Standard Bank Gallery

Sack Man

Simon Stone
Sack Man, Oil on Cardboard , 45cm x 38 cm

SEE LISTING Performance Obscura

Athi Patra Ruga
Performance Obscura, Photographic print ,

SEE LISTING Sophiatown Evening

Gerard Sekoto
Sophiatown Evening, Oil on board , 39.5 x 50 cm
Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection


Candice Breitz
Extra #14, chromogenic print , 56 x 84cm
Commissioned by the Standard bank of South Africa


Corner Simmonds and Frederick Street, Johannesburg


Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm, Sat 9am-1pm


Simon Stone at Standard Bank Gallery

'Simon Stone: A Retrospective Exhibition' is the first comprehensive review of the career of one of South Africa's most accomplished artists, Simon Stone. Jointly organised by the Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery (SMAC) and the Standard Bank Gallery, the exhibition spans thirty-five years of Stone's work, from 1978 - 2013, and includes a selection of his most definitive paintings.


Stone is renowned for his various stylistic approaches, such as natural realism and symbolic collage. He juxtaposes different genres in paintings constructed around multiple images that provide vivid and poetic accounts of his own personal journey. Flashbacks to the troubled history of South Africa are interspersed with evocations of fabled works of art, legendary cities, beautiful women, and memories of the Cape, Johannesburg, as well as small towns and the lonely highways and the byways of his beloved Karoo. Stone's paintings have been described as 'unashamedly traditional - with a twist'.

09 July 2013 - 14 September 2013

Various Artists at Standard Bank Gallery

An extraordinary exhibition which seeks to open up new conversations about cultural diversity, social tolerance and human understanding at a time of intense movement and change in the Global South opens to the public at Standard Bank Gallery on 30 January 2013.

'Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China', explores the ways in which contemporary artists based in South Africa and China engage with new paths of movement, with economic and cultural shifts, and with the rise of new regimes, new leaders and new social and urban spaces.

The opening will be preceded by a performance procession of Athi-Patra Ruga’s The Future White Women Of Azania, on 29 January, from his ritual dressing at the Drill Hall on the corner Plein and Twist Streets in Joubert Park beginning at 17h30, through the city centre (down Nugget Street, up Anderson and into Thorpe Street), to a finale at the Standard Bank Gallery.

This performance marks the culmination of a body of work that has been in development for a number of years. Initially created in 2010 for the exhibition ‘For Those Who Live in It - Pop Culture Politics and Strong Voices', hosted by the MU Art Foundation in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, the performance has since travelled in various manifestations to Buenos Aires, Grahamstown, Cape Town and now Johannesburg.

Much like a painter would use his studies to develop the final art work, Ruga has used the various incarnations as a performance-in-continuum to build the population of The Future White Women Of Azania. The Future White Woman Of Azania was performed for the first time under this name when the artist collaborated with Standard Bank Young Artist, Mikhael Subotzky, at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, creating a procession that was followed by a 19th century Camera Obscura. The Future White Women of Azania: the manifesto saw the balloon character cloned for a shopfront piece within an instillation at GIPCA’s Live Art Festival.

This latest installation, subtitled the procession, is Ruga’s most ambitious venture with the character in terms of style and scale, and continues the artist’s contribution to a growing wealth of alternative rituals.

Videos of previous performance pieces will be on display as a part of the 'Making Way' exhibition. The exhibition includes works in diverse media by internationally acclaimed Chinese artists, Wu Junyong, Chen Qiulin, Maleonn and Qin Ga and local artists Lebogang Rasethaba, Gerald Machona, Michael MacGarry and James Webb. Also on display are a number of videos of performance pieces by Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Hua Jiming, Qin Ga, Athi-Patra Ruga, Randolph Hartzenberg and Brent Meistre which embed the action of ‘making way’ in personally, culturally and locally intimate ways.

 This exhibition is curated by Ruth Simbao, Associate Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University.

30 January 2013 - 28 March 2013

Various Artists at Standard Bank Gallery

‘The Art of Banking: celebrating through collections’  at the Standard Bank Gallery marks Standard Bank’s 150th year in banking.

All of the works on the show are drawn from the Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection, one of the oldest and most comprehensive of South African corporate art collections. Initiated in 1938, this collection comprises over 1,000 works by some 250 artists, most of whom are South African, while others are pioneer explorers of the colonial era.

The collection was initiated in 1938, when a portrait of the first general manager of Standard Bank, Robert Stewart, was acquired. No further works were acquired until 1968. At this time, the identification and selection of works for purchase relied on the preferences of the bank’s Chairman, AAQ Davies, who displayed a strong interest in the collection. Davies, chairman from 1967-1973, initiated a series of major commissions by South African artists in 1969 for the new Standard Bank Centre in Fox Street, Johannesburg, which opened in 1970. The artists commissioned were Walter Battiss, Louis Maqhubela and Cecil Skotnes. These were the first modern artists to be represented in the collection.

After Davies’ term of office, the collection continued to be informed by the tastes of successive chairmen of the bank until 1993, when art specialists were appointed to recommend and advise on purchases for the collection. A further change in the bank’s approach to collecting took place in 2001, when a formal Visual Arts Committee was established, resulting in an increasing focus on the acquisition of major contemporary works that reflect current developments in South African art-making.

Today the Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection includes work ranging from studies of fauna and flora to pieces that explore the forces that have shaped South Africa’s colonial and apartheid past. It is a particularly rich archive that powerfully demonstrates the depth, complexity and diversity of South African art.

Based on selections from the Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection, ‘The Art of Banking: celebrating through collections’ provides a journey through South Africa’s history, using art works as points of departure, or triggers, for telling a story about various eras, episodes, circumstances and events. Because the show celebrates Standard Bank’s 150th birthday, this tracing of history through art begins in 1862, when Standard Bank first opened its doors in Port Elizabeth. The story is told chronologically, narrated decade by decade. It covers numerous themes, such as the discovery of gold on the Highveld in 1886, the Second Anglo-Boer War of the 1890s, the establishment of Sophiatown in 1897, and the 1922 Miner’s Strike. Other themes include the establishment of Afrikaans as an official language in the 1930s, World War II, the student uprising of 1976, forced removals under apartheid, and the advent of democracy in 1994. The show ends with an exploration of issues of the new millennium, such as consumerism, the global economic crisis and xenophobia.

The exhibition features a host of renowned South African artists, all of whom are major contributors to the story of art in this country. These include John Mohl, Gerard Sekoto, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Brett Murray, Johannes Phokela, William Kentridge, Durant Sihlali, Sam Nhlengethwa, Trevor Makhoba, David Goldblatt, Alexis Preller, Penny Siopis and Wim Botha.

16 October 2012 - 01 December 2012

Candice Breitz at Standard Bank Gallery

Candice Breitz's first show on SA soil for a while brings together major works Mother + Father (2005), Factum (2010) and her latest work Extra (2011). This is an important showing of videos and photographic prints from this SA-born Berlin resident, whose career has garnered great international attention for more than a decade.

08 February 2012 - 05 April 2012

Peter Clarke at Standard Bank Gallery

Currently at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg is 'Listening to Distant Thunder: The art of Peter Clarke'. The exhibition, which runs until 2 July 2011, is aimed at honouring Clarke's life, work and contribution to art and cultural development in South Africa.

The exhibition traces the career of this seminal yet oft-overlooked South African artist, from his earliest works as a soci-politically sensitive teenager on the Cape Flats to his ambitious, large-scale paintings an a mature artist.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same title, by curators Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin. The culmination of seven years of extensive research, the book traces Clarke's evolution and is a comprehensive account of his art.

04 May 2011 - 02 July 2011