Archive: Issue No. 122, October 2007

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.
EDITIONS FOR ARTTHROB EDITIONS FOR ARTTHROB    |    5 Years of Artthrob    |    About    |    Contact    |    Archive    |    Subscribe    |    SEARCH   

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Panty Action (Blue) 2007
bleach and dye on denim
122 x 152cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Untitled 2007
bleach and dye on denim
122 x 152cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice Untitled 2007
oil on paper
152.5 x 122cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Untitled 2007
oil on paper
152.5 x 122cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Untitled 2007
bleach and dye on denim
122 x 152cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Night vision series
Wilderness 2005
oil on canvas
183 x 244cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Night vision series
Eyes 2005
oil on canvas
152 x 122cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
In Transit series
Exit box 2000 metal, vinyl, plastic, light source

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Staying Alive installation (det) 1997
Jet Master Couple
foam, vinyl, resin, wood, metal
237 x 230cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice Homemaking 2 1995
laser copies on paper, wood,
Varnish, metal
174 x 195cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Sex kitten: Pussy alive 1993
laser copies on paper, plastic
wood, acrylic, reflective vinyl
170 x 200cm

by Sue Williamson (October, 2007)

The first artbio on Lisa Brice appeared online in January 1999. In a new programme, ArtThrob will produce updated artbios on artists as the occasion arises.


Directly engaging with sensitive subjects, Lisa Brice has used her extraordinary draughtsmanship skills and a wide variety of media to make a series of highly charged works which have established her as a leading figure of her generation.

Eight years ago, Brice was known for her constructed artworks combining found objects, or domestic materials such as linoleum, with steel to make wall artworks, installations and sculptural pieces. These iconic works explored the uncomfortable subject, in a newly democratic South Africa, of suburban fear as a rising crime rate impinged on domestic security. Jet Master Couple 1997, part of a larger, gallery-sized installation of padded panels called Staying Alive, was a good example of this period, in which banal images of suburbanites frolic unaware of the hooded figures in the background.

In recent years, Brice, who now works between London, Trinidad and Cape Town, has returned to painting and its linked discipline of drawing, a move which together with an increasing assurance in the work, has proved a critical success. 'Night Vision', her first painting solo show at the Goodman Johannesburg in 2006, used a reduced palette of greyed-out greens and blues to focus on the uncertainties of childhood, and was a sellout.

Taking on the theme of the awkward urgencies of adolescent lust and love, Brice's new work negotiates with authority the difficult terrain between spontaneous drawing and fully realised figure painting.


'My move from painting to constructed work after art school came about through my frustrations with what I felt were limitations of the medium. With a return to painting in the last few years I have became aware of the infinite possibilities within its constraints and feel challenged to work within these limitations.

'I am beginning to push the boundaries of the traditional within the medium, using the surface, like denim, as having "meaning"... suggesting something other than merely a surface to hold paint - in the same way as I began to paint on linoleum, mirrors, curtaining at Michaelis (art school).

'I cull images from a variety of media sources, photography and film as well as using personal photos. I am attracted to the idea of repetition, chasing that high, stories told and retold. A drug high once experienced is sought out again and again, and the same urge can be applied to a state of emotional high.

'In painting, I crave the rush of getting something right, of the work coming together. There are an infinite number of ways this may be achieved with the same image (but not within the same painting). I want to try them all. There is a parallel to the repeated actions of chasing an emotional high through drugs, or love.

'I struggle at times with the romanticism of painting and with the subject of love at a time of so much war and tragedy - but of course how can one not... it is ammunition and an armour in dark times.

'Whilst Roland Barthes suggests "photography has been, and still is tormented by the ghost of painting", for me, I feel it moves in the opposite direction - my painting process is "tormented" in a sense by photography. It is a real push and pull with the photographic source material as starting point - the most successful works in my opinion are those in which a real departure is made and something else happens - a kind of alchemy I guess.'


Lisa Brice's first solo show in Cape Town since 1999 opens at the Goodman Gallery Cape this month. Entitled 'Base One Two Three', the show includes paintings on denim and canvas, and drawings in oils on paper. Sometimes these are worked in a loose, liquid style using bleach with dyes and inks which suggest the rushing ebbs and flows of young desire, of urges which must seize the moment. Others, still using an almost monochromatic palette, are more formally painted, introducing a more contemplative mood.


During a 2005 three month residency, CCA7, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where Brice spent time working on British painter Peter Doig's etching editions with Fritze Margull of Druckatelier, Berlin, at weekly 'Film Club' meetings the artist started taking photos in night vision mode, a camera mode which produces photos in a greenish hue. Her photos were used in Doig's Film Club catalogue, and were also an inspiration for the 'Night Vision' show at the Goodman Johannesburg in 2006.


Before her 2006 show at the Goodman, an exhibition at the gallery in 2000 entitled 'In Transit' marked the bridge between the constructed works and Brice's return to painting. For this show, Brice adapted the style of the green exit light boxes used in public buildings to construct a series of brief, iconic narratives about the crime which was causing white South Africans to leave the country.


Brice will participate in the 6th edition of the International Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts to take place in Liege in February 2008. The theme of the Biennial is 'Territories', and the working titles for the three main exhibitions are 'Mental Territory', 'Physical Territory', and 'Political Territory'.


Brice's work will be shown on the Goodman Gallery stand at Art Basel next June. Plans also include a solo show in London.


Lisa Brice was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1968, and graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1990. She currently lives and works in London, United Kingdom.


2007 'Base One Two Three', Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town, SA
2006 'Night Vision', Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
2003 'Lisa Brice', Camouflage, Brussels, Belgium
2000 'In Transit', Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
1999 'Lisa Brice', Hanel Gallery, Cape Town, SA (monograph launch)
'Lisa Brice' Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany (monograph launch)
1998 'In The Eyes', Hanel Gallery, Cape Town, SA
1997 'Staying Alive', Hanel Gallery, Cape Town, SA
'Staying Alive', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany
'Life', Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
Art Frankfurt '97, Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
1995 'Power Tools', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany
1994 'You Strike the Woman You Strike the Rock', Stargarder 18, Gallery Frank Hanel, Berlin, Germany
'Plastic makes Perfect', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany
1993 'Sex Kittens', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany


2007 Art Basel, Goodman Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
'Lift Off Two', Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town, SA
2006 Iselp (Institut supérieur pour l'étude du langage plastique), Brussels, Belgium (cat)
2005 Three-month residency, CCA7, Port of Spain, Trinidad (working on Doig's etching editions with Fritze Margull of Druckatelier, Berlin, and Peter Doig)
'Next Flag', The African Sniper Project, Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland (cat)
2004 'A Decade of Democracy', curated by Emma Bedford, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, SA (cat)
'X', Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London, UK
'Les Afriques', curated by Laurent Jacob, Lille, France (cat)
2003 'Away From Home', Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus, Ohio, USA (cat)
'Intersections', South African Art from the BHP Billiton Collection, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia
'Bootleg', Curated by Craig Burnett, Sarah Craine Jones, Pernila Holmes, Pablo Lafuenta, Tom Norton and Catherine Patha, Spittafields Market, London, UK
'Resident: Works on Paper', CCA7, curated by Peter Doig and Charlotte Elias, Port of Spain, Trinidad
'New Strategies', curated David Brodie, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, SA (cat)
'Picnic', curated by Andrew Lamprecht, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, SA (cat)
'Free Nelson Mandela', curated by Sean O'Toole, Klein Karoo National Art Festival, Oudtshoorn, SA
2002 'DAK'ART', Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal (cat)
Collaborative billboard project with Adele Todd, CCA7, Port of Spain, Trinidad (website)
2001 Daniel Birnbaum Lecture invitation, and studio visits, Staedel-Schule Frankfurt, Germany
'Young Generations in Transition', China, Germany, Britain,
He Xiangning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China
'Supermarketed', curated by Chris Mew, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2000 Caribbean Contemporary Arts Residency Program, CCA7 'Launch', three-week residency with Chris Ofili, Peter Doig and Andy Miller, Port of Spain, Trinidad
'Archive', Quatier Contemporary Art Space, The Hague, Holland
Exhibition and Lecture Programme, Chong Quing Fine Art Academy, Kuen min �River Club� and Chengdu Gallery, Sichuan Province, China
'Secure the Future', travelling exhibition curated by Marilyn Martin for the International Aids Conference, SA and USA
Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba (cat)
1999 'Art Frankfurt', Galerie Frank Hanel Germany
'Art Basel', Galerie Frank Hanel, Switzerland
'Big River', CCA International Artist's Workshop, Trinidad (cat)
1998 'Triennale der Kleinplastik', curated by Werner Mayer, Stadtisthe Gallery, Goppingen, Germany (cat)
FNB Vita Awards, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg, SA (cat)
'The Body, City and Society', Saint Gilies, Brussels (cat)
1997 'Smokkel', 2nd Johannesburg Biennale Fringe, Johannesburg, SA
'Unplugged', Group Show, Rembrandt Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
'Art Frankfurt', Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
'30 Minutes', Robben Island Visitors Block, Cape Town, SA (cat)
'Life', Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
'End of the Millennium', South African Festival, Nantes, France (cat)
'Art Cologne', Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
1996 Hanel Gallery, opening exhibition, Cape Town, SA
'Art Frankfurt', Frankfurt Messe, Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
'Vita Art Now', Johannesburg Art Gallery, SA (cat)
'Colours', opened by Nelson Mandela, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany (cat)
'Groundswell', Mermaid Theatre Gallery, London (cat)
'Don't mess with Mr. Inbetween', curated by Ruth Rosengarten, Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal (cat)
'Art Cologne', Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
'3 x 10', Hanel Gallery, Cape Town, Opening Exhibition, South Africa
1995 'Scurvy - Secret Seven', Newtown Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
'Art Cologne', Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
'Springtime in Chile', curated by Wayne Barker, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile
'Young South African Exhibition', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany
'The Laager', curated by Wayne Barker, Johannesburg, SA
1994 'Art Cologne', Gallery Frank Hanel, Germany
Three-person Show, Gallery Goetz, curated by Jean Kampf, Basel, Switzerland
'Art Basel', Gallery Frank Hanel, Basel, Switzerland
'Junge Kunst International', Overbeck, Gesellschaft, Lubeck, Germany (cat)
'Election X', curated by Malcolm Payne, SAAA, Cape Town, SA
'Art Frankfurt', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt, Germany
1993 Aids Show, SAAA, Cape Town, South Africa
Volkskas Atelier Awards, Nationwide Exhibition, South Africa (cat)
'Art Frankfurt', Gallery Frank Hanel, Messe Frankfurt, Germany
'Art Basel', Gallery Frank Hanel, Switzerland
'Multi-Cultural', Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt
1992 Three-person Show, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, SA
Two-person Show, Gallery Frank Hanel, Frankfurt
Staff Exhibition, University Gallery, Stellenbosch, SA
Sculpture Exhibition, University Gallery, Stellenbosch, SA
'Grosse Dusseldorer Kunstaustelling', Düsseldorf,
Gallery Frank Hanel (cat)
1991 'Cape Triennial', nationwide exhibition, SA
1990 Poster Exhibition, Baxter Gallery, Cape Town, SA
Michaelis School of Fine Art Exhibition, Michaelis Gallery, UCT, Cape Town, SA
1989 'Mail Art from South Africa - a view from the inside', Soho 20 Gallery, New York, USA
Visual Arts Exhibition, Uluntu Centre, Guguletu and Centre for African Studies, UCT, SA
1988 'Artists for Human Rights', Expo Exhibition Centre, Durban


South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London
Johannesburg Art Gallery
South African National Gallery
Michaelis Cabinet, University of Cape Town
BHP Billiton (formerly Gencor) Collection, Johannesburg
Gallery Frank Haenel, Frankfurt, Berlin, Germany
SABC Collection
Private Collections


1990 Graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT with BAFA, majoring in Painting (with distinction)
1988 - 1991 Studio Assistant to Sue Williamson, Graphic Workshop and Foundation School of Art - printmaking
1992 - 1995 Employed as Printmaking Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch
1993 Studio residency Frankfurt (June - August)
1998 Residency at The Gasworks, London, U.K. (July - September)
1999 Based in London
2000 Greatmore Studios, Cape Town (January - May)
Residency Port of Spain and Grand Rivier, Trinidad (June � July)
2001 - 2002 CCA7 Residency, Port of Spain and Grand Rivier. Trinidad (December � February)
2004 - 2007 CCA7 Residency, Port of Spain and Grand Rivier. Trinidad (annual residencies of 2 -3 months)


Sanell Aggenbach
(Sept 2005)

Alan Alborough
(July 2000)

Jane Alexander
(July 1999)

Siemon Allen
(June 2001)

Bridget Baker
(March 2006)

Emma Bedford
(March 2007)

Willie Bester
(Aug 1999)

Ralph Borland
(Jan 2006)

Willem Boshoff
(Aug 2001)

Conrad Botes
(Dec 2001)

Andries Botha
(April 2000)

Wim Botha
(April 2003)

Kevin Brand
(June 1998)

Candice Breitz
(Oct 1998)

Lisa Brice
(Jan 1999)

Jean Brundrit
(March 2004)

Angela Buckland
(Mar 2003)

Pitso Chinzima
(Oct 2001)

Marco Cianfanelli
(Aug 2002)

Julia Rosa Clark
(July 2005)

Peter Clarke
(Sept 2003)

Steven Cohen
(May 1998)

Keith Deitrich
(July 2004)

Paul Edmunds
(Feb 2004)

Leora Farber
(May 2002)

Bronwen Findlay
(April 2002)

Bronwen Findlay
(Sept 2006)

Pierre Fouché
(Sept 2007)

Tracy Lindner Gander
(April 2004)

Kendell Geers
(June 2002)

Linda Givon
(Dec 1999)

David Goldblatt
(Dec 2002)

Thembinkosi Goniwe
(Oct 2002)

Frances Goodman
(Aug 2006)

Dan Halter
(July 2007)

Brad Hammond
(Jan 2001)

Randolph Hartzenberg
(Aug 1998)

Kay Hassan
(Oct 2000)

Matthew Hindley
(Sept 2004)

Nicholas Hlobo
(June 2006)

Stephen Hobbs
(Dec 1998)

Robert Hodgins
(June 2000)

Pieter Hugo
(April 2006)

William Kentridge
(May 1999)

Isaac Khanyile
(Nov 2001)

David Koloane
(July 2003)

Dorothee Kreutzfeld
(Jan 2000)

Terry Kurgan
(Aug 2000)

Moshekwa Langa
(Feb 1999)

Chris Ledochowski
(June 2003)

Kim Lieberman
(May 2003)

Mandla Mabila
(Aug 2001)

Churchill Madikida
(May 2004)

Veronique Malherbe
(June 1999)

Mustafa Maluka
(July 1998)

Thando Mama
(June 2004)

Senzeni Marasela
(Feb 2000)

Colbert Mashile
(May 2006)

Brent Meistre
(May 2005)

Santu Mofokeng
(July 2002)

Zwelethu Mthethwa
(April 1999)

Samson Mudzunga
(Oct 2004)

Zanele Muholi
(Dec 2006)

Thomas Mulcaire
(April 2001)

Brett Murray
(Sept 1998)

Hylton Nel
(Feb 2002)

Karel Nel
(Oct 1999)

Sam Nhlengethwa
(Oct 2003)

Walter Oltmann
(July 2001)

Jay Pather
(Dec 2004)

Malcolm Payne
(Nov 2002)

Tracy Payne
(March 1998)

Peet Pienaar
(Dec 2000)

Jo Ractliffe
(Mar 1999)

Robin Rhode
(Nov 1999)

Colin Richards
(Aug 2003)

Tracey Rose
(March 2001)

Ruth Sacks
(Oct 2006)

Claudette Schreuders
(Sept 2000)

Berni Searle
(May 2000)

Berni Searle
(Jan 2003)

Usha Seejarim
(May 2001)

Penny Siopis
(Sept 1999)

Cecil Skotnes
(July 2006)

Kathryn Smith
(Dec 2003)

Dave Southwood
(March 2002)

Doreen Southwood
(Sept 2002)

Nathaniel Stern
(Feb 20006)

Greg Streak
(Feb 2001)

Mikhael Subotzky
(Aug 2007)

Guy Tillim
(Jan 2005)

Clive van den Berg
(Nov 1998)

Hentie van der Merwe
(Mar 2000)

Strijdom van der Merwe
(Jan 2002)

Storm Janse van Rensburg
(June 2005)

Minnette Vári
(Feb 1998)

Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko
(Feb 2007)

Andrew Verster
(May 2007)

Diane Victor
(Feb 2003)

Vuyile Voyiya
(Aug 2005)

Jeremy Wafer
(Nov 2000)

James Webb
(Aug 2004)

Sue Williamson
(Nov 2003)

Ed Young
(Nov 2005)

Billie Zangewa
(June 2007)

Mlu Zondi
(Nov 2006)