[10.08.07] Hell Yeah at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Bettina Malcomess attended the one-night 'Hell Yeah' show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where amongst here notable experiences was Ed Young's opening speech. She concludes that, as exciting as the event was, 'The ultimate irony for us "in" the artworld is that we were all so busy being "on the show" that we didn't get it.'
[05.08.07] Fabian Saptouw at Michael Stevenson Side Gallery
Recent Michaelis graduate Fabian Saptouw presents his final year project 'Unravelled and Rewoven Canvas' at the new Michael Stevenson Side Gallery where Tavish McIntosh saw it. She describes him as 'well versed in the complex interrelation between materialism and conceptualism', noting that although the work is clearly the result of 'rampant conceptualism', Saptouw is clearly responsive to the 'material demands of art-making'.
[05.08.07] 'The Loaded Lens' at Goodman Gallery Cape
Tavish McIntosh reviews the Goodman's first themed show at their new Cape Town premises. 'The Loaded Lens', she claims, 'is remarkable not only for its sheer scale and bravura, but also for its disquieting cumulative narrative that consummately documents the tensions underlying photography'. From the documentation style work of David Goldblatt to the 'subjective intervention' of Kathryn Smith, the show continually questions notions of 'the real' in this fraught medium.
[05.08.07] Jill Trappler at the Gardens Presbyterian Church
Tambudzai La Verne Sibanda reviews Jill Trappler's 'Studio Conversation', a collection of work from the last two decades. She contends that Trappler's gradual move from the pure abstraction of her earliest work to a greater reliance on figuration reflects not so much a maturation as the fact that her work has always 'been mature in its attempt to explore new possibilities'.
[05.08.07] The National Arts Festival
Carol Brown visited the National Arts festival as curator of 'Positive 2007' and took in some of the other visual arts attractions when she was there. While Pieter Hugo's 'Messina/Musina' and David Goldblatt's 'Some Afrikaners Revisited' were highlights, and James Webb's 'The Black Passage' amongst other shows impressed her greatly and were skilfully curated, productions on the Fringe proved a little disappointing.
[05.08.07] Grace Kotze at Gordart Gallery
Grace Kotze's 'A sense of...' at Gordart features smaller figurative works alongside larger landscapes. In both, abstraction vies with figuration, and the artist pitches photographic detail against the qualities of her paint and its application. Tracey-Louise Edwards, while willingly seduced by this return to visual experience, is left wanting a little more.
[05.08.07] Frances Goodman at the Goodman Gallery
In 'Wishful Thinking', Frances Goodman once again investigates aspects of obsessive behaviour, frequently registering and satirising the 'less spectacular moments of human thought'. What she's really getting at, Michael Smith points out, is 'the psychology of avoidance at work underneath it all, the manner in which aspirational pursuits provide the practitioner with an "out" from dealing with their existence as it happens to be at that moment'.
[05.08.07] Africa Remix at the JAG
Amongst other things, contends Landi Raubenheimer, 'Africa Remix' asks 'How does Africa see itself in the contemporary art world?' Featuring 85 artists from 25 countries, this vast exhibition contains many lens-based works, turning the tables on conventions which have for a long time had the lens trained on the continent from the outside. Raubenheimer teases out a number of thematic concerns including the dialectics of insider/outsider and she notes a powerful manipulation and use of space by many artists.
[05.08.07] Messages and Meaning at the Durban Art Gallery
MTN's sizeable collection of contemporary art finally gets its first public showing. Carol Brown appreciates the depth, variety and structure of the exhibition, some of which resonates uncannily with the building in which it is currently hosted. She notes also the presence of work from other countries in Africa, something not frequently seen here.
[05.08.07] Andrew Verster at the KZNSA Gallery
'Now and Then', held on occasion of Andrew Verster's 70th birthday, presents models, maquettes and other work related to much of Verster's public work from costume to interior design, alongside new paintings from his recent Bodyworks series. Carol Brown notes that 'continuity with change' is a hallmark of this artist's prodigious output, and looks forward to his ten year retrospective which opens in Grahamstown next year.