SANAVA promotes visual arts, develops visual artists and furthers international cooperation in the field of the visual arts Newsletter Nº
October 2018
45
 
Avi's notes

South Africans are joyful about the rain falling in most parts of South Africa. This is also reflecting in the country's art scene. With the winners of South Africa's two biggest art competitions - the Sasol New Signatures and the Absa L'Atelier - known, we are again enthused with the great talent of our people. Congratulations once again to the winners.

It is also great to learn about of the work that Berni Searle of the Michaelis School of Fine Art is doing in London (read South African artists feature in London). The frivolousness of the exhibition at the Tina Skukan Gallery is refreshing, to say the least (read KISS-ME-QUICK-AND-GO-MY-HONEY (and other stories)). The background of the painting techniques of Miró (read The making of a Miró) is also an insightful read.

Juria le Roux has just returned from spending a month at the Cité in Paris. She says thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to spend August at the Cité and for the assistance from the secretariat to make it happen. It was a month (too short!) of beauty and one hundred percent inspiration that left an indelible imprint on our lives. Without SANAVA and the Cité we would not have had this experience. We would love to repeat the experience some time in the future.

In WHAT'S On... we feature Diane Victor, the youngest winner ever of the Absa L'Atelier competition. As ArtprintSa says – "She should be declared a national treasure".

Enjoy reading!

Until next time.

Avi Sooful
National President
 
SANAVA branch projects enhanced by Lotto Commission funding

No less than five SANAVA branches are hosting community projects following a successful presentation to the South African National Lotteries Commission.

The presentation of the Stellenbosch Arts Association includes a felting workshop, a silk screen printing workshop, a workshop for children and a cement sculpture workshop. On behalf of the Pretoria Art Museum, the Creative Industries Consortium presentations entails a children's tile art project. The Centurion Art Association's presentation includes a creative kids programme and classes and workshops for the development of artistic abilities.

A special request was put forward to the commission for SANAVA as a national organisation to fund projects to benefit the disadvantaged, especially in the country-side and remoter areas of South Africa. A project by Stone Fish Studio and Gallery in the remote West Coast fishing village of Paternoster, offers pottery classes to kids on Saturday mornings. The talented participants are put through their paces as in the case of any newcomer to ceramic classes. As the work of these kids progress, the worthwhile ceramic works are chosen for sales to visitors to the gallery. Furthermore, the kids are, thought the art of selling, taking their wares to the community of Paternoster.

The senior citizens of the town attend production classes to learn to make door mats from anchovy fish net which retains sand from wiped feet due to the small weave. They also learn to knit woollen squares to make knee blankets. During classes people are assisted to knit attractive designs which enhance upselling. A small fishing community is fast learning that other ways must be pursued to enhance income other than the fast dwindling fishing income stream. SANAVA and the Lotteries Commission have fast-tracked this initiative.
 
Two exhibitions not to be missed @ the Arts Association, Pretoria

October sees two exhibitions at the Arts Association, Pretoria.

Urban Candy, an exhibition of paintings by Jaco Benade, speaks to what lies behind people's desire to present their best selves – as is evidenced by the contemporary phenomenon of social media.

Implicit within the work is a reframing of the contradictory impulses that have always driven humanity.

The exhibition is on until 31 October.

19 October saw the opening of BLOOM, an exhibition of paintings by André Naudé.

"I follow Dürer, his line of thinking, his moment of exposure. It is his aloneness that speaks to me. He cannot control, what is happening, only record, what he remembers, what he sees, what he feels. This exactitude is not self-protection. It is a way of approaching what is happening when the world is unstable. During the night we are alone and vulnerable, the certainties disappear." Edmund de Waal (OBE), British author and Ceramicist.

The exhibition is on until 7 November.

For more information phone 012 346 3100 or email artspta@mweb.co.za.
 
Union Blues, oil on canvas
What's on @ the Pretoria Art Museum

Anton Karstel 1995 – 2018 is a mid-career exhibition that will showcase a selection of works from the artist's career since 1989.

The title of the exhibition refers to the years that a cement cast of the artist lay buried under the lawn in front of the Pretoria Art Museum's entrance. The exhibition will feature the photographic record by the artist Abrie Fourie of 'Self-Burial', the art event where Karstel buried the cement cast close to the museum entrance in 1995.

On show will be many of Karstel's works that were produced during the political transition circa 1994. The works produced in 1995 reflect the violence and political turbulence of the time.

The exhibition will also feature painting installations and bodies of work that were produced in Cape Town after the artist relocated from Pretoria in 1998 - 'Kerkraad NG Gemeente Lyttelton-Oos', which consists of 65 portraits that were exhibited in 1998 at the Joao Ferreira Gallery, 'Youth Day', an installation that was exhibited in 2012 at SMAC Art Gallery, comprising multiple oil painting renditions of the old South African flag, a series of paintings of the 1980's 'terrorism', which was exhibited in 2017 at the AVA Gallery and is a more recent example of Karstel's serial approach, a selection from a series of portraits of the five apartheid prime ministers and a body of work that was produced during a residency at Nirox in Johannesburg in 2010.

The exhibition will run until 3 March 2019.
 
Danna Margo, Salvator Mundi, mixed media
Sello Letswalo, Albino Series 7, oil on board
Also on @ the Pretoria Art Museum - For Sale Project: dual exhibition

Last year the For Sale Project Group Exhibition featured a group of six artists from various academic institutions in Tshwane - the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa. Two of the featured artists, Danna Margo and Sello Letswalo, sold the most artworks during the exhibition, which speaks to the core aim of this exhibition series. These two artists have been invited to feature in this year's instalment of the series.

Over the past months Letswalo and Margo have been working on a body of more than 40 artworks. Their choice of medium and theme differs significantly. Margo works with the experimental medium of ink and glue, sometimes working with motifs of popular historical pieces in Western art history but distilling them with this volatile medium to render them anew. Her artworks, either as paintings or photography representative of this unpredictable medium, challenge the static nature of painting at a chemical level when one moves beyond the content.

Linkages can be made between the two artists at a chemical basis of their respective media's behaviour if not at thematic preoccupation. In tackling issues that affect albinos, Letswalo paints on untreated rusted steel. Visitors to the exhibition will find it interesting to see some collaborative works between the two artists, wherein these dissimilar mediums that skew tradition are pitted against each other to reveal possibilities of a new direction in painting.

The exhibition will be on show until 2 December.

For more information phone 012 358 6752.
 
KISS-ME-QUICK-AND-GO-MY-HONEY (and other stories) – all @ the Tina Skukan Gallery

With KISS-ME-QUICK-AND-GO-MY-HONEY (and other stories), the nine illustrators - Piet Grobler , Adrie le Roux, Alida Bothma, Catherine Holtzhausen, Dale Blankenaar, Imile Wepener, Linki Lutz, Maria Lebedeva and Marike le Roux - hope to be personal, individual, witty, intelligent and original.

Their work is diverse and reflect their diverse backgrounds and fields of interest and expertise - picture books, editorial illustration, academic teaching, graphic design, print making and painting. In addition to their own 'other stories,' each responded to the title with pictures of loss, love, longing, nonsense and suspense - thereby showing that meaning is never fixed, but always in the process of being created through the artist's (and the viewer's!) consideration of different contexts.

The New York-based critical writer on design, Veronique Vienne, is likely to have coined the term authorial illustration in the mid-nineties. It has been used in the USA and UK to describe work in which the illustrator's signature or voice is evident in the work. It could refer to published narrative illustration, but also to individual artworks aimed at gallery exhibitions or merchandise such as stationary or clothing. Even though illustrators are proudly and consciously claiming to work as communicators in an 'industry', the days are long gone that they are expected to remain faceless in the background of an advertising project or stay clear of gallery walls.

For more information phone 012 991 1733, 083 235 3899, or email rex@tinaskukangallery.co.za.
 
See Continuing Conversations @ the UJ Art Gallery

This exhibition of portraits is from the permanent collection of MTN and the University of Johannesburg, as well as selected portraits from MTN and UJ's joint emerging artists portrait development programme.

The exhibition is curated by Niel Nortje, manager of the MTN art collection and Annali Dempsey, curator of the University of Johannesburg art collection. It is on until 21 November.

For more information phone 011 559 4674.
 
Zeitz MOCAA establishes curatorial advisory group

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa has established the Zeitz MOCAA Curatorial Advisory Group. Chaired by Gavin Jantjes, the group includes curators Koyo Kouoh and Gabi Ngcobo, and Zeitz MOCAA Board of Advisors member Isaac Julien.

The group will work with the museum's chief curator and its curatorial team to provide guidance on museum initiatives and projects.

Priorities for the group include the further advancement of the exhibition schedule, strategy, research and development of the museum collections and advising the museum's curators on the development of curatorial projects.

This group of leading art professionals and practitioners will also advise on the international search for and appointment of the museum's permanent chief curator. Until such time, Acting Chief Curator, Azu Nwagbogu, will be liaison to the group.
 
Stills from around and about Joan Miró, capture the painter at work.
The making of a Miró

Jennifer Krasinski, Sotheby's

Thomas Bouchard's film Around and About Joan Miró (1955) is undoubtedly a delightful documentary portrait of the Spanish artist and his milieu. But what makes it exceptional is that it features an eight-minute sequence in which Miró creates a painting that was, until recently, unknown to the world.

Around and about Joan Miró

Filmed in New York on 12 October 1947, as evidenced by the signature and dedication on the back of the untitled canvas, this footage gives contemporary viewers a rare, intimate look at the artist's process, one that brings the painter to life as he in turn gives life to a work of art.

Miró and Bouchard probably met in 1947 during the artist's nine-month stay in the city to work on a mural commissioned for the Cincinnati Hilton Hotel. Bouchard had long been a photographer of dancers and choreographers such as Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Charles Weidman, a fact that is hardly surprising given the film's focus on the details and dynamics of form and movement.

With great sensitivity and attention, Bouchard captured the rhythms of the artist as he painted a pair of colourful, fantastic biomorphs with a graceful, free hand. A series of close ups on Miró's paint-loaded brush are edited as though to choreograph the steady turns and gestures that summoned and materialised his bold vision. At once entrancing and illuminating, Bouchard's footage reveals the particular vitality of Miró's practice, allowing audiences to see with greater clarity the life forces that still simmer beneath the surface of his paintings.
 
Ilulwane #1
South African artists feature in London

Acclaimed South African artist and Director of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT, Berni Searle, was prominently featured on an important and critically engaging group exhibition at Frieze London this year.

Social Work follows on from the 2017 critically acclaimed group show Sex Work: Radical Politics and Feminist Art. The show pays homage to a selection of female artists who challenged the male-dominated art world status quo through the 1980s and 1990s, and explored the possibilities of political activism in their art making. The special section is especially appropriate since 2018 marks the centenary of women's suffrage in the UK.

The artists selected for Social Work were chosen by an all-female panel to show female artists working behind the scenes, and under the radar, to address a very different set of social concerns from that of the mainstream art world. They comprise the soft sculptures and painted story quilts of Harlem-born Faith Ringgold, the films and videos of London-based artist Tina Keane, and the wearable sculpture and exquisitely staged photographs of viscera by the late UK artist Helen Chadwick. The show also includes collaged hand prints by the late US artist Nancy Spero, paintings as well as wooden and metal assemblages from Turkish-born Ipek Duben and the transparent photographs of Cape Town's Berni Searle, who at 54 is the youngest artist in Social Work.

Searle's participation in this special section at Frieze could not be more timely. It coincides with a major initiative back in South Africa at the institution of which she is the director. Searle has been instrumental in driving the Siyakhula initiative, a fundraising project to support promising students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who are in financial need, and who otherwise would not be able to attend university. This is initially being accomplished through a major art auction, conducted by Aspire Art Auctions.

The proceeds will go towards funding these students, creating scholarships to cover reasonable and comprehensive costs towards tuition, accommodation, art materials, books and living expenses for food, clothing and health. Its name, Siyakhula, which in isiXhosa means 'together we grow', captures the idea of established artists, who are donating significant work to the auction, supporting a younger generation of future artists.

One of the apt works on auction is that of rising star Athi-Patra Ruga, whose editioned photographic work Ilulwane #1, a 2012 work documenting a performance he created for Performa festival in New York, is on offer. Ruga's work recontextualises the marginalised figures in South African society. He has his first solo exhibition in London on the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.
 
ART Times – October edition now available

The October issue includes the Absa L'Atelier winners, Art Franschhoek is coming, Continuing Conversations with UJ Art Gallery, in conversation with Tertius Van Dyk, Andrew Lamprecht, the new curator for The Peter Clarke Foundation, Fine Art Auction Action, new blood for a new world and the ARTGO calendar to keep you in the art loop.
 
Acclaimed artist, Diane Victor, was the youngest recipient of the prestigious Volkskas Atelier Award in 1988. WHAT's ON follows Diane's illustrious career...

Diane Victor, born in 1964 in Witbank, is a South African artist and printmaker, known for her satirical and social commentary of contemporary South African politics.

She received her BA Fine Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1986.

In 1988 the Volkskas Award granted Diane a ten-month stay at the Cité International des Arts in Paris. This allowed her time to work collaboratively with other experienced printmakers and to observe and reflect on a society very different from her own.

"Winning the award gave me the confidence to continue working as an artist at a time when there was very little support for the arts and almost no chance to survive financially. The art residency provided an escape from the violence of the time and provided me the opportunity to develop as an artist," she said.

From 1990 Diane has lectured part-time, teaching drawing and printmaking at various South African institutions including the University of Pretoria, Wits Technikon, Pretoria Technikon, the Open Window Academy, the Vaal Triangle Technikon, the University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.

In 2009, in a change to her usual methods of working, Diane originated and editioned a series of drypoints at David Krut Print Workshop, called Birth of a Nation. She exhibited these works along with a series of smoke drawing portraits at David Krut Projects, New York in 2010 and returned in January 2011 to show at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Diane was the subject of TAXI-013 from the David Krut Publishing TAXI Art Book series. This publication was followed in January 2012 by Burning the Candle at Both Ends, published to coincide with her two-part exhibition Ashes to Ashes and Smoke to Dust at the University of Johannesburg's Art Gallery. The exhibition ran from November 2011 until the end of January 2012.

In March 2012 Diane returned to work in the US for two months, which culminated in a second solo exhibition at David Krut Projects, New York. In April, Burning the Candle at Both Ends, the recently released monograph on her work, was presented at an artist talk at the New York Public Library, with Diane in conversation with Judith Hecker, Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA, and David Krut.

Her work uses the figure, often her own self-portrait, to create complex narratives relating to contemporary South Africa and to the more global crisis of war, corruption and violence in public, political and private life.

According to Virginia Mackenny, Diane's work challenges the viewer 'to scour her heavily packed images, densely rich in individual detail, to discover their levels of irony and action. Singularly devoid of any classicising hope of order, these images recall Breugal or Bosch in their pessimistic view of the world and the heaping of one folly on top of another.'

She depicts reality fraught with injustice, revealing the complexity of contemporary existence. Her ability to present her themes and subjects in a manner that all but forces our identification with them ejects us out of our complacent stupors, whether we wish it or not.

In her portfolio of prints, Birth of a Nation (2009), published by David Krut Projects, Diane explores the history of colonial engagement in Africa in the context of contemporary corruption and imperialism. She uses historical and mythological references as a platform to insert South African narratives, fusing a recognisable storyline with new characters and South African subjects.

In Disasters of Peace, she directly references Francisco de Goya's Disasters of War. In this series, Diane evokes Goya's criticism of the atrocities of war while demonstrating the continuation of violence after war, and in the case of South Africa, after the end of apartheid. Highlighting overlooked and everyday violence, this series draws attention to this contemporary desensitised gaze or tolerance of violence.

To her: "The images I am working with are taken from our daily media coverage of recent and almost commonplace happenings in newspapers, on TV and on radio of social and criminal acts of violence and ongoing unnecessary deaths – occurrences so frequent that they no longer raise an outcry from our public, yet they still constitute disaster in peacetime."

Smoke drawings

Diane's smoke portraits explore subjects often overlooked, for example South African prisoners awaiting trial and missing children. These portraits capture individuals caught in a vulnerable moment, an idea reinforced through the impermanent nature of the medium used. She uses drawing media to capture both the subject's portrait and vulnerable condition that is somehow in-between presence and absence. Diane is attracted to the direct correlation between the fragility of human life and the susceptibility of the physical image.

"The portraits are made with the deposits of carbon from candle smoke on white paper. They are exceedingly fragile and can be easily damaged, disintegrating with physical contact as the carbon soot is dislodged from the paper. I was interested in the extremely fragile nature of these human lives and of all human life, attempting to translate this fragility into portraits made from a medium as impermanent as smoke itself."

Diane has established herself as a major figure in the South African and international art communities and is renowned for her expert printmaking and draughtsmanship. Her prints and drawings are known not only for their technical skill and compulsive linear detail, but also for their sharp political and social commentary and satire. Her works, although often drawn from global historical and mythological references, speak of the social and political inequalities and complexities of South Africa. Violence, racial anxiety and sexual repression are common ideas represented in the works. Combining both thematic and technical skill, Diane impresses powerful ideas on the viewer, never shying away from controversial or taboo subject matter.

She now works using alternative mediums such as smoke, ash, water stain in combination to her traditional use of charcoal, pastel and printmaking.

Diane's works are included in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the New York Public Library, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, among others.

Artprintsa states: "Diane has won numerous awards and has exhibited widely in South Africa and overseas. Her work is in leading South African corporate, state and private collections - where it has been known to stir up staff sensitivities - as well as in international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here her 'Disasters of Peace' prints have been purchased to complement the museum's collection of Goya's 'Disaster's of War'. She should be declared a national treasure."

Sources
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Victor
www.artnet.com/artists/diane-victor
www.artprintsa.com
ARTBLOG - Art news, reviews and other Art information
Thirty years of L'Atelier – Marilyn de Freitas
 
SANAVA secretariat
Junxion Communications, e-mail ben@thejcs.co.za, tel +27 82 551 4853