Archive: Issue No. 136, December 2008

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   

Nicholas Hlobo

Nicholas Hlobo
Visual Diary (detail) 2008


William Kentridge

I am not me, the horse is not mine 2008
installation of 8 film fragments


Robert Hodgins

Robert Hodgins
The Men in Bunks 7.11 etc 2007/8
oil over charcoal
90 x 120cm


Candice Breitz

Many of the single-channel works in La Strozzina's Worlds on Video
exhibition were creatively mounted on upturned chairs.


Pieter Hugo

Pieter Hugo
Azuka Adindu. Enugu, Nigeria, 2008
Image: 102 x 102cm
Paper: 110 x 110cm


Dineo Bopape

Dineo Bopape
Arti Bitchi 2008
household knives, chiffon threads/string, tube light attached to wooden beam
that sags in the middle, 1/2 circle grass green carpet, halogen lamps


Athi Patra-Ruga

Athi Patra-Ruga
Even I Exist in Embo: Jaundiced tales of counterpenetration #7 2007
lambda print


Conrad Botes

Conrad Botes
Crime and Punishment 2008
reverse-glass painting, oil-based paint on glass


Zwelethu Mthethwa

Zwelethu Mthethwa
Untitled (from Mozambique Series) 2006
chromogenic print


Suss't exhibition

Suss't exhibition
recycled polypropylene
dimensions variable


Jane Alexander

Lisa Brice
Editions for ArtThrob


Finalist for the Arts & Culture Trust Award 2003 - Electronic Media of the Year in Support of the Arts


The end of the year brings out the tritest sentiments in writers, bloggers, journalists and even editors. It's the time when all criticality departs as we reach in for the big hug, generally softened by three glasses of Chenin Blanc and a quick dance to 'Last Christmas' at the staff end-of-year function.

But it's worth retaining some semblance of consciousness to contemplate the magnitude of events in our art scene this year. 2008 saw the first Joburg Art Fair, which according to its site attracted more than 6500 visitors and netted well over R20 million in sales. The profiles of numerous smaller galleries and artists were instantly raised, and the stakes became that much higher as more ink was used on cheques for SA art than ever before.

On a different tack, 2008 also saw the Spier Contemporary lope around to Joburg, and an interesting dialogue emerging between its Stellenbosch incarnation and the Jozi version. Sadly, Durban was left out as the show's appearance there was cancelled due to last minute public fund withdrawal.

Possibly a bit below the radar, but no less important for it, 2008 saw the local art blogosphere become a hotly-contested field, as ArtHeat, the OKOTB got some challenge from Anthea Buys' Mail & Guardian Thoughtleader blog and Brenden Gray's Art South Africa blog. Sadly, the latter seems to have fallen into disuse, despite having hosted some lively debates between Gray and Steven Cohen, amongst others.

2008 saw the sad passing of a number of art scene luminaries, such as sculptor Peter Schütz, painter, chef and larger-than-life character Braam Kruger, and Cape Town-based Professor Neville Dubow, an important and highly influential figure on the SA art scene. We also lost the young Gabisile Nkosi, a Durban-based artist and lecturer cut down at the beginning of a promising career.

The year also saw solos by significant artists such as Robert Hodgins, Clive van den Berg, Willie Bester and William Kentridge, all of whom continue to produce great work.

We also had the long-awaited Marlene Dumas retrospective at the Standard Bank Gallery and the Iziko SANG.

On the gallery scene we saw David Brodie combine his growing presence on the Joburg scene with Cape-based powerhouse Michael Stevenson's curatorial and dealing authority to transform Brodie's Art Extra gallery into Brodie/Stevenson. The ramifications of this shift in the power balance will surely only be apparent at 2009's Joburg Art Fair, and it will be interesting to watch other gallerists' faces and next moves...

At ArtThrob we retained and grew our share of the local online art readership despite the increase in worthy competition. We remain the first point of entry into the SA art scene for students, school learners, researchers and casual readers from all around the world, and contributions to our site from overseas writers have increased steadily throughout the year.

February/March 2009 will see the launch of our redesigned site, and will most likely coincide with the release of a new ArtThrob Editions print.

For now, however, from all at ArtThrob, thank you for your readership of, interest in and contributions to our site. We wish you a safe, happy and restful holiday season. ArtThrob will update again in mid-January as we take on the new year.

NEXT UPDATE: January 11, 2009



The big news is that William Kentridge is back in town, showing at both the Goodman Gallery Cape and Iziko SANG. Pieter Hugo and Conrad Botes open at Michael Stevenson in early January, Kate Gottgens shows at João Ferreira and Kevin Brand is at Bell-Roberts. Rose Korber's annual Art Salon opens in Camps Bay too


As the silly season rolls in, art takes a back seat with late November seeing the last spate of openings for the year, notably Gordon Froud's 'Modular Repetition', two bodies of work at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery and World Art respectively. The historically significant 'Thami Mnyele and the Medu Art Ensemble' opens at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.


It's holiday season and everyone is on slow-down mode so art does not seem to be a high priority. The KZNSA has a design-based exhibition which is geared towards the festive season shopping and ArtSPACE is also looking at affordable art and Christmas gifts. Maybe we should just head for the beach.


Nicholas Hlobo presents his first solo show in the UK at the Tate Modern; Candice Breitz, William Kentridge, Zwelethu Mthethwa and Robin Rhode show in New Orleans, and new acquisitions to the Sindika Dokolo Collections are on view in Luanda as a prelude to the Trienal de Luanda.


An exhibition by Grahamstown-based artist, writer and lecturer Maureen de Jager entitled 'In Sepia', travelled to Johannesburg for a showing at Gordart Gallery in November and December. Editor Michael Smith spoke to her about the work, her processes and her interest in the poetics of disintegration.


Johannesburg-based artist, writer and urban researcher Ismail Farouk recently spent three months in Los Angeles on a residency with the Mak Center's Urban Future Initiative. This month he gives us a report-back in an opinion piece titled 'Explorations into Spatial Justice'.



Andrew Putter submits a review of Kate Gotggens' show at João Ferreira entitled 'Asleep Inside You', finding a painter at the height of her powers. 'How the Troubles Started' features work by Lizza Littlewort and Wilhelm Saayman, two artists who 'take their jokes very seriously'. While Littlewort takes pops at the self-importance of the artworld in her paintings, sketches and text works, Saayman spends more time on the tragedy of human emotion and relationships in his drawings and text pieces. Linda Stupart reviews. Octogenarian painter Robert Hodgins' painting just gets better and better, says Sue Williamson, regretting that his exhibition at the Goodman Cape ever had to come down. Katharine Jacobs draws parallels between Anton Kannemeyer's 'Fear of a Black Planet' and the writings of Fanon in her review of this show which forces a viewer to locate oneself in the comics Kannemeyer references in these highly charged and layered graphic works.


While the prospect of curating a show of contemporary Scandinavian and South African art seems to have provided Clive Kellner and Maria Fidel Regueros with breathing space, and despite individual instances of brilliance, Anthea Buys feels that the connections between the respective artists and practices are tenuous. Wim Botha's first solo outing in Johannesburg entitled 'New Work', is decribed by Cara Snyman as 'monumental, imposing and iconic', and quite appropriate for the launch of Brodie/Stevenson. The installation, sculpture and drawings, rich in imagery and substance, draw on the canon of art history, natural history and Classical mythology, engaging notions of evolution, mortality and materiality. Michael Smith follows up last month's interview with Jo Ractliffe with a review of her recent Warren Siebrits show, 'Terreno Ocupado', which he describes as '... a powerful addition to an already-stellar career, one in which the nuances of African cities' changing characters are frequently the subject'.


Bronwen Vaughan-Evans' 'Memento Mori' at Bank Gallery finds the artist employing her signature light-on-dark gesso technique in works comprising pairs of portrait- and landscape- formatted images. The juxtaposition of humans, or suggestions of humans, with elements of land- and cityscape explores the relationship between her subjects and their environments. Carol Brown reviews. Regular contributor Peter Machen reviews Cameron Platter's 'Studio' a show and event held at the KZNSA, and finds much to get excited about, not least of which is the absence of 'the slightest hint of masturbation often associated with event-based art' at the show's closing party.


Candice Breitz recently showed her Soliloquy Trilogy from 2000 at 'Worlds on Video' at Strozzina, Florence. Amy Halliday feels the work's production is a little tired, its mode of deconstruction too familiar. She was far more interested by Breitz's new work shown at Temporäre Kunsthalle in Berlin.


Ivana Abreu reviews Avhashoni Mainganye's 'Journey', an exhibition of paintings, collages and sculpture.


Tavish McIntosh writes about Dineo Bopape who is currently doing her Master's at Columbia University in the US.


Chad Rossouw explores 'feed readers' or 'aggregators', a useful way of keeping in touch with blog and website updates.


Chad Rossouw visits Christo Doherty's 'Small Worlds', the artist's online archive of his photographs of model train landscapes and layouts, which layers notions of 'virtual' worlds.


MIT invites applications for their Visual Arts Program and JAG seeks new Chief Curator. In Cape Town, Warren Editions is looking for interns.


A quiet month for feedbackers. Come on, SA, vent your spleens.

Send us your feedback.


ArtThrob is proud to add a new print by artist Lisa Brice to the Editions for ArtThrob series. In 2007, the theme of adolescent lust was the focus of Brice's solo exhibition 'Base One Two Three' at the Goodman Gallery Cape. This print continues the theme of the desire mixed with confusion of youth, in a three colour lithograph printed on the presses of the Michaelis School of Fine Art by Stephen Inggs and Andrea Steer.

See Editions


Browse through past editions of ArtThrob.


Who's who and how we started. New email addresses for ArtThrob staffers make it easy to contact the right person.


Submit a message to the editor online - to contact a specific sub-editor, which we'd prefer you do, please find their email address in the ABOUT US section.


Subscribe to our monthly email update.

ISSUE #136_12.08

Goodman Gallery

Association for Visual Arts

Rose Korber Art

Bank Gallery

Bell-Roberts Contemporary

Goodman Gallery

Gallery on the Square




Michael Stevenson Fine Art