Archive: Issue No. 87, November 2004

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05.11.04 'The Muse of History': Helmut Starcke at the Old Town House
05.11.04 'Voice-overs': Wits brings African artworks to the SANG
05.11.04 Guy Tillim at the SANG
05.11.04 Pieter Hugo at Michael Stevenson Contemporary
05.11.04 'A Pattern Language' by Ian Simons at 3rd i Gallery
05.11.04 'Sacred Geometry' by Sharon Peers at 3rd i Gallery
05.11.04 Sue Dall and 'Under My Skin' at VEO Gallery
05.11.04 Hannelie Taute at João Ferreira
05.11.04 'A Liberatory Vision': Maggie Laubser at the Sanlam Art Gallery
05.11.04 'Classicism Betrayed' at Erdmann Contemporary
05.11.04 Bitterkomix returns to the AVA
05.11.04 'Absolut Secret' at the AVA
05.11.04 Jacki McInnes at Bell-Roberts
05.11.04 'Curiosity CLXXV' at Hiddingh Hall, Michaelis School of Fine Art
05.11.04 'Democracy X' (extended) at The Castle of Good Hope

03.10.04 'Comics Brew' takes over Cape Town galleries
03.10.04 DaimlerChrysler Art Collection and 'Ilifa' at Iziko's SANG
03.10.04 Bruce Arnott at Irma Stern
03.10.04 Natasja de Wet at Jo�o Ferreira
03.09.04 'A Place Called Home' at SANG


05.11.04 Herman van Nazareth: a review at Sasol Art Museum


Helmut Starcke

Helmut Starcke
Clio, 2001
acrylic on canvas

'The Muse of History': Helmut Starcke at the Old Town House

Helmut Starcke, a former lecturer at Michaelis School of Fine Art, shows a series of reworked celebrated Dutch masterpieces in this exhibition at the Old Town Hall. He juxtaposes classical figures from the Golden Age of 17th century art with characters and artifacts from Africa.

According to the artist, the show comprises 'mediations and meditations on the Dutch colonial adventure, with specific reference to Africa and the history of the Cape of Good Hope, colonised by the Dutch in 1652'.

The Old Town House, which houses the famous Michaelis Collection of 17th Century Netherlandish art, is therefore an appropriate exhibition context and setting. According to curator Hayden Proud, many of the interiors evoked in Starcke's works resonate with the proportions, lighting and architectural details of the venue itself.

Opens: November 17
Closes: April 2005

'Voice-overs': Wits brings African artworks to the SANG

This exhibition comprises exceptional pieces chosen from the Standard Bank Collection of African Art at the University of the Witwatersrand Art Galleries. Curatorial responsibility lies with Wits experts Anitra Nettleton, Karel Nel, Julia Charlton and Fiona Rankin-Smith.

The collection from west, central and southern Africa includes a wide range of media and includes classical to contemporary techniques. The 120 items were chosen by 53 specialists with strong connections to Wits University. Each selector has also contributed a text in the form of poetry, short stories, artworks, narrative writing and traditional academic research.

Items on show include Jackson Hlungwane's Gabriel from the Altar of God, a Chokwe figurative staff from Angola, Sam Nhlengethwa's commentary on the death of Steve Biko It Left Him Cold, and a rare southern African beadwork panel dating from the 19th century.

Opens: November 20
Closes: February 6, 2005

Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim
Cape Augulhas flats, Esselen St, Hillbrow, April 2004

Guy Tillim at the SANG

Photographer Guy Tillim is no stranger to Cape Town gallery enthusiasts. Michael Stevenson Contemporary Gallery hosted in June a series of works called 'Leopold and Mobutu' from the Congo region.

Tillim's reputation, however, extends way beyond the Mother City. He is the most recent recipient of the prestigious DaimlerChrysler Award for Photography and this month the SANG exhibits his photographic work.

Tillim began taking photographs professionally in 1986 and has built up a strong reputation for his documentary-style work. In this show, Tillim turns his photographer's gaze from conflict-ridden sites in Africa to the inner-city life of Johannesburg. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Opens: November 27
Closes: March 21, 2005

Pieter Hugo

Pieter Hugo
Medisone Baja, aged 19, Bottom Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi 2003

Pieter Hugo at Michael Stevenson Contemporary

Photographer Pieter Hugo is holding his first solo exhibition in Cape Town this month at Michael Stevenson Contemporary Gallery. Hugo was born in Johannesburg in 1976 and is a self-taught photographer and film-maker who documents social issues.

The first series of work looks at how albinism affects preconceptions about the body. Hugo travelled extensively in Africa, South America and Europe photographing people who volunteered to be part of his project. The second part of the exhibition documents Hugo's response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He visited the country and travelled to some of the genocide sites and mass graves. The core of this series comprises landscapes, personal remnants and testimonials.

The final series captures patients suffering from tuberculosis at Malawi's Bottom Hospital in Lilongwe. The images offer a view of the guardian care programme, which encourages relatives and community members to provide nursing for the patients.

Opens: October 27
Closes: November 28

Ian Simons

Ian Simons
photographic print

'A Pattern Language' by Ian Simons at 3rd i Gallery

This solo show by Ian Simons is a photographic exhibition of 16-sequence shots taken with a Nikon Coolpix 950 camera that promises to 'tease the imagination with pattern and colour'. The sense of rhythm and pattern found in his sequential images are an extension in photographic form of the meditative paintings he has explored for the past few years, according to 3rd i Gallery.

Simons chose to live a media-free existence for a decade. During this time, he painted extensively and used writing as a ritualistic release. His artworks reflect a kind of dream space in a progressively abstract manner.

Simons graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1988. He has participated in many group exhibitions and is well represented in private collections in South Africa and abroad. This is his second solo show.

Opens: October 21
Closes: November 6

Sharon Peers

Sharon Peers

'Sacred Geometry' by Sharon Peers at 3rd i Gallery

Later this month, local photographer Sharon Peers exhibits 'Sacred Geometry: Language of Light' at 3rd i gallery. This exhibition of lithographic handprints is inspired by the concepts of sacred geometry and archetypal shapes and forms in nature.

Peers says of her work: 'I am motivated to inspire people through my images, to draw them into the creative process involved in appreciating nature's beauty. It touches my heart how perfect nature is .... to the minutest detail.'

Peers is co-owner of Framing co. inc. 3rd i Gallery as well as an emerging photographic talent.

Opens: November 13
Closes: January 29, 2005

Sue Dall

Sue Dall
lookin for my tail, 2004
oil on canvas, 1000mm x 1300mm

Sue Dall and 'Under My Skin' at VEO Gallery

Sue Dall exhibits 28 paintings at the VEO Gallery, mostly large-scale (120x100cm) and a few smaller pieces. The work is described as an intense personal exploration with the paintings forming a kind of visual diary.

Dall says: 'I love paint itself. There is so much it can do. I love playing with it and not quite knowing what it will do next. It's the unexpected or the unpredictable ... I often think I know what I want or where I'm going with a work and then an impulse, an experimental stroke or colour leads me to another place entirely.'

Opens: October 27
Closes: November 6

Hannalie Taute

Hannalie Taute
drawing from Hush-a-bye Baby series, 2004
ink on paper, 40 x 29 cm

Hannalie Taute at João Ferreira

Hannalie Taute, who currently lives in George, is holding her first solo exhibition. It comprises drawings in ink and charcoal, found objects and mixed media installations including crab claws, false teeth, teddy bears and polaroid photographs transferred onto embroidered cloth.

There are five series of works: Siembamba, Miss ..., Let's Play Pretend, Hush-a-Bye Baby and Madam Choose Your Personality.

Taute says her work seeks to represent her emotional and psychological feelings around toys or dolls. 'Dolls', she says, 'have evolved to embody aesthetic ideals. My aim is to reconstruct dolls, trying to remove them from a craft background and also disrupt the emotional impact they might have on an adult. By using dolls, I try to trace the quiet happiness typical of childhood play and ask myself the question: 'Would we be different if our toys were different?''

Opens: November 3
Closes: November 27

Maggie Laubser

Maggie Laubser
Self Portrait, 1928
475 x 340 mm (Copyright: Stellenbosch University)

Maggie Laubser

Maggie Laubser
Cat and Japonicas, 1936
oil on board 560 x 610mm (Copyright: Stellenbosch University)

Maggie Laubser

Maggie Laubser
Poplars, n.d. (1922-1924)
oil on cardboard, 335 x 400mm (copyright: Stellenbosch University)

A Liberatory Vision: Maggie Laubser at the Sanlam Art Gallery

This exhibition of 88 works by arguably one of South Africa's greatest artists includes a unique representation of some of Maggie Laubser's earlier work dating from 1914 to around 1940. The exhibition, drawn from the Sanlam Art Collection, is accompanied by a special catalogue with text by art historian Elza Miles.

Laubser holds a special position in South Africa's art history, according to Sanlam Art Collection curator Stefan Hundt - 'As viewers of her work, we can share in a limited way the intellectual and emotional liberation she achieved through her paintings. Her vision will remain a reminder of the power of art to change how we view reality.'

Opens: October 27
Closes: December 31

Classicism Betrayed

Left: Nicola Samori
Pittura Protetta XXII, 2004
mixed media on copper, , 180 x 50 cms
Upper right: Nicola Samori
Ma Siva II, 2004
mixed media on paper and aluminium, 75 x 55 cms
Lower right: Greta Frau, �Untitled�, oil on board, 29 x 21.5 cms

'Classicism Betrayed' at Erdmann Contemporary

An exhibition of contemporary Italian painting by Nicola Samori and Greta Frau is on show at Erdmann Contemporary this month. The exhibition is brought to Cape Town in association with the Italian Consulate.

Samori has made a huge impact on the Italian painting scene, according to curator Heidi Erdmann. He graduated from the Pier Luigi Nervi Art School of Ravenna and as a student developed an interest in painting and new media. He also makes sculpture, particularly in wood but also in and marble. Greta Frau exhibits eight paintings, which are all portraits of women.

Opens: November 4
Closes: December 4


Bitterkomix by Anton Kannemeyer and Conrad Botes

Bitterkomix returns to the AVA

The AVA this month hosts Bitterkomix, the famous satirical comic produced by Anton Kannemeyer (Joe Dog), Conrad Botes (Konradski) and Mark Kannemeyer (Lorcan White). Upstairs, contributors to the graphic design magazine ijusi, produced by Garth Walker, show published works.

Kannemeyer and Botes are exhibiting comics and original prints. The bulk of the exhibition focuses on their collaborative work in the comic strip art form. Other fine art work includes silkscreen prints, etchings, drawings in various media and original comic art, mostly pen and ink and acrylic poster paint.

ijusi and Bitterkomix have inspired each other for the past decade. Here they also launch a collaborative A3 publication called Bitterjusi 21, which will be available for purchase from the gallery.

The AVA show forms part of 'Comics Brew', the international festival of comic art that has been running all year countrywide (

Opens: October 25
Closes: November 13

'Absolut Secret' at the AVA

The AVA's annual fundraiser takes up all three gallery spaces for the rest of November. 'Absolut Secret' is an exhibition of miniature artworks donated by artists from around the country for a standard sale price of R700 each. The identity of the artist is kept under wraps.

This year's theme is 'Absolut Moment' and all money raised goes to the AVA's Artreach fund, which supports deserving visual artists with their art-related needs.

Opens: November 15
Closes: November 20

Jacki McInnes at Bell-Roberts

An exhibition of new sculptures by Jacki McInnes is on show at the Bell-Roberts Gallery this month. Carlton Hood will open the exhibition on November 10. The artist will give a walkabout to interested visitors at 11am on November 13.

Opens: November 10
Closes: November 27

'Curiosity CLXXV' at the Michaelis School of Fine Art

Curated by Pippa Skotnes, Gwen van Embden and Fritha Langerman, this exhibition, part of the University of Cape Town's 175th anniversary celebrations, seeks to 'celebrate curiosity and scholarship, and the symbolic and narrative power of objects.' Historical treasures, curious paraphernalia of bygone days, teaching equipment, unique research materials and academic vestments will all be brought together in a vast installation at UCT's original campus, currently the home of its Art School.

The curators have scoured every old cupboard and every nook and cranny of the departments that make up the University. From these sometimes neglected and dusty locations they have taken objects that resonate with historical importance or are unusual, bizarre or are simply curious or strange. 175 cabinets fill Hiddingh Hall, echoing the 'cabinets of curiosity' of adventurous collectors and researchers of the past. According to Skotnes, who heads the Michaelis School of Fine Art, 'Objects have an extraordinary mobility of meaning. We hope that this act of curatorship will generate new ideas about UCT collections.'

Numerous staff members, artists and academics of the University have contributed objects or even 'curated' an individual cabinet. The exhibition promises to draw attention to the way in which material objects are intimately entwined in the creation of other forms of knowledge.

[Image: uct01] [Image: uct02]

Opens: Tuesday November 23
Closes: April 1, 2005

Democracy X at The Castle of Good Hope

This exhibition, in South Africa's oldest colonial building, brings together over 300 artefacts, contemporary artworks, documents, photographs, sound and film. Most of these are from Iziko's own collections but the exhibition also includes items on loan from public and private collections throughout South Africa.

The exhibition spans seven rooms, beginning with the early traces of the human past, the first farmers and early southern African states, and leading to colonial dispossession and African resistance. Mining, urbanisation and apartheid precede the turning points of the 1970s until democracy in 1994. A special room is dedicated to the Truth Commission.

Interviews with and self-portraits of 28 year-old South Africans conclude the exhibition. Sue Williamson's Messages from the Moat, a permanent installation piece on slavery at the Cape, looks right at home in the basement of the Castle's Block B.

Opened: April 21
Closes: January 15 2005



Gathering Evidence: Bitterkomix

Comics Brew takes over Cape Town galleries

South Africa is this year playing host to an international comics festival that will help up-and-coming artists understand how to become competitive in the international market, according to its co-ordinator Anton Kannemeyer. 'Comics Brew' has been boosting this growing visual arts genre with events throughout the year.

This month, the festival comes into full swing with a variety of shows dotted around Cape Town's galleries. The Bell-Roberts Gallery is taking part from October 13 to November 6 (contact details below).

The AVA is also devoting all three gallery spaces to the famous satirical magazine, Bitterkomix. Kannemeyer (Joe Dog), Conrad Botes (Konradski) and Mark Kannemeyer (Lorcan White) will all exhibit their newest comics and prints. It opens on October 25 and closes on November 13 (contact details below).

In Stellenbosch, where Kannemeyer now teaches, the US Art Gallery is also participating with a show called 'Comics Bru!'. This exhibition of young South African comic artists includes the Strip Art Project, Durban Cartoon Project, Igubu and other young independent comic artists. It opens on October 12 at 6.30pm and runs until November 2 (contact details below).

The second version of the new comic book Stripshow will also be launched at the US Gallery on October 26 at 6.30pm. The comic is composed entirely of work by emerging female comic artists.

DaimlerChrysler Art Collection at SANG

Capetonians will be able to see one of the world's most highly regarded corporate art collections when DaimlerChrysler brings about 200 of its most important works to town. Artists on show include Josef Albers, Andy Warhol, Sylvie Fleury and our own Jane Alexander.

The collection reflects significant art developments over the past century. It provides a potted history of the last 50 years of international art production and history, moving through Concrete, Constructivist, Minimalist and Conceptual art to recent trends in abstract art.

Parts of the collection are connected to the sponsor with car-related art. There are also sections on South African art and new media.

A major feature of the exhibition is its educational programme, which includes a free publication in various languages aimed at learners and students. Workshops with artists and a trainee programme for museum staff are also being organised.

Opens: October 5
Closes: November 7

Bruce Arnott

Bruce Arnott
Cloud Surfer, 2004
pen drawing on A5 cartridge

Bruce Arnott at Irma Stern Museum

Consummate sculptor Bruce Arnott exhibits 35 small bronzes and 20 pen drawings in his latest show at Irma Stern Museum.

'Dreamtime: Signs and Portents' reflects his interest in mythological subject matter. Arnott says 'Dreamtime' also refers to his inner work and the psychological space in which poetic imagery is generated. It reflects on icons and mythologems that have influenced his approach to art-making.

Arnott's ideas are expressed in this show in a loose, geometric shorthand, with idiosyncratic images offered for aesthetic enjoyment.

Opens: October 20
Closes: November 6

Natasja de Wet

Natasja de Wet
Transformed (chair) (detail), 2003/4
Found object & mixed media, 55 X 55,5 X 95cm

Natasja de Wet at the João Ferreira Gallery

Natasja de Wet exhibits mixed media artworks in a show called 'Re-con-text'. By altering and adding elements to objects, she challenges perceptions about them. Found objects are the source of her inspiration for 'Re-con-text', which includes photographs and drawings.

De Wet says of her work: 'I attempt to draw analogies and parallels between the original use of objects and their current state � An object could have multiple meanings. When you remove one element of the whole, you can change the character of the remaining parts.'

Opens: October 11
Closes: October 30

Omar Badsha

Omar Badsha
From the series Road to Tadkeshwar (Grandfather and Children, Tadkeshwar, 1996), 2004
Photographs and Archival materials

Sunil Gupta

Sunil Gupta
From the series 'Homelands' (Mundia Pamar, Uttar Pradesh/ Chesapeake Bay, Marylands), 2001-2003

'A Place Called Home' at SANG

'Diaspora' is a term frequently used but hard to define. Although the diaspora is a somewhat nebulous concept, artists are more commonly engaging with complex and multi-faceted identities in a world where geographical boundaries are more easily permeated.

'A Place Called Home' brings together the work of various British, South African and international artists from the South Asian diaspora. They include South Africans Omar Badsha, Faiza Galdhari, Zen Marie and Usha Seejarim alongside artists like Sunil Gupta (India/ Canada/ UK), Moti Roti (Trinidad/ Pakistan/ UK) and Prema Murthy (Philippines/ India/ US).

Sponsor, the British Council Southern Africa, says the show probes the experience of minority cultures claiming space in wider social and cultural landscapes. The exhibition is curated by South African Zayd Minty and includes photographic, print, video, web-based and installation works.

Minty says the project came from a subjective position. He writes in the catalogue's introduction: 'It arose out of a long engagement with my own sense of self and of my place on the globe.'

Opens: September 22
Closes: November 7


'Ilifa' at SANG

An exhibition which opened on Heritage Day showcases 150 African artworks acquired by the gallery over the past decade. 'Ilifa Labantu Heritage of the People' is curated by Carol Kaufmann, Iziko's African art specialist. She says: 'The post-1994 sense of freedom has encouraged South Africans to look to the north to rediscover cultural affiliations with the rest of the continent.'

'Ilifa' includes textiles from Ghana, beaded crowns and gold-weights from Nigeria, Kuba ceremonial beadwork from the DRC and 'repatriated' works like engraved Nguni cattle horns depicting scenes from the Zulu war of 1879.

The exhibition will include a series of organised tours. Contact Carol Kaufmann on (021) 467 4672 or email

Opened: September 24 2004
Closes: April 2005


Herman van Nazareth: a review at Sasol Art Museum

Sasol Art Museum is holding a retrospective of four decades of Herman van Nazareth's artwork. The exhibition will be opened by the Arts and Culture Minister, Dr Pallo Jordan. Amanda Botha is the guest curator.

Van Nazareth played an important role in particular during the apartheid years with his socio-political artwork that commented on the inhumanity of abuse of power. According to the US Gallery, his fresh approach combined with his strong voice fought against injustice. His depiction of power figures also provided an insight into the history of South Africa.

Opens: 6.30pm, November 10
Closes: February 12, 2005