Archive: Issue No. 123, November 2007

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04.11.07 William Kentridge at the Goodman Gallery
04.11.07 'Impossible Monsters' at Art Extra
04.11.07 Wilma Cruise at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery
04.11.07 'Tact' at Artspace Fine Art Gallery
04.11.07 Gerhard Marx at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art
04.11.07 Fiona Pole at Art on Paper Gallery
04.11.07 Maja Marx at The Premises Gallery
04.11.07 'Joburg - Bamako: a photographic encounter' at Afronova
04.11.07 Peter Eastman at Obert Contemporary at Melrose Arch
04.11.07 Varenka Paschke at Worldart
04.11.07 'Yours, mine and hers' at Stewart Gallery
04.11.07 Anglo American's Festive Season on Main
04.11.07 Theresa-Anne Mackintosh 'Menagerie' at Gallery Momo

07.10.07 Willem Boshoff at The Standard Bank Gallery
07.10.07 Sabelo Mlangeni at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art
07.10.07 Eva and Franco Mattes, Bronwyn Millar and Pippa Stalker at David Krut Projects


04.11.07 Mark Cloet, Jackie McInnes and Johan Thom at Fried Contemporary Art Gallery
04.11.07 'Contemporary Visions of Southern Africa' at the Pretoria Art Museum
04.11.07 Fourth year Fine Art students of University of Pretoria at the SACTE Building

09.09.07 'A Story of African Art' at The Pretoria Art Museum


William Kentridge

William Kentridge
What will come (has already come) 2007
installation view at Stádel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
dimensions variable

William Kentridge at the Goodman Gallery

An exhibition of recent work by SA's own art mega-star William Kentridge opens on November 10 at the Goodman Gallery. 'What Will Come' takes its title from the Ghanaian proverb 'What will come has already come'.

This body of drawings, prints and stereoscopic images continues an interest in the 'medium of sight', furthering Kentridge's exploration of the construction of seeing. The show centres around an 'anamorphic' film, an eight-minute work entitled What will come. The images in this work only take on their proper proportions when reflected in a cylinder placed at the centre of the projection. This work references concepts of the picture puzzle that originated in the 16th century.

A body of anamorphic drawings from the film will also be shown, mirrored in cylinders. Other work concerned with optics and the construction of seeing, includes a series of stereoscopic photogravures that take on three dimensions as one looks through large stereoscopic viewers. Outsized stereoscopic drawings likewise gain unexpected depth when viewed stereoscopically. In addition to this work which deconstructs the mechanics of seeing, 40 to 50 graphics from the past year will be shown. These relate to the opera The Magic Flute, the mini-theatre installation Black Box, the film What Will Come, and to Shostakovich's opera The Nose. Finally, a series of table-top equestrian sculptures muse on 'the Nose on horseback', as Kentridge begins work towards a production of the opera to open in New York in 2010.

Opens: November 10
Closes: December 14


Art Extra Carlos Alres
Chuy from Happily Ever After series 2007
print on metallic paper
100 x 100cm

'Impossible Monsters' at Art Extra

Like other major centres in South Africa, Johannesburg seems to be getting its fair share of new galleries. The last few months have seen the appearance of a number of new venues, including Worldart in Jozi's Commissioner Street and Rooke Gallery in Newtown. November will see the opening of yet another space devoted to contemporary art, Art Extra, curated and managed by David Brodie, previously of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and more recently the Goodman Gallery.

The venue's inaugural exhibition is a group show entitled 'Impossible Monsters', and features work by artists such as Penny Siopis, Wim Botha, Reshma Cchiba and Lester Adams.

The show runs till next year, but the gallery is closed between December 15 and January 8.

Opens: November 7
Closes: January 19 2008


Wilma Cruise

Wilma Cruise
Chicken, Dog, Woman 2007
dimensions variable
Photo: Carla Crafford

Wilma Cruise at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery

Wilma Cruise exhibits new work under the cryptic title 'Cocks, Asses & (I can't hear)' at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery during November. This is the gallery's final exhibition for the year.

Works on show range from Cruise's characteristic life-size ceramic sculptures through to prints and pages from her '100 page diary'. The show deals with humankind's inability to listen to one another, to the environment and to the other inhabitants of the world. Cruise employs body language and inflection rather than overt imagery to explore her theme. She talks about her clay bodies acting as 'pages' on which to write her concerns, but in fact, it is in the gestural interactions happening in-between these bodies that the exploration of her concerns really takes place.

The exhibition will be opened by Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs at 6.30pm, Wednesday November 7.

Opens: November 7
Closes: November 28



Tact exhibition invitation

'Tact' at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

Artspace Fine Art Gallery hosts a group show entitled 'Tact', featuring work by Paul Boulitreau, Liza Grobler, Lee-At Meyerov, Antoinette Murdoch, Musha Neluheni and Beverley Price.

The premise for 'Tact' was the idea of using fabric or textile as a starting point for creating fine art. The common interest was in the material, the palpable and the tangible. Despite the current interest in blurring the boundaries between fashion and art in South Africa, the work on this show shifts far away from this, revealing diverse and interesting views of textile as an art medium.

The exhibition title also refers to the idea of measuring one's speech, saying that which is appropriate or which does not cause offence. Murdoch continues with her text confessions, her felt-on-board works navigating the space between revelation and tact. The phrases almost become secondary to the lines and colours formed by these words. Meyerov explores a sense of tact, something aesthetically pleasing, through found objects that create lines and patterns which compel the eye. She uses materials such as masking tape to create fabric-like contours in her work. Grobler's tapestries possess a skill that draws the viewer in with the seductive colours and intricate designs. Her use of this time-honoured form of textile framework is skillfully appropriated into the realm of contemporary art making.

Neluheni continues her work on the corset by bringing in tactile fabrics that are removed from the traditional lace and satin usually used in corset making. Boulitreau and Price collaborate on a work which places Price's jewellery art into a contemporary culture of adornment. Their distinction between the inside and outside, the 'haves and have-nots', creates a tension between the varied media incorporated in the installation and photographs. The idea of 'all that glitters is not gold' is wonderfully narrated in the use of found objects to create seemingly expensive pieces of jewelry.

Opens: October 21
Closes: November 10


Gerhard Marx at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art

Warren Siebrits presents the follow-up to Gerhard Marx's sell-out show there in 2005. This exhibition, entitled 'photo-' seems to continue Marx's interest in working with map fragments. No other details were available at time of publication.

Opens: November 15
Closes: December 12


Fiona Pole

Fiona Pole
Here we go round the Mulberry bush 2007
carborundum print

Fiona Pole at Art on Paper Gallery

'The long goodbye' is the title of the exhibition as well as the featured new portfolio of etchings by Fiona Pole, consisting of 20 prints housed in a red handmade cloth-covered box. The images from the portfolio are also presented in sequences, printed in groups of four on the same sheet of paper to create five larger works. Pole favours the format and creative possibilities offered by the print portfolio, and two earlier portfolios, '1994 - new memories - 2004' (2004) and 'In memory of Anna 1936 - 2000' (2006) will form part of the exhibition.

In her new work, Pole continues her visual exploration relating to her interest in childhood memories and other aspects of social interaction. An ominous sense of the tenuous relationship between adult and child surfaces in subtle as well as startling ways.

Pole studied in South Africa and Paris, France, specializing in printmaking. For the last six years she has worked as studio assistant in various artists' printmaking studios in Paris, facilitating her own art as well. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions in France and the UK. She lives in Paris with her partner and her son, making regular trips to South Africa.

Opens: November 3
Closes: November 22


Maja Marx at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre

Johannesburg based artist and Ampersand foundation fellow Maja Marx's exhibition 'As Far As The Eye Can Touch', documents a series of large scale, text-based interventions executed in the landscape. Over the last two years Marx has produced a chain of site-specific works by physically writing onto landscape surfaces such as koppies, roads and frozen lakes using stones, earth or paint, and by physically modifying existing landscape inscriptions. By performatively writing text onto land, the artist's body takes the place of the hand in writing. In all of these spatial inscriptions, Marx's artistic intervention is a transient and temporary product with stone texts that eventually sink through the melting ice of frozen lakes in Switzerland, buried stone letters that are excavated and re-chalked, or painted pedestrian crossings that are erased by heavy inner-city traffic. Her photographs and objects serve as the surviving trace and documentation of these works and resonate with her interest in the role of the viewer as passer-by, and in how we survey and mark our ocularised landscapes.

Opens: November 3
Closes: November 24



Joburg - Bamako exhibition invitation

'Joburg - Bamako: a photographic encounter' at Afronova

Afronova presents a photographic exhibition entitled 'Joburg - Bamako: a photographic encounter' featuring work by Jodi Bieber, Thando Mama, Andrew Tshabangu and Nontsikelelo Veleko.

The show seeks to explore what it calls the 'phenomenal attention' gained by African photography in recent years. The title of the show refers to the 7th annual 'African Photography Encounters', which will open in Bamako, Mali on November 23.

Opens: October 19
Closes: November 23


Peter Eastman

Peter Eastman
Red Shadow 2007
enamel and oil on board
240 x 180cm

Peter Eastman at Obert Contemporary at Melrose Arch

Obert Contemporary at Melrose Arch presents a show of paintings by Cape Town-based artist Peter Eastman. According to Eastman, 'These enamel shadow paintings reflect on our position as a viewer. The make us aware of ourselves in relation to a painting and, more broadly, of our persona and position in the world at large. They mirror our projections onto paintings, and blur the boundaries between the intentions of the artist and our preconceptions. The viewer is integral to these paintings, and in reality the viewer's shadow and reflection is a fundamental part of the transient image.'

Opens: November 19
Closes: January 31


Varenka Paschke at Worldart

For her upcoming exhibition Varenka Paschke has covered squares with a variety of materials, which she has then assembled as units to serve as canvases for oil paintings. The end products vary considerably in many respects, but could be summed up as mainly figurative works in a contemporary idiom, sometimes entering into a dialogue with illustration work, and even taking on a partly digital character. In some cases mosaic designs and floral patterns are integrated with figurative elements. The presentation remains stimulating and fresh, and social commentary is often embedded in an array of decorative forms and shapes. The subtle application of colour, line and light is highly favoured, which may well contribute to Paschke's works often finding their way to private and corporate collections.

Opens: November 29


'Yours, mine and hers' at Stewart Gallery

The Stewart Gallery presents an exhibition of work by artists Lou Almon, Elaine Cowley and Lauren Hegele entitled 'Yours, mine and hers'. The show features paintings by these three artists. The exhibition will be opened by Nicola Danby, CEO of Business and Art South Africa (BASA).

Opens: November 2
Closes: November 24


Anglo American's Festive Season on Main

Johannesburg residents and visitors can look forward to a creative and colourful festive season yet again. For the past three years, Anglo American has undertaken a successful arts initiative, whereby local artists were commissioned to create their version of a Christmas tree, celebrating the renaissance of downtown Johannesburg. A variety of South African artists will be invited to submit a proposal of what the Festive Season means to them.

Artists will create a large-scale sculpture using weather resistant materials. Artists that participated in last year's project include Dave Rossouw, Gina Waldman, Johan Thom, Wilma Cruise and Gavin Younge, John Molteno, and, Thomas Kubai and KEAG, a Cape Town-based organisation. Artists for this year are still in the process of being selected.

The sculptures this year will once again frame 44 Main Street, Anglo American's Johannesburg corporate office since the 1930s. Greater Main Street has been transformed into a pedestrian promenade where tarred roads have been replaced with trees, leafy ground covers and decorative paving as part of the inner city rejuvenation partnership programme.

The event is open to the public and the switch on of the glittering lights with festive Carols will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday November 21. This 'exhibition' will be on display and lit in the evenings from November 21 to January 5.

Theresa-Anne Mackintosh 'Menagerie' at Gallery Momo

Gallery Momo presents an exhibition of recent work by Cape Town-based artist Theresa-Anne Mackintosh, called 'Menagerie'.

Opens: November 8
Closes: November 26


Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
FLAG I 2003
plastic toys, wood, glue
1140 x 1905mm

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
War and Peace 2004
cement, steel, wood, glue, sand
1600 x 1020mm

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
Negotiating the English Labyrinth 1971
paper, masonite, wood, glue
1200 x 2400mm

Willem Boshoff at The Standard Bank Gallery

The Standard Bank Gallery presents a retrospective of Willem Boshoff entitled 'Word Forms and Language Shapes 1975-2007'. This is a mid-career retrospective of work by the internationally acclaimed South African artist, curated by Warren Siebrits.

Arguably South Africa's leading conceptual artist, Boshoff is a sculptor fascinated by the forms of words and the shape of language. Included in the exhibition is his seminal work, KYKAFRIKAANS (1977-1980), a series of 100 concrete poems created on a typewriter consisting of forms and shapes derived by the artist using the Afrikaans language.

The show includes Boshoff's much acclaimed Blind Alphabet (1991-ongoing), which comprises a series of intricately carved wooden sculptures, shaped by the artist to impart the meanings of archaic and lost words. The forms and corresponding Braille definitions make it impossible for a sighted person to fully grasp the work's complexity, unless aided by someone who can read Braille.

Boshoff has remained a pacifist his whole life and has always felt wars and violence to be morally unjustifiable. While undergoing military training in the SADF during the 1970s, he refused to carry a rifle on moral and ethical grounds and later also refused to attend any further military camps. Bangboek (1978-1981) is a cryptic and coded record of this time in the artist's life, written in miniature text.

Cryptic scripts and the writing of dictionaries on various subjects have been an ongoing fascination for Boshoff, as evident in works such as Skynbord (1977-79), a dictionary of colour; and Garden of Words (1982-2007), an ongoing study and dictionary of over 15 000 South African plant names.

Aspects of social injustice and prejudice, particularly as a result of colonialism and empire building, are also recurring themes in Boshoff's oeuvre, particularly over the last decade. In this respect he has spent much time researching graveyard and memorial sites related to the South African War (1899-1902). One such work, 32 000 Darling Little Nuisances (2003), records and honours the memory of 32 000 children under the age of 15 who died during this war, mostly while prisoners of war in concentration camps.

Significant among Boshoff's most recent works are those focusing on the implications of the crisis in the Middle East after the events of September 11, 2001. Pivotal works in this regard are Flag I and Flag II(2003) and What is Our Oil Doing Under Their Sand? (2004).

'Word Forms and Language Shapes 1975-2007' is accompanied by a catalogue, which includes a lengthy interview with Boshoff and reproductions of 42 pivotal works selected to highlight the evolution of the artist's rich and diverse creative and conceptual art language. The catalogue has been specifically designed to help high school and university learners with their research.

Opens: September 25
Closes: December 1


Sabelo Mlangeni

Sabelo Mlangeni
Uniform 2006
31 x 45.3cm

Sabelo Mlangeni at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art

A compelling body of work is on show at ArtThrob's regular haunt Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art during October and November. Sabelo Mlangeni's black and white photographs of Johannesburg's contingent of female street cleaners entitled 'Invisible Women' deals with the downside of boomtown economics. Mlangeni investigates these women and their late-night occupation of cleaning litter and rubbish from communal spaces in the city. Mlangeni deftly sidesteps comparison with the flood of other lens-based media artists dealing with aspects of inner city life by eschewing frenetic bustle and favouring stark, deserted compositions that recall Edward Hopper's better images.

Opens: October 11
Closes: November 9


Eva and Franco Mattes

Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.ORG)
Karee Kayvon 2006
digital print on Somerset Velvet
75 x 99cm
published by Jean-Yves Noblet Contemporary Prints

Eva and Franco Mattes, Bronwyn Millar and Pippa Stalker at David Krut Projects

'Digital Surrogates' brings together four artists from across the globe who blur the line between digital interactive media and the fine arts. The show will feature five large digital portraits from a series entitled 13 Most Beautiful Avatars by Eva and Franco Mattes alongside paintings by Bronwyn Miller and photographs by Pippa Stalker. Together this work translates persuasively into an analysis of self, public perception and possibility.

Eva and Franco Mattes, also known in techie circles as are internationally recognised as supreme interventionists. Most of their projects involve different forms of media hacking and bogus culture trafficking. In one instance the duo temporarily hijacked the Nike logo for a public installation in Vienna. In another, they created an entirely fictional artist, only to murder him once he was sufficiently famous.

Here, they have made a series of dramatic portraits of avatars created on Second Life with New York printmaker, Jean-Yves Noblet. Second Life is a 3-D virtual world wherein one can build an alter-ego or avatar to meet with others, be entertained, buy land even trade real-life products. Bronwyn Miller will be showing paintings of a new avatar, created in preparation for the show with a photographic, animated portrait of her ideal self. Through her examination of the subversive nature of art games, Stalker has created a body of photographic work documenting the hundreds of characters she has killed online.

Opens: October 11
Closes: November 17


Mark Cloet, Jackie McInnes and Johan Thom at Fried Contemporary Art Gallery

Prominent Belgian artist Mark Cloet shows at Fried Contemporary Art Gallery during October and November, along with South Africans Jackie McInnes and Johan Thom. The show is titled 'Bliss'.

Cloet is a philosopher-artist who is guided and influenced by people as texts. He prefers not to limit himself to one medium, rather using drawing, lost wax, bronze, paint and found materials in his sculptural installations. His work reveals a continual search for the significance and function of objects through the deconstruction of original meanings as well as through displacing, reassembling and reconstructing objects.

McInnes has chosen to interpret the idea of bliss as an 'ill-defined liminal state somewhere between pleasure and pain, beauty and the repugnancy'. She seeks to 'operate in that space of conscious awareness where things can be perceived, discerned or sensed, but cannot be experienced in the real'. In her work, disturbing imagery is visually conflated with the beauty of patterning, the landscape and the body. McInnes seeks to force a degree of participation in those areas that people generally prefer to ignore or suppress.

Thom shows a new video work entitled Ascension (2007), co-directed by Garreth Fradgley. Thom is a full-time artist resident at the Fordsburg Artists Studios in Johannesburg. He often uses video, sound and performance to explore the close link between human beings and sociopolitical and economic environment, and spirituality. His works are often confrontational and darkly humorous, terrorising our sense of space, order and stability.

Opens: October 18
Closes: November 17


'Contemporary Visions of Southern Africa' at the Pretoria Art Museum

The City of Tshwane Pretoria Art Museum, in collaboration with the Development Bank of Southern Africa presents an exhibition entitled 'Contemporary Visions of Southern Africa' during November and December. The show features work by visual artists from southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, hosted under the patronage of the South African National Association of Visual Arts (SANAVA).

Opens: November 2
Closes: December 22


Fourth year Fine Art students of University of Pretoria at the SACTE Building

The fourth year Fine Art students from the University of Pretoria's Visual Arts Department present an exhibition of work under the title 'I-SPY'. The exhibition will be opened by Johan Myburg at 7pm, November 9.

Opens: November 9
Closes: November 16


'A Story of African Art' at The Pretoria Art Museum

Until December this year is an exhibition of works from the museum's permanent collection under the title 'A Story of African Art'. The show tells 'a brief story of South African art from the time of the first San artists', including images from early 20th century painters, works from the period of Resistance art and 21st century contemporary works. This takes place in the museum's South Gallery.

Closes: December