Archive: Issue No. 139, April 2009

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JAF

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
Chernobyl Medical Aid Rally St. Pietersburg 1986
photomontage
30.5 x 20.5 cm

SEE GAUTENG LISTINGS   

Nandipha Mntambo

Nandipha Mntambo
Pra´┐Ża de Touros II 2008
archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper
112 x 163 cm
Edition of 5 + 2AP

SEE CAPE LISTINGS   

William Kentridge and Margarite Stephens

William Kentridge and Margarite Stephens
Empire Romain (Stalin) 2008
Tapestry
327 x 356cm

SEE FEATURE   

David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt
A girl and her mother at home 1979/80
silver gelatin print
50 x 50 cm

SEE SHORTCUTS   

Urban Scenographies

Nastio Mosquito
You Scare Me 2009
Still from site-specific video projection outside the Point Blank Gallery at the Drill Hall

SEE REVIEWS   

Hasan and Husain Essop

Hasan and Husain Essop
Thornton Road 2008
lightjet C print on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper
Edition of 8 + 2 AP

SEE ARTBIO   

Cecil Skotnes

Cecil Skotnes
Icon for my dead Uncle II 1998
painted wood
122 x 122 cm

SEE NEWS   

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sam Nhlengethwa
Tribute to Marlene Dumas 2008
ten-colour lithograph

SEE CAPE LISTINGS   

Penny Siopis

Penny Siopis
Verwoerd Speaks, 1999
Video 9:30 min

SEE INTERNATIONAL LISTINGS   

Portfolio 2

Willem Boshoff
Political Candyfloss (left and right) 2009
etching
74.5 x 49.5cm
Edition: 60

SEE EDITIONS   

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


THIS MONTH

The whirlwind phenomenon that is the Joburg Art Fair breezed into town early in April, bringing with it both excitement for eye-candy-hungry visitors, and certain amounts of bitter disappointment for gallerists. By my calculations, at the end of the 3-day Fair, some galleries didn't appear to have even covered their costs of exhibiting at the Fair.

The figures tell the full story of this: while attendance was up dramatically from 6500 in 2008 to 10 000 this year, the Fair saw approximately half the total value in sales compared with last year. This simply means many more people are looking, but far fewer are reaching for their plastic this year.

Yet Ross Douglas, Director of the Fair and of ArtLogic, the company that plans, executes and oversees the event, has always been of the belief that the Joburg Art Fair is an event that will take time to begin turning a profit. What he is doing, and doing well in this writer's view, is growing an audience for SA contemporary art. Over and above some stellar shows by individual galleries (and notwithstanding the inevitable wretchedly desperate shows by a small number), The Fair's expanded program of enrichment events, like the BMW Art Talks, blank projects' avowedly non-commercial (and apparently quite controversial) space, and the continued presence of ArtHeat's deliciously bitchy broadsheet, are all testament to Douglas and ArtLogic's broadened take on what constitutes a major art event.

There is a lot of money, and many mouths in the SA art world, but few examples of the two being paired. Douglas and his cohort of black-clad, extremely professional staffers have distinguished themselves as that rare breed of art event coordinators to do precisely that.

Michael Smith
MANAGING EDITOR

NEXT UPDATE: May 3, 2009

SELECTED LISTINGS

CAPE

Penny Siopis and Nadipha Mntambo both have solo shows at Michael Stevenson; these are up for a good run from mid-April to the end of May. Also worth catching is 'Nation State', just ahead of this month's national elections. On a different tack altogether, Justin Brett exhibits a body of his typically quieter watercolours, pencil drawings and installation work at the, under the title 'Out of Site'.

GAUTENG

Titans Andrew Verster and Edoardo Villa show at the Standard Bank Gallery. Big news later this month as Austrian artist Peter Friedl has his first solo show on SA soil, at the Goodman Gallery. Another noteworthy show opens at Brodie/Stevenson, this time a body of Mary Wafer's works dealing with the landscape and space of Johannesburg.

KWAZULU-NATAL

A Brenton Maart-curated group show titled 'Harbour' is on show at the KZNSA Gallery, while Mbhekeni Mbili shows a body of social observation-themed paintings at the same venue. Vaughn Sadie's solo show 'Situation' opens later in the month at Bank Gallery, and promises to be worth the wait.

INTERNATIONAL

Nkosikhona Ngcobo, Berni Searle and Penny Siopis are part of a show titled 'For Your Eyes Only' at White Meat City in Copenhagen, Denmark. Abrie Fourie has his first solo sho in Germany with 'Oblique' at Vladimiro Izzo Gallery, Berlin. Also on our international radar, Pieter Hugo and Mikhael Subotzky participate with Paolo Woods in an exhibition titled 'Three Stories', at Centre national de l'audiovisuel in Luxembourg.

INTERVIEW

Michael Smith spoke to Ross Douglas in the wake of the Joburg Art Fair, to discuss sales, attendance and the overall development of this important phenomenon.

Also this month, Michael Smith spoke to Christo Doherty, Professor and Head of Digital Arts at the Wits School of Arts, about his recent show 'Small Worlds' at Resolution Gallery.

FEATURE

In a rare exclusive, ArtThrob gets gallerist Warren Siebrits to share his views of the Joburg Art Fair. Interestingly, Siebrits doesn't buy into the popular positive spin on the Fair, questioning certain aspects of its functioning and structure.

The Joburg Art Fair occupied nearly everyone's minds this month. ArtThrob got three staffers, Cape Editor Katharine Jacobs, Editions Editor and Editorial Assistant Natasha Norman, and Managing Editor Michael Smith to give their picks of the JAF.

REVIEWS

CAPE

Katharine Jacobs looks at the AVA's 'Social Pattern', finding that, 'given the dearth of decently curated group shows of late, Cockerill's effort stands out as one which rather than detracting from the selected works, has actually managed to add something to their bearing'. Also form the Cape, Andrew Lamprecht looks at the Goodman Gallery Cape's 'Review Revue', remarking that show 'creates a nostalgic - but never sentimental - air of the artistic and political life that existed during the years of apartheid.'

Also on offer from Katharine Jacobs are a number of Short Cuts.

GAUTENG

Cara Snyman reviews the Joburg Art Fair, opining that the Fair is an improvement and development from last year's. Anthea Buys looks at 'Urban Scenographies', and while she is mostly positive, does wonder about certain looser aspects of the curatorial brief.

KWAZULU NATAL

New Durban Editor Peter Machen reviews 'Harbour' at the KZNSA. He finds a series of compelling engagements with the exhibition's overarching concepts.

INTERNATIONAL REVIEWS

Gauteng Editor Cara Snyman's recent visit to Europe produced more than an expanded stock of thermals: while over there she visited 'Embedded Art: Art in the Name of Security' at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin. This month she turns in a review of the show, observing that it 'manages to send us a clear and timely warning of the way ahead if we, as ordinary citizens, continue to abdicate responsibility.'

NEWS

This month saw the sad passing of modern art powerhouse Cecil Skotnes, who died in hospital on April 3 2009. News Editor Rat Western writes the obituary for ArtThrob, citing his numerous awards and broad influence on the development of modernism in South Africa.

Elsewhere, three SA artists are selected for the next Amsterdam-based artist in residence program through the Thami Mnyele Foundation. Also in the news, London-based Bonhams Auction House announces its first auction of contemporary African art on British shores.

DIARY

Sue Williamson, fresh from a sojourn to the Havana Biennale, delivers the first half of her diary. The second half follows next month.

ARTBIO

Katharine Jacobs looks at the burgeoning career/s of duo of twins Hasan and Husain Essop.

WEBSITES

Chad Rossouw takes a peek at the latest social networking phenomenon, Twitter, and considers its efficacy for the visual art industry.

PROJECT

Chad Rossouw reviews an online exhibition timed to coincide with the Joburg Art Fair, 'Internet Art in the Global South', curated by Teagan Bristow.

EXCHANGE

Studio 3666 calls for submissions for its 'Bingefest 09: The Big Hole', set to run as a fringe event during Cape 09.

Curators Bianca Baldi and Kirsty Cockerill call for expressions of interest in their ongoing project 'Conversation'.

FEEDBACK

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

Send us your feedback.

EDITIONS FOR ARTTHROB

ArtThrob announces the release of its Portfolio Two, containing works by Jane Alexander, Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko, Guy Tillim and Mikhael Subotzky. Each one of this limited edition of ten portfolios is available for R40 000.

Also this month, ArtThrob Editions announces the release of its latest print, an etching by Willem Boshoff. Titled 'Political Candyfloss (left and right)', the work was a big hit on the Joburg Art fair, with a sizeable chunk of our edition selling out.

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ISSUE #140_04.09

Bell-Roberts Contemporary

Goodman Gallery

Gallery on the Square

Vansa

Mweb

Goodman Gallery

Association for Visual Arts

Rose Korber Art

Bank Gallery

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