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Issue : May 2009


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Cecil Skotnes in his studio 1967 Photo: courtesy Pippa Skotnes

Cecil Skotnes 1926 – 2009

As a tribute to this great man The Art Times has commissioned an artist’s profile on Cecil Skotnes. Also see Hayden Proud’s Obituary in SA Business Art .

Art life renews itself through recession

‘What we’re going through is not unique,’ says Siebrits. ‘Sadly, no one is immune.’

Lim-Fat and Roger Signer of global wealth and putting their demand for morphosed from a hazy projection ‘phenomenally successful Art Fair’, This is no flash-in-the-pan,
financial services company Credit art on ice. into an uncomfortable reality. the gallery’s doors will only be open fly-by-night gallery, but one of
Alex Dodd Suisse. ‘Nowadays, deals are Still, all this nasty weather seemed until the end of May. Johannesburg’s most exacting
taking longer to close. Buyers are quite distant and academic to us I tiptoed into January with a and scholarly minded contem-
more prudent and taking more time down here in the sun-drenched dreaded sense is that our land- porary art institutions. Warren
to get to know the paintings before South – until sales figures from the scape was going to be morphing Siebrits has been responsible for
We started out the year on tenter- reaching a final decision.’ recent Joburg Art Fair came home quite irrevocably over the next few reviving the reputations of many
hooks, not knowing how the global to roost. Art sales at this year’s Fair months and that the status quo we 20th century artists (Alfred Thoba,
economic recession would hit our It didn’t help that a large percentage grossed R12-million, about half of currently take for granted as stand- Cyprian Shilakoe, Lucas Sithole…)
local contemporary art market. Dark of contemporary art buyers in re- what was achieved last year – and ard and unchanging will, despite whose legacies were overlooked
murmurings from over the stormy cent years have been cock-a-hoop this downturn despite the fact that Trevor Manuel’s bizarre assurances Siebrits will soon be embarking on a or underestimated due to their
seas weren’t very encouraging, with hedge fund managers, as well as the Fair’s attendance was up by 4 to the contrary, undergo something new chapter working privately as a place in history under apartheid, as
reports of the almost irrationally the newly bling emerging from mar- 000 and that the production value of a seismic shift. The first evidence Web-based dealer, specialising in rare art well as for adding muscle to some
exuberant boom experienced since kets like Russia, China, the Middle of this year’s event way outstripped of the quake hit me this week, ( His gallery might significant contemporary careers,
not be around for much longer, but we’re
2005 crunching right down to a slow East and India, many of whom last year’s. It was a jackpot of a Fair with the lousy news that Warren from that of Jo Ractliffe to Gerard
likely to hear more from this indomitable
crawl. ‘Gone are the days when have caught a nasty cold during in every sense other than sales, Siebrits Modern and Contemporary character who has already made a
Marx, Stefanus Rademeyer and
artworks were being snapped up at the recent winter of our discontent, which can only really be attributed will soon be no more. Despite the significant mark on Sabelo Mlangeni.
the blink of an eye,’ wrote Juliette with the credit crisis slashing their to the dreaded slump having meta- blessed irony of having just had a South African art history (continued on page 5)

Non Toxic




Student Acrylic Paint

PHONE +27 28 271 3122.
Autumn 2009 Sale of Decorative and Fine Arts
Stephan Welz and Company, in interest to admirers of Cape furniture. Ardmore. Hylton Nel (1941-) steals the A fine near pair of
association with Sotheby’s, will hold In the evening session, a particularly show with his tin-glazed earthenware WMF Art Nouveau
their 2009 Autumn Sale of Decorative well-preserved 19th Century Stinkwood ‘Crucifixion’ plaque (estimate R3 000 - Electroplate plaques
and Fine Arts at the Kirstenbosch Rusbank (estimate R18 000 - R20 000) R4 000), an enigmatic earthenware (estimate R8 000 -
National Botanical Gardens on 26 and and a 19th century Cape Yellowwood doll (estimate R4 000 - 6 000), and R10 000) are on
27 May 2009. The sale will be on view and Stinkwood Cradle (estimate two delightful tin-glazed earthenware offer, each depict-
to the public from 22 to 24 May 2009. R3 000 - R5 000) are two items that plates: one decorated with an insect ing a woman in
rarely appear on auction. (estimate R 7 000 - 9 000) and the profile surrounded
FINE ARTS other decorated with a bird on a green by foliage. The Art
Strong lyrical narratives by Marjorie A delightful collection of Toby Jugs, ground (estimate R 9 000 - R12 000). Nouveau move-
Wallace are on offer with Ons available for the first time to collectors, The renowned Rorke’s Drift pottery ment was charac-
(estimate R120 000 - R150 000), includes a Staffordshire ‘Ordinary’ Toby studio is showcased with a stoneware terised by organic
a tender depiction of love between Jug, 1790-1810 (estimate R6 000 - vase executed in 1977 by Lephina subjects, especially
Jan Rabie and Marjorie; Claude and R8 000). Although similar Delft jugs Molefe (estimate R6 000 - R8 000); a floral motifs, as
the Children (estimate R70 000 - existed in the Netherlands, the Toby stoneware vase by Elizabeth Mbatha well as highly-
R90 000), an intimate portrayal of Jug was first developed and popu- (estimate R5 000 - 7 000); two incised stylised, flowing
Claude Bouscharain and her children; larised in England by the potter Ralph stoneware vases (estimate R8 000 - curvilinear forms.
and Rachel and Ou Nooi with a letter Wood. A typical jug depicts a seated R10 000 each) and a two-handled bowl Art Nouveau was
from Breyten (estimate R70 000 - man wearing an English ‘tricorn’ hat and cover (estimate R5 000 - R7 000), an approach to
R100 000), the reading of a letter world with most being housed in bracket clock by G. J. Champion, Paris and holding a mug of beer and a glass all 1980, by Joel Sibisi. Sibisi’s action design according to which artists
penned by the imprisoned writer National Collections.” (estimate R25 000 - R30 000) should or a pipe. The original jug is said to of carving out images in the slip should be involved with the design of
Breyten Breytenbach, jailed by the attract much interest. This item, inlaid have been inspired by a song ‘Brown painted stoneware mirrors the act of everything from architecture to furni-
State for high treason. Wallace, best Terence McCaw has a strong presence with tortoiseshell and richly decorated Jug’, popular in 1761, whose lyrics linocut production. Similarly the stylised ture, making art part of everyday life.
known for her portrait studies, was in this sale with the particularly striking with mythological figures and beasts, featured ‘Toby Fillpot’. and somewhat naïve motifs closely
trained at the Edinburgh College of Art View from the Artist’s Garden, Hout epitomises Rococo craftsmanship. mirror the iconography found in linouts. Collectors’ items include a Fruitwood
and made such an impression that she Bay (estimate R120 000 - R150 000) Other clocks include a Dutch Frisian Another fine example of English Apple-shaped tea caddy (estimate
became the youngest person to be one of six works by the artist due Wall Clock, circa 1850 (estimate ceramics is a Lucie Rie (1902-1995) Of historical interest is a group of R10 000 - R15 000), which dates to
elected to the Royal Scottish Academy. to come under the hammer on the R8 000 - R10 000) and a novelty Asymetrical Stoneware Bowl (estimate Nine Rare Chinese Armorial Wares, the turn of the nineteenth century. Tea
She met and married the writer Jan 26 May. McCaw was a founder mem- Jaeger Timepiece in the form of a R25 000 - R35 000), impressed with Qianlong, 1736-1795 (estimate which was a valuable commodity at
Rabie in Paris in 1953, later a leading ber and active protagonist of the New lamp post (estimate R5 000 - R7 000). the designer’s initials. European R60 000 - R90 000), created for the that time, was kept under
member of the Sestigers, and the Group, established in 1938 with Walter ceramics are well represented; in Cape market. Similar examples can lock and key. Also
couple settled in Onrus in 1954. Battiss and Gregoire Boonzaier. While English and European furniture particular a striking Large De be found on p 126 and 127 of on offer for
Amanda Botha, a friend of Wallace working closely with Boonzaier, McCaw collectors should bid competitively for Porceleyne Fles ‘Nieuw Delfts” vase Woodward’s “Oriental Ceramics at the the boy at
and an art writer, said, “[people] were was also exposed to the work of first an 18th century oak and inlaid chest- 1910 -1920 (estimate R7 000 - 9 000) Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1795”. heart
always important to Wallace, but she generation Cape Impressionist – Pieter on-stand (estimate R30 000 - R40 000) decorated in tones of blue and are
never had a voyeur's approach. She Wenning. This influence is clearly seen and a Set of Four Sheraton Style turquoise and borrowing from Islamic English and Continental silverware
lived alongside the people in her paint- in McCaw’s work. Pieter Wenning’s Fruitwood Armchairs, circa 1880 earthenware patterns, and an assem- includes items ranging from 1736
ings … her lasting contribution is (her) Old Church (estimate R400 000 - (estimate R15 000 - R20 000), each bled Meissen part- dinner service through to the latter half of the
cultural-historical record of work on the R600 000) is also available to collec- chair stamped Howard & Sons Ltd. (estimate R15 000 - R20 000), 20th twentieth century. A George III Silver
marginalised people in society.” tors of South African Masters. The Berner Street. century, freshly applied with spring Seven-Bar Toast-rack by the renowned
Wenning, previously sold in 1991 by flower motifs on a white background silversmith Paul Storr, executed in
Ian Hunter of Stephan Welz & Co’s Stephan Welz & Co, in association with Furniture on offer to Colonial collectors and finished off with gilt trim. An attrac- 1817, is offered for sale at R7 000 -
Cape Town Paintings department says: Sotheby’s, is again on offer to the is a magnificent 19th Century Rose- tive collection of Scandinavian wares 9 000. Paul Storr, a favourite of George
“We are fortunate to have three Paul market having resided since that sale wood, Stinkwood and Satinwood Drum includes designs by Berndt Friberg IV, was known for his fine craftsman-
Stopforth resistance artworks in our till now in a magnificent South African Table (estimate R30 000 - R40 000) (1899-1981), Gertrud Vasegaard ship and was skilled at using designs
Contemporary section. Stopforth, who collection. which should attract discerning bids. (1913-2007) and Herbert Krenchel executed in other media by artists and two
now resides in America, fused art and This unusually large example boasts (1922-). These vessels share pared- then adapting these concepts to suit swords: a
politics in the mid ’70s to raise aware- Further highlights include: a rare entry eight real and dummy drawers with down lines married with a strong sense the purpose for which he required Prussian Infantry
ness for the atrocities being committed from auction-shy Siegfried Hahn titled ivory-tipped handles. of design; the Krenchel ‘Krenit’ wares them. This fine sense of design and Officer’s sword designed in
under Apartheid. Death in Detention Spring, Saragossa (estimate R7 000 - punctuated by strong interior colours. craftsmanship is what has seen his 1889 (estimate R2 500 - R4 000) and
(estimate R10 000 - R15 000) and R10 000), Gregoire Boonzaier’s There are many items that will appeal pieces through the fashion highs and a Victorian Infantry Officer’s sword
Altarpiece for Thomas Kasire (estimate Mosque, Loop Street, Bo Kaap to Cape furniture collectors. In the day South African ceramics include works lows of silver, making him an enduring dating from the 19th century (estimate
R8 000 - R12 000) are particularly (estimate R350 000 - R450 000) and session, a 19th Century Cape Rooiels by Hym Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim favourite with collectors. R3 000 - R5 000).
poignant pieces, rare to the auction Irma Stern’s Portrait of Zoë Randall Koskas (estimate R20 000 - R25 000) Morris, Andrew Walford, Hylton Nel,
(estimate R1 800 000 - R2 400 000). should be of Rorke’s Drift and A fine set of Elizabeth II silver ‘rat-tail’ These and other items are scheduled
Stern’s painting demonstrates her vir- pattern cutlery by Gee and Holmes of to go under the hammer on the
tuosity in paint application and debt Sheffield, England, is also due to come 26th and 27th of May 2009 at
owed to African masks as part inspira- under the hammer at Kirstenbosch. In Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
tion for this composition. The sitter, Zoë addition to the hallmark denoting the
Randall, was a well known and much year 1977, this set of twelve place set-
accoladed star of the South African tings is also stamped with the special
theatre world. In 2002 at the Fleur du commemorative Silver Jubilee Hallmark
Cap Theatre awards she received a which displays Queen Elizabeth's head
lifetime achievement award in recogni- facing left. Amongst other highlights in
tion of her 60 years of dedication as the Silver sessions are a William
an actress and supporter of the arts. Suckling George V Silver six-piece tea
and coffee set (estimate R12 000 -
DECORATIVE ARTS R15 000) and a James Deakin and
For clock enthusiasts, a magnificent Sons George V two-handled silver tray
early 18th century Louis XV boulle (estimate R15 000 - R20 000).


Tuesday 26 May at 2pm and 7pm
Wednesday 27 May at 10am
Auction: Enquiries and Catalogues
Tuesday 26 May 2pm and 7pm Cape Town Office: 021 794 6461
Wednesday 27 May 10am
At the Saleroom, Kirstenbosch
from Friday 22 May
Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre,
Tel: 021 761 4288
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Newlands,
Fax: 021 761 8690
Cape Town
Friday 22 May 10am to 5pm Catalogues can be viewed
Saturday 23 May 9am to 2pm on our website:
Sunday 24 May 10am to 5pm

Gregoire Johannes Boonzaier, MOSQUE, LOOP STREET BO KAAP

signed and dated 1951; inscribed with the title on the stretcher
56 by 63cm
R 350 000 - 450 000
South African Art Times. May 2009 Page 3
suggested by artists. In broad less areas in between. Although
democratic strokes, artists were several pieces are gorgeously KUNSGALERY
Peter Machen invited en masse to propose accessible, for the most part the Mary Corrigall
site-specific works and were, to show consists of the kind of work
this end, also invited on a brief
tour of the stadium, the giant
that will send Sunday Magazine
editors running in one direction or
mass of steel and concrete naked, another, depending on how keen
unadorned and rising into the sky. they are to identify with contem- Joburg Art Fair 09: FINE ART GALLERY
It was difficult to work out exactly porary art. But like DuChamp’s
how things would look when all urinal, which occupies at least one Sculptures steal
the scaffolding was gone but I’ve
always loved a building site (the
harbour in Sadie’s ocean of theory,
complexity is often the mask worn the attention
ultimate sandpit) and I was struck
by the fact that the beauty of all
by simplicity. And I know that I’m
not as well versed in theory as
(First published in The Sunday
this massed raw concrete would Sadie, but after the initial relent
be a hard act to beat. Fortunately that always needs to happen At the Frieze Art Fair in London in
I often marvel at how much more for the participating artists though, when viewing any exhibition, I 2007, devotees queued up to have
beautiful large-scale buildings the judges will no doubt have was completely enchanted. The artists Jake and Dinos Chapman
are when they are half built than broader set of critera than cooler levels and layers came later in a defile the royal insignia on their
when they are completely finished. than concrete. one-question-interview with Sadie, pound notes. Adding to the buzz
Indeed many of Durban’s most which cascaded into a mini-ava- was Rob Pruitt, an artist who
garish and formless monstrosities lanche of conversation. We agree turned a gallery booth into a flea
were once, for a brief period of to meet later. market, where he flogged disused
time filled with beauty, texture and In work that is, at least on some objects donated by other artists.
awe, before their structure was levels, about theory, I’m always A life-size copy of a 1970 Dodge
covered with facade and plastic interested in whether an artist Challenger made by Richard
and polish and made safe for thinks that a degree of theoreti- Prince dominated another booth
shoppers. Looking at the digital cal engagement is necessary in and a performer dressed as a
rendering of the proposed final the viewer. In other words, if my bobby entertained passersby with
structure, the Moses Mabhida mother, who loves art but lacks his yoga moves. But the most
Stadium, Durban’s chief 2010 theory, visited the show, would notable moment was when Kris
venue, might, perhaps, be an Henrietta Hamilton from The Bank Gallery she be able to engage with it in a Martin affected his intangible art-
exception to that tendency. But manner that satisfies both her and work, dubbed One Minute Silence
even if the monolithic post-modern the artist? (and that last “satisfies” (2007), which demanded that JH Pierneef, ‘Bosveld bome, N.Transvaal’ – 1944
sea-turtle ends up being anything The still skeletal stadium reminded is mine, not Sadie’s; he lacks arro- everyone in the fair remain quiet
less than exceptional, it will, at the me of Stephen Hobbes’ explora- gance, possessing instead a criti- for one minute.
very least, be home to a broad tion of architecture, structure and cal rigour that no doubt drives him
selection of South African art. And light in recent works which showed mad in the production of his own Call them art fair gimmicks if you A showcase for the best of South African Masters,
considering how sport pretty much in Durban at the KZNSA and work). He never really answers must, but all of these staged as well as some leading contemporary artists.
kills art dead in the endless game Bank Gallery. Traces of Hobbes’ the question but he does point out interventions at this art fair not only
of paper-rock-scissors, such a conversations echo – in entirely that he’s more satisfied producing created a frisson of excitement,
cultural highjacking can only be different form – in Vaughan Sadie’s complex work which hopefully ex- but reiterated the fact that artists
a good thing. This is after all, a exquisite exhibition, situation, tracts a mental investigation in the cannot be contained within the
guaranteed way of ensuring that currently on show at Bank Gallery. viewer than complex work which is confines of a strictly commercial Telephone: 021 423 6075
hundreds of thousands of of South While Hobbes calls our attention accessibility but whose accessibil- art event. Nor can their subversive
Africans will walk past, and per- to the beauty, fragility and brutality ity allows the viewer to be content compulsions be tamed; they will
haps even look at, a whole bunch of cities and their architecture, with the surface. automatically disrupt and chal-
of contemporary art – even if that Sadie’s current work, produced for I left Vaughn Sadie staring at his lenge convention at every turn. Mon-Fri: 09h30 - 17h30
art has to make allowances to the his Masters degree, explores the digital clock installed on the front At this year’s Joburg Art Fair, Sat: 10h00 - 13h00
colour scheme of the décor. very nature of light and the way in of the gallery, above the entrance. however, there were few such or by appointment
The eThekwini Municipality has which it constructs our interior and Constructed out of twenty eight memorable attractions or interven-
made a public call – the first, ap- exterior world, worlds which are fluorescent tubes, each minute tions. Marcus Neustetter’s Work in In Fin Art Building
parently, among those municipali- more fragile even than buildings. passes not discreetly, but in flicker- Progress (2009) was perhaps the Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town 8001
ties blessed with a stadium – for Encompassing a century of ing indecision. I waited with him only artwork that defied the art fair Cell: 082 566 4631
work which will populate several modernism and post-modernism, as the clock turned from 11:59 to setting.
walls and atriums in the build- Sadie’s personal evolutions and 12:00. A flurry of flickers. He was E-mail:
ing, as well as any other spaces convolutions exists in the count- visibly thrilled. (Continued on page 4)
Page 4 South African Art Times. May 2009

to photographing aged women Girl, showing at SMAC’s booth, but exists in terms of the creator’s
Joburg Art Fair 09: draped in clothing made from were also eye-catching. He has intentions and motives. If the art fair
Continued from Page 3 animal entrails, they were trying ditched the neon lights (at last!) and is to achieve its objective in terms
out all manner of visual tricks to get progressed to produce wonderful, of “growing a new audience” for
attention. But mostly their efforts kitschy-art-slash-crafty-slash-pop- art, then it seems paramount that
felt contrived and superfluous to artish beadworks that appear like a novice audience is able to grasp
Consisting of coloured building
their expression. Berry Brickle’s a stereotypical advert parading the difference between a slick chair
blocks stacked up to the ceiling, it
Melancholia 01 (2007) from the obvious markers of sex and wealth. and an artwork. However, it is more
protruded from the confines of the
Encounters of Bamako collection They were beautifully crafted, witty than likely that succeeding Joburg
white display, physically and con-
stood out: a synthesis of collage and relevant. Art Fairs might include more design
ceptually challenging the bounda-
and photography that saw a variety Most gallery stands showed stands.
ries that define such an event.
of found images and photographs artworks in isolation from the bodies It is not because designers don’t
As a temporary object, Neustet-
layered over each other to create to which they belonged - except for have a platform - they do; there is a
ter’s artwork couldn’t be sold or
an otherworldly image that played Blom’s Travels of Bad series. And surplus of interior décor and design
transported, thereby defying the
with its temporality - no mean feat the arbitrary arrangements of the expos. The problem is the limited
objective to create sellable or easily
considering that photography is art ensured that most of the works number of bona fide contemporary
packaged art.
inextricably tied to reality. were shown out of context which art galleries - most of those little
Even Jane Alexander’s installation,
The documentary style genre, silenced their subtext. shops in malls peddling trite land-
Security (2006), with its barbed wire
which was fairly well represented at But art fairs are about generating scape art don’t count.So in order
borders that hemmed in a rectangle
the fair, just couldn’t compete in the sales and, as such, most gallerists for Artlogic, Douglas’s company, to
of artificial grass, seemed to
face more progressive forms of art. were keen to hedge their bets by grow the fair each year they will be
conform to the controlled spatial dy-
Photographers should take Zander displaying a full array of art in the forced to embrace more and more
namics of the art fair. Nevertheless
Blom’s lead in his Travels of Bad hope that they would have more of object displays derived from that
it was originally commissioned for
series, displayed at the Rooke a chance of nailing a sale. In such a fuzzy territory that delineates the
the 27th Sao Paulo Biennale, but
gallery stand. Blom exploits the context, the aesthetic or transcen- overlap between art and craft.
perhaps its neat boxlike configura-
documentary function of photogra- dental nature of art objects is stifled. No doubt Artlogic will find expedient
tion appealed to the organisers.
phy while simultaneously allowing And with hoards of people jostling ways of dressing up this art event
At least last year art world tricksters
it to serve a so-called high art for a view and a glut of art distract- as something more substantial than
Avant Car Guard created a stir
function too. ing one’s attention, there is scant a commercial venture as they have
with their performance piece at the
With so much art on view it was room for the viewer to meditate on done to-date with public assertions
Whatiftheworld booth, with their
hard for individual pieces to shine. each piece. In other words art fairs that their event is a more viable
tongue-in-cheek memorial marking
It often was the more three-dimen- do not make ideal environments endeavour than the Johannesburg
the “death” of Kendell Geers.
sional sculptural pieces that tended for viewing or appraising art. Nor Biennale’s or Cape Africa Platform’s
to steal attention, such as Mary are they, as Ross Douglas, the art initiatives in Cape Town. The
The absence of such performance
Sibande’s A Conversation with organiser of the art fair, proposes, Joburg Biennale might have ceased
interventions at this year’s fair en-
Madam CJ Walker (2008), on show opportunities for the South African and Cape Africa Platform may
sured that it was nothing more than
at Gallery Momo’s stand. It featured public “to be educated about have
an exercise in heightened com- an upward struggle in staging
two mannequins of contemporary art”.
mercial activity. Avant Car Guard’s their event but these are exhibitions
domestic workers in their “maid
The Invoice (2009), a make-believe and not commercial art expositions.
attire”, which appeared more like The BMW Art Talks at the fair did
receipt painted on to canvas, made There is huge difference in terms
a period costume, suggesting that provide occasions for the public to
a wry comment on the commodi- of their approach to display and
their task/role belonged to another learn more about art production in
fication of art. But otherwise there the discourses they engage with
era. this country, but the catalogue, a
were few works that threatened or and create. Douglas may believe
thick book that almost exclusively
questioned the conventions of such that he is offering an alternative to
Though the title may have inferred contained images, ensured there
an exposition. such events but in no way does or
they were engaging in a dialogue wasn’t reading material that visitors
The fair did, however, provide can a primarily commercially driven
with a white woman, the conversa- could take home that might have
an opportunity to identify what is art initiative be able to compete or
tion that Sibande refers to is one provided some sort of introduction
considered sellable. Photographic achieve the same objectives as a
with the first black American million- to the central issues.
works were in abundance and there biennale.
aire, summoning a more meta- The introduction of a design stand
was a palatable sense that artists These Joburg Art Fairs only provide
phorical dialogue that encompasses - staged by Southern Guild - might
working with this medium were a temporary diversion and will no
issues pertaining to servitude and also distort the public’s under-
searching for ways to stand out doubt cease to be of any interest
the aspiration for wealth and power. standing and appreciation of art.
from the crowd. From superimpos- once the makeshift galleries inside
One can only guess what the Sand- While the boundaries between art
ing existing dated cut-outs on to the Sandton Convention are pulled-
ton madams visiting the fair would and design are blurred, there is a
contemporary photographs to down to make way for the next
have made of the artwork. distinction; it might not necessar-
sealing each part of a photograph exposition.
Wayne Barker’s Desire and Golden ily manifest in the final product,
in a see-through plastic container

mes SA 01 MAY09.indd 1 2009/04/21 03:29:28 PM

South African Art Times. May 2009 Page 5

Art life renews itself through ephemera ( office, or add life to a family man- TransCape and the flaccid Cape
recession : His gallery might not be around sion, there was nothing to be seen. 07 - may smile that Cape 09 is now
Continued from page 1 for much longer, but we’re likely to punted as a biennale.
hear more from this indomitable One would have thought that a
Fuelled by his passion for historical character who has already made a smart little gallery with affordable, Throughout those hot-headed
context, Siebrits has been dedi- significant mark on South African good prints (of which there are years, the political correctness of
cated to the research and publish- art history.This week’s news must so many being made right here being otherwise, the organisers
ing side of his business, having have come as a tough blow to his and now in the Mother city) and refused to use the word ‘biennale’;
produced a range of immaculately artists, but Siebrits is committed to a knowledgeable person on duty in the present version, Cape 09 is
produced catalogues, contributing finding the right match for each of could have used the opportunity. firmly named as such. (Important to
to the growth of the careers in his them with other leading galleries But, I suppose, when the halls are note that this signals that there is a
care. and to sustaining his relationship filled up with framed twaddle, the two-year future for such an event,
But at R150 000 per month, before with them on a personal basis. competition is overwhelming. (The even though the organisers are
they’d even started with catalogue Something about the solid and much-punted and popular Design already saying they’ll do something
expenses, their overheads had ethical manner in which Siebrits Indaba also seemed to have run next year at the time you-know-
started to become crippling, says and his partner, Lunetta Bartz, have out of steam on this point.) what-cup.) A quality selection of SA old masters
Siebrits. ‘We’ve been subsidising run their gallery had me believing To be honest, this year’s pro- and selected contemporary art

www. art

our contemporary shows through that, like hot buttered toast, it would In a way, such amusing scenes at gramme looks promising, even
our sales in the secondary market somehow always be around. Decorex hinted again about the exciting in preview. There seems
for some time now.’ gentle crisis in the contemporary art to be a reality-checked honesty
More than a freak quirk, the gal- world, where people simply don’t about the fifteen or so projects that
lery’s imminent closure is a sign know - and get waylaid by talk and will unfold during the month. The
of the times. ‘What we’re going
Melvyn Minnaar money. (Oh, and a nice frame.) hoopla has been contained and the
through is not unique,’ says Sieb- After all the hoopla which saw curatorial mumbo-jumbo is not too
rits. ‘Sadly, no one is immune.’ the local galleries up north for the dizzying.
But on a more heartening note, Connecting with da people Joburg Art Fair, most are back But what is particularly heartening
he recalls one of his personal with little to report on sales and is not that the sights are not set
highpoints since opening the gal- If you really wanted to depress influence. How long they’ll hang on too high, but that there seems to
lery seven years ago. He doesn’t yourself about the nonsense to the blind belief in the fabulous be a genuine effort to connect with
hesitate in saying that handling sometimes offered as ‘art’, a visit bond between money, fame and art people on the ground. Previously
Gerard Sekoto’s painting, Soka to a far-a-way corner of the recent remains to be seen. Maybe we’ll politically-correct (anti-gallery and
Majoka (Sixpence a Door), featured Decorex at the CTICC was pure see some of them in the Decorex sometimes highly patronising)
as part the 2003 group show, Art poison. Using the designation corner next year. curatorial decisions collapsed
and Urbanisation, has been his ‘kitsch’ seemed an all too easy due to lack of proper logical and
greatest honour. Painted in 1946/7, write-off for bad taste and visual If Gauteng (who tried so hard, way management support. Most of the
it is considered Sekoto’s most stupidity that filled stall after stall back, with its biennales) is working present projects look as if their very
65 X 85 CM
important painting, having been next to pretty chairs. to box (hopefully) exciting and reason-of-being is grounded among
part of an exhibition that travelled At first one laughed a bit at hefty- new art within that money/fame Capetonians of all persuasions.
the world in the late 1940s, when it priced, funky frames with what paradigm, the Cape, at least, still
resembled pop-up mini opera-de- has, well, Cape. February’s Spier performance Tel (+27) 12 346-0728 / Fax (+27) 12 346-0729
was admired by the Queen Mother
and featured in Time magazine. ‘In signs (with that specific patina of festival, Infecting the City, showed
2002, I sold that painting for R1-mil- the unreal realness of stage decor) that, even if they are slightly
Alette 082 652 6663 Gerrie 084 589 0711
lion, and played a part in catalysing in careful (built-in) lighting. Then flabbergasted at what they are
the Sekoto market,’ says Siebrits the sad penny dropped that this confronted with in the name of art, Alette Wessels Kunskamer
proudly, from under the dapper brim event is where interior people are da people can connect. Cape 09’s Maroelana Centre, 27 Maroelana Street,
of one of his signature hats. ‘At that supposed to acquire their ideas and installations, performances, site
Maroelana, Pretoria
stage, no South African painting the stuff that get them a spot on Top specific works, processions, and
had sold for so much. If it went back Billing and Pasella. This is where As the merry month of May gets the rest, the organisers say, are GPS S25º 46.748' EO28º 1.5615'
on the market today, it would fetch you’d throw quite a few thousand into its stride, that rather chimerical “participatory, encouraging visitors
about R10-million, conservatively, rand around for a new couch and a organisation which sometimes also to step inside art and discover new OPEN
which shows how much the market couple of lampshades, and possibly goes as the Cape Africa Platform ways of looking and thinking about Mon to Fri 09h00 - 16h00
buy something to hang on the wall. has launched its second effort at a life today.” Saturday 09h00 - 13h00
has changed since when we first
started the gallery.’ city-wide art event, Cape 09. Now isn’t that a much nicer invita-
Siebrits will soon be embarking on Of nice art (we’re not talking deep, Those who remember those early tion than having to decide whether
a new chapter working privately as hefty stuff that only attracts the initi- days - the sad chaotic talk-shop you want to hang some Decorex
a Web-based dealer, specialising ated) that will cheer up a smart little called Sessions eKapa, way back kitsch on your wall, and still now
in rare art, signed books and other apartment, bring zing to a business in 2005, the over-reaching plans for know that it ain’t art?

David Brown
6 - 30 May 2009
Opening reception:
Wednesday, 6 May at 6pm

70 Loop Street Cape Town 8001 South Africa

t: +27 21 4235403 f:+27 088 021 4232136
Churchill Madikida, Virus, DVD projection, 2005

Lisa Walker, Delilah

ceramic, wire

Clementina van der Walt Leora Farber Hylton Humboldt Nel Lisa Walker Carla da Cruz
Masks Cultivars: Perrusonii Madonna and child Pine seed Growth
ceramic wax, plastic, fabric, plant material earthenware, 1985 ceramic, wire, beads glazed earthenware
2005 2006-7 2008

South African art (particularly that of the Eastern Cape), British art, international
printmaking, Oriental art (including Indian miniatures and Chinese textiles).
Art Talk Decade: Highlights from 10 years of collecting Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
Until 26 May 2009 for the Sanlam Art Collection Biennial 2008 Award Winners:
Art Talk explores three categories of visual communi- 5 June – 19 July 2009 Linga Diko
cation, namely, narrative, iconography and expression. A selection of works by some of South Africa’s most 17 October – 15 November 2009
Celebrated artists on display include William Kentridge, valued and emerging artists from the Sanlam Art Linga Diko’s extensive volume of work represents,
Penny Siopis and Andrew Verster. Also featured is the Collection, one of South Africa’s finest collections of through delicate mark-making and subtle humour, the
“Mendi” triptych by Hilary Graham which tells a story of South African Art. With holdings of more than 2000 struggles and hopes of people living under difficult
the sinking of the troopship Mendi. items, the collection provides a representative overview conditions.
of South African art dating from the late nineteenth
New Acquisitions century to the present. Christine Maree
Until 26 May 2009 23 October – 25 November 2009
Recent acquisitions of works into the permanent Standard Bank Young Artist 2009: Christine Maree’s body of works will focus on the family
collections of the Art Museum by some of South Africa’s Nicholas Hlobo portrait as an indicator of familial dynamics and relations,
top contemporary artists including Berni Searle, Churchill 30 July – 20 September 2009 particularly in a South African context.
Madikida, Conrad Botes and Durant Sihlali. Local artists The 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist award winner for
featured are Marc Pradervand, Christine Dixie, Brent Visual Arts, Nicholas Hlobo, uses strategically chosen
Meistre and Maureen de Jager. materials to “create conversations” around issues of
masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity.
Scenes in the street
7 May – 12 July 2009 Poking fun
A playful look at street scenes through the eyes of artists 25 July – 25 November 2009
including Tommy Motswai’s City scene/Township scene, Works from the Art Museum’s permanent collection
George Msimang’s The bus stop and The flower sellers which explore humour, biting commentary and satire.
by Hugo Naude. Street scenes as seen through the From depictions of power, greed and lust to candy-
lenses of local photographers Marc Shoul and Rob coloured malice, this exhibition is full of dark humour
Duker, who have extensively documented life in Mandela and artistic insight.
Bay, will also be on display.

1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth, 6001, South Africa

Telephone: +27 (0)41 5062000 Fax: +27 (0)41 5863234

10 DAYS OF AMAZ!NG s 2-11 JULY 2009






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advert tropics-260x80.indd 1 2/23/09 4:22:23 PM

The City of Cape Town, in collaboration with Cape Friends

of Calligraphy and artb Gallery, has the pleasure of inviting
you to an exhibition of letters and calligaphy.

b.lettered Opening: Wednesday 20 May 2009 18:30 for 19:00

Venue: artb, Gallery Bellville Library Centre

Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville

Exhibition closes: 17 June 2009

Marion Cross Rust-en-Vrede Gallery

12 Wellington Road, Durbanville. Tel. +27 (0)21 9764691 Mon – Fri 9am –5pm. Sat 9am – 1 pm
082 5535 104

5 May – 28 May

‘Landscapes, cityscapes and still lives, journeys in colour, form and

equilibrium. My inspiration is taken from my surroundings, from Salon A: On the Surface - Pots by Mervyn Gers
travel and things that are beautiful.’ Cape Town artist working in oil, Salon B: The Exquisite Corpse : A portfolio of 16 uniquely
collaborated etchings,based on the theme of an Adam and an Eve,
acrylic, pastel, charcoal and mixed media on canvas and paper. by Judy Woodborne, Chris Diedericks, Paul Birchall, Eunice Geustyn,
BAFA - Unisa Theo Kleynhans, Richard Kilpert, Diane Victor, Julia Teale
Advanced Diploma Painting - Wits
Pot by Mervyn Gers Salon C: ONTHOU/VERGEET – by Theo Kleynhans
Inspired Painting Courses at La Creuzette, France
Pastel Painting
Master &
Classes Cooking
30 August -
07 September
03 - 11
Louis Jansen van Vuuren October
presents this advanced
art course - using pastels An ideal opportunity for
as the main medium in couples and friends who
his studio at la Creuzette. wish to travel together,
At the end of the stay at but each focuses on a
la Creuzette, one night different passion – food
in Paris and a private or art or even BOTH!
tour of the Orangerie
museum are included!

L a C r e u z e t t e , 1 7 Av e n u e D ’ A u v e r g n e , 2 3 6 0 0 B o u s s a c F r a n c e . w w w. l a c r e u z e t t e . c o m a n d j a n s e n - v a n - v u u r e n @ w a n a d o o . f r

The National School of the Arts The Festival of Fame, now heading into its

eighth year, brings youth and professionals
together for five days of exciting and
dynamic activities, workshops, events and
productions in all of the art forms.

Since its inception in 2002, this event has
• showcased the talents of young people,
up-and-coming stars, and established artists
• given young people the opportunity to
engage with professional artists
Saturday 9 May 17 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein
• provided stimulating learning experiences in
five full days of structured activities
Tel +27 11 339 6539 • provided opportunities to explore and
Fax + 27 11 339 6695 experiment with the art forms in practical
17 Hoofd Street
Braamfontein art
and exciting workshops and competitions
• presented artistic and cultural performances
dance and shows of outstanding quality
Tel + 27 11 339 6539 • generated excitement around arts and culture
Fax+ 27 11 339 6695 drama in young people
• promoted and enlivened the concept of the music “cultural arc”, bring people back into the
Braamfontein area
A Cape Artist working in the Romantic Impressionist Style

Influenced by the natural beauty of the Western Cape as well as my travels

abroad, I enjoy working on a variety of subjects in all media. In my work I strive
to capture the intense light and vibrant colour that is the lens through which I
see the world.

I have had 6 solo exhibitions and exhibited in numerous collective exhibitions.

My work is owned by collectors, both at home and abroad and I am happy to
accept commissions.

Mobile: +27 83 333 4834 Email:

Custom Picture Framers & Art Gallery

Wolfe Street • Chelsea • Wynberg • Tel: 021 761 2816 + Buitengracht Street • Cape Town • Tel: 021 423 2090
E-mail: • web

The Hout Street Gallery

270 Main Street, Paarl

The Gallery is open

Monday - Saturday from 08:30 - 5:30 pm
and on Sunday from 10:00 - 5:00 pm

or contact 021 872 5030

SWART The Fencing Studio 60 x 60 cm Oil



82 Church Street (Corner Church & Loop Street)

Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 439 3517, Fax: 086 611 3871
Cell: 083 312 3450 Lipschitz Gallery is a well established art company which assists private and corporate
buyers wanting to purchase South African art. We represent and promote a wide spectrum
Email: of artists in all genres nationally and internationally, and are also known and respected for

Website: our work in the secondary art market. Our gallery team specialises in providing full
consultation services and valuations.

“Blue”, a group show tel/fax 27 44 533 4581 cell 082 900 6631

Thursday 14th – 30th of May, 2009. hill house one main street plettenberg bay po box 1732 6600

gps S34° 03.405’ E023° 22.330’

Lionel Smit, “Awe II”, oil on canvas
South-African Ceramics:
Linnware, Kalahari, Rorke’s Drift
& Anglo-Oriental Ceramics

14 May - 30 May 2009

red black and white

5A Distillery Road, Bosman’s Crossing, Stellenbosch
Enquiries: +27 (0) 21 886 6281 |
Carl Buchner (1921-2003) Blue Harlequin Oil on Board 490 x 370 mm

The Philip Harper Galleries

Hermanus, Western Cape
We specialise in South African Art, both Old Masters and select Contemporary Artists, catering for both corporate and private clients

Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Road, Hermanus, Tel: 028 3124836

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