SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
December 2017
Avi's notes

It is that time of the year and I trust that most of you are fast unwinding, and reloading energy for a lively 2018.

A few highlights of SANAVA Matters this month are the latest on the world's most expensive sold artwork, Da Vinci's Mundi, and a report on Emile Manefeldt's visit to the Cité. Also read about Maral Balouri – this year's L'Atelier winner – who is on her way to the Cité in Paris for her six-month stay, and a tribute to Roena Griesel.

All the best to you and yours for the festive season!

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
We acquired Leonardo's Salvator Mundi, Abu Dhabi says

The announcement appears to contradict earlier reports linking purchase to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince.

MutualArt, Julia Michalska - Leonardo's Salvator Mundi is due to go on show at Louvre, Abu Dhabi, alongside the artist's La Belle Ferronnière (around 1490), seen here with French President Emmanuel Macron and Moroccan King Mohammed VIREUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool.

Louvre Abu Dhabi issued a statement on 8 December, affirming that Leonardo's Salvator Mundi (around 1500) has been "acquired" by Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism for display in the newly-opened Emirate museum.

The declaration came the day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the person who had purchased the Renaissance painting at Christie's New York last month for a staggering $450m was the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Citing intelligence reports and Middle-East art world figures familiar with the purchase, the newspaper said that the Crown Prince had bought the Leonardo through an intermediary.

The previous day The New York Times had itself identified the buyer as the little-known Saudi Arabian prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, who is a close associate of the Crown Prince, the newspaper reported.

Prince Bader then released a statement describing the report in the New York Times as "surprising and inaccurate" but did not deny it outright.

Although Louvre Abu Dhabi's statement appears to contradict these earlier reports, the declaration does not make it clear if the work was bought by Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism or donated to it, possibly by a Saudi Arabian prince.

The Salvator Mundi will go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi alongside Leonardo's La Belle Ferronnière (around 1490), which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris.
Absa L'Atelier winner leaves for the Cité in Paris

This years' Absa LAtelier winner, Maral Balouri, soon leaves for her six month residency at the SANAVA studio at the Cité in Paris from January to June 2018.

Partnered by SANAVA, the competition offers Balouri the opportunity to receive recognition for her work and develop her talents abroad.

The competition plays a leading role in the careers of many artists from across Africa who have become household names on a global level.

On her return, Balouri will stage a solo exhibition at the Absa art gallery in Johannesburg in 2018.
Margaret Nel, Custard buns 6s, 2015, acrylic on canvas.
Margaret Nel retrospective @ the Pretoria Art Museum

Diane de Beer - A major retrospective exhibition by South African artist Margaret Nel is on show at the Pretoria Art Museum until 28 January 2018, featuring a selection of over 70 paintings, spanning a career of over four decades.

The exhibition has been designed as a narrative over five interrelated themes, loosely corresponding to different chronological periods of Nel's output between 1970 and 2017.

The themes demonstrate progression in technique, subject matter and influences in Nel's career, while simultaneously tracing common conceptual motifs running through her entire body of work.

Walkabout with the artist on 20 January, 10:30 for 11:00. The exhibition is open until 28 January 2018, North and South Galleries.

For more information, tel 012 358 6750,
Emile's stay at the Cité

Emile Manefeldt - It was an incredible experience. I am very grateful to SANAVA for the opportunity to go.

I wrote a blog of my time there – a day-to-day report of my experience. As I could not find a similar reporting mechanism, I thought this could be helpful. The blog is on and readers can contact me through the website if they have questions.

I've also put together a YouTube channel with 54 videos about Paris's museums, parks, markets and so on. You will find it under Emile Manefeldt on YouTube.

My stay was completed with a studio exhibition and I hosted an exhibition in Worcester soon after my return – it comprised 60 oldies and sketches and my drawing books and videos.

Once again thank toy so much for the unforgettable experience.
Art preferences – state your choice as part of a study

Wouldn't it be wonderful to determine why people prefer certain kinds of art above others? Is there an unconscious decision that an appreciator makes before he or she buys a piece of art and can your choice in art be measured by a scientific model? These are the questions Jean Lampen is asking to understand why people prefer certain art.

Those who get to know Jean better would understand her interest in art by means of scientific research. An artist herself, she refutes the left-brain–right-brain dominant theory that artists are right-brain dominant and foster creativity, imagination and artistry. According to this view, right-brainers' cognitive skills are mainly associated with creativity, emotion and intuitiveness as opposed to the left-brainers, who values logic, analytical and objective thinking.

If this is true, Jean is truly a balanced individual. As an artist she intuitively uses colour and lines in a very sensitive, almost sensual manner. This is almost the opposite of her cool, calm and analytical temperament that reflects her career choice as a pharmacist and bookkeeper. She is truly balancing the scale - the best person to create a scientific model for art.

Jean is optimistic that a model to measure people's artistic preferences would benefit future training of art students and especially art curators. How easy it will be to know exactly what your client would like to buy! "Virtual online galleries are conducting business all over the world and knowing what a client's art preferences are, may benefit curators in suggesting alternative artworks to their clients" she says.

Jean suggests that style preferences may vary according to a person's exposure to art, but basic preferences in art is part of a person's personality. According to her, these preferences will most likely remain the same. For instance, if a person prefers emotional art, the style of emotional art might later vary, but the person will still prefer emotional (expressive, colourful, dynamic) art above static (monochrome) art. She also adds that these statements will eventually be tested by her research project.

In an effort to measure people's art preferences, she needs a minimum of 500 people to take part in her study - an online anonymous questionnaire that will only take 10–12 minutes to complete. Anybody can take part - even people who aren't necessarily interested in art.

The questionnaire is available on Google and is easy and fun to complete. Visit to be part of her project.

About Jean Lampen

After completing a degree in pharmaceutics, Jean enrolled at Studio Visio, a reputable art school in Potchefstroom, where she received a solid foundation in drawing, painting and sculpting. She later received lessons in oil painting with Philip Badenhorst and George Boys and, for several years, attended Carl Jeppe's monthly life drawing workshops. She took part in numerous national art exhibitions and exhibited internationally in Mauritius and as resident artist at the Citi des Arts in Paris, France. She was appointed as lecturer at the School for Creativity at the North-West University in 2009–2012 and has since then became a part-time lecturer in art illustration at the School for Communication Studies, Graphic Design, at the same university. She is a committee member of the Potchefstroom Arts Association.
Roena Griesel - farewell to an icon

Dr Piet Muller, Former Chairperson, Arts Assocation, Pretoria - Sadly we announce that Roena Griesel, who was director of the Arts Association Pretoria from 1983 to 1999, died in Stellenbosch recently. She was 85 years old and shortly before her death still actively involved in the art world.

During the 16 years she was involved with the Arts Association, Pretoria, our association experienced several highlights. During her term of office, the Mackie Street art gallery was built and the association moved from the city centre and soon became known as the most active and probably the most successful association in the country. She did not fear controversy and during the apartheid years held a very successful exhibition of Venda art, during which artists such as Jackson Hlungwane and Noria Mabasa came to the attention of collectors for the first time. Both later gained international recognition.

Under her leadership, the Arts Association Pretoria presented a comprehensive series of visual arts exhibitions at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in 1998. She also exhibited a collection of South African art in Egypt. With the establishment of the Atelier Art Competition, she played a major role in getting Sasol on board as sponsor of the New Signatures in 1990. In 1992, she started the Young Concrete Sculptors Award with PPC.

After her retirement, she and her husband Johan, settled in Stellenbosch where she helped her daughter, Ilse, to become a force in the Cape art world.
SANAVA secretariat
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