While down here in Cape Town, between small tastes of spring, winter makes a few last stands, exhibitions all over the country seem to be displaying a similar kind of dichotomy - the older established voices assert themselves in the clamour of younger upstarts. Willem Boshoff's mid-career retrospective has opened at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg (see REVIEWS
) and a one-person show opens soon at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town. That gallery is currently hosting Penny Siopis, whose work has certainly been in my consciousness for at least 20 years. Of a similar vintage is Jeremy Wafer whose show of recent work at Goodman Gallery Cape Town is reviewed (see REVIEWS
). The older and younger mix when Kevin Brand teams up with Sanell Aggenbach for a show at the AVA entitled 'Arcadia'. We also review 'Posters Designed Under Apartheid' at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art (see REVIEWS
), which takes us back to a poignant moment in our cultural history. All of the older generation mentioned above have their practice firmly rooted in their reaction against that abhorrent ideology which permeated any cultural production for several decades. Since 1994, artistic concerns have diversified, and we see the results of that in the number of shows by younger artists. Lisa Brice, whose solo show opens at Goodman Gallery Cape this month, seems to straddle the divide, having moved from the socio-political concerns of her earlier work into the emotional territory of her current paintings. Spearheading the younger generation of artists whose sensibilities are informed by a post-1994 context are the likes of curators Carrie Timlin and Lily Luz whose multi-part, fabulously named 'The idiotic and inchoate descent into nihilism' opens its final chapter at the Michaelis Gallery. Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry of Avant Car Guard (see STUDENT REVIEWS
) appear to be shaping up as the enfants terribles
of their generation, taking pops at Pierneef and Kendell Geers alike. Blom opens 'The Drain of Progress' in Johannesburg, which is accompanied by a catalogue raisonné
, as he calls it. We will be posting an interview with him early next week.
NEXT UPDATE: Monday, November 5
Lisa Brice shows at Goodman Gallery Cape while Kevin Brand and Sanell Aggenbach team up for 'Arcadia' at the AVA, and Willem Boshoff is at Michael Stevenson Gallery. The final show from inveterate young curators Carrie Timlin and Lily Luz opens at the Michaelis Gallery.
Willem Boshoff's mid-career retrospective opens at the Standard Bank Gallery, while recent Sasol Wax Art Award winner Walter Oltmann shows at the Goodman Gallery. Sabelo Mlangeni presents his haunting photographs of Johannesburg's late night street cleaners at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art, and Marcel Waldeck exhibits his found images in lightboxes at the Rainforest Project Room at Gordart Gallery.
The big news for October in Durban is the opening of the new Bank Gallery in trendy Florida Road, which kicks off with an exhibition by Andries Botha, who has not shown in the city for some time. Mduduzi Xakasa, formerly from Pietermaritzburg, has also not shown in Durban for some time and his meticulously painted landscapes will no doubt attract much attention at the African Art Centre. The Durban Art Gallery addresses the issue of street name changes in 'No Longer at this Address'.
Two young South Africans, Tim Dempers and Michael Elion, present a show entitled 'Raw' alongside Paris' FIAC Art Fair. Capetonians Liza Grobler and Jeanne Hoffman show Afrikan Tähti at Lönnström Art Museum in Rauma, Finland, while across the Atlantic a number of SA artists - including Berni Searle and Kim Berman - take part in 'Inscribing Meaning' at the Fowler Museum, which explores the interplay between African art and the communicative power of graphic systems, language, and the written word.
Carol-anne Gainer's 'Drawn', which Linda Stupart finds 'cohesive' and 'arresting', also tends towards the 'cutesy' and 'easy' in parts. Stupart had wished that, after her previous show at the same venue, Gainer would have produced something a little more disquieting. Bettina Malcomess visited 'Singing the Real' at the SANG, a show of work by artists working in Irealnd or of Irish descent. With some exceptions, she found the broad theme of art and science not fully developed, and the one work which actually bore relevance to both South African and Irish identity seemed unrelated to the theme. Tavish McIntosh , while impressed with Brendhan Dickerson's skill, hard work and attention to detail in 'Living Conditioned', remains less convinced by the engagement with gender identitiy he purports to make. In a series of diverse yet closely related works, Jeremy Wafer takes command of Goodman Gallery Cape's handsome new space with his austere and restrained but powerful works. His show, Sue Williamson says, deserves international exposure.
Michael Smith finds himself re-visiting his youth upon seeing 'Posters Designed Under Apartheid' at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art. Siebrits, Smith contends, underlines the 'importance of culture as a conduit for the struggle' in this collection of posters opposing apartheid and its institutions in its final three decades. Also included are a few posters from the other side of the fence. Landi Raubenheimer reviews Willem Boshoff's 'Word forms and language shapes' at the Standard Bank Gallery which, in some cases, leaves her unconvinced. While acknowledging his place in the canon, and accepting the powerful dovetailing of Boshoff's personal and cultural heritage with the ideological issues he addresses, Raubenheimer argues that the artist often appears wrapped up in 'explorations of his own beliefs and pre-occupations'. Brenden Gray describes Kathryn Smith's 'In Camera' as 'a kind of double show'. The first one encounters upon viewing a series of blank sheets of paper, one he feels is less capitalised on; the second appears when the UV lights kick in, revealing a collection of the artist's stock-in-trade forensic ephemera.
Carol Brown reviews what she anticipated to be a rather dull exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery, but which turns out to be otherwise. 'No Longer At This Address - Navigating Post-Apartheid Identities' addresses the controversial stree re-naming process currently underway in Durban.
Clare Butcher reviews Avant Car Guard's 'Naked Frontier Ambition Vibes' which, she claims, confronts 'perceptions of authorship, the location of the artistic centre, production process and any sense of a homogenous contemporary African aesthetic'. Lauren Reid reviews Carol-anne Gainer's 'Drawn', which, she observes, finds the artist moving away from the body as her central focus, as we had seen in her previous show at the same venue. The artist's use of animals - in images, toys, ornaments etc. - finds her exploring humanity's 'sinister underbelly' and its 'sadistic tendencies'.
Cape Africa Platform reassesses things, announcing Cape 09 and the proposed Sessions leading up to it. Painter Leonora van Staden wins the Vuleka Art Competition for artists who have not previously held one-person shows. Nominees for the Arts and Culture Awards are announced and these include former ArtThrob Editor Sean O'Toole. Winners will be made known on October 31. Excitement builds in Durban for the opening of Bank Gallery and for its first show - Andries Botha who has not exhibited in Durban for many years.
Michael Smith interviews Antoinette Murdoch following her ‘Karaoke Confessions’, which featured a number of text-based works focusing on the concept of confession. He also interview Zander Blom whose ‘Drain of Progress’ show is currently on at the Rooke gallery and which is accompanied by the launch of a limited edition catalogue raisonné.
Ed Young takes us through yet another harrowing month, this time with his new Mac.
Lisa Brice is this month's artbio focus.
Ed Young visits Pilot, a showcase and archive for artists without gallery representation.
Cape Africa Platform invites applications for their Young Curators' Development Programme, while the Robben Island Muesum seeks facilitators for their visual arts workshop. They also call for participation in these workshops. The next Thupelo Art and Craft Workshop takes place in Cape Town, and applications are invited.
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Editions for ArtThrob Portfolio Two 2004 - 2007 is about to be launched with seven prints from six artists - Mikhael Subotzky, Penny Siopis, Guy Tillim, Sue Williamson, Lolo Veleko and Jane Alexander. Packed in an archival linen solander box, the ten Collector's Portfolios are selling at R40 000 each.
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