SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
November 2017
35
 
Avi's notes

We are fast approaching the summer holiday season. The good news is that it gives us more time to visit art happenings at leisure.

Most probably the biggest happening on the South African art scene this year was the official opening of the Zeitz MOCAA art museum in Cape Town – to my mind, most certainly the biggest contribution to contemporary art in South Africa. It is heartening that in a time of financial difficulty, international financial support to South Africa is still forthcoming.

If there is only one structured outing on your holiday itinerary, let it be a visit to this outstanding art experience. Read more about this later in this newsletter.

Congratulations to the winner of the Absa L'Atelier, Maral Boluri, who will start her six-month visit to the Cité in Paris – courtesy of SANAVA – in January next year. We look forward to her contributions to SANAVA Matters during this time.

It is heartening to see that our members are working well into December. Good luck with all your holiday planning.

Until next time.

Avitha Sooful
National President
 
Everything you need to know about the Zeitz MOCAA museum

CapeTown Magazine

"This world-class contemporary art museum is one of the most exciting cultural attractions in South Africa." "It's the cultural launch of the decade ... it's the talk of Cape Town ..."

Located in the former grain silos, the massive nine-storey space has undergone a state-of-the-art overhaul, courtesy of esteemed British industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick, and houses 6 000 square metres of exhibition space across seven levels, as well as a restaurant area in the Museum Café and a charming Sculpture Garden.

Source Credit: George Prassas
Source Credit: George Prassas

Touted as Cape Town's very own Tate Modern, MoMA or Centre Pompidou, Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) opened at the V&A Waterfront in September 2017, and has been causing quite a stir ever since.

What all the excitement is about

In addition to its grand appearance, Zeitz MOCAA houses the largest collection of contemporary African art on the continent and is the only museum of its kind in Africa.

Much of the art exhibited across some 6 000 square metres of gallery space belongs to German businessman and African art enthusiast, Jochen Zeitz, who is also the main funder of this iconic new institution that comprises some 100 different gallery spaces.

Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Athi-Patra Ruga
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Mary Sibande

An architectural masterpiece

What makes the space more spectacular is that it used to be an old grain silo, built in the 1920s, and was once the tallest building in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been ingeniously re-imagined and redesigned into what is no small architectural feat. The design mind responsible for turning this mass of concrete into what is set to become a cultural landmark at the Waterfront, in Cape Town and on the continent, is renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick. Called the "Pied Piper of Architecture" by Vanity Fair magazine last year, he has also been commissioned to design Google's new headquarters.

On the outside, the concrete tubes are topped with jewel-like geometric windows. Once inside, before even seeing the art collections, it's possible to spend hours admiring the converted concrete, steel and glass interior. The cylindrical tubes sawed open are the most arresting feature of the atrium. Your best view is via the slick lifts that whiz you to the different floors of the museum.

You can also access the exhibition floors by winding up or down the narrow, shiny black steel staircase. The stairs were dropped in piece by piece from the top into the reinforced silo.

The basement of the museum deserves its own mention - this maze of tunnels used to house the conveyor belts that moved the grain from one section to another and allows you to see the funnels from which the grain would have flowed.

A-class artists

You could spend days marvelling at the myriad exhibitions. See the work of some of the most respected artists working today, including Nicholas Hlobo, Cyrus Kabiru, Hank Willis Thomas, Jody Paulsen, Kendell Geers and William Kentridge, to name just a few. Nandipha Mntambo's solo exhibition, which spans five rooms, is unmissable, while Kudzanai Chiurai's mixed-media work goes right around the floor. The space will also host performance art pieces, on occasion. Cape Town's Thania Petersen is one of 41 artists whose work features in the All Things Being Equal collection.

Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Nandipha Mntambo
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Kendell Geers

Kids welcome

More than a showcase of the continent's best art, Zeitz MOCAA aims to be a welcoming space for all. Entry to the museum is free for under-18s and there's an art education centre for school children in the basement, complete with a designated drop-off zone. The museum also offers guided audio tours for visitors.

For more information call 087 350 4777 or email info@zeitzmocaa.
 
December @ the Association of Arts, Pretoria

See the Christmas Exhibition of ceramic plates, glass, porcelain and jewellery until Friday, 15 December.

Members' exhibition

The Association's annual members' exhibition takes place from Friday, 19 January 2018 to Saturday, 10 February 2018.

This is an unselected exhibition, there is no specific theme and only one work per member is allowed. The works to be submitted must preferably be executed on the canvases which the association provides at R275.

Please do not frame the canvases. For curatorial purposes, two dimensional works must be 50cm x 50cm. Three dimensional works must not exceed 100cm x 100cm x 100cm in any direction. Three dimensional works may however be smaller than 50cm x 50cm x 50cm.

It is the artist's responsibility to make sure that the work is fitted with flat hanging brackets or ringlets and nylon cord so that it may be hung easily. The name of the artist, title of work, medium, date and selling price (33% gallery commission included) must be clearly displayed at the back or base of each work.

The entry form must be completed and delivered, along with the work, to the Association of Arts Pretoria. The entry fee is R100 and is payable when the work is delivered to the gallery.

Only fully paid-up members may participate in the exhibition. Please phone or send an e-mail to Nandi to enquire whether your membership is paid up.

Works must be delivered to the gallery on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 between 10:00 and 17:00.

The exhibition opens on Friday, 19 January 2018 at 18:30. All unsold works must be collected from the gallery on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 between 09:00 and 13:00.

Looking forward to you entries!

For more information call 012 346 3100.
 
Holiday fun @ Ann Bryant Gallery in East London

The Moggs holiday pottery at the Anne Bryant Gallery, 18 St James Road, Southernwood in East London is certainly something not to be missed.

Have fun with clay this December 2017 at Moggs Holiday Pottery - Book a class now.
 
Participate in the 'Love my lagoon' at the Pumpkin House

The Pumpkin House in Langebaan on the West Coast has launched a unique art experience.

A huge canvas has been divided into 1 500 squares and anyone donating R50 may paint one square in a hue of blue. This canvas will be on display at the gallery during December and January, giving more opportunity for donating and painting - of course until the canvas is completed.

You are invited for a glass of wine and to paint your square in your choice of blue.

For more information contact the gallery at 082 853 8187, e-mail arts2gether@vodamail.co.za.
 
How quickly does art lose its value?

Leonardo's Salvator Mundi makes auction history.

On a recent historic night at Christie's in New York, Salvator Mundi, a depiction of Christ as 'Saviour of the World' by one of history's greatest and most renowned artists, sold for $450,312,500 / £342,182,751 (including buyer's premium), becoming the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction.

This price reflects the extreme rarity of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci – there are fewer than 20 in existence acknowledged as being from the artist's own hand, and all apart from Salvator Mundi, are in museum collections.

The global interest in a work that has been hailed as the greatest artistic rediscovery of the last 100 years, saw a rapt audience of nearly 1 000 art collectors, dealers, advisors, journalists and onlookers packed into the main auction room at Rockefeller Center, with many thousands more tuning in via a live stream. Since the sale of Salvator Mundi was announced on 10 October at Christie's, almost 30 000 people have flocked to Christie's exhibitions of the Male Mona Lisa in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York – the first time the painting had ever been shown to the public in Asia or the Americas.

The inclusion of Salvator Mundi in the National Gallery's landmark 2011-12 exhibition of Leonardo's surviving paintings – the most complete display of such works ever held – sealed its acceptance as a fully autograph work by Leonardo da Vinci. This came after more than six years of painstaking research and inquiry to document the painting's authenticity. It was a process that began shortly after the work was discovered – heavily veiled with overpaints, long mistaken for a copy – in a small, regional auction in the United States in 2005. Prior to that, it was consigned to a 1958 sale at Sotheby's where it sold for £45.

The previous holder of the record price for an Old Master painting was Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens, which sold for $76.7 million (£49.5 million) in 2002. The previous auction record for Leonardo da Vinci was set at Christie's in 2001 when Horse and Rider, a work on paper, sold for $11,481,865. The previous record for the most expensive work of art at auction was set in the same Christie's saleroom, when Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O') achieved $179,364,992.

These records were obliterated when Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie's Global President, brought the hammer down on Lot 9 after an extraordinary bidding battle that lasted just short of 20 minutes. The contest boiled down to two bidders, with the increments jumping at one point from $332 million to $350 million in one bid, and then, at just short of 18 minutes, from $370 million to $400 million. Gasps were heard in the saleroom, which gave way to applause when Christie's co-chairman, Alex Rotter, made the winning bid for a client on the phone.

"It is every auctioneer's ambition to sell a Leonardo and likely the only chance I will ever have," said Pylkkänen.

"It's the pinnacle of my career so far. It is also wonderful for an Old Master to be at the centre of such attention. The excitement from the public for this work of art has been overwhelming and hugely heartening."
 
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail ben@thejcs.co.za, tel +27 82 551 4853, fax +27 86 615 4876