
dirty pretty feet matter has endured. A clue to his choice of rendering the most abused parts of the body in the rich texture of oils lies in his description of his immediate Durban environment as an area comprising “attractive ugly industrial areas”. “Durban to me is like one big workshop, in which there is nothing inclining one to preciousness – the opposite of Stellenbosch, where I lived for a few years before coming here.” However, for all the pretty dirtiness of Gouws’s Durban, he describes his studio as 150 square metres of “wonderful, airy” space lit by “huge” south-facing windows. It is a working space he does not have any plans on leaving although he admits he wouldn’t mind being nearer something like the Louvre, the Prado or the Met, as there are very few art buyers in Durbs.
A travelling exhibition is on the cards though, for those who don’t get to enjoy the KZN art scene. Gouws is planning on taking his work to the Pretoria Art Museum, Oliewenhuis Museum in Bloemfontein, the University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery and other venues which are being negotiated. And while waiting for the real thing to come to a town near you, you can see digital images of his paintings at www.andriesgouws.com.
Auction 16 December 2008 Viewing 12-15 December
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Clement Seneque (1896-1930) The Pool. Oil on Board. 270 x 200
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