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The South African Art Times: SA’s leading visual arts publication | April 2012 | Free | Read daily news on


The Truly Amazing Life & Art of

Barbara Tyrrell Adieu, John. Sweet heart. RIP John Hodgkiss The Good Read: SA’s Art Materials Scene Photo: Jenny Altschuler

Photo: John Hodgkiss



24 - 26 April 2012 Viewing dates: 20 - 22 April 2012

29 & 30 May 2012 Viewing Dates: 25 - 27 May 2012

   EVERARD READ CAPE TOWN 19 APRIL – 3 MAY 2012 3 PORTSWOOD ROAD, V&A WATERFRONT +27 21 418 4527






April 2012 Daily news at

Happy 100th Barbara, may you have a long and ever more inspired life. From all of us at The AT Editor: Gabriel Clark-Brown

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Subscriptions: Tracey Muscat

News Production: Megan Rainier

Listings: Tracey Muscat

Admin: Bastienne Klein

Daily Website: Liesel Botha

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Letters to the Editor:

Designers: The Easterbunnydrankthelastofmyfamousgrouseagency

PO Box 15881, Vlaeberg, 8018. Tel. 021 424 7733 Fax. 021 424 7732 Contributors: Carl Collison Michael Coulson Nushin Elahi Lloyd Pollak

Deadline for news, articles and advertising is the 18th 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.

Global Art Information Group 06

In this news publishing business if an edition looks like the one you planned for a month ago, you know that you have totally lost touch with your audience. At the beginning of this month we had most of our contents sorted, however the discovery of Barbara Tyrrell’s life story, and of course kind John Hodgkiss’s passing, changed everything in the last week. Last December when we were literally on the printer’s runway, engines booming, the cover artist chose to pull out, as they felt that their work should represent them, not their face (fair enough). In such an environment Murphy’s law goes kangaroo our unimagined plan B had to kick in, just moments before the printers - who were on tight December deadline - thrust back on the joystick. As the nature of news and newscasting is changing we are happy with our 48 pages for now. This allows us to reach a 30% growth from 6 000 to now over 8-9 000 readers per month (we reach well over 50 000 per month with our AT News Network) making The AT a good means of disseminating art news and information in SA. Any additional savings on pages goes into outreach projects such as schools and growing our twice daily online news on This past month’s online readership theme seems to reflect that an art illuminati exist, as 2-3 people wrote in accusing ”higher forces” of pushing bad art, or certain folk that manipulate the market. This would be interesting to cover for an edition - who controls what and whom ? together with other art related paranoia. Quite frankly, I don’t believe for a second that anyone is out to get anyone, there are just too many amazing artists with diverse interests to singularly control any market. What also seems to be a recurring theme lately is some artists who are pushing their merits and achievements in the open media -a bit too far to believe. Initially these artists’ international claims and showmanship are firstly entertaining and then ridiculous, and after a while embarrassing. Firstly these type of artists can’t restrain from calling themselves (or via their PR agency) “geniuses”, and then take it further with Big Names Dropping, the more popular names dropped the better. These names of big artists and big money are dropped from here, there and especially... everywhere else - where facts realistically can’t be weighed up. They do this with the hope that some naïve programme manager or buyer, not checking their facts, will believe them and assist in opening wallets or newspaper or TV channels to more naïve viewers. Art fame is usually hardfought for and slowly built on many people’s respect and one on one interactions . This rather than a singular relationship of 2 people -the artist that mimics other popular artists and their PR company’s rep who produces PR reflecting their clients imagination of who they want to be. Don’t think that I am knocking PR, it plays a vital function in today’s artworld, but PR unchecked is dangerous and irresponsible. Next month we are off to thrilling Johannesburg. The big WAM (Wits Art Museum) is about to open, as well as the Artist Proof Studio (APS) is going to take over JAG (Johannesburg Art Gallery). We are thrilled at this! Best, Gabriel Clark-Brown

LETTER TO THE EDITOR First of all thank you for the Art Times it is such a good read and it certainly has filled a gap in our art world. I look forward to all your issues. Congratulations! The article Lloyd Pollock wrote is so spot on and Jeremy Lawrence’s piece say exactly that which I’d like to have. They are both excellent writers and as writing is not my forte I will keep mine brief. The Gallery is dead. It should reflect the people and the richness of our culture. Old and new. Most Galleries have facilities to sit and take in a refreshment to reflect and discuss the exhibitions. I believe the Friends of National Gallery raised the money for the equipping of the last restaurant. Another facet is being able to buy postcards or souvenirs to send to friends or keep so the fame of the Gallery is extended. It’s called simple marketing. The Shop is now also a thing of the past The National Gallery has long worried me and I have approached Mr Naidoo re a coffee station or refreshment bar where one could have a coffee tea, juice and reflect on the exhibition one has seen. I very often visit and wish to meet a friend there but in order to complete the outing one has to move elsewhere to relax and reflect . This has resulted in exploring the Company gardens more fully and so sometimes there is no time to take on the gallery as well! So the gallery is not the draw card it could be. Another concern is what is the Gallery’s plans to take advantage of our wonderful accolade as World design Capital? I know the private sector is engaging on this important opportunity to embrace the challenge and reflect the incredible talent Cape Town has to offer. I have heard that budgets are low and Arts don’t get much.. but it is ironical how much is spent on sport in this country when Stadiums beautiful though they are now pose financial difficulties and are actually white elephants! Art enriches people, People enrich a nation ..and we are a truly rich and very diverse nation our Gallery should reflect this fact. I think of the great pity we are losing something so valuable. Yours Sincerely, Patricia Fraser Newlands SA ART TIMES. April 2012


Public arts policy being developed but artists dissatisfied First Published in West Cape News Kate Gerber. The City of Cape Town is working on formulating a new directorate that will develop a public arts policy, but artists say the move is belated, and opaque. The City announced its intention to develop the Tourism, Event, Arts and Culture, Marketing Strategy (Teams) that will include a policy on public arts – which up until now has been completely lacking – at the end of the week-long Infecting the City arts programme hosted by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts on Friday. When asked about the development of a public arts policy yesterday, a consultant assigned to the City’s Tourism, Events and Marketing office, Heidi van der Watt, said three senior members still needed to be added to the committee before any progress on policy could be made. Asked about whether there would be a budget for the commissioning of works from emerging or established artists, van der Watt said there was nothing which compelled the city to budget for public works of art. “We are waiting for the dedication of that responsibility to us. Once we are mandated, we can start budgeting,” said van de Watt. “As the policy is in stasis right now, it would be inappropriate for me to say what types of art the policy will and won’t fund, however.” She said the policy in its current form was available to the public, but the City recognized the importance of input by artists. “Artists have been encouraged to register on our

database for regular updates on what progress is being made on the policy.” But chairperson of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), Jonathan Garnham, said there was no transparency regarding the development of the City’s public arts policy. “There is no transparency,” he said, “people do not know what’s going on. No-one knows who wrote the policy and no-one I know, knows about the database. We haven’t been consulted about any of this. It makes me angry that we’ve been told we elected the members of the Portfolio committee who have brought the policy this far. If we elected them, why aren’t they doing their jobs?” Garnham said there was no “political bill” that engages with the visual arts, with the result being that the City received unsolicited proposals and did not know what to do with them. He said at present, it seemed an artist could display his or her art in a public space so long as it was privately funded, but not all artists had the luxury of funding their work. Yet Johannesburg, he said, spent over R20m on public art through the Johannesburg Development Agency, making it a “bright and vibrant city” as a result. “It is terrible that a city of our stature doesn’t have qualities like that.” He said art helped to make a city a cultural hub. “What I want to ask Ms van de Watt is, ‘when will the policy be finished? What is the next step within your department?’” said Garnham. Asked when the public arts policy would be completed, van der Watt said she had “no idea”.

Court papers served on the Department of Arts and Culture Biennale. It also requested documents reflecting whether any public money was used to fund, what the department has referred to as, Mr. Mokoena’s ‘private initiative’. The request also sought documents on the department’s rumoured long-lease of a building in Venice.

First Published in Artthrob: By M Blackman. Photo: SOWETAN. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko Papers were served on the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) after their failure to respond to a request for information under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). The request, sent to the DAC on the 30 September 2011, asked for any minutes or records relating to the selection of Monna Mokoena as commissioner of South Africa’s participation at the Venice SA ART TIMES. April 2012

Having received no response from the DAC within the allotted 30 days, lawyers, on the behalf of the author, submitted an internal appeal to which again no response was received despite the department’s assurances to the contrary. A court application has now been launched in the hope of receiving reply from the Minister Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile. This is not the first time that Mr. Mashatile has failed to respond to questions concerning the Venice Biennale. Last year the minister failed to answer questions put to him in parliament by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Arts and Culture Dr. Lotriet. The DAC now has 15 court days to let the author know whether they intend to oppose the application. 07


John Hodgkiss 1966 - 2012

Written by Tim Hopwood “Does life seem nasty, brutish and short? Come on up to the house. The seas are stormy and you can’t find no port. Come on up to the house. Come on up to the house. The world is not my home I’m just a passin’ through You got to come on up to the house.” Tom Waits: Come on up to the house. The art world has been deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death at the age of 45 of photographer John Hodgkiss in his Johannesburg home last week. Hodgkiss was found dead on his couch in his Melville home by a friend. Hodgkiss was an intense, complex character, by turns both cynical and deeply romantic, fragile and tough, and always witty and sharp. His love for his friends was deep, heartfelt and genuine. But more of the personal tributes later. Hodgkiss was known for the work he did in the art industry in Johannesburg. For the last ten years or so he documented the work of artists of the calibre of William Kentridge and Steven Cohen, and while he privately sneered in disdain at some of the work he was paid to photograph, he was also very proud of the work he did for others, particularly Cohen. Cohen was the first artist with whom Hodgkiss began collaborating, and they formed a deep, lasting friendship. But it is not for this work, important as it was, that I like to remember Hodgkiss, and this is not the work that John should be remembered for. I really hate expressions like “He was a great artist in his own right.” Or even worse: “He was an artist in his own right.” It’s often disingenuous and patronizing. I have no doubt that it will be trotted out in reference to John Hodgkiss, but what does it actually mean? The truth in my opinion is that John’s own work was far superior to the work he documented for some of the artists in the upper echelons of the art industry. And the truth is, Hodgkiss knew this, and it created in him a deep sense of futility and frustration. He found it hard to remain silent about some of the junk he had to photograph, and us as his friends often bore the brunt of that rage. Perhaps, recently, it was a rage also at a perceived sense of his own wasted talent. Far too many artists occupy positions of status and power merely because they know the buzz words, or have simply become investment capital: “relevant both here and abroad” but essentially harmless to the machinations of power that finance their industry. They can rattle off some cobbled-together bits of Baudrillard and Derrida, but few have ever actually sat down and read a volume of Derrida. Hodgkiss claimed that he had never in his life read a book cover to cover, with the exception of Nick Cave’s When The Ass Met the 08

Angel. And yet there are many nights I recall listening to him argue and debate with other students, one of whom would go on to become a respected art theorist, and John was always, always, a step or more ahead of them. I began to form the opinion that Hodgkiss was possessed of some kind of weird, innate, almost alien intelligence. If there was ever a case to be made for the notion of past lives, to me, John was that case. His own work was whimsical, profound and often incredibly witty. And way different to anything the rest of us did. It took no small degree of strength of character to resist the aesthetic dictates of a man as larger-thanlife as Obie Oberholzer, but Hodgkiss did, right from the start of his career at Rhodes. The boundaries of art were blurred with Hodgkiss. He would make little pieces of jewelry from broken toy soldiers and bits of old clocks. These he would then photograph and the photo would become the artwork. Or else he would take photographic prints, stick them on the wall and photograph them with models casting a shadow on them. The human presence was more often than not enigmatic and ethereal in Hodgkiss’s work. Figures are seldom glimpsed in their entirety, and are more often than not visual synecdoches. Hodgkiss was fascinated with the archetypes of the human story. At Rhodes, John was something of a trailblazer. He engineered things, he made things happen. The first performance art piece any of us ever saw at Rhodes was at one of John’s garage exhibitions, with Andrew Buckland all wrapped in bandages, groping in personal darkness to locate the sound of Ben Coutouvidis’ saxophone, in a room full of John’s images. Despite the fact that he was without doubt the most avant-garde cat at Rhodes (my trendy-points went through the roof when I became close friends with him) John always struck me as someone who had, much like his favourite musician, Tom Waits, the air of someone who was born slightly after his time, slightly out of step with his generation, but with a kind of knowingness that everything that we thought was important, progressive and vital (hipness never really came into it in the mad eighties in South Africa) was part of a story that was simply cyclical, and would merely end in disappointment. John was the last person the student left would have been able to enlist in The Struggle, not because he didn’t sympathise. He was just… otherwise. His favourite movie was a little known but genius 40’s comedy with Danny Kaye, called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and his favourite artist was always Marcel Duchamp, long before he became the darling of so many in the art world in South Africa. Hodgkiss had an enormous amount of images he was working with the last time I saw him in Johannesburg, some taken from his travels with the writer Adam Levin, and others from his shit-stirring escapades with Steven Cohen (I don’t say that flippantly: I think art should stir shit, and Cohen and Hodgkiss made a fantastic shit-stirring team). He was at that time in the process of creating a large body of work where he would juxtapose one image with another in diptychs,

in often quirky and incongruous pairings. They made one realize that this man saw the world very differently to anyone else. Hell, just knowing him made many of us see the world differently, and for this reason he had been hugely influential with a section of the photographic students who did not really gel with Oberholzer’s modus operandi. I don’t know what ever happened to that project. I guess life just got in the way. I guess other people’s art was more important. I guess at the end of the day he had to pay the bills. (John hated that phrase: At the end of the day, and would just about throttle anyone who said it.) Hodgkiss was as far-removed from the cookie-cut characters that come trundling out of university art faculties than you could wish to get. I would trade a year of parroted postmodern platitudes from the elegant operators on the lower slopes of the avantgarde for just five more minutes in the company of Johnny Hodgkiss. Instead of writing any more about John I would like to quote some of the beautiful things some of his friends have said of him on his Facebook page, for I find I simply cannot write this obituary alone: “Dear John. What are we going to do without you? Who is going to remind us that there is beauty, grace and humour in the sore and difficult parts of being human? You are loved and missed.” Llewelyn Roderick “My beloved John, I miss you so already. You have left a massive empty space in my heart. Who knew it would hurt so much. I love you. Sleep tight.” Sue Mills. “What an individual you are John Hodgkiss. You will be missed by many. Thanks for the great work you did for me, all cool attitude and scarves.” Mandy Deacon. “You burned so bright, illuminating all those dark corners. Can’t believe you’re gone. We will miss you so.” Jenny Carlin “I always admired you John. You always helped me see the beauty in the shadows. I will miss you.” Brett Tyson “A long night of mourning. RIP John Hodgkiss. Such sadness I don’t even want to sleep.” Alex Dodd From his best friend, Peter Davidson: “Forever young. My best friend, I’m going to miss you.” From his sister, Diana Hartley: “My little brother, such a kind and gentle person and far too young to go. He is immortal in the memories of all the people who knew and loved him.” And from his partner for close on 20 years, Vanessa Hilton-Barber: “So empty without John, the canvas of the world just duller.” “But the greatest Hodgkiss original was John himself. He was a piece of art. Art moves you. Art inspires you. It makes the world a better place. John did all of that and more. He touched all of our lives. He poured out love. He was the greatest living artwork. A true original.” Toby Shapshack speaking at John’s funeral. “Adieu, John. Sweet heart.” Tracy Rose. SA ART TIMES. April 2012


(Above) John Hodgkiss as the Dead Murat, - experimental work done as a student with Tim Hopwood in the 80’s. (Below) Shadows, Student work at Rhodes Photography department, (B-R) Linda Givon, photographed for The Art Times

SA ART TIMES. April 2012



This months big read

How the global vs. local art material brands market affect artists Carl Collison goes walkabout around the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of South African art materials “Save our little art shops, please,” Emma Stols implores with a laugh that belies the seriousness of her plea. Stols, the owner of well-known art supply store Herbert Evans, which has been running for 123 years, is one of many retailers specialising in art materials that are starting the pinch as a result of the glut of bigger name brands pushing their way into this market.

stem the tide of what is becoming an ever-greater reality for the few local manufacturers: the influx and increased popularity of bigger international brand names. For Sandi Cooper, a former retailer, and now working with a local wholesale distributor, the motivation is to offer retailers- and by extention artists - access to a broad range of quality international brands.

Though the store’s standing is arguably not as precarious as those who are either facing - or have faced closure - Stols, like many independent stores of this nature, are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their customers with quality products at competitive prices. And though South Africa is certainly not unique to the market forces which often lay many smaller, independent businesses to waste in its wake, what exacerbates the situation locally is the notably small size of the market. Kevin O’Sullivan owner of Dala Art, for example laments the fact that the yield from their market in the town of George outstrips that of those of Namibia, Botswana, Zimabwe and Mozambique collectively. Still, in the 15 years it has been running, the company has, under O’Sullivan’s business hand has gone on to become the industry’s biggest - and unknown SA- success story. Employing over 100 staff, it has also built up a strong export network - more often than not exporting to supermarkets where it competes directly with the world’s biggest brands. For O’Sullivan, eschewing the more traditional three-tiered model of importer-distributorretailer (by manufacturing and packaging what the market needs and supplying it directly to retailers) has clearly proven to be highly successful. Though effective, the success of this model does not (and could not realistically be expected to)

This would surely do little to allay the anxieties of local manufacturers. Gus Kennedy, of The Italian Art Shop, another distributor of big-name brands admits that “yes, there is a dominance of mostly British paint manufacturers. I suppose,” he quips, “it’s a result of being a colony in the past! Artists are, however, realising a whole new and exciting world of top brands that offer an amazing choice and different possibilities. These brands are wellknown around Europe and the rest of the world and it is just a question of time before they are as well-known as the traditional British brands.” Multi award-winning artist Johannes Phokela, whose large-scale oil paintings have garnered him much acclaim both locally and internationally, certainly is one of these artists. “To be honest,” admits the, “I am not aware of any local paint manufactures, though I have only been living back here for about five years. I only really use two brands and both are British.” Tarique Taleip, a sales representative for Ashley and Radmore, the company which imports brands such as Windsor and Newton and Reeves paints, cuts to the chase: “There’s a big demand for Windsor and Newton because it is the world’s best artist materials so many artists prefer using it.” The

approximately 1 500 retailers across South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana under its wing point towards this clearly not just being salesmanspeak. Annare Prinsloo, co-owner of another local manufacturer, Zellen Art Products, admits that the Windsor and Newton brand’s range of oils paints “are good”. She is, however, not as complimentary of other competitors. Says Prinsloo: “There is one major brand who recently introduced a range of oil paints locally which we tested and it really is not good. What people don’t realise is that it really is not easy to produce a really good oil paint. Each one has its own ingredients. It really takes a lot of skill. Besides, it really is not easy introducing new brands because artists are fussy. ” Quality and artistic fastidiousness aside, there is, as Basil Lentner, Managing Director of local manufacturer, Heritage Craft Products, points out, the more practical difficulties inherent in trying to penetrate a new market, particularly one as small as South Africa’s. “It’s difficult to import [new brands] because minimum order quantities have to be so huge.” Though the jury might be out on whether this really is a complete non-issue for these local manufacturers, what cannot be denied is that the ever-growing presence of big-name brands has, unwittingly, forced them to up the ante. Says Prinsloo: “The quality of locally manufactured paints has improved so much over the years. We are currently working on expanding both our product range and our reach and have sent out samples to some countries abroad.”


Online Art supplies 10

SA ART TIMES. April 2012


Both Lentner and Stols echo this sentiment, with Stols saying: “Local brand loyalty is definitely growing. We try and buy local as much as possible because those guys work hard and their quality is improving. They’re also very dedicated which makes the product you buy not merely something that comes off the giant conveyer belt that is China.”Noble as this may be, there is the reality that, without buy-in from consumers, very little growth is likely to be achieved. How then is the message of this apparent improved quality communicated? In other words, what are these brands doing to advertise their products? Heritage, according to Lentner, advertises, “in-store” at the 800 stores they supply “in every little town” across the country. Prinsloo admits that, despite a few advertisements placed in art magazines, most of the advertising done is through good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. The old adage of the best advertising being word-of-mouth certainly is given added validation when one considers the often steep costs of advertising campaigns – which are doubly so for smaller companies. Considering this, as well as the considerable overheads incurred as a result of running a traditional brick-and-mortar business, does the option of focussing on online sales not seem an altogether more attractive and lucrative option? Though Taliep and Kennedy both feel that the move towards online purchasing is inevitable, with Kennedy stating that as “the trend in retail is towards online shopping, in time this will happen in the art market as well”, it would seem as though both retailers and manufacturers alike have as yet to explore this option. Dot Dickson, owner of The Deckle Edge, the popular Woodstock-based retailer, says that although they receive email enquiries around this, an online store has yet to be set up. The reason for this is simple: “You have to have high stock holding and need to juggle that with the market. In the United Kingdom, for example, the market is much bigger but in South Africa it would take longer for online sales to really take off.” Stols, however, takes a more romantic approach to why her business has not as yet followed this route. “Artists,” she says, “are sensory beings. They want to see, feel, touch and smell what they’re buying. And you certainly can’t get that off your laptop screen.” Rather unsurprisingly, Yolanda Kulemann, owner of the online art supplies store Art Express, disagrees with these views. When I ask her whether the South African market has sufficient volume of trade to sustain this industry, Kulemann effuses: “Oh, absolutely - without a doubt.” When I mention the success of the United States-based online store Dick Blick, Kulemaan states: “Yes, there massive but online shopping has only SA ART TIMES. April 2012

recently caught on in South Africa, whereas in the United States it has been around for years. It’s huge there.” Ours might be a fledgling industry but even relative new kid on the block, Art Attack, has since its establishment in October 2010, seen significant growth in sales. Its owner, Kristina Willman, laughs when she says: “It’s actually ridiculous the way it is growing.” The ArtShopper, yet another online retailer, has however yet to reach these heady sales heights though is largely attributable to it only being running for around two months. There is nonetheless, according to the portal’s owner Ilse Nieman, “a lot of indirect interest from customers” who visit either the Belville-based store or its website. For all these online retailers the benefits of online shopping for consumers are especially felt by those who have little or no proper art stores. Says Willman: “In South Africa so many small towns do not have efficient art shops where artists have access to quality products. For these people, it’s much easier to simply order their materials with just a click.” Willman concedes that the often hefty prices charged by courier companies do occasionally cut into the business’ bottom line. “Because,” she offers, “we offer free delivery for orders in excess of R500, the costs here do sometimes affect our profit margin.” Kulemann, on the other hand, manages to avert incurring these costs by utilising the services of the South African Post office, something which, she says, “works out quite well” for the business. Although Nieman admits that these costs are carried by the consumer, “the mark-up is a very low one”. In response to my question around whether online shopping does not result in consumers being afraid to try out new brands and therefore ultimately entrenches the dominance of certain brands, Willman says: “Look, many people choose to stick to products they’ve used for years, yes. But, because I interact with so many of my customers via email and often recommend they try out certain products which are tailor-made for their needs, many do end up trying new products or brands. Also remember that, because of the nature of online shopping, you really have to put up a lot of product information which in turn allows people a closer look at what is on offer.” Whether online stores will become de rigueur when it comes to the purchasing of art supplies has yet to be seen. What is also unclear is whether current market forces will eventually force smaller, independent retailers and manufacturers out of business. What is clear, however, is that if this situation continues Stols’ half-joking plea might soon become a wholly earnest one.

Clement Serneels Girl with hat

Leaders in Masters as well as Contemporary Art

Erich Mayer Landscape with Baobab trees

Shop 43, Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre (Below the Barnyard)

39 Carl Cronje Drive Tygervalley, Bellville Gallery 021 914 2846 Gerrit Dyman Jr 072 699 5918 Email: 11


Young Artist of the Month:

Mariëtte Bergh Born in 1982 Mariëtte Bergh lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. She specialized in painting and sculpture at the National School of Arts, and thereafter studied at Vega, the Brand Communication School. After six years as a graphic designer and art director in magazines she decided to pursue art full-time. What inspires her work is the her fascination of people’s behavior, human emotions, the interdependence of opposites and the mundanity of existence. Mariëtte is known for her use of fictitious characters, birds and animals to illustrate humanity and the satire of urban existence. “ Animals beautifully reflect the mundane routines that we are so caught up in. Seeing the same robin every morning in the same place, exactly the same time, or a group of pigeons that go about their business in the same city square

day by day is alarmingly similar to our own daily patterns. (Birds seem to crop up most of the time at this stage) Some of the other bird types have different connotations – some lean toward being mythical or mysterious, whereas others are downright mischievous just to get their way, which is hardly a foreign concept to humans.” In this new body of work Mariëtte takes on a more intimate look at existential subject matters that concern her yet this time reflecting on them through a semi autobiographical approach. The transition between youth and responsible adulthood, the melancholy, confusion and optimism associated with the above, mark her use of color line and medium. She is also featured on the art blog and on

Mariëtte Bergh in her studio (Below) Letting studio critics lie, (B-R) more of Mariëtte’s studio.

Manufactured in Germany since 1862 and now available in South Africa Lukas Artist colours – Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Gouache, Inks and Mediums Trade Enquiries: Southern Art & Graphics Tel: 021 5937065


SA ART TIMES. April 2012


(Above) Delicacy - Reverse-glass painting, Reading Ginsberg, Reverse-glass and ink on wood (Below) The vacant and the bored, Reverse-glass and ink on wood, She’s all I really need, Reverse-glass painting and See the world go wild, Reverse-glass and Wood

‘This is coming of age? Facing that we’re not like the dreams we have of ourselves? Unsure of our choices in life? Unable to ever be perfect? Even our heroes are lost and our ideas of adulthood are a fraudulent myth we’ve unconsciously inherited. Why not just stay in a world of infantile fantasy? Maybe forever even?’ – Mike MillsThoughts pertaining to the theme:‘Are you ready to bare your bones? To accept that you’re mortal and that life is to be lived in a way that a sensible mortal would? To construct life as a series of practical building blocks that ultimately guarantee a cosy coffin and offspring to carry your name? Magic has not much to do with this arrangement, there simply isn’t time to spare for it.’- Mariëtte Bergh

Manufactured in South Africa since 1994 Oils, Acrylics, Gouache, Inks and Mediums KV Art Pty Ltd 021 557 8003

SA ART TIMES. April 2012


ART TIMES | GALLERY BUZZ In Living Colour at The Barnard Gallery, CT

Exhibiting Artists Lonwabo Kilani & Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi / Artists Elise Vossgatter and Gabriel Clark-Brown / Asola Goqwana,Wanesila Albert, Ziyana Lategan

Claudia Gurwitz exhibition entitled: Rooted at The Irma Stern Museum, Rosebank, CT

UCT Irma Stern Gallery Director Christopher Peter / Christopher Peter, Estelle Jacobs, Lorraine Gurwitz, John Lofty-Eaton, Claudia Gurwitz, Harry Gurwitz / Lourens Jacobsz & Nico de Kock Guy Thesen at Cape Pallette, George

Guy Thesen and Doris and Leander Brand

Arno Carstens opens at The Lovell Gallery, CT

Beezy Bailey & Arno Carstens, Lovell Gallery, Woodstock, CT.

Andries Gouws opens at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban

Andries Gouws’s Walkabout at KZNSA

Below Top : Chad Rossouw: A History of Failure Brundyn + Gonsalves, CT . Below centre and Bottom: Arno Carstens Solo Show at The Lovell Gallery, CT


GALLERY GUIDE Keith Calder’s Vindicta Sculpture unwrapping, Alphen Hotel, Constantia

John Maytham (Guest Speaker), Keith Calder (Artist) / Debra Calder; Chris Barnard; Kim Highfield / Tania & Nick Atkinson; Sally Leslie Vernissage IV 2012 - “Ons skrik vir niks”! Show Stephan Welz & Co. Johannesburg Office

Upbeat: Stephan Welz & Co Johannesburg Office

Critics: from Vernissage IV 2012 - “Ons skrik vir niks”! Show

w w w. s c a n s h o p . c o . z a

design | books and catalogues | large format graphics | archiving | specialised retouching | installations | exhibition displays | digital scanning

ART TIMES | AROUND THE GALLERIES Elise Vossgatter: Sternteler AVA Gallery, CT

Elise Vossgatter: Let them eat cake

The Imperfect Librarian: Michaelis Galleries, UCT, CT

Brenton Maart: Engin from The The Imperfect Librarian, Michaels Galleries

Pieter van Straten shows at Knysna Fine Art

The Room Gallery, Johannesburg

Rhett Martyn, Mine, Room Gallery, Jhb Infecting the City, CT

Peter van Straten fans are in for a treat with Peter’s latest show see: Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg

Slee Gallery, Stellenbosch

see more at: Salon 91, CT

Herman Neibuhr at The Everard Read Jhb, Torso Front, by Talitha Deetlefs, Slee Gallery / Linsey Levendall The march to nowhere Salon 91 CT

AROUND THE GALERIES | ART TIMES ABSA L’Atelier 2012 - The selection of works attached is no way an indication of preference for a certain work but is rather a selection of pictures of work included in the top 100

East London: Mark Ross Farmer, Taryn King ABSA L’Atelier 2012

Johannesburg: John Brophy, Lehlogonolo Mashaba 2 Port Elizabeth: Bamanye Ngxale, Bantu Mtshiselwe and Siyabonga Ngaxi Absa KKNK 2012 Hanging Gardens

Marlies Keith Grounded‘The Hanging Gardens’ at the Absa KKNK. /

KZNSA Gallery, Durban

Grace Knotze on her show Thaw currentlyshowing at The KZNSA Gallery, Durban

South African Belgian International Art Expo SABEX, Tulbagh

Work by Jan Vermeiren & Leon de Bliquy to be seen at:South African Belgian International Art Expo (SABEX)

The Whitehouse Gallery




11 THRUPPS ILLOVO CENTRE, Oxford Road ILLOVO P.O. Box 496, Melrose Arch 2076 Tel : 27 11 268-2115 ¹ Fax : 27 11 268-2129 WEBSITE : EMAIL : :

MON-FRI 09.30am - 17.00pm THURSDAY EVENING 17.00pm - 21.00pm SATURDAY FROM 9.30am - 12.30pm SUNDAY FROM 12.00pm - 3.00pm

Anton Kannemeyer

UNISA Recent Acquisition Art Exhibition

new lithographs

Colleen Alborough,Animation (still)

21 April to 31 May 2012 Enquiries: (012) 441 5683 / Gallery viewing hours: (Tuesday to Friday) 10H00 - 16H00

Moulinsart Lawyers I. Hand printed lithograph, 76 x 57 cm. Edition 20.

The Artists’ Press

Unisa Art Gallery,Kgorong Building Ground Floor, Main Campus Preller and Ridge Street, Pretoria, 0003 Email: Tel: (012) 441 5683

Box 1236, White River, 1240 ‡7HO013 751 3225 PDUN#DUWLVWVSUHVVFR]D‡ZZZDUWSULQWVDFRP

Art Times Anton march 2012 advert.indd 1

19/03/2012 8:36 AM


Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum Until 30 April, “Face Value: old heads in modern masks” an etching series by Malcolm Payne. 17 Feb - 9 April in the Main Building, “Faena” by Nandipha Mntambo (Standard bank Young Artist) a body of new work encompassing sculpture, works on paper and video. 27 March – 13 May, “Christ and the other Person” a series of paintings by Father Frans Claerhout. 20 April – 3 June: “Rendezvous Art Project: Focus Painting”(Main Building) a travelling exhibition of works by 60 artists which uses painting as a medium. 16 Harry Smith Str, Bloemfontein. T.051 447 9609

Clarens Art & Wine Gallery on Main 6 – 23 April, exhibition by Aviva Maree. 279 Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1298 or Anton Grobbelaar. C. 082 341 8161 Blou Donki Art Gallery A vibrant contemporary art gallery, housing a wide variety of contemporary artworks, functional art, steel sculptures, bronzes, handmade glass and specializing in photography. Windmill Centre, Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1757 Johan Smith Art Gallery The gallery permanently exhibits a wide variety of classical and selected contemporary art works featuring Johan Smith, Elbè van Rooyen, Elga Rabe, Graham Carter, Nicole Pletts, Gregoire Boonzaier, Otto Klar, and various others. Specializing in ceramics, the gallery supports artists such as Hennie Meyer, Karen Sinovich, and Heather Mills, among others. Collectable bronzes and handmade glass by David Reade also available. Windmill Centre, Main Str, Clarens T. 058 256 1620

Gauteng Johannesburg

Christie’s International Auctioneers. Gillian Scott Berning, Independent Consultant. T 031 207 8247 CIRCA on Jellicoe 3 April – 5 May, “Drawing clouds in the Karoo” by Strijdom van der Merwe. 2 Jellicoe Ave. T. 011 788 4805 Everard Read Jhb 8 March - 7 April, “City Chromatic” by Hermann Niebuhr featuring recent landscape paintings of Johannesburg. 6 Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Jhb. T. 011 788-4805 Gallery 2 24 March – 14 April, Gallery 2 will be exhibiting work by various artists including Regi Bardavid, Karin Daymond, Sam Nhlengethwa, Lauren Palte and Jenny Stadler. 140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood. T. 011 447 0155 Gallery AOP 24 March - 11 April, “Fun and Games ...” drawings by Jaco van Schalkwyk. 14 April - 13 May, “Self-Organized Systems” drawings by Neil le Roux. 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark) Johannesburg. T. 011 726 2234. Gallery MOMO 15 March – 16 April, Joël Mpah Dooh’s “Let’s Take a Walk!” 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Jhb. T. 011 327 3247 Goodman Gallery 29 March - 21 April, Carla Busuttil. 163 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 788 1113 Gordon Institute of Business Science 15 March - 15 April, a majestic exhibition of art by Richard John Forbes GIBS, 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg.

Absa Art Gallery 23 March – 12 April, Absa L’Atelier Regional exhibition. Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street, Jhb. T. 011 350 5139

Grahams Fine Art Gallery 29 March – 29 April, “Essential Marks” by André Van Vuuren. Unit 46, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cnr Cedar & Valley Rds, Broadacres, Fourways, Jhb. T. 011 465 9192

Alice Art 1 – 15 April, the Ernst de Jong Academy of Fine Art Exhibition. The weekend of 21&22 April, Glendine and 28&29 April, Giorgio Trobec. 217 Drive Str, Ruimsig. T. 083 331 8466/ 083 377 1470

16 Halifax Works by Michael Heyns, Leon Muller, Braam van Wijk, Marina Louw, Mimi van der Merwe and other artists can be viewed by appointment in Johannesburg at 16 Halifax Str, Bryanston. Dana MacFarlane 082 784 6695

Bag Factory 30 March – 5 April, “S A S” an exhibition by visiting artists Fiona Flynn, Kate Tarratt Cross, Mark Thomann, Victoria Udondian and the winner of the 2012 David Koloane Award Jarrett Erasmus. 10 Mahlatini Street, Fordsburg. T. 011 834 9181

In Toto 1 March – 10 April, “Creation” by James Delaney will feature his oil and acrylic aerial views of landscapes, as well as his lithographs produced at the Artist’s Press. Opening 12 April, “Translations: Art into Jewellery” Top South African artists: Karel Nel, Senzeni Marasela, Walter Oltmann, Diana Hyslop, Loren Kaplan, Norman Catherine, Michael Frampton, Faiza Galdhari, Dylan Lewis, Marco Cianfanelli, Wayne Barker and Don Searle have collaborated with the Schwartz Jewellers to create art-inspired jewellery that is to be displayed alongside artworks by these highly acclaimed artists. 6 Birdhaven Centre, 66 St Andrew Str, Birdhaven. T. 011 447 6543

Bailey Seippel Gallery 18 Feb – 22 April, “Call and Response” by Cedric Nunn show-cases iconic images from 30 years of his career. Arts on Main, 260 cnr Fox & Berea, CBD Johannesburg C. 071 227 0910

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

Isis Gallery Leading Art Gallery in Rosebank showcasing today’s most Modern Contemporary Artists. Shop 163, The Mall of Rosebank. Contact Daniel Erasmus T. 011 447 2317 Johannesburg Art Gallery 29 Jan – 8 April, “A Fragile Archive” an exhibition of works Gladys Mgudlandlu (1917-1979) as well as works by other women artists. 26 Feb – 22 April, “Transference” with participating artists: Vumelani Sibeko and Senzo Shabangu. King George Str, Joubert Park, Jhb. T. 011 725 3130 Manor Gallery 17 March – 14 April, The first combined exhibition of the WSA (Watercolour Society Africa), which is the 87th watercolour exhibition of the society, and the first all media exhibition of the ASA (Art Society Africa). Top South African artists will participate. Come and see paintings of the highest standard. Manor Gallery, Home of the Watercolour Society of South Africa. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive, Fourways, Gauteng. T. 011 465 7934 Market Photo Workshop 29 Feb – 25 April, “Tracing Territories” a group show. T. 011 834 1444 Russell Kaplan Auctioneers Auctioneers of Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables. Ground floor, Bordeaux Court, Corner of Garden & Allan Roads, Bordeaux. T. 011 789 7422 or 083 675 8468 Sandton Auctioneers Fine Art, Furniture, Carpets & Collectables. Showroom: No 8 Burnside Ave, Craighall Park, Jhb. T. 011 501 3360 Standard Bank Gallery 7 Feb - 5 April, the Goethe-Institut South Africa, Standard Bank Art Gallery and Goodman Gallery present the new exhibition “Extra!” featuring video installation & visual art by acclaimed South African artist Candice Breitz. Cnr of Simmonds & Frederick Str.’s, Jhb. T. 011 631 1889 Stephan Welz & Company 24 – 26 April, Auction of Decorative & Fine Arts, Ceramics, Silver, Furniture, Jewellery & Books. 13 Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg. T. 011 880-3125 Stevenson Johannesburg 1 March - 6 April, “Black Lines” sculpture, painting and installation by Serge Alain Nitegeka. 4 April - 18 May, “Land Of Cockaigne” 10 large new and recent paintings by Deborah Poynton. 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Jhb. T. 011 326 0034 Strauss & Co. Fine Art Auctioneers & Consultants. Country Club Johannesburg, Corner Lincoln Rd & Woodlands Drive, Woodmead. T. 079 407 5140


GALLERY GUIDE | GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA UJ Art Gallery 11 – 25 April, “Drawings” a solo exhibition by Louise Hall. Cnr Kingsway & University Rd, Auckland Park, Jhb. T. 011 559 2099 The White House Gallery The gallery has a wide ranging portfolio featuring renowned masters such as Chagall, Marini, Miro, Moore, Portway, Pasmore, Stella, Picasso, Dine & Hockney - to name a few. Also the more affordable works of up and coming artists in Britain and France, along with globally acclaimed South African artists. Shop G11 Thrupps Centre,Oxford Road, Illovo,Johannesburg. T. 011 268 2115

Pretoria Alette Wessels Kunskamer The Alette Wessels Kunskamer operates as an Art Gallery and Art Consultancy, specialising in South African art as an investment, dealing in Old Masters, and selected contemporary art. Maroelana Centre, 27 Maroelana Str, Maroelana, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0728 Association of Arts Pretoria 21 March - 11 April, “In Transit” an exhibition of fine art photography by Alet Pretorius, Liza van Deventer, Theana Breugem and Lisa Hnatowicz. Walkabout: Saturday 31 March at 11h00. 31 March - 18 April, “Governing bodies” an exhibition of three dimensional works in mixed media by Erica Schoeman. Walkabout: Saturday 14 April at 11h00. 173 Mackie Str, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. T. 012 346 3100

20 Fried Contemporary 17 March - 14 April, “Terra nullius: no-man’s land” Tribute artist: Willem Boshoff. Pieter Swanepoel, Sarel Petrus, Pauline Gutter, Christiaan Harris & Lisa Allen. 28 April - 26 May, “Terra incognita: unknown territories” Tribute artist: Minnette Vári. Frikkie Eksteen, Eric Duplan, Celia de Villiers, Christiaan Harris & Berna Thom. 9 June - 7 July, “Terra pericolosa: dangerous grounds” Tribute artist: Diane Victor. Diek Grobler , Gwenneth Miller , Carolyn Parton , Sybrand Wiechers, Keith Dietrich, Karin Preller & Paul Cooper. 430 Charles St, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0158 Front Room Art Viewing by appointment in April. Works by a wide variety of artists, including new work by Lucas Bambo, Laurel Holmes and Braam van Wijk. 116 Kate Ave Rietondale. Jennifer Snyman 082 451 5584 Gallery Michael Heyns The Gallery has moved to 194 Haley Str, Weavind Park, Pretoria. T. 012 804 0869 Pretoria Art Museum 27 March - 29 July in the Henry Preiss Hall, “Lady Michaelis Bequest” a selection of 17th-century Dutch paintings from the Michaelis Bequest will be on view. Until July in the North Gallery “Resistance Art & Landscape Art” A selection of artworks by Resistance artists such as Magadlela, Martins, Dumile, Hodgkins and Kentridge are on display in the North Gallery. Also on display is a broad selection of landscape art by artists such as Pierneef, Bat-

tiss, Wenning, Barker and Boonzaaier. Until December in the South Gallery, “A Story of South African Art” a selection of artworks from the permanent collection of the Museum. Until December in the East Gallery, “Abstract Art” a selection of abstract artworks from the permanent collection of the Museum. Until December in the Glass Gallery, “Corobrik Collection” a selection of ceramics, representing the development of studio ceramics and the work of traditional rural potters of South Africa over the past 30 years is on display. Until December, “Study Collection” art media and techniques are illustrated in the Information Centre. Cnr Schoeman and Wessels Str, Arcadia Park, Arcadia, Pretoria.T.012 344 1807/8 Sandton Auctioneers Fine Art, Furniture, Carpets & Collectables. Showroom: 367 Lynnwood Rd, Menlo Park, Pretoria. T. 012 460 6000 St Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery 25 Feb – 10 April, a group exhibition entitled “Kaleidoscope: The Energy of Colour” 492 Fehrsen Street, Brooklyn Circle, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 4600284 UNISA Art Gallery 13 March – 5 April, “Messages and Meaning” a touring exhibition of selected artworks from the MTN Art Collection. Kgorong Building, Ground Floor, Main Campus, Preller Str, Pretoria.T. 012 441 5683

SA ART TIMES. April 2012


North West




NWU Gallery 22 March - 11 May “Playpen by Roger Ballen” Photography and installation by Roger Ballen. North-West University Gallery, Building E7, NWU Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffman Str, Potchefstroom. T. 018 299 4341 email: NWU Botanical Gardens Gallery 22 March - 11 May, “Miniatures Exhibition” Group show. North-West University Botanical Gardens Gallery T. 018 299 2753 email:

Send your listings to:

Art @ sixty seven A selection of fine art, ceramics and blown glass art pieces, by well-known local artists. Shop no9, 67 Naledi St, Dullstroom, Mpumulanga. T. 013 254 0335

White River The Artists’ Press Professional collaboration, printing and publishing of original hand-printed artists lithographs, by the Artists’ Press. Also artists books, monotypes & letterpress prints, particularly for artists working in SA.Waterfield Farm near White River, T. 013 751 3225

Dimitrov Art Gallery Lifestyle Complex, shop no.4 on Cnr. Teding Van Berkhout & Hugenote/ Naledi Street, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga T. 013 254 0524 C. 082 679 5698

The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery A collaboration and network for the avid art patron and collector as well as a full service facility for the artist. This is the place where you will find a unique and superior item or have something commissioned that you have always envisioned. Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 & Numbi Roads White River T. 013 758 2409

The New Dimitrov Art Gallery Situated in the Trams Alley shop no.1, along the R 540 ( Naledi Drive ). Opening exhibition “Expression of Freedom” by renowned artist Dimitrov.

The White River Gallery 24 March – 12 April, “Going Home” paintings and photographic landscapes by Vanessa Berlein. Casterbridge Centre, R 40 Cnr. of Hazyview & Numbi Gate Rd, White River. C. 083 675 8833

Coming of Age: 21 years of Artist Proof Studio 6th May 2012 : A public lecture by William Kentridge 2:00 - 3:00pm / Opening reception at 3:30pm by Sibongile Khumalo Coming of Age is a retrospective exhibition of Artist Proof Studio (APS) which celebrates 21 years of printmaking in Newtown. The exhibition will open on 6th May 2012 at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG). This event will be a unique opportunity to experience the talent and energy of the artists at Artist Proof Studio as well as other established artists who have supported the studio’s growth over the last 21 years. Artist Proof Studio, a community based printmaking studio, partners with corporates, patrons, foundations, artists and individuals to create an environment in which talented young artists are

offered the space and opportunity to reach their full potential. Editions of historic and current Artist Proof Studio artists will be showcased in 18 uniquely curated spaces within the Johannesburg Art gallery. The exhibition will include the works of Philemon Hlungwane, Nelson Makamo, Lehlogonolo Mashaba, Lucas Nkgweng, Kim Berman and many emerging talents. New releases of editions from collaborating artists include William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Wim Botha, Norman Catherine, Paul Edmunds, Gerhard Marx, Colbert Mashile, Chris Diedericks, Kudzanai Chiurai and others. Please join us on Sunday the

6th May for a public lecture by William Kentridge at 2pm, followed by the opening of the exhibition by Sibongile Khumalo. APS looks forward to hosting members of the public at various events during the exhibition and will hold a series of lectures, printmaking demonstrations, and walkabouts during the month of May at the Johannesburg Art gallery and at Artist Proof Studio. There will be regular updates on the website: or for more info contact Tiny at or Noli at Closing 6th July 2012

the loop art foundry

t 27(0)13 7582409 f 27(0)11 5075747 &

striving in our passion towards excellence SA ART TIMES. April 2012



Barbara Tyrrell and The Quest For The ‘Unfathomable’ Make sure that you log onto: to view more of Barbara’s most amazing life. All artwork from the Campbell Collection By Lloyd Pollak There could be no more eloquent testimony to the tragedy of colonialism’s devastating assault upon the indigenous tribal cultures of our country than the work of Barbara Tyrrell who recorded a world that has now been almost completely obliterated. Drive the length and breadth of our land, and never will you chance upon anyone clad in the tribal attire she rescued from oblivion. Today her watercolor records of the vanished glories of African costume seem like the scenographic fantasies of some brilliant, Surrealist stage designer. Take ‘Ndebele Bride, Middelburg, Transvaal’ for example. Here the body and head disappear behind a blanket and a heavily beaded hood, and the one anatomical detail that we can still discern, a diminutive hand, supports a purely ornamental black umbrella. The mundanity of this prosaic object, and the weird extravagance of the costume, create an unforgettable juxtaposition in which cultures and continents collide. Is this not the kind of wildly exotic and bizarre caprice that Leon Bakst might have dreamt up for les Ballet Russes? Tyrell’s brush reveals the same passion for unexpected combinations of dazzling colors and the riotous visual intricacy of pattern piled on pattern as the great Russian’s, and, although she intended her work to be no more than a painstakingly accurate record of traditional tribal clothing, her artistry is everywhere apparent. The way she floats her figures upon the ground, the perfect balance between solids and voids and the spatial play whereby heads, arms and feet constantly erupt their confining borders, give her sitters vitality and a decisive silhouettesque impact. Nothing is allowed to interfere with her masterful delineation of attire. Although her titles always cite the name of the sitter, as in “Bushveldt Blonde, Singceni, Swaziland”, the blonde is not allowed to upstage her dress, for these are likenesses, rather than portraits, and her sitters are given the dreamy vacancy of a window-dresser’s dummy With rare exceptions, the artist depicts only single figures, and these are isolated within a void, with no cast shadows, and no suggestions of a setting beyond the occasional tuft of grass. The result is that Singceni’s costume positively resplends. The colors assume a blazing intensity, and the yellow red and black checker board patterns of her robes, fall around her body in folds, setting up a hypnotic Op-art shimmer and vibration. Carol Kauffmann, curator of African art at the SANG claims that “the thoroughness and precision of Tyrell’s representations of tribal dress” make her “unprecedented and without parallel in South Africa.” What elevates her oeuvre far above the conventional ethnographic record is her complete avoidance of scientific aridity. Her love for her sitters and their culture shine forth from every image. As a young woman, Tyrrell studied fashion in London, and this educated her eye, sensitizing her to nuance and detail, and enabling her to inject the panache of a gifted fashion illustrator into

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

her watercolors. She infused dry ethnology with a verve and glamour that immediately captured the public imagination. What made Barbara so aware of the physical beauty of black people and the splendor of their material culture when most South African whites viewed ‘natives’ with disdain? Participation in the ceremonies of the Zulu people, a superb command of their language, and a close familiarity with their culture, were an established Tyrrell family tradition. During the Zulu king, Cetshwayo’s state visit to Queen Victoria in 1882, her grandfather acted as his interpreter, and he also wrote a serious study of the indigenous tribes, their lore, customs and beliefs. Her father too excelled at the language, and, for a time, he worked as an interpreter in the Department of Native Affairs. Barbara was raised amidst the Zulu, and she insists that “Zulu was our family language, the first I learned, and something I spoke every day with my siblings, parents, the servants and the people living nearby.” Her parents moved in circles well disposed to the indigenous tribes, interested in their history, and keen to honor their customs and etiquette, and it was to this end that her father insisted his children expressed themselves in an impeccably pure and formal Zulu, employing all the appropriate verbal courtesies and honorifics. Barbara confided that, now that she is living in the Cape, what she misses most about Natal is “the music of the language, its dignity, warmth, softness and flow.” The artist vividly remembers the war dance her father arranged in honor of the visiting Prince of Wales when she was but a toddler. The colonial audience was covered up from ankle to chin in elaborate Edwardian formal attire more appropriate to a Mayfair drawing room, than the sweltering Zululand sun. Fierce ululations, booming drums and the pounding feet of the Zulus warriors made the dust fly, and the climax came when the entire impi charged forward brandishing kieries, spears and shields, and causing many a terrified spectator to take flight. This vision of the mystery of darkest Africa imbued Barbara with an intense yearning to fathom the ‘unfathomable’, and plumb the mysteries of the Zulu psyche. After studying Fine Art and a stint of journalism, Barbara realized that she had a vocation, and the purpose of her life became the recording of traditional tribal apparel at the eleventh hour - before the pressures of westernization and Nationalist political interference caused them to entirely disappear. She soon found a mentor in Alfred Duggan-Cronin, an authority on African anthropology, and befriended Dr Killie Campbell, the notable collector of tribal Africana, who became her stalwart patron. The travel writer, T.V. Bulpin also came within Barbara’s orbit, and this was the set amongst whom she chose to move rather than the torpid suburban Durbanites basking in the sunshine of the Raj. The artist converted a Chevrolet van into a mobile home, and for decades she defied convention by travelling alone all over South Africa and beyond, document-

ing the garb of over twenty-five different tribes. A photograph reveals her standing beside her beloved caravan, a dashing, trousered blonde presenting her long legged self with the fastidious elegance of a Vogue model on safari. The adventurous Barbara was indeed a mould-breaker and tear-away. Although she married and bore a son, nothing deflected her from her task. Her deep respect for African culture and profound familiarity with Zulu language and customs enabled her to win the confidence of her sitters who readily divulged how costume silently relayed copious information about the rank of her sitters, their marital status, age, gender, occupation and economic condition. This sartorial language relayed copious classificatory information. In the case of women, it identified the tribe they belonged to, whether they were pubescent or pre-pubescent, ready for courtship, of marriageable age, or betrothed, brides, married, mothers, mature matrons or widows. I visited the artist in her Fish Hoek home, and discovered that – far from being a daunting grande dame – Barbara is an entrancingly droll and whimsical centenarian with a sense of fun so infectious that we constantly dissolved into unseemly fits of giggling. When the worthy burghers of Eshowe learned that she accepted Zulu hospitality, spent time in kraals, participated in rituals, and even - horror of horrors - danced with them, her mother was admonished for “condoning such bad form”, and roundly told that such familiarity with blacks was “letting down the side” and “just not cricket”. Back in the patriarchal mid 20th century, there was strong prejudice against women, particularly in the unenlightened backwaters of the Empire, and Barbara was patronized by professional anthropologists and ethnographers. “To these learned men, I was neither a doctor, nor an MA, just another ‘little woman’. They did not take me, or my work, seriously, and felt I should have rather stayed at home tending to my household duties.” Those unfortunate enough to move amidst academics will be familiar with their purse-lipped elitism and dismissiveness. Until about six years ago scholars and curators sniffily dismissed Barbara Tyrrell as a mere draftswomen devoid of any artistic skill. No Amazonian feminist art historian gallantly leapt to her defense, no Boadicea at UCT, no Valkyrie from Wits. Barbara only ceased to be a trespasser in the groves of Academe when Haydon Proud, saluted her aesthetic strengths in a few brief, but pithy, words in his seminal “Revisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African Art” in 2006. This set off a trend. The Constitutional Court acquired some of her work in 2006: the order of Ikhamanga was bestowed upon her in 2008, and now her new found status as an artist, rather than a mere illustrator, has been commemorated by the current SANG exhibition which opened on her hundredth birthday. As she left the gathering in her wheelchair surrounded by an adoring retinue of near and dear, I saw her smiling with delight that, at last, she had been granted the secure niche in history that she had so long deserved.



Barbara with School friends, B began drawing from a young age, she explains her passion was so strong, that it invariably annoyed boyfriends in high school. B working as an illustrator, London.

Jan 1944. Barbara’s first unaccompanied trip to the amaNgwane, a Zulu speaking clan living along the Drakensberg. As fuel was rationed, she would set up camp for a month. B with mask.

(Above B on a field trip, (Right) Banukile with B, Barbara explains that she owes more to Banukile then any other person, as it was Banukile who exposed her to Africa and its ‘Tribal People’.

(Above) Barbara would make hundreds of drawings while on field trips, she would also pay her sitters which was unusual at the time. ‘First Born’ Xhosa type. Peddie Area 1948


Drakensberg - Natal - driving For the most part Barbara travelled alone, seldom slept under a roof, but always camped nearby one. Trading stores were ideal campgrounds because they offered security and were great meeting places for the natives. There she would hear of special events such as weddings, funerals, and initiations, which afforded her many opportunities to draw and paint ceremonial costume. (Bottom left and right) Barbara married Pete Jurgins, and engineer who assisted Barbara with her career. Their Caravan was the obvious choice for a wedding car! (Top right) Bushveld blond,Singceni – Swaziland, 1949 Watercolour. Campbell Collections, UKZN.

Kweta Boy. Xhosa Type. Peddie.1948. Barbara on a field trip.

Male witchdoctor. Xhosa type. Peddie area 1948. Barbara, Pete (Barbara’s son) and Ottie (the dog) 1954


Top: Barbara with Banukile (right) “who became my friend who taught me much about her people. I thank her - for always. She introduced me to many interesting parties and other occasions. We had fun together. She could have written many books - was a fountain of knowledge - but could not write. Banukile - I thank you for your happy friendship and for all the information passed onto me - and for the shared fun. Banu - bless you wherever you are.

Top: Left X‘MavikindukuNyawuza’ Pondo Matron, gala dress.W. Pondoland, 1946. Top Right: Barbara with Hugh Tracey 1954, Below Left: Barbara in her house in Muizenburg Below Right Fooling around with Pete - Livingstone, Zambia 1950

Below top:Ndebele Bride.Middleburg Tvl.1950. Left below: Kweta Boy, Xhosa Type. Peddie.1948. Middle: Hlonipha Attitude, Amangwane Bride.Winterton. 1949 Below Right: John Mafani’ Xhosa manhood.Peddie area, 1948


(Top and right) Barbara’ big day Thursday 15 March: her 100th Birthday and her opening of her retrospective show at the SA National Gallery. (Below): Barbara’s 100th Birthday cake and well wishers who heartfully sang her Happy birthday in Zulu and English.

Hanlie Kotze

Hanlie has been painting professionally for fifteen years. The daughter of an artist and gallery owner grew up in Aliwal North and started writing poetry at school. She has always been fascinated by the interpolation of her word art and her visual art. Her work is a mixture between surrealistically naive and expressionistic art. She favours symbolism in her paintings to blend with the poetry she creates. Her work requires an extraordinary concentration and dedication. “My work is primarily the product of my imagination. Art is essentially an expression of mood and when you combine

poetry with painting, the result becomes even more so.” Hanlie composes the occasional phrase or a word coupling, just to help her capture the mood she wants to convey by the painting. “Painting and poetry say the same thing”, she says. “I feel both are a reflection of your creative abilities and the marriage of the two is very natural. She is now rated among the pantheon of well known South African artists who can hold their own anywhere in the world. Hanlie Kotze is also co-owner of the Alice Art gallery in Hartbeespoort.

Ek kan voel dat jou siel soos sade vir altyd al bestaan

SA ART TIMES. April 2012


STELLENBOSCH Kunsgalery Art Gallery

Experience the abundance of South African artistic talent by prominent South African Artists.

John Kramer, General store, Pearston oil on canvas, 37cm x 61cm e-mail: Tel/Fax: 021 887 8343 Cell: 082 566 4630 / 076 279 2175 34 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch 2-15-12 SA Art Time Judy Woodbourne.pdf

art times MARCH 2012 3/9/12 3:34 PM Page 1 C








Hermien van der Merwe

10 Wellington Road, Durbanville Tel +27 (0)21 976 4691









The Cape Gallery, 60 Church Street seeks

to expose fine art that is rooted in the South African tradition, work which carries the unique cultural stamp of our continent and yet can touch the imagination of others who view it. Rotating exhibitions add to the diverse and often eclectic mix of work on show. The Church Street walking mall is the oldest in Cape Town. featured artist: Teresa Decinti

OPENING 3 APRIL 2012 TO 3 MAY 2012 Salon A & B: Izak Vollgraaff & friends Salon C: Hermien van der Merwe



Open Mon - fri: 9h30 - 17h00 Sat: 10h00 - 14h00 27 21 423 5309 www.capegallery



ONS LAND / OUR LAND An exhibition by Carl Becker and Monique Pelser

Louis Trichard and Makhado 2009 by Carl Becker, Louis Trichard by Pierneef, and Louis Trichard and Makhado 2010 by Monique Pelser

9 April - 12 May 2012 021 8083489/3524

Anthony’s Silberberg Fine Art Cape East Asia Group

Jan Vermeiren & Leon de Bliquy

M I C H A E L H A L L P H O T O G R A P H Y 021 461 6344


31 March - 09 April Monbijou 36 Church Street Tulbagh

Maquette for ‘Swell’ - Justin Fiske

email: Tel/Fax: 023 230 0100 Mobile: 083 291 6600

Altered Pieces 1 - 29 April 2012


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Western Cape Cape Town Absolut Art Gallery Permanent exhibition with the best Masters and Contemporary artists. Namely : JH Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, Hugo Naude, Adriaan Boshoff, Frans Oerder, Maurice Van Essche, Tinus De Jongh, Gerard Bhengu, Ephraim Ngatane, Cecil Skotnes, JEA Volschenk, Conrad Theys, William Kentridge, to name a few. Shop 43 Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, Carl Cronje Drive, Tyger Valley, Bellville. T. 021 914 2846 Art b 14 March – 11 April, Absa L’Atelier Regional Exhibition. 02 May – 18 June, Selected prints from the CAP Collection. The Arts Association of Bellville, The Library Centre, Carel van Aswegan Str, Bellville. T. 021 918 2301 Artvark Gallery On show in April, Watercolours by Fawa Conradie of Karoo landscapes. Open 7 days a week 9-6. 48 Main Rd, Kalk Bay Tel 021 788 5584 AVA Opening 10 April @ 6pm, “Dripping Away Unattended into Shadows” a series of bold and compelling paintings by Odette Marais and “Wired World” a photographic exploration by Catherine Sassoon as well as “Inja Elele” is a photography exhibition produced through the Iliso Labantu project. Iliso Labantu is a not-for-profit organisation started by Photographers who live and work in townships around Cape Town. On show until 4 May. Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Str, CT. T.021 424 7436 The Avital Lang Gallery New at the gallery Shannon Phillips, Rhona Kestan, Adele Golding and many more. The gallery is also available for new up and coming artist to come in and display their work, we also continue to do our ceramic painting classes. Two Oceans House, Surrey Place, Mouille Point, CT. (Next to Newport Deli) T. 021 439 2124 Barnard Gallery 14 March – 11 April, “In Living Colour” by Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi & Lonwabo Kilani. Opening 18 April, “Just a Matter of Time” a solo exhibition by Jaco van Schalkwyk. 55 Main St, Newlands. T. 021 671 1666 Blank Projects. Opening 12 April @ 18:00, Paintings by Jan-Henri Booyens on show until 12 May. 113-115 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. C.072 507 5951 Brundyn & Gonsalves (formely iArt) 20 March - 2 May, “A History of Failure” a variety of media, including lithographs, sculpture and found objects by Chad Rossouw. 71 Loop Str, CT. T. 021 424 5150 Cape Gallery 25th March - 14th April, a group exhibition of works by Ariadne Petousis, Rosie Sturgis and Teresa Decinti showing their sense of ‘African-ness’ Each artist has close ties to this land, the flora and fauna contained with it. Opening on Sunday 15th April at 4.30 p.m. “Bright Horizons - Inspiration: Cape Town” a solo exhibition of recent work by Sybille Lampe, on show until 5 May.


60 Church Str, CT. T. 021 423 5309 Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. Cape Quarter Square, 27 Somerset Rd, Green Point. T. 021 4213333 Cedar Tree Gallery Contemporary Fine Art Gallery at Rodwell House. Rodwell Rd, St. James, CT. T. 021 797 9880 The Cellar Private Gallery The Cellar Private Gallery of Art deals exclusively in original & investment art, offering works by a variety of renowned & upcoming SA artists. 12 Imhoff Str, Welgemoed, Bellville T. 021 913 4189 Christie’s International Auctioneers. Juliet Lomberg, Independent Consultant. T. 021 761 2676 Christopher Møller Art 29 March – 12 April, a solo exhibition for artist M.J Lourens entitled “Peninsula” will feature scenes in and around Cape Town. 7 Kloofnek Road, Gardens, C T. T. 021 422 1599 Erdmann Contemporary & Photographers Gallery za 21 March – 28 April, “Chinese Paper-Cuts” paper cutting from Shaanxi a group exhibition of 51 works. 63 Shortmarket Street, CT. T. 021 422 2762 Everard Read CT 22 March – 5 April, “Morning, Noon & Night” Scenes of Cape Town and the beautiful Western Cape painted en plein air by UK painter Nick Botting. Opening Thursday 19 April @ 18:30, new works by David Bromley until 3 May. 3 Portswood Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, CT. T. 021 418 4527 34 Fine Art 27 March – 28 April, “Between Ourselves” a Solo Exhibition by Jade Doreen Waller. 2nd Floor, The Hills Building, Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock. T.021 461 1863

Woodstock. T. 021 462 7573/4 Hout Bay Gallery New artworks by Sarah Danes Jarrett, David Kuijers, Koos De Wet and many more. Open 7 days a week. 71 Victoria Ave, Hout Bay. T. 021 790 3618 F. 021 790 3898 Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Str, Chelsea Village, Wynberg. T. 021 761 2816 & Buitengracht Str. CT. T. 021 423 2090 Irma Stern Museum 17 March - 11 April, “Rooted” featuring paintings by Claudia Gurwitz. Cecil Rd, Rosebank, CT. T. 021 685 5686 Iziko SA National Gallery Until 10 April 2012, Renowned British conceptual and land artist, Richard Long, presents a solo exhibition of works made in southern Africa over the last 50 years. Until 13 May, “Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke” 16 March – 8 July, A Centenary Celebration of the Life and Work of Barbara Tyrrell. 25 Queen Victoria Str, CT. T. 021 467 4660 Iziko Michaelis Collection Ongoing, Dutch treat: Dutch works from the 17th–20th centuries in Iziko collections Iziko Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Greenmarket Square, CT. T. 021 481 3800 Iziko Castle of Good Hope From 26 Feb 2012 to 26 Feb, 2013, “Fired” an exhibition of South African ceramics. Buitenkant Str, opposite the Grand Parade, CT. T. 21 464 1262 Johans Borman Fine Art Currently showing a selection of works by SA Masters Walter Battiss, Erik Laubscher, Peter Clarke, Cecil Skotnes, Pranas Domsaitis and Sydney Kumalo, as well as new works by contemporary artists Hussein Salim, Walter Meyer, Hennie Niemann Jnr, Jacobus Kloppers and Jaco Sieberhagen. 16 Kildare Road, Newlands, CT. T. 021 683 6863.

The Framery Art Gallery 25 March - 15 April, “Sea the Point Darling” an exhibition and auction of paintings by performing artists! This exhibition is co-curated with performer Godfrey Johnson and will benefit The Darling Trust and Art department of Sea Point High School. Participating artists include Evita Bezuidenhout, Karen Jayne, Roland Perold, Godfrey Johnson, Fiona du Plooy, Godfrey Johnson, Megan Furniss, Didi Moses, Emile Minnie among others. Thank you to our first sponsor The Artist’s Friend. 67g Regent Rd, Seapoint. T. 021 434 5022 C. 0781227793

Kalk Bay Modern Opening Thursday 6:30 pm 12 April, a solo exhibition of recent works by Nicolaas Maritz, titled “Lucky Packet No.2” on show until 12 May. 1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571

Gill Allderman Gallery The Gill Allderman Gallery is dedicated to promoting some of South Africa’s valuable talent. Having moved into cyber space, but based in Kenilworth, Cape Town, the gallery will be specialising in home and corporate visits. C.083 556 2540

The Lovell Gallery 1 March – 14 April, “Arno Plus+” Arno Carstens brings his long lost love for painting to the fore and to the public for the first time in his first solo exhibition held at The Lovell Gallery in Woodstock. Visitors to the gallery can enjoy Carstens’ visual as well as vocal talent in a unique “art plus music; Arno plus friends” experience. 24 April – 19 May: Tanisha Bhana, ‘Transience’. Her work employs a fascination in deliberately destroying digital images in order to create aged, dreamlike visions of futuristic landscapes, to place the viewer in the position of looking

Goodman Gallery Cape 10 March – 14 April, “Throwing the Floor” paintings by Lisa Brice. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd,

Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery A large selection of artworks by new and prominent South African artists and SA old Masters. 31 Kommandeur Rd, Welgemoed, Bellville. T. 021 913 7204/5

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

CAPE TOWN / WESTERN CAPE | GALLERY GUIDE back at our future. The reception evening will be on 26 April and all are welcome. 139 Albert Rd, Woodstock. T. 021 820 5505 Martin Osner Fine Art Gallery 16 March – 10 April, “Collaborative Exhibition” featuring three artists: Klaus Tiedge, wildlife photographer extraordinaire, will be unveiling his latest 2012 Pride Of Africa collection; Sandy Mclea has broken new boundaries with his work of dramatic seascape imagery shot along the shores of Whales and Cape Town; and Martin Osner will be showcasing a new body of work which he photographed in Namibia last year where he presents simplistic high impact imagery portraying derelict windswept structures. Shop A14, Cape Quarter Piazza, 72 Waterkant Str, Green Point, CT. T. 021 790 6494 Red! The Gallery Derric van Rensburg is rated as one of South Africa’s top practising artists. His son Ryan Van Rensburg is a successful artist in his own right. The gallery will host both father & son at a Paint Jam style exhibition on Tuesday 3 April @ 7pm. Three course seated dinner in the gallery. R200 per head.Also Thursday 10 May @ 7pm, Joint exhibition featuring Michael Waters & David Kuijers. The gallery will exhibit a great new body of work by these two great artists. It will be a live Paint Jam style exhibition with a seated dinner in the gallery.R200 per head for a three course meal. Steenberg Village shopping centre ,Reddam Avenue, Tokai. T. 021 7010886

Rose Korber Art 1 – 30 April, extension of ‘Recent Works’ by leading, contemporary South African artists. A comprehensive and varied overview, covering the spectrum of what is currently being produced. Includes works by William Kentridge, Richard Smith, Robert Slingsby, JP Meyer, John Kramer, Deborah Bell, Penelope Stutterheime, Pamela Stretton and Georgia Lane. Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 am – 5 pm. Weekends and public holidays by appointment. 48 Sedgemoor Rd, Camps Bay, CT. T. 021 438 9152 C.082 781 6144

South African Print Gallery A wide selection of fine art prints by South African masters and contemporary printmakers. 31 March- 26 April, John Moore exhibition. 28 April-24 May, Theo Paul Vorster exhibition. 109 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 462 6851

Rudd’s Auctioneers Antique, Fine and Decorative Art. 87 Bree Street, CT. T.021 426 0384 Online Art Gallery A curated online art gallery bringing you original and affordable artwork created by selected Fine Arts students and graduates emerging from South Africa’s most prestigious art schools. With an extensive selection of styles and genres to reflect your taste, budget and requirements, and a range of services to support your choices, buying art couldn’t be any simpler. T. 0724709272

Rust-en-Vrede Gallery 3 April – 3 May, In Salon A & B: Izak Vollgraaff and friends: Odds & Ends, in Salon C: Hermien van der Merwe: Still Life exhibition and In The Cube: Ceramics by Ralph Johnson & students. 10 Wellington Rd, Durbanville. T.021 976 4691 Salon 91 4 – 21 April, “The River” by Louis Minnaar & Maaike Bakker. These two Pretoria visual artists present a twisting narrative exhibition of collaborative visual works. 26 April – 26 May, “The Man of Dust” a solo exhibition of paintings by Paul Senyol.91 Kloof Str, Gardens, CT. T 021 424 6930

SMAC Art Gallery, Cape Town 1 April - 30 May, “Collection 16” a group show. In-Fin-Art Building,Buitengracht Str, CT. T. 021 422 5100

Stephan Welz & Company Auctioneers of Decorative and Fine Arts. The Great Cellar, The Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia. T. 021 794 6461


Pop up for a seriously enjoyable printmaking experience First Open Access Studio : 8 am to 8 pm Mon - Sat, Cape Town A lot of artists can’t always fit in the pleasure of making prints from 9-5, a lot have jobs, dogs & kids. Don’t be boring, come round for a jol and a drink and make a scratching or two. We have Emma who always knows what’s technically going on. Oh yes we have a Heaven Pizza Delivery business, ready with a hardgrounded plate and the tools to go, if you want to eat and draw in. We will deliver & collect your drawing and etch it, as well as proof it, and deliver it. To artists sitting making art is like Heaven, hence: Heaven Press For more inspiration go to: SA ART TIMES. April 2012


GALLERY GUIDE | WESTERN CAPE/ OVERBERG Stevenson Cape Town 4 April - 12 May, a group exhibition “Trade Routes over Time” Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 462 1500 Strauss & Co. Fine Art Auctioneers & Consultants. The Oval, 1st Floor Colinton House, 1 Oakdale Rd, Newlands. T. 021 683 6560 What if the World Gallery 8 March – 14 April, “The Truth Lies Here” solo exhibition by Dan Halter. 208 Albert Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 448 1438

Franschhoek Ebony Exhibition of South African Masters. Gerard Sekoto, Alexis Preller, Maud Sumner, George Diederick During, Gordon Vorster and Ephraim Ngatane. 11 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 4477 The Gallery at Grande Provence 11 March – 25 April, “Of Honey Thieves and Egg Eaters”, by well known Cape Town based artist, Jop Kunneke. Also in the Project Room & Cathedral a selection of artworks by eminent South African artists will be on show. Main Rd, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 8630. Holden Manz Collection New Karin Miller collages, Marie Stander charcoals and a set of 43 amazing Cecil Skotnes woodcuts are on show at the moment – well worth a visit! 30 Huguenot Str, Franschhoek T. 021 876 44 02 Is Art 19 Feb – 16 April, Group Exhibition with paintings by Deanne Donaldson and Lyn Gilbert, ceramics by Nicolene Swanepoel and sculpture by Sarel Petrus. 16 Huguenot Str, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 8443

George Hyatt Regency Oubaai From 1 March, “Transitions” a collection of new sculptures by Anton Smit. 406 Herolds Bay Rd,George. T. 044 851 1234 Strydom Gallery Opening Sunday, 1 April @ 11h00, two exhibitions: “Circles, Cycles and Seasons” on show until 30 April and “Altered Pieces” on show until 29 April. 79 Market Str, George. T. 044 874 4027

Hermanus Abalone Gallery During April in the Main Gallery: Painting, drawing and sculpture group show with Christo Coetzee, John Clarke, Jackson Hlungwani, Tadeus Jaroszynski, Judith Mason, Lynette ten Krooden, Carl Roberts and Susanna Swart. In the Annex: 14 April - 20 May: Recent works on canvas and on paper by Louis van Heerden. 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T. 028 313 2935


Art Amble Hermanus Village Ten diverse and unique Galleries all within walking distance in the heart of Hermanus Village. Four resident artists’ studios to visit. Collect your Art Amble Guide at any one of the Galleries in Main Road or at the Hermanus Tourism Office. Contact Terry Kobus on 083 259 8869 Originals Gallery The art studio and gallery of Terry Kobus. See the artist at work in his studio and view his latest paintings in an intimate gallery space. Shop 22 Royal Centre, 141 Main Rd, Hermanus. T. 083 259 8869 Shelley Adams Studio & Gallery A permanent exhibition of artworks by Shelley Adams in her personal studio space. She also offers ongoing art courses, crit classes and workshops. 19A Royal Centre, Main Rd, Hermanus. C. 072 677 6277 Walker Bay Art Gallery View the wide selection of paintings, sculpture & ceramics by established as well as up and coming South African artists. 171 Main Rd, Hermanus. contact: Francois Grobbelaar 028 312 2928

Klein Karoo Sheena Ridley Open Studio and Sculpture Garden Sculptures and Paintings N9 Langkloof near Uniondale, Klein Karoo T. 083 5892881

Knysna Dale Elliott Art Galleries Leaders of the painting course concept in South Africa! 2 Galleries: Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre & The Knysna Mall T. 044 382 5646

Kunstefees. Various galleries participating in and around Oudtshoorn as well as Calitzdorp, Kruisrivier, De Rust and Prince Albert. Tickets available at For more information contact the Festival Office T. 044 203 8600 ArtKaroo Gallery KKNK 2012: The theme for this year is Water, drawing inspiration from this strange element’s mystical properties. There will be some bizarre installations and beautiful artworks by artists from the Karoo all exploring this theme. 107 Baron van Reede, Oudtshoorn. T.044 279 1093

Paarl Hout Street Gallery The Hout Street Gallery specialises in South African paintings and fine art and offers an extensive range of ceramics, sculpture, creative jewellery, glass, crafts and functional art. 270 Main Str, Paarl. T. 021 872 5030 Piketberg AntheA Delmotte Gallery Opening 15 April @ 11am, “Images from the Platteland” a group show with John Kramer, Clare Menck, Merle de Jager, AntheA Delmotte, Annelie Venter The Old Bioscope, 47 Voortrekkerstr. C. 0732817273

Plettenberg Bay The White House Opening 2 April at 6pm (Drinks will be served), “Objects of Beauty & Desire” an exhibition of contemporary paintings, sculptures & ceramics on show until Friday 13 April. Opening Times: 10 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 9 am to 2 pm. No. 6 Crescent St, Plettenberg Bay. Contact: Jean-Marié 083 412 5211


A Different Drummer An on-going exhibition of traditional African artefacts, photographs, ceramics, sculpture, paintings and objets de vertu. Thesen House, 6 Long Street, Knysna. T. 044 382 5107

IS Sculpture 8 March – July 2012, an exhibition of sculpture by Ian Redelinghuys and curated by Ilse Schermers Griesel of IS Art will be on show at the Tokara Delicatessen, Helshoogte Road, Banhoek, Stellenbosch. T. 021 876 8443

Knysna Fine Art Two Openings on Thursday 5 April: “Long Distance” photography by Obie Oberholzer and “Encounters on the Edge” oil paintings by Peter van Straten. Thesen House, 6 Long St. T. 044 382 5107

Rupert Museum 28 Sept 2011 – 1 Sept 2012, an extensive selection of works by Willem Strydom consisting of sculptures and unique drawings. Stellentia Avenue, Stellenbosch T. 021 888 3344

Sally Bekker Art Studio Ongoing exhibition “Recent Watercolour and Oil Paintings” Upstairs in the Knysna Mall. C.082 342 3943 sally_

Sasol Art Museum 2 March - 21 April, Paul Emsley exhibition. 2 March - 21 April, “Klei-Klank” with works by Laura du Toit & Hannelore Olivier. Until end October 2012, “20Stellenbosch”: two decades of South African Sculpture (inside sculptures) David Brown, Jackson Hlungwani, Noria Mbasa, Collen Maswanganyi, Samson Mudzunga, Meshack Raphalalani & Philip Rikhotso. 52 Ryneveld Str, Stellenbosch T. 021 808 3691

Langebaan Bay Gallery Bay Gallery supports excellent, local artists, many of whom are members of S.A.S.A. All mediums exhibited. Marra Square, Bree St., Langebaan. Contact: Daphne 073 304 8744

Oudtshoorn ABSA KKNK 31 March -7 April, the ABSA Klein Karoo Nasionale

Slee Gallery 15 March – 10 April, “Skin” an exhibition of unique metal sculptures by Talitha Deetlefs. Opening 12 April @ 18:30, “Wilko Roon and his portrayal of Paternoster People” until 26 April. 101 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3385

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

• Hotels • Casinos • Restaurants • Spas • Corporates • Homes • Decorative art • Accessories • Framing • Sourcing • Installation • Photography • Sculpture • Fine art • Objet d’ art • Ceramics Elain Steinberg t 011 453 9694/0 f 086 632 8481 c 082 888 0652 e

WESTERN CAPE | EASTERN CAPE | KZ- NATAL | GALLERY GUIDE Spier 8 March – 31 May, Tamlin Blake’s exhibition “Altered Yarns” presents a series of tapestries woven from re-cycled, handspun newspaper. Spier Wine Tasting Venue, R310, Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch Art Gallery An extensive selection of paintings, sculpture, handmade glass & ceramics by selected Western Cape artists are on offer to the discerning buyer. 34 Ryneveld Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 8343 US Art Gallery (University of Stellenbosch) Until 21 April, Paul Emsley, Wordfest 2012 Artist, Retrospective Exhibition. Weds 11 April @ 13:00 walkabout of the Paul Emsley exhibition, R30 per person. Cnr of Dorp and Bird Str, Stellenbosch. T. 021 808 3524/3489

Somerset West Liebrecht Art Gallery 10 - 27 April, “Pilgrimage/Pelgrimstog: Journeys of great spiritual significance” Works in mixed media by Samarie Smith, Johann Burger, Annaliese Brink and Winet Vermaak. 34 Oudehuis Str, Somerset West. T. 021 852 8030 C. 082 304 3859

Villiersdorp Dale Elliott Art Gallery Leaders of the painting course concept in South Africa! 80 Main Rd, Villiersdorp. T. 028 840 2927

Wilderness Beatrix Bosch Studio Unique works in leather as well as paintings & photography can be viewed at her studio. 57 Die Duin, Wilderness. T. 044 877 0585


SA ART TIMES R 260 PA Have the SA Art Times delivered to your door for just R 260. see more at or call Tracey at 021 424 7733

Xolile Mazibuko, Prayer, acrylic on canvas from: African Art Centre, Durban.Artist and Crafter of the Year – Welcome Danca and Xolile Ndlovu. SA ART TIMES. April 2012

Kwazulu- Natal

Eastern Cape



The African Art Centre Opening 15 April, Artist and Crafter of the Year – Welcome Danca and Xolile Ndlovu. 94 Florida Rd, Durban. T. 031 312 3804/5

Quin Gallery & Sculpture Garden Enjoy refreshments under the jacaranda tree while enjoying the sculptures of international sculptor Maureen Quin. 5 Suid Str, Alexandria, Eastern Cape, following the signs from the main street. T. 046 6530121 C. 082 7708000

ArtSPACE Durban 26 March – 14 April, “Inspiration 2” group exhibition inspired by Durban and surrounds. 16 April – 5 May, Paintings by Mbhekeni Derek Mbili and “Our Space” - an exhibition of painted drawings by Caroline Birch. 3 Millar Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban. T.031 312 0793 Christie’s International Auctioneers. Gillian Scott Berning, Independent Consultant. T 031 207 8247 The Collective 19 March - 7 April, “Come Out and Play” a Hand-made Toy Exhibition. Artists include Reghardt Grobbelaar, Lanel Van Vuuren and others. 9 April - 21 April, Tattoo exhibition. 48b Florida Rd, (entrance in 4th Avenue) Greyville, Durban. T. 031 303 4891 Durban Art Gallery 2 March – 24 April, “All Fired Up” conversations between kiln and collection. Smith Street, Durban CBD. T. 031 311 2264 Tamasa Gallery A small commercial gallery, Tamasa exhibits a broad variety of contemporary KZN artists. 36 Overport Drive, Berea, Durban. T. 031 207 1223

Pietermaritzburg Tatham Art Gallery 9 Feb – 8 April, “People, Prints and Process – Twenty-Five years at Caversham” 8 April @ 17h00 at the Schreiner Gallery, “Possibilities” Terrence Patrick solo exhibition closes. Main Exhibition Room and Main Passage: People, Prints and Process - Twenty Five Years at Caversham closes. KwaZulu Natal Room and adjacent passage: Hats Off! lino prints from Caversham closes. 19 April @18h00 Main Exhibition Room: KZN Midlands Matric Art Exhibition opens and in the Schreiner Gallery “Celebrating Creativity” Spotlight on Russell High School opens.27 April, Freedom Day, the Gallery is open. Cnr of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd & Church Str. (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 392 2801

East London Ann Bryant Gallery 29 March -14 April, Eric Eatwell exhibition in the Coach House. Opening 19 April at 18h30 in the Coach House charcoal drawings by Valerie Liebenberg and textile art pieces by Audette Jooste. Exhibition concludes Saturday 5th May. 9 St. Marks Rd, Southernwood, East London. T. 043 722 4044 Malcolm Dewey Fine Art Ongoing exhibition of oil paintings by Malcolm Dewey plus works by a selection of local artists. 60 Darlington Rd, Berea, East London. T. 043 7260421 Vincent Art Gallery The gallery houses an exceptional collection of fine arts, sculptures, blown glass, ceramics, exclusive jewellery and decor items. 2 Donald Rd, Vincent, East London. T. 043 726 4356

Port Elizabeth ArtEC 25 March – 14 April, “Easter Cathedral” a group exhibition by Marius Lourens and Frans Boekkooi, Alida Bothma, Thys Cilliers, Bev de Lange, Trevor Melville, David Jones, Anthony Keogh, Wehrner Lemmer, Lizo Pemba, BrettonAnne Moolman, Amanda Snyman, Nico Swart, Andrieta Wentzel. Opening 16 April @ 5.30pm for 6.00pm to 4 May, “New Signatures Exhibition” works by art students and emerging artists in the Eastern Cape. 36 Bird Str, P.E. T. 041 585 3641 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum 4 Feb – 13 May, “Process revealed: How artworks are made” See how artworks came to life as we reveal the rough drawings and sketches of Fred Page, Hilary Graham, Joan Write, Norman Blamey, Phil Kolbe and others, alongside their completed work. 3 March – 6 May, “George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (19122001)”It is the 100th anniversary of George Pemba’s birth this year and to celebrate this milestone, the South African Post Office has released a set of commemorative stamps. Be a part of the celebration by coming to the Art Museum and seeing the stamps next to the original artworks. 15 March – 6 May, “Ceramics Southern Africa (Eastern Cape) Annual Regional Exhibition 2012” 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. T. 041 5062000 Ron Belling Art Gallery Opening on 24th of April, an exhibition by Marc Shoul, Stephen Rosin and Graham Jones. 30 Park Drive, P.E. T. 041 586 3973



Andrew Lamprecht – Collecting Art in South Africa From the collector course series hosted by Vansa - Western Cape A carefully built up art collection will probably show financial returns if you choose to sell it after a number of years but I think that is the worst reason to collect art. Art has the ability to change people’s lives and to be able to enrich people’s lives. This is something that’s very difficult to understand until you’ve lived with an artwork, but it requires careful consideration. Buying art is not something that should be done easily – you need to think about it. It’s something you need to do both with your heart and with your head. What is art? This is by no means a broad survey – I’m just picking out a few examples of specific artists or artworks to illustrate my points. I work in an institution where I see all sorts of weird and wonderful things and teach weird and wonderful things that might be considered art.

She was interested in the way her friends dressed and expressed themselves. Particularly African or black youth – she wanted to see how their identity could perhaps be made through the photographer and her photographer’s lens. Here are another few examples of what Lolo did when she first started out – as you can see the quality’s not quite there. As she developed as a photographer she took on more of fashion style photography but also did some other things ie developing the way she printed the photographs using more advanced techniques. Better quality, better archival value etc. And the photography became more art like.

research environment and then what is actually produced and marketed from it is something very different. I think there is a space for both of those things. I think sometimes in the very cutting edge territory, the frightfully avant-garde setting, art that is intended to be sold commercially (and placed, quite literally, on people’s walls) is disparaged by the cutting edge contemporary emerging bad boy bad girl art world. There are some people who are very content with highly experimental, strange, weird works but I think there’s space for a balance of these things as one thing emerges from the other and ultimately works together.

One looks here at South African photographer David Goldblatt’s work who, as you know, was a press photographer originally. This is a photograph of a well-known artist signed lovingly by Rose C’est la Vie. This is in fact Marcel du Champ, a famous artist - the creator of Fountain, the Bicycle Wheel, the “ready made” and various other very famous works. He’s dressed in drag, supposedly a parody or tribute to a librarian who lived in New York and from time to time Marcel would dress up as Rose C’est la Vie. This is an artwork. Today if somebody had the original of this photograph they would be in possession of a very valuable object. The object itself is not necessarily the artwork. The artwork resided in the performance of this. There are many different types of artworks. Performances, installations, video art, smell art etc. All sorts of things like that – totally conceptual pieces (we’ll look at an example of that later) which have no material existence whatsoever. You might say “why on earth would somebody collect that?” Well, it is very hard to collect, and it takes a brave collector to acquire this kind of stuff but the traces of the material can sometimes become the most interesting part of an artwork in the future. Then there’s more traditional artwork. I’m just going to show you some examples of Nontsikelelo Veleko’s work, she’s a local photographer. I’m going to focus predominantly on younger, emerging and contemporary artists in this lecture and that’s not to say those are the only artists one should endeavour to acquire. In fact there’s an increasing movement particularly within South Africa and also internationally in looking at mid-career artists who have been neglected in history. I’m thinking here of some of the work done in recent years by the Goodman Gallery, SMAC (Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary) and various other galleries who have tended to look at works by artists that had somehow been missed by the canon. Lolo Veleko started out, quite literally, taking photographs of her friends. That might not look particularly spectacular and this photograph is the very first one she took.


Today his photographs are 4 times the size they were ever printed when he was a commercial /journalistic photographer. They are printed in different materials – archival materials – so, perhaps in some way what makes something an artwork is related to the materials that are used. Lolo Veleko also looked at subjectivity in her work – here is a self-portrait showing lips that she’s painted black and perhaps a different layer of meaning coming into her work. This work was her signature work for the Trans Cape exhibition that was on here (in Cape Town) in 2007. If you’d gone and bought a Lolo Veleko then you would have made a very good investment. The question is why would you have done that – what would have attracted you to the work? If you’d bought a Lolo Veleko back then it probably wouldn’t be as valuable as a Lolo Veleko produced today in terms of the quality and production values.

This is an installation at a recent exhibition of hers at the Goodman in Johannesburg and the artwork itself is contextualised in different ways by the artist. So what she’s done here is she’s placed her work in an installation where the wall has been painted with blackboard paint which she’s written on and her photographs are then stuck onto the walls. This is something that emerging collectors are confused by. I’ve so often heard people say “how am I supposed to buy an installation?” I’ve even heard this from very sophisticated collectors. I remember at the 2003 Venice Biennale when Chris Ofili did a major and beautiful installation at the British Pavillion. I remember the then director of the Rubell collection said to me “it’s all very nice but what am I supposed to buy?” There are always things that emerge from these kinds of installations, these experimental works, these non-commercial works. I like to think of it in the following way: imagine one wasn’t an artist but a scientist, one produces experiments, one tries different things out, one works in a

Here’s an artwork that I was quite intimately involved with for various reasons – I was also the auctioneer who sold it. It was a work called Bruce Gordon produced in 2002 by Ed Young who is now a well known artist. At that time he was in his first year of Masters and he was asked to contribute to the Michaelis Auction – at that stage an occasional fund raising event. He thought about putting a pot plant on auction and then his car on auction and eventually nominated his friend who was owner of Joburg Bar and coincidentally at that time was also Sue Williamson’s husband. Sue Williamson is a well-known writer about artists and an artist in her own right and I’ll discuss her a little bit later. Ed decided to put Bruce Gordon on auction but not the person Bruce Gordon, the idea of Bruce Gordon – the concept of Bruce Gordon. The technical description was “Bruce Gordon – found object – concept”. In other words Ed Young elected to put the idea (pertinently, Bruce Gordon was a great raconteur, he also owned the artist’s bar, Joburg, in Long Street at that stage) up for auction and it sold for R52,000 which was a lot of money in those days for a student work. It was sold to Suzy Bell (of Art South Africa and Bell-Roberts Gallery fame) who donated it to the National Gallery. The National Gallery acquired the work and when it was sold it made newspaper headlines. It was quite interesting how it got passed through the National Gallery’s collection. After they acquired the work they had an exhibition where nothing was on display. A catalogue was produced, a lavish opening happened (a very lavish opening actually) with Penny Siopis flying down from JHB to give the opening speech, a string quartet played, there were snacks, and there was wine. In some ways this particular event asks “how would an ordinary collector acquire something like this?” Well, they couldn’t really – although I suppose they could have bought it. Suzy Bell quite wisely donated the work to the National Gallery because I can’t think of anyone else who could have taken it at the time. It has led to a whole lot of different repercussions, many international collectors – I know of 3 at least – have approached Ed Young to remake the work. He has, in fact, done another version of the work, where he had Bruce flown over to Turin for a retrospective. There was a formal loan agreement from the National Gallery to the Turin Exhibition and produced another work. What Ed has done is sold an edition of 3 prints on aluminium of the moment of sale of the work. It’s not the same work but again it’s a trace of the work. This has become, as some of you may know, legendary within the local art world, or notorious depending on which way you look at it.

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

SA ART COLLECTING / BUSINESS ART The idea of art which pushes boundaries and changes things has been taken up very much by a collective called “Avant Car Guard”. It consists of 3 artists in their own right, Jan-Henri Booyens, Zander Blom and Michael McGarry and for a couple of JHB art fairs they dominated the scene with their bad boy antics by demanding that the art world pays them R100 million dollars for their production.

work collaboratively. A collective called “Doing it for Daddy” – an all women collective – decided to pay tribute to Virginia McKinney by producing an artwork which comprised 2 bands and one performance artist doing different versions of the song “Sweet Virginia” and that’s a photograph of Virginia at the event blushing very nicely. So one can acquire works in all sorts of ways.

But at the same time as their strange antics of driving round the Johannesburg Art Fair in a golf cart and such like, they produce works which are quite marketable and easy to place on your wall. This particular print which I’ve reproduced here I’ve seen in endless interior decorating magazines. It’s visually pleasing, it goes well with people’s decor and I’ll speak a little bit more about that later. It also comes out of a process by which Avant Car Guard push boundaries. For example this work here is a photographic print that they’ve sold called “Dancing on Pierneef’s Grave” – a reference to the famous South African artist JH Pierneef.

What purpose does art serve? For a collector art might be something which decorates your home or fills up empty space which makes a lot of sense. I know that many people, because of their profession, often need to acquire art. A friend of mine is an advocate and when he qualified he literally came straight to me and said he’d just been told by the senior partner that he had to get a large artwork for behind his desk. He asked how much would it cost and would R800 cover it. I said he wouldn’t get a large canvas for that price but we could maybe make a plan and suggest some things. So art can serve that purpose but I’m thinking for this introduction I’d like to focus more on the philosophical purpose, or metaphysical purpose, of art and I’m going to look particularly here at the prints of an artist called Diane Victor.

Many people consider him the founding artist of South African apartheid art and another work of theirs entitled “Waiting for Mandela to Die”. Controversial needless to say. In more recent years Avant Car Guard have started producing easel paintings. Some people may say this is selling out to a notion of what is collectable but I think it’s also pushing boundaries about what is available and what is not. So to conclude this section of my presentation there are many different ways of acquiring art and I think it’s important as a collector that while I have no doubt the people in this room will focus perhaps on more traditional quantifiable artworks, here’s a rather lovely example of an artwork that was acquired. The photograph on the bottom left hand side who by the way is Ed Young which is irrelevant here. He manages to get himself into every social picture he possibly can. The person on the right who is blushing – it’s Virginia McKinney who is an art critic, a curator and a colleague of mine at the Michaelis School of Fine Art and this came from an exhibition that the Association of Visual Arts had a few years ago where they asked – it was called “Critic and Curator’s Choice” CCC – critics, curators and collectors to nominate an artist to participate in a group show and Virginia McKinney nominated a collective similar to Avant Car Guard.

A “collective” is when a group of artists get together and

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

Many people find Diane Victor’s work quite unpalatable. Her prints are in many cases visceral, highly politically charged and sometimes difficult to stomach in terms of their subject matter. I didn’t bring the slide but one of her works from her series ‘Disasters of Peace’ (which basically talks about things that have happened in South Africa since democracy or since independence but not looking at this in a necessarily positive way in terms of where the country’s gone) has caused a lot of controversy in various places where it’s been acquired. Another one is of a 6 month old baby being raped very graphically. Interestingly enough this relates to the idea of “why acquire art?” and this series of art was acquired by the University of South Africa’s Art Collection and they’ve put them into the law faculty. The person whose office this particular print ended up in, which I can kind of understand, asked for the work to be removed, and in the end just unscrewed it and stuck it back on the wall with its back facing people. Perhaps this is another thing about art and here comes my first recommendation. When you acquire an artwork make sure it’s an artwork you can live with in every sense of the word. Maybe an artwork like the Diane Victor is very much like the artwork I was talking about as it acts as a reminder or a counter balance to other things. I think art does not have to be pretty or decorative. I have quite a lot of art myself for various purposes and I actively buy art for my brother who is a collector of South African art, based overseas. I think it’s very interesting to have art that jars a little bit. Think about when you’re acquiring art whether the artwork is something that will continue to talk to you

over time (and I use that word loosely). There are many artworks that are known as ‘one-liners’ in the art world. They’re sometimes very clever, very funny, they’ve got some visual element that’s wonderful with high production values but after 10 minutes you’ve seen it and worked it out and it’s not really going to speak to you much more. I would imagine that a work like Diane Victor’s would. Here’s another example of one of her works which has been done with a very interesting technique where she has used smoke to make the work, quite literally. She’s taken a candle and held it close to the paper and worked in this way to make an image.

So what do you do with art? I would suggest that you look at it – that’s the first thing. I was reading a few minutes before this presentation something quite interesting. Somebody asked a gallerist “what kind of collectors do you hate the most?” and she said “those who listen and don’t look”. So I think one of the things one should do is with art is to look at it, think about it and engage with it and we’ll come back to that when we talk about the artwork and you. One thing you can also do is to use it to make a statement.

This is an example of a work by Wayne Barker and what he’s done here is make a very strong statement about people that in his opinion don’t do the right thing with art. He was very angry as a mid-career artist who in his opinion had been under recognised and the enormous prices paid for in the secondary market for the old masters of South African art. I’m sure all of you know that recently an Irma Stern sold for just over £3million which is an awful lot of South African Rands and this particular work you’re seeing is based on the former record holder. What he did was he got an image of the last highest selling Irma Stern. He used Photoshop to convert the picture into the way somebody would see it who was colour blind, repainted it and then basically graffitied over that with various things. He’s got a splash of paint in the top right hand corner, some green, a pun on the word ‘country’ and in neon flashing on the work are the words: ‘super-boring’. Perhaps it comments on the way some people’s art tastes are super boring. In my opinion this is a work that will continue to illicit conversation, discussion and thought for some time. It’s a rich work despite its visual appearance which is quite pleasing. Another thing about art works, traditional oil on canvas, prints, photography, those kinds of things, again a word of advice, is don’t be too concerned about whether the artwork goes with your drapes or the colour of your walls because I think for most people an artwork should be a lifetime investment or certainly something to keep for a while.



I myself, although I don’t have a lot of art on my walls as I see art all the time, I like to occasionally stick something up, take it down after maybe a few months or a few years and move things around. That’s one of the things that becomes very enjoyable. I think art should be seen as a window into something else rather than something which shouldn’t clash with the drapes. Hopefully in one’s lifetime one’s drapes will change more often than one’s art collection. Fashions change but art, if it’s good, remains. Right next door to us is this artwork and this is another thing you can do with art. You can make a grand statement. This is an artwork acquired by IDASA (African Democracy Institute) which is the building next door [to VANSA i.e. 6 Spin Street] and another work by Ed Young which is a highly realistic sculpture of Archbishop Tutu swinging from a chandelier. IDASA had a competition facilitated by VANSA and although Young didn’t win the competition they decided to acquire it anyway. The kind of spectacular statement it would make in their conference room – imagine having a conference with this swinging Archbishop above you. According to them at the opening ceremony it spoke about the spirit of IDASA. In other words one of the things an artwork can do, and this is institutional collecting, but the same thing can be true of a person, it can reflect your personality to other people. It can become shorthand for many things. If you have a room full of Roy Lichtenstein’s or Andy Warhol’s or Picasso’s you’re making a statement like “I’m filthy rich”. You might be making another statement as well. You might be acquiring artwork that says “I am young, hip and trendy” if you filled your home with Lolo Veleko’s. Art can become shorthand for describing your own personality. I want to talk now a little bit about you and your art – that difficult relationship between you and the artwork. Hopefully it won’t be a difficult relationship but it often starts out that way. As a collector if you are beginning to collect I think you need to brace yourself for making mistakes in the beginning and to try and minimise those mistakes. One way to do that is to acquire knowledge.

This is Sue Williamson who has a lot of knowledge about South African art and she’s very proudly holding up her latest book South African Art Now. A lavish coffee table publication produced in America by Harper Collins Design – an edition of 50,000 copies, the largest print run ever for a South African art book and if you go to any major gallery in the world you’ll probably see it for sale. I saw it recently at MOMA. Part of your knowledge is knowing what your rights are as a collector. Collectors do have rights. When you go


to a gallery and you’re planning to purchase an artwork you are under no obligation to make a decision there and then. All reputable galleries (or sellers of art) will allow you a certain amount of time to think about it and consider the artwork. You put a reserve on an artwork which is normally indicated by a green sticker next to the artwork. The only time a gallery can legitimately press you during your time of reserve (which can be 3 days, a week or until the end of the exhibition), is if somebody else comes and makes a firm offer to purchase the work, in which case you should be telephoned or contacted and you might then have to make an immediate decision. Be very suspicious if the artwork doesn’t get a red sticker next to it because that means that the gallerist or person selling you the artwork has actually tried to push you into a sale. Buying art is not the same as buying a band-aid at the chemist. It’s a luxury purchase and it’s not something you have to do. You have the right to think about it. You also have the right to information about the artwork in terms of its longevity, how stable it is, everything about the medium it was made from, whether it’s editioned or whether it’s a unique artwork – which is very important. It is something that a lot of starting collectors have been hoodwinked with. I know of someone who bought the first in an edition under the assumption it was a unique artwork and then the artist realised a lot of people liked it so ended up producing an edition of 100. This is an unethical practice. You can also, in certain circumstances, ask for a certificate of authenticity. Most artists, particularly if it’s a non-standard artwork, i.e. not an easel painting or bronze sculpture, but if it’s a video piece, a photograph or something similar (and uncommon in the artist’s ouevre) one could get a certificate or document confirming its authenticity. If it’s a print or a photograph there will be an edition statement on the artwork itself (usually written in pencil in the bottom, left corner). You can find more information about this very easily. You’re welcome to email me if you would like to know whether your artwork is unique or whether it’s an edition. This has affected a lot of collectors so it’s something to bear in mind. You don’t have copyright on an artwork you purchase. This is a very common misconception. The artist retains copyright – it’s an inalienable right of creativity. In terms of the law you are allowed to make reasonable copies of an artwork (like if you’re producing a catalogue of your collection) but this is (probably) not something you need to worry about at this stage. What are your responsibilities? I think collectors do have some responsibilities, one of which is if you intend to purchase an artwork, follow through on it. Younger and particularly emerging artists live virtually hand to mouth existences and I know of many cases where collectors renege on purchases, and try and haggle people down after the event. I even know of an example, recently in Cape Town, where an artwork was purchased and the purchaser lived in a rock-cliff house in Bantry Bay. She arranged, at huge expense, for an abseiler to go onto the roof of the house (because it was a large work) and have it brought in through a side window as it couldn’t get through the normal doors. When the work arrived in the house and it was about to be installed the purchaser started haggling about the price with the artist. This is really not cool and she did the right thing and had the abseiler take it straight back out. The thing is – if you choose to make this elective purchase, follow through on it. Your responsibility may be, according to some people, to look after the artwork but, perhaps most importantly, you have responsibilities to yourself (in terms of looking after your own interests) and to the world (in the broader sense of the word). If you own an artwork that is important or significant (and according to every artist their work is) then you need to look after it and provide it with care and a safe home – a little bit like a pet. I’ll give you an example from the work of Vuyisa Nyamende who was an exceptionally talented artist and was part of the younger generation about 10 years ago at Michaelis (contemporaneous with Ed Young, Dan Halter, Cameron Platter, Zen Mari et al.).

While he was still a student he was being written about in Flashart, one of the top international magazines. He was

recognised by all his peers as a superior artist and the work that you’re seeing here was given to me by him. At the moment I think there are only about 3 people who possess these Nyamende artworks, I know the National Gallery has done everything in its power to try and acquire one and I believe there are 3 collectors who have one and I am one of them. For various reasons which I won’t go into here Nyamende stopped making art. I loaned this artwork to an exhibition and the style of the show was to stick it onto the wall with Prestik and I agreed to allow this to happen. At the end of the exhibition somebody didn’t realise that this was, in fact, an exceptionally rare artwork and they ripped it off the wall and destroyed it. Perhaps my responsibility in that particular case was not to exhibit it the way the artist had but to make sure that the work itself couldn’t be damaged. I’m not so interested in any financial value that might have been lost, I’m much more concerned that a very rare artwork (which, I have no doubt, will one day be very much recognised) was destroyed. Q. Andrew, I don’t understand how you’d go about that – would you present the work in a different format or just alert the curator of the value of the work. Surely dealing with the work in any different way would shift the meaning of the work. A. Sometimes I think we need to shift the meaning of a work. For example the Mona Lisa is not seen in the way it was intended to be seen by the artist. In fact very few things in museums are intended to be seen in their original way. Most of them are intended to be in a domestic environment so it’s forgivable to shift the context of an artwork if it’s going to protect it. That’s what I’m saying in terms of responsibilities and rights – frame it and glaze it in a way that’s appropriate. To conclude let’s talk about strategies of collecting. I’ve spoken about knowledge which is very important. There are many ways to acquire knowledge – one is to read books, one is to look at websites, to read magazines like Art South Africa, the SA Art Times, websites like Artthrob and Artheat and other journals. The other way to acquire knowledge is to ask questions, either of the gallerist or, if possible, the artist. I currently have a show on at a small gallery in Kloof Street (Salon 91) where (interestingly) one of the artist’s conditions of sale is that he actually meets the purchaser so that he can explain what the artwork is about. Q. How does the dealer feel about that? A. Not great, I’d imagine!

SA ART TIMES. April 2012

SA ART COLLECTING / BUSINESS ART If you are interested in buying art, beyond a few pieces to decorate your wall, do try and build up a network of advisers and people who can give you information. A great way of doing this is to go to exhibition openings. This is often the bête noir of many people but it’s a way of (often) meeting the artist and meeting other people. An adviser can be anyone from a high end art consultant (who will charge you) to your partner or your children. It is important to talk through and about art with people. I know of many successful collectors who talk to people and never take their advice. My good friend Bruce Gordon who was not only an artwork but has a very fine collection of South African art by younger artists always asks my advice but never ever takes it. In spite of this he has built up a very fine collection. Some top end collectors will sometimes have a permanently employed adviser or work with somebody. It is useful to have a wide selection of people to get advice from – somebody to bounce your ideas off. At the end of the day make sure you listen to yourself as you’re the one who will pay for it, you’re the one who has to live with it and explain to other people why you acquired the artwork. I offer one little word of warning, with great hesitation, that is: be wary of people with special interests when they’re advising you. Certain interior decorators have become notorious for this and actually have a relationship with a particular gallery where they get kick backs and only offer work from a very limited pool. Make sure your adviser is independent or, if not, that you’re aware of their limitations [and agenda]. Q. Is one ever allowed to take a painting on apro from a gallery to see what it looks like at hoA. Most galleries will. It is not an unusual practice. It depends on how successful the artist is. For example I know of major galleries in Cape Town who will bring an artwork over to a trusted client’s house so they can see how it is. They won’t necessarily let it stay there for very long but it depends on how much the gallery trusts the person. I think if you’re buying a R500 work it would be asking a bit much. If people are going to spend a lot of money it’s not unreasonable. There are a number of opportunities you can take advantage of in developing your collection. If you are just starting out I would really recommend that you restrict your purchases for the first couple of months or years until you really get a feel for it. It can become very addictive and I know of a lot of people who started out collecting – bought a few R20-30k works and then discovered the artist wasn’t worth anything like that – and stopped collecting. It’s much better to buy something which you like if the artist is not established. Perhaps multiples, prints or photographs – and there are many opportunities to acquire such work.

Great places are galleries who stock affordable art and there are affordable art fairs in December. Don’t be shy to tell galleries what your budget is. You can acquire some wonderful works that way.

underground vault where only they have fingerprint access and only they are allowed to see it. Most people however, want to share their artwork and the best way to do it is to put it up in your domestic space or in your work space. Other ways (if you are interested in investing in art) is to make your collection known. Don’t be afraid to loan work, particularly if you own a unique work. This is a photograph of Sue Williamson’s famous work Thirty Years Next to His Heart on exhibition at MOMA.

Here is an artwork which I acquired. This is an open edition, which means there is no limit, but the artist has only made about 40, as far as I know. It’s by Dan Halter, a Zimbabwean/Swiss artist and it’s entitled ‘Zingzong Mother and Child’ – a stone sculpture made from plastic. The name Zingzong is a term for cheap Chinese imports in Zimbabwe and this work was for sale for R300 at Jaõa Ferreira. Other works by him now sell for R40k-100k. Even for me it was very affordable and I really enjoy it. It sits on the top of my bookshelf in my office and it’s not a purchase I regret in any way. Dan Halter has gone on to do very well. When I spend my money on art I always acquire younger, emerging artists. There are some things to be said for that in that you are developing somebody’s career, you can often acquire work that is relatively cheap before the artist becomes well known. As a lecturer I’ve been very lucky in being given art by students. Mikhael Subotzky gave me a photograph to say thank you. I say thanks to Mikhael now for that because it’s my retirement fund. I find that if you do collect art by emerging artists, provided you like it, you really can’t go wrong. To be honest, of the artwork I’ve bought from students at the graduate shows at Michaelis (which is a great place to buy art very cheaply) probably 80% of those artists have not carried on producing art. Nevertheless, some of my favourite artworks fall into that category. There are, of course, other markets so if you want to you can jump in and start collecting Irma Sterns. You can have a strategy to disseminate your work as well. There are ways to disseminate your work and what some collectors have been known to do is to have an

It was very interesting for the recent MOMA print show as they wanted an example of Sue Williamson’s freedom charter T-shirt as much as they wanted this work which is in their collection. It was very nice when a little local collector who was a very small collector was able to lend them the only known copy of it in mint condition which she actually very kindly donated to MOMA and her name is now on the list of benefactors along with other well-known benefactors. Finally one needs to think about strategies of selling work and this is perhaps a very difficult area. It’s not a sin to look at your artwork and say the time has come for you to move on. It’s important to think about that. The time will come when you need to get rid of your artwork. Maybe you want to sell artwork in order to acquire other artwork. Perhaps your tastes have changed, your interests have changed or you want to pass your artwork onto somebody else. People move into different areas and the artwork no longer serves the purpose or you’ve outgrown the space. Ultimately it is a personal relationship and as long as the artwork has given you pleasure and it’s been taken care of and not damaged or destroyed not only will you recoup your money but you’ll probably make some profit and more importantly your life will have benefited from the presence of that artwork. I’ll end on that note and hope it was a good introduction. Any questions please feel free to email me.

The South African

PRINT GALLERY proudly presents:

John Moore Latest works 31 March View the show on 109 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, CT Tel 021 4626851 . SA ART TIMES. April 2012



How Damien Hirst tried to transform the art market THE TELEGRAPH: By Colin Gleadell. In his television documentary The Mona Lisa Curse, the pugnacious and persuasive art critic Robert Hughes argued that traditional values which judge art by its quality have been overridden by marketing and hype, and that, in the present consumer culture, the only meaning left for art is a financial one. Perhaps today, the millions who visit museums do so in order to contemplate art’s financial rather than aesthetic values. The artists Hughes singled out as being worth so much more than they merited were Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. So will people go to Hirst’s retrospective at Tate Modern to mull over the millions of pounds his art represents? The critics are likely to see the selection, which emphasises his early work, as supporting the view that Hirst had made his best, most original work by the latter half of the 1990s, and everything after that was repetition. But then, even if it has been a bit of a production line, it has been a very successful one, and so in itself a comment on consumer culture. Warhol also addressed consumer culture, was repetitive, and employed factory workers to make his art, just as Hirst has done. But the difference is that Hirst has enjoyed far more commercial success than Warhol ever did. Hirst is often cited as the richest artist in the UK, even in the world. In 2009, the Sunday Times Rich List assessed his wealth at £235 million. That may have been an understatement. In 2008, his business manager, Frank Dunphy, said Hirst was “a dollar billionaire”. Dunphy, an accountant who had worked with the artist since the mid-Nineties, was clearly proud of his achievement, turning Hirst from a potential drunken layabout into a number-one bankable asset, and a lot of interesting facts came out. Hirst employed 160 staff making artworks for him at five studios in England. He owned dozens of properties from Mayfair to Mexico, including the £3 million Toddington Manor, where he planned to put his art collection – then worth about $400 million (£252 million) – including a self-

portrait by Francis Bacon which he had bought in 2007 for £16 million. There wasn’t a run-down of gallery sales but, occasionally, some figures would be revealed: Charles Saatchi buying the Humbrol toy sculpture, Hymn, for £1 million, a White Cube sell-out for £11 million, a multi-million sell-out in his first show in Mexico – added to which was the $20 million (£12 million) sale of the contents of the Pharmacy restaurant, and the £111 million pound Beautiful sale at Sotheby’s, which took place just before the West’s financial crash. Adding to the earnings figures has been Other Criteria, Hirst’s retail outlet, which was netting $12 million (£7.5 million) a year on brand products like prints and T-shirts. Recently Hirst has announced his plans to build 500 eco homes in Devon – a money-spinner if it takes off – and the opening of a gallery in London to house his own collection. The popular obsession with wealth and fame has ensured that Hirst’s name is ineradicably associated with something other than his art. The £50 million diamondencrusted skull he made in 2007 tells us how wealth cannot buy immortality. The Sotheby’s sale in 2008 was a statement of the artist’s superiority over his dealers and, being more of the same but with added bling for the new rich collectors, a work of art in itself. Both of these are featured in the Tate show – the skull in the Turbine Hall, and an installation from the Sotheby’s sale upstairs to support the “whole work of art” idea. But if they are about money, neither is quite complete. The skull has never been sold properly, so doesn’t have a real value – only the price attached to it. And the effects of the Sotheby’s sale are still being played out, as works that were bought there (perhaps with the extended credit terms that were offered) resurface on the market, selling for half or two-thirds of the price they sold for initially. This fits well with Hirst’s intentions to reverse the normal pattern of accruing value – to buy the new work from the

artist or his dealer for, say, £1,000, wait for the value to go up, and then resell for £10,000 – excluding the artist from any profit. Hirst objected to that process, saying he believed artists should make their work more expensive at the first point of sale. “The first time you sell something is when it should cost the most,” he said. It means treating a work of art like a new car or a piece of furniture, but it is the way an artist, who does not profit from auction resales, can make the most money. If this is what happened at the Sotheby’s sale, with Hirst pocketing the lion’s share, it has been the buyers who have suffered a loss at the point of resale, not Hirst. Nor has Hirst been perturbed by the downturn in his auction prices. “What goes up must come down,” he says. “It’s like when John Lennon went to get his long hair cut and was asked why. ‘What else can you do after you’ve grown it long?’ he answered.” The Sotheby’s sale itself did little damage to his gallery relationships. He is now one of many successful artists (Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Anish Kapoor) who have become less dependent on their galleries and more reliant on business managers and have transformed themselves into self-contained corporations. He has also demonstrated how little attention the market pays to the art critics. The exhibition of his own figurative paintings at the Wallace Collection and White Cube was slaughtered by the critics, yet collectors paid millions for them. Hirst once admitted his ambitions, saying: “It’s been hard to see the art for the dollar signs.” A similar difficulty has faced the viewer, if not the investor. Whether he has been making art for money or about money, there is always the suspicion that he is fulfilling that early wish when he said: “I can’t wait to get into a position of making really bad art and get away with it.” ‘Damien Hirst’ opens at Tate Modern on April 4

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Bonhams sale leaves market in suspense

Bonhams director of SA Art Giles Peppiatt By Michael Coulson After the two contradictory sales in Cape Town, observers were hoping that Bonhams’ sale in London on March 21 would give a better indication of the state of the market for SA art. Unfortunately it sent out mixed signals, doing little to dispel the state of uncertainty. A gross of £ 3.5m, equivalent to R42m at the R12.08= £ 1 exchange rate ruling on the morning after the sale, sounds healthy enough, but it’s only 73% of the low end of the estimate range, of £ 4.9m- £ 7.1m – and remember that reported sales prices include buyer’s premium, estimates do not. Bonhams’ buyer’s premium is as much as 25% on hammer prices up to £ 25 000, which is the majority of lots. Also, 57 of the 121 lots sold, or 47% of the total: again, neither a great success nor a train smash. Similarly, of the 12 items with a low estimate starting at £ 100 000 and above, eight sold, including the highest estimate, Irma Stern’s Woman in a Pink Sari, at £ 960 000 (est £ 800 000- £ 1.2m, the back cover) and third highest (Stern’s Zulu Girl, at £ 457 000 --- est £ 400 000- £ 600 000 – facing the inside front cover) but not the second highest, another Stern portrait (Banana Girl, the inside front cover, est £ 250 000- £ 300 000). The other six comprised three Pierneef landscapes ( £ 361 000, the front cover, est £ 300 000- £ 500 000, £ 109 000 for another, est £ 100 000- £ 150 000, and £ 127 000 for the third, est £ 120 000- £ 180 000), two Stern still lifes ( £ 217 000, est £ 150 000- £ 200 000, and £ 151 000, est £ 150 000- £ 200 000), and – ending the sale on a high note, £ 253 000 for the final lot, a William Kentridge drawing (est R150 000-R200 000). Another notable price was £ 79 000 for Gerald Sekoto’s portrait of his mother (before the end paper. £ 60 000- £ 80 000). As is to be expected, the house is stressing the positive aspects of the sale. Bonhams director of SA art Giles Peppiatt, who must have felt mingled relief and disappointment, says that a couple of years ago prices like this would not have seemed credible; he adds that the sale confirms Stern’s pre-eminence in the market and the continuing interest of the international market in SA art. In fact, eight of the 11 Sterns sold, for a gross of £ 1.86m, or more than half the total. Relatively, Pierneef did even better, selling eight of 11, for another £ 759 000, so these two alone contributed a whisker under three-quarters of the total. Of other well represented artists, not one of the 10 Cecil Skotneses sold, suggesting that here is one SA artist far better regarded at home than abroad; six of nine Sekotos; half the six Keith Alexanders and Francois Kriges; three of the four Tretchikoffs; half the four John Meyers; and only one of the four Maurice van Essches. With the ambiguous results of this sale, attention will move back home, to Joburg, where both the major local auction houses plan sales within the next couple of months SA ART TIMES. April 2012

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Nushin Elahi’s London Letter

Picasso and British Art at Tate Britain until 15 July is an extensive and scholarly study of Picasso and his influence on modern British artists. It explores the rather chilly reception Picasso received in Britain, while looking at seven key British artists for whom he was an important stimulus, among them David Hockney, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon.

creativity, at times their work follows a similar visual vocabulary, such as the blocks of lines and colour which Nicholson used centrally and Mondrian on the edge of a canvas. By the time the war drove Mondrian to New York and his friend to St Ives those intersecting lines had parted, but their work forms a tranquil oasis in the chaos of war.

Picasso defied labels. The only consistent theme through his work was power and vitality, but seeing the sweeping range of his art is almost like seeing a group exhibition. It was “life from a constantly changing viewpoint” as one of the 1930s magazines put it. His work may be rooted in tradition and history, but above all, he was a radical artist searching out new experiences.

A major retrospective of Italian artist Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan is on at the Tate Modern until 27 May. Like his compatriot Burri, he is associated with the Arte Povera movement and the show opens with work he made from everyday objects in the late Sixties. He was soon exploring other ideas in his art, one of them being the image of the artist as divine shaman and public showman, but that duality inspired him to reach beyond his immediate world. The element of playfulness, of order and disorder, of patterns, time and language are themes that constantly run through his work. There are huge beautiful blue biro drawings which may display a consummate waste of time, but are also incredibly textural; tapestries made up of the names of the longest rivers which demonstrate the absurdities of classification and a series of postal works which play on colours of stamps and return-to-senders. Throughout his life Boetti collaborated with other artists, many of them Afghan weavers who added their own voice to the maps he made of the changing world. From the randomness of a light that switches on for 11 seconds a year, and no-one knows when, to the marks on a tapestry that represent the chimes of a church clock, or a counting game, this is an artist who challenges the viewer to participate and the more you understand the rules of the games he is playing the more you will enjoy them.

There is some irony in the fact that Hockney remembers queuing for the Tate’s great 1960 Picasso exhibition, which half a million people attended. Today, the long lines in London have been at the Royal Academy for Hockney’s own exhibition, rather than this Spanish artist whose infinitely varied responses to life inspired Hockney to constantly open himself to fresh ideas. The fact that the exhibition isn’t drawing the hordes simply means a much more pleasant opportunity to assess this giant of the twentieth century. At the same time it is the history of British collectors and collections, charting how Picasso’s work came to these shores, from early advocates such as Roger Fry to the Tate’s own purchase of The Three Dancers in 1965 from the artist himself, a work he considered one of his two greatest (the other being MOMA’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon). It is not an exhibition that blows you away at the outset. Instead, it takes you through the myriad stages of Picasso’s development, with some pairings that are perhaps tenuous, but others that jolt you into a new appreciation of both artists. There is a wonderful symmetry in Hockney’s reprise of Picasso’s costume designs, Henry Moore’s large reclining nudes and Picasso’s monumental classical women, Francis Bacon’s distorted and anguished figures and Picasso’s darker images of the human body. The range of Picasso’s work is impressive: early waif-like figures, signature Cubist constructions and paintings, loving portraits of Marie-Therese, drawings of Guernica, the Weeping Woman series and two Cubist interpretations of old masters. Alongside that are seldom seen British works, such as early Bacons, Moore maquettes and stunning Ben Nicholson oils. This is an exhibition which demands intense viewing, but rewards you with a new insight into the unfolding history of British art and collecting. Ben Nicholson may have connected Picasso’s Cubist period with their coded images of their lovers, but he was even more taken with the abstraction of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, as a small show at the Courtauld (until 20 May) reveals. Mondrian║Nicholson: In Parallel looks at their friendship during the unsettled decade before the war. They met in Paris when Nicholson was a rising star of modern British art, and twenty years his senior, Mondrian was well-established. The serenity of their work contrasts with the turbulence of the era, which they tried to counter with their art. Although always two artists exploring their own 46

Jeremy Deller’s art doesn’t fit easily into an art gallery. In 2004 he won the Turner Prize for his quite extraordinary project of re-enacting one of the bloodiest battles during the miners’ strike of the 80s, something he had seen as a teenager on telly. The Battle of Orgreave, or A Blow to One is a Blow to All is one of the chief exhibits on this retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, Joy to the People (until 13 May). Deller sees himself as a storyteller, celebrating the element of surprise in experience, rather than a creator of objects. This fascination with the quirky side of humanity has led to the intriguing projects on show, from an early exhibition in his bedroom as a schoolboy, to a film on the infinite variety of fans of the band Depeche Mode, a garden project in Germany, a discussion tour of America with a car wrecked in an Iraqi suicide bomb attack and a film on bats. It seems he has an insatiable appetite for capturing the pulse of a culture. It may be hard to experience the full impact of one of his projects in a gallery, but Deller puts performance art on a remarkable plane. Cartoonist David Shrigley’s Brain Activity upstairs at the Hayward (until 13 May) is altogether a different matter: quirky it may be, but so slight as to be entirely missable. Far more interesting is Johan Zoffany – Society Observed at the Royal Academy until 10 June. An outsider whose penetrating view of Georgian society included not only royalty and the court, but actors and artists, his detailed canvasses are full of wry humour and meticulous observation. SA ART TIMES. April 2012

Images: Left to Right T-B Jeremy Deller, Battle of Orgreave II Jeremy Deller, Joy in People banner Alighiero Boetti: Aerei 1989 Pablo Picasso: Weeping Woman (Femme en pleurs) 1937 Alighiero Boetti: Mappa Pablo Picasso: Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 Jeremy Deller, It Is What It Is (2009) Jeremy Deller, Battle of Orgreave Pablo Picasso: Study for Guernica 2 May 1937

South African Art Times April 2012  

April 2012 edition of the South African Art Times magazine

South African Art Times April 2012  

April 2012 edition of the South African Art Times magazine