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CAPE TOWN





Tessa Frootko Gordon
Sunday Service, Spiritual Baptist Church
Grenada
, 1997
Photograph

 

Tessa Frootko Gordon

Now a freelance photographer in Boston, USA, South African-born Tessa Frootko Gordon is showing photographs at the Association for Visual Arts taken over the past five years as a part of an ongoing project documenting the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Her photographs, says Frootko Gordon, 'express my fascination with the mysterious heat, light and hot colour of the tropics - the vibrancy, the darkness ...' March 30 to April 18.

 




 

Marion Arnold
Reed Dat: Stigma, Style, Seed (1998)
Watercolour on paper
102 x 152cm

 

Marion Arnold

Well-known lecturer and writer on art Marion Arnold has been musing on the threat to the environment posed by the carelessness of the human race. 'I live in a world of rich biodiversity and beauty,' says Arnold, 'but it is endangered by human beings who seem incapable of developing a concept of the future that takes cognisance of their life support system.' Arnold attempts to provoke some thought on this issue with her new work. At the Association for Visual Arts until April 18, with walkabouts by the artist in the gallery on Saturday April 4 at 11h30, and Wednesday April 8 at 13h00.

 




 

The invitation to Tracy Payne's show

 

'hush ... hush' - a love story

Tracy Payne and her alter egos polly and didi invite the public into their apartment/studio space for a close-up and personal viewing of artworks and installations on the theme of 'childhood innocence violated with love'. See this month's artbio for a fuller description. The exhibition is at 73 Rose Street, Bo-Kaap, and is open between 12 noon and 8pm Tuesdays to Sundays until April 11. Contact Tracy Payne at (021) 24-6280 with queries.

 

 


A detail of Geoff Grundlingh's
untitled piece for the Idasa show -
a panoramic photographic
landscape, hand-tinted, with
glass doors and stencilled
lettering.





 

 

Delise Reich - a detail of
one of her ceramic sculptures
on view at the Idasa

 

Idasa Gallery opening show

Opposite the site of the old slave tree at 6 Spin Street is the new Idasa Gallery which opened recently in the Cape Town Democracy Centre, located in the old Board of Executors Building. The gallery space consists of a largish open space on the ground floor, behind a coffee bar, with one small interleading room once designated as a waiting place for slaves about to receive their freedom, and three interesting bank vault spaces downstairs. Artist Julia Teale will curate four shows in the gallery in the next year, and for her opening show has lined up 12 Cape Town artists working in a wide range of styles.

There is emerging artist Julia Clarke, with her poetically-titled and subtly realised installation I Want to Carry Everything With Me For Always, a piece which, with its light-emitting suitcases and gently arranged objects, some imprinted with text, expresses a nostalgia for a future which has not yet happened. There is Geoffrey Grundlingh's departure from his large format black and white photographs to a handcoloured, text-embellished, three-dimensional triptych of a landscape. There are new ceramic sculptures by Delise Reich, and in one of the bank vaults we are afforded another look at Jane Alexander's powerful Integration Programme: Man with Wrapped Feet (1994), a wall piece of an upside down figure of a man huddled, haloed, his feet bound in black hessian. Other artists: Kevin Brand, Gavin Younge, Sipho Hlati, Thami Kiti, Dorothee Kreutzveldt, Guy Tillim, Adam Welz, and Peter John Freeman.

 


 

 

Paul Edmunds
Once, Again
Installation detail
Cable ties, pins, insulation board
Photo: Dave Southwood



 

 
 








































Pulse
Rubber tyres and plastic road cones

 

Paul Edmunds at the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet

A premise of the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet is that each installation by an artist should give primary consideration as to how the work will fill the small white triangular space which fronts onto Bree Street with large glass windows - it is indeed a 'cabinet' - as if it had been specifically designed for the space. Perhaps no previous artist has taken this concept to heart quite as completely as Paul Edmunds, who has utterly transformed the space by covering every inch of the white walls with panels of softboard which glitter with thousands upon thousands of pins holding into position linked strips of coloured plastic into patterns of tortuous curves. The gallery has become a meditative space in which a viewer can interact with and react to the patternings at will.

One might think of cut surfaces of malachite, gnarled wood forms, the patterns of oil on water. And while reacting to the beauty of the work and enjoying such associations, a viewer might go on to wonder about the materials Edmunds uses and what it all means. Edmunds' materials are the detritus of the disposable society - the coloured strips which keep plastic bottle caps in place, collected from friends over months, the black and white ties which hold posters to poles, harvested by Edmunds while walking through the city. None of the plastic is new, and this is the point. The exhibition is called 'Once, Again'. Plastics are made from oils which the world has produced over millions of years and turned into objects to be used once and dumped without thought. Edmunds is intercepting this process, and giving us an opportunity to reflect upon it.

In the past, Edmunds has used such materials as old tyres and plastic road cones (Pulse, see left), and the coloured wires discarded by telephone repair workers as raw materials for his intricately worked pieces. 'Once, Again' is entirely consistent with this artistic practice. It is the result of months of dedicated work produced purely for the life of the exhibition, which has now been extended to April 3, and should not be missed.

 


 

 

Mans Wrange
Monument: Democratic Coffee Table
with Fair Coffee Pot and Equal
Coffee Cups
1993
Coffee, porcelain, wood, cloth, plastic,
electric pump
on 'Transpositions' at the SANG

 

'Transpositions' at the South African National Gallery

Opening on March 28 is an exhibition by five contemporary Swedish artists - Elin Wilkstrom, Matts Leiderstam, Mans Wrange, Elisabet Apelmo and Annika Lundgren - curated by Emma Bedford and Asa Nacking. This opportunity to view challenging work by artists virtually unknown in this country would appear to be another welcome strand in the net drawing South Africa into the international art world. The work addresses issues such as gender, the nature of democracy, and the uses and abuses of power, and includes video installation and interactive performance art. A programme of outreach projects involving other art institutions such as the Robben Island Museum and the Community Arts Project and aimed at the exchange of ideas and skills between Swedish and South African artists, museums and the general pulic is also on the agenda. Review next month.

 




Louis Jansen van Vuuren
is the first artist to exhibit
at the new Lipschitz Gallery

 

Lipschitz Gallery opens

To have two new galleries open in Cape Town in the space of a month is just cause for celebration, and like the Idasa Gallery, the Lipschitz is housed in one of the city's historic buildings, this one at the bottom of the Bo-Kaap area, at 138 Buitengracht Street. In this light, bright and airy gallery, the opening show is an exhibition of Louis Jansen van Vuuren's paintings, solidly within the tradition of artists who have stood at their easels gazing out of the window and gorgeously painted what they saw. In a shop area downstairs, the public is given an opportunity to buy functional art pieces by a younger generation of artists, such as Brett Murray's lights and one-of-a-kind quilted plastic headboards by Lisa Brice guaranteed to provide new material for your dream time.

 




Invitation with a Steven Cohen plate
to a party at Joao Ferreira Fine Art

 

He said he ...

The Joao Ferreira Fine Art gallery celebrates the opening of their new space at 80 Hout Street with an exhibition and party on April 5 at 6pm. The invitation features a painted plate by Vita Art Awards finalist Steven Cohen with the message 'He said he loved me but he wouldn't fuck me.' According to the gallery press release, this is a 'small clue as to the nature of the event' which 'goes way beyond sensationalist advertising for our new gallery. The details of the happening need to be kept secret at this stage in order for it to have full impact.' Sounds like good publicity to us. Inquiries, phone 082-490-2977.

 


JOHANNESBURG


 



 

Robert Hodgins
Crazy Jane's Tearoom 1997-8
Oil on canvas
76.5 x 91.5cm

Would You Buy a Used
Car From This Man?
1998
Oil on canvas
75 x 50cm

 

'Night of the Awards' - Robert Hodgins at the Goodman

'The duty of an artist', Robert Hodgins has said, 'is to pour into a painting as much as you know and as much as you've got.' It is a responsibility which the artist has always taken completely seriously, while at the same time maintaining a healthy disrespect for any subject which shows the faintest sign of authoritarianism. Captains of industry, generals, politicians - all appear as figures of fun in Hodgins' work, but however you feel about that, the colours and juxtapositions of other colours work so beautifully, the brushstrokes are so animated and assured that the work is irresistible. 'Night of the Awards' is the title of Hodgins' new show which opened at the Goodman on March 28 and continues until April 18.

 
 


 



Rachel Whiteread
House 1993
The artist's best-known
work

 

British sculpture at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

'I try to elaborate fictions for potentially pleasurable moments of encounter, and one has to acknowledge that these are delicate and most likely cannot sustain themselves, like a bubble.' This quote by one of the artists on this exhibition, the late Helen Chadwick - she died a few years ago, at the height of her powers - might provide a motif for visitors to 'A Changed World' - British sculpture from 1963 to 1996, sponsored by the British Council, and showing at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. In any encounter, both parties have to bring something to the moment for it to be really pleasurable, and in this case, some understanding of the artists' intentions helps enormously. Turner prize-winner Rachel Whiteread has been recording details of middle-class British domestic architecture - before it all gets knocked down - by casting the negative spaces in rooms, and using those casts as her pieces. Most notably, in House (1993) she cast the interior of an entire house, due to be demolished, then removed the outside walls and roof. False Doors at the Johannesburg Art Gallery is in this mode. Among others on show are works by Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Gilbert & George.

 


 



Lynne Lomofsky
Cancer Ward: LE 32 (1997)
Installation detail

 

'Cancer Ward: LE32'

A powerful installation of a personal experience of cancer opens at the Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery at the Market Theatre on April 5. Lynne Lomofsky was 37 years old and living in Toronto when she was diagnosed with non-hodgkins low-grade lymphoma, and gradually found her debilitating treament forced her to change her way of artmaking . Using photographs behind curtains and hospital paraphernalia, this unsentimental installation really works.

 
... MWeb

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