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Archive: Issue No. 44, April 2001

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.


Something to ask? A comment to make on ArtThrob? Email us at All queries answered by Paul Edmunds, Feedback Editor.

From: Stephen Schmideg
Subject: Artist
Date received: April 16

I live in Melbourne Australia and I was wondering if you could help me, or tell me where I could get further assistance. I am trying to locate a South African artist. All I know is that her name is Brigitte Kosky, she lives in Cape Town and does paintings on silk.


- Stephen, I've never come across her, perhaps a reader will be helpful

From: Haiba Hamilton
Subject: Durant Sihlali
Date received: April 20

Can you possibly direct me to where I can find more information regarding Durant Sihlali? Or perhaps you can provide this. I am a papermaker and very interested in learning more about his technique, history and such.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide.


- Durant Sihlali exhibits with the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, who can be contacted at I am sure they can put you in touch with him. Also you could try ArtThrob's Search Engine for past exhibition references

From: Wynand Malan
Subject: What's happened ?
Date received: April 8

I haven't been on your site for a while and was appalled to find out that you have to be a member of M-Web to get to your site. What elitist crap. Is this another great let the rich get richer scheme? I have enjoyed your site in the past because you could get all the relevant info on contemporary SA art in one place. There are no magazines out there, the newspaper coverage is incomplete and the arts hardly gets any mention on TV. So what a great idea to have it on the internet until M-web, in their money grabbing wisdom, made this idiotic boardroom decision . The arts in this country is in serious trouble and needs all the help it can get. I find M-web as a service provider shockingly overpriced and with pathetic customer care. What a sad state of affairs to have such a great website controlled by rands and cents.

Wynand Malan

- ArtThrob received no advance notice from M-Web that only paid-up subscribers would have access to the website. The editors are working on alternative arrangements whereby the site will be open to all, as in the past.

From: Deryck Healy
Subject: Response to crit (of Healy's exhibition at the NSA, reviewed by Virginia MacKenny)
Date received: April 11

The Editor

Every contemporary artist is educated with the knowledge of past creative achievements and to liken "Objet Trouvé" as derivative of "or not new" as Schwitters, Rauschenberg, Duchamp, Noble and Webster have done it before, dramatically misses the underlying meaning of this installation. You could add many more artists to this list, not to mention all the Arte Povera artists.

To quote Henry Meyric Hughes of the London Haywood Gallery, and board member of the Arts Council: "From a formal point of view, the affinities to Arte Povera are evident - especially the use of everyday materials and the setting up of unusual associations. A family tree would place Healey on one of the branches running outwards from a trunk, bearing the names of Arp, Brancusi, Fontana, Klein and Manzoni and the American minimalists. Yet his work, for all that it is situated in the modernist tradition, has much to do with ancestral memory as with formalist evolution, and with imagined time, as with space." Mary Rose Beaument, art critic for several international art magazines and London papers states that "These visual poems should be experienced in a parallel way to music: the longer they are given to penetrate the sense, the richer the reward."

Perhaps the art critic could have spent some more time examining the special quality of the works and even spared time to discuss these with the artist. In fact done her homework and concentrated a little more on the strengths rather than a negative Durban attitude: "What's new anyway". By invitation, the exhibition travels to England in June and July, and California early next year.

Deryck Healey

- My comments as to 'the idea is not new' do not indicate a 'negative Durban attitude' to Deryck Healey's work nor the need for originality as such - we live in an age that has moved beyond the, perhaps na�ve, modernist belief in such a possibility. Acknowledging the line of tradition in which Healy operates indicates the difficulties of working within an arena that has become somewhat overworked (note Roberta Smith's 1993 checklist of the five clich�s of contemporary installation of which two apply here: 1) the wholesale appropriation of chunks of reality in the belief that the gallery transmutes base matter into something more 2) the junk aesthetic in which the old and discarded are assumed to speak their own histories!).

Healey received much laudatory media coverage for his show in Durban. In interviews he stated his interests, methods and concerns. Having read the artist's statements, spoken to the curator of the NSA, gone back for three visits to the show to confirm my impressions and now reading the statements of those whose opinions he values I see nothing in my own crit that indicates that I did not 'get' the intention of the work - merely that I found the work more successful in one specific place rather than another.

I have absolute respect for Healey's enthusiasm and commitment to his endeavour, but at the same time I stand by the integrity of the crit.

Footnote: the other three for those who are interested are:
3) the overkill of the single object endlessly multiplied
4) the overreliance on hi-tech darkened rooms
5) the heart-rending confessional

Paul Edmunds

From: Liz Crossley
Subject: Berlin student exchange programme
Date received: March 30

I am in South Africa until Easter and I am trying to make contacts for the Berlin art college, HDK. They are interested in student exchange between Berlin and SA. I have contacted UCT, Wits and the University of Durban, Westville about this, but would like other institutions to know about it. They can contact Mathias Langner under and ask him to mail them further information. The same person has offered young SA artists places in their studio/flat set-up in Berlin. Two young artists have already sent in very good applications, but we are looking for finance to keep them in Berlin for three months. Any ideas who to contact? The other aspect of this is that we get the marvellous studios with flats attached free if we can organise similar spaces for German artists to work here.

Let's work together to make things happen for all of us! Email me or call me in Kimberley (053) 832-2398.

I am trying to create links between Germany and SA and create opportunities for fellow artists here and there. Any ideas, help, help wanted etc....mail me. I can't do everything, but I do my best.

Liz Crossley

From: Lorna Ferguson
Subject: Documenta XI dates
Date received: March 26

I've been trawling the web but can't find anything specific about the dates of Documenta XI. Anyone got any information?

Lorna Ferguson

I can't find out any more than 2002. Maybe a reader can help.

From: W. Winter
Subject: Pen and ink drawing
Date received: March 26

I recently saw a small pen and ink sketch of a woman, perhaps African or Bedouin, done by a Paul Modlin. Are you familiar with this name? I have been unable to trace it.

W. Winter

I'm not familiar with this name. Perhaps you need to narrow your search, i.e. a rough date, possible nationality etc. before you will find anything. Maybe a reader can help you.

From: Henri Pickard
Subject: Zapiro
Date received: March 27

Hi there,
I'm a student at Rondebosch Boys High School and as I'm sure you are aware, as matrics we are required to do a research essay on any South African artist. I have chosen to do Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro). Now over the last few weeks I've desperately been trying to get hold of his e-mail address as well as information on him, but I've been relatively unsuccessful so far. Today I spoke with my art teacher Andrew Putter and he advised me to email ArtThrob. So here I am now! So if possible I'd like Zapiro's email address and any other sites or books you are aware of that could help me in my quest. This would be greatly appreciated

Yours sincerely,
Henri Pickard

Henri, I have a few suggestions. Firstly, why not email the Mail&Guardian (try or for whom he does a weekly cartoon. I know he has exhibited several times at the Michaelis collection in Cape Town. Call them on 424-6367, and ask for Dr. Hans Fransen. As for books, I'm sure I've seen a number. I'd suggest a visit to the Exclusive Books website.

From: Cleo Theron
Subject: Sculptor Angus Taylor
Date received: March 20

Can you give me more information on Angus Taylor, the sculptor featured in your October, 1999 archives? He had an exhibit at the Open Window Contemporary Art Gallery dated 19.10.99. I was hoping to see more of his sculptures online. Does he have a current exhibit?

Cleo, I don't know much about his work at all. If you haven't already done so, try the site's Search Engine. Failing that I suggest you contact the Open Window on (012) 347-1740 or mail them at

From: Karen Gale
Subject: Interested in subscription
Date received: March 13

I am a SA citizen, currently studying fine art in London. I would like to know how I can subscribe to ArtThrob since I would like to stay in touch with South African art. Can you help me, possibly send me an example of your magazine??
many thanx
Karen Gale

Although a print version of ArtThrob is in the planning stage, it will not be launched for another few months. When it is, it will be published once every two months, and will be available through subscription. Until then, keep checking the online version. Your name will be added to the list of people interested in the new print version, and we will keep you informed.

From: Matyas Kovacs
Date received: March 13

Hello I am Matyas Kovacs from Hungary.
I would like to ask you if you can to find Belinda Blignaut (South African artist) If you have any information about BELINDA or can you make a contact with her, my address.:
With Special thanks: Kovacs Matyas

4th. Organisation D.C.
Address.:42st. Damjanich

Belinda Blignaut can be reached at

Subject: art project
Date received: March 13

Checked out website. Insufficient info. on Julia Teale "Bitter Fruit"- please forward info. regarding painting as well as "background" info on artist.

Thanx in advance
Alicia Kay

We pass on information if we have it, but do not do research on behalf of readers. Doesn't Julia Teale teach at the University of Cape Town? Why don't you ask her yourself?

From: Corne Bekker
Subject: Submission for artist of the year - 2000
Date received: March 12

One cannot help but to miss the name of Kendell Geers amongst your list of artists of the year (2000). It is sad to see that the recent impressive accomplishments of this important South African artist this last year have gone largely unnoticed in his own home country (and especially in a publication like ArtThrob). One can only consider some of his international exhibitions this year (to great critical acclaim) to start to comprehend his contribution not only to the international art arena but also to the growing awareness of South African art in the world. The following international exibitions (to mention a few that took place during 2000) of Geers' work serve to illustrate the above:

    "Strange Fruit, 2000" in Rathaus
    "Timbaktu" in the Mak-Gallery in Vienna, Austria
    "Arte all' Arte" in Volterra, Italy
    "Title Withheld (Harakiri)" in Matsunoyama
We rely on ArtThrob for up to date information on art and artists in South Africa. Thank you your excellently produced and erudite publication. We look forward to the future printed editions of ArtThrob.

Corné Bekker

ArtThrob has a high regard for the work of Kendell Geers, and would list his exhibitions and carry pictures of his work if we knew about them, but as in the case of all the listings and news we carry, we are reliant on receiving information and images from an outside source.

From: Denise
Subject: gumboots video
Date received: March 12

I am a graduate student researching gumboot dance and I am interested in the video featured in your article on line. How can I get a copy?


- I am forwarding your email to Robert Weinek who was the producer of Channel, the exhibition of video art on which the gumboots video entitled My Boy is a Beautiful Girl by Joachim Schonfeldt appeared, and he will respond to you.