, writing from New York, perceives a possible new highlighting and understanding
of African art outside of the continent. As I write this, Iziko South African
National Gallery's head of contemporary art, Emma Bedford is in that city as
part of a hand-selected group of international curators invited to provide
fresh ideas to the curators of MoMA. March sees shows that tend towards representing the great names in South African art. Look through the listings
and the reviews
and names such as Norman Catherine, the late Gerard Sekoto, the late Dumile
Feni, Jurgan Schadeberg, Malcolm Payne, Sue Williamson and
William Kentridge seem to dominate. Can it be that another corner has been turned here at home?
The last two or three years has seen an enlivened and laudable celebration
of the young, fresh and recently (or never) graduated. Those young guns have
been given much needed exposure which in turn provides an airing for the mustier
'hoekies' of the 'jongmanskas' (a deliberate gender choice in that metaphor
by the way) that is South African art. However, it may just be that we are
seeing a subtle shift towards those who have spent a lifetime (or at least
a solid chunk of it) working at the very difficult thing that it is to make
art that lasts beyond the season's fashions. Nevertheless, as the South African
Association of Art and Architectural Historian's recently acknowledged, the
list of who makes it as a 'big name' historically is still tainted by racism
and it's legacy. Encapsulated in these observations, it seems to me, lies a
real conundrum and a valuable point of departure.
Next update: Saturday 2 April.
Wim Botha's show at Michael Stevenson Contemporary is a much-anticipated display by this highly talented sculptor. Norman Catherine takes the Cape by storm this month with two shows, one of which is at the hot new space, 34 Long. Jennifer Lovemore-Reed's solo at Bell-Roberts is bound to provide more evidence of this artist's brave and engaged view of the world. It is also the Month of Photography and numerous photographic shows are to be found in almost every nook and cranny of the peninsula. We list some of the stand-outs, such as Jurgen Schadeberg at Photographers Gallery za.
Stephan Erasmus makes his presence felt at Gordart; and Warren Siebrits unveils an international-level exhibition of major South African artists with 'Sekoto to Sihlali'. Steven Cohen, Jay Pather, Gerard Bester place the moving and displayed body in context at Dance Umbrella. The fresh voices of Deborah Weber, Michael MacGarry, Zander Blom, and Jan-Henri Booyens promise to give a shout out at Pretoria's ground-breaking Outlet space. Sue Williamson checks into the Goodman for an eagerly anticapated solo this month.
The international following that Aryan Kaganof has achieved will be traced in Durban with 'recent works', a three-person show with Peter Engblom and Nicola Deane at artSPACE durban. 'Loud Silence' by Anawana Haloba features at the NSA Gallery's Multimedia Room next to an exhibition of recent paintings by Grace Kotze in the Main Gallery. If that was not enough for one gallery, an installation by Thando Mama can also be seen at the house that Storm built. Following her important study of women artists, Brenda Schmahmann curates 'Through the Looking Glass' at DAG.
When does she find time to sleep? Mandy Lee Jandrell presents her first solo London show with work that combines erudition and humour in a photographic examination of the manner in which Africa is constructed for the edification of tourists in 'Safari'. New York's Axis Gallery shows the cream of current South African artists working on paper.
Lloyd Pollak finds much of value in Malcolm Payne's latest body of work at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town, but is left feeling that there is much more that the artist is yet to say. Kim Gurney looks at two very different shows taking place at Bell-Roberts as part of the Month of Photography: an 'all women' show downstairs and in extreme contrast a very boykie-like competition between the world of rugby and soccer. Brent Maistre's latest show at the NSA is full of humour, Camilla Copley discovers. A long overdue monograph is finally published on the renowned artist Penny Siopis. Kresta Tyler Johnson argues that it solidifies her place in the annals of South African art history. Robyn Sassen examines MTN's self-examination through art and is impressed by the maturity to be found in Alison Kearney's 'Portable Hawker' project. Internationally Joost Bosland asks whether New York's 'National Black Fine Art Show' doesn't offer a model for South Africa.
A recent strategic planning workshop revealed the necessity for the South African Association of Art and Architectural Historians (SAAAH) to develop a new identity replete with awareness and relevance, and a sexy enough image to make the discourse more palatable, and attractive for new members. Standard Bank Young Artist Wim Botha has the arduous task ahead of creating an exhibition for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and living up to his new title. Kresta Tyler Johnson takes the opportunity to converse with the artist as he embarks on his year. The trinity session in collaboration with Enjin creative magazine are hoping to develop a Museum for Dead Media. Polly Street Art Centre was the fabled art school where many African artists were given their first opportunities to express themselves visually. A new publication celebrates the Centre and the stories that have all but disappeared with time.
The Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) is once again gearing up for a week of festivities and the visual art element alone is one good reason to make the trip to Oudtshoorn. Kim Gurney reports.
Sue Williamson is visited by curator Harm Lux, works hard in the studio, and receives a new copy of 'Contemporary' with a South African art star on the cover.
This month's Artbio is held over for a double dose next month.
Wooloo Productions offers a space for artists to (digitally) gather and share ideas. Through a programme of curatorship and production this team has a site that is full of stimulating ideas.
Carine Zaayman takes on the monster that is the Design Indaba. Her witty account will have those who could not make the giant Design fair wishing they had been there, and not only for the buffet table.
Enjin in collaboration with The Trinity Session are calling for contributions
of dead technology for the Enjin Museum
of Dead Media.
Red Eye is held this month in
collaboration with the Mercury Durban
Designer Collection, and is entitled 'Urban Edge'.
The UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries
for Artists Programme invites
applications, and a collective of 'designers/writers/artists' want your meat in
A short request for help in locating someone is all we have this month.
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There are only four more prints by William Kentridge left for sale. They will
be on online auction - the best offer by the 10 March will secure them. Make an offer by emailing your bids to
Editions for ArtThrob's latest print takes the form of a set of ten exquisitely designed cut and printed ivory cards entitled The Story of Thulani Nganga by artist Peet Pienaar, creator of the brilliant Afro magazine. Everyone who has seen the set wants one.
Available now: outstanding prints by William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Hentie van der Merwe, Penny Siopis and Tracey Rose.
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