Archive: Issue No. 80, April 2004

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Feedback is an open forum for readers to share any comments and insights relevant to art practice in South Africa. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

From: Rene Olivier
Subject: Cobus van Bosch
Received: 26.03.04

I'm working on a project on Cobus van Bosch. I'm looking for information, especially artworks done before 1994. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

I have forwarded your email to Kobus. Meanwhile I suggest you contact the AVA where he recently exhibited.

From: Kathy Janisse
Subject: Madonna della Sedia
Received: 26.03.04

I have a Madonna della Sedia approx. 250 - 270 yrs old, oil reproduction including the gilded frame (like original Raphael frame with angel heads), signed by Estienne with the intial G. or perhaps S. as best we can tell. Do you have any information about the artist or record of this painting? If not, where could I get information about this? I understand this painting was in a museum in the last century. Thank you for your help.

This is definitely out of our area of specialization. I suggest you contact Sotheby's who may be able to help you.

From: Denise
Subject: Tretchikoff painting
Received: 12.03.04

Some time ago I inherited a signed Tretchikoff still life painting of what seems to be lily type flowers. Would you be able to offer any further contacts or advice as to finding out much more about this piece and also a bit of background about Tretchikoff himself. I am keen to research our painting's origins.

This is definitely out of our area of specialization. I suggest you contact Sotheby's who may be able to help you. Tretchikoff is the singular most popular subject of letters to Exchange.

From: David Lewis
Subject: Public Eye
Received: March 1

That Public Eye, Cape Town's supposed visual-arts vanguard can accept a work by Jacques Coetzer eulogizing a multi-national bully like SAB - Miller is not surprising. The group allowed security guards to beat up patrons at two of its events and refused to apologise without some considerable campaigning by ordinary people like myself.

When criticising Coetzer one should at least mention that SAB-Miller are in a legal battle to limit freedom of expression, and that Public Eye's image and credibility has been tarnished by the whole exercise. This latest installation at Spier is nothing more than corporate posturing - associating yourselves with SAB-Miller in an attempt to deflect public outrage at Gestapo-like tactics.

Really comrades, there is nothing ironic about either Coetzer's piece, or Roper's recent statement in the Mail&Guardian about "social responsibility" which reeks of anal retentiveness.

What's next - cute corporate sculptures by Monsanto or Glaxo-Smith-Kline? Clearly some of our country's visual arts "giants" are nothing more than mental midgets.

I confess to feeling some unease at the sponsorship of Coetzer's work, especially in the present context. However, I feel that your criticism would carry more weight if you had said something original about SAB - Miller and Laugh It Off, rather than ploughing very well trodden trails. I also think your argument would have more credibility if you didn't use the issue to drag out your usual list of complaints against and sideswipes at Public Eye.