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Month: July 2018

Land rights, squandered opportunities

THE FORMAL, POLITE space of the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg has not lost its sense of prestige. It’s polished and honed in a particular way. There’s certain atmosphere of traditional sacredness in this space. And as a gallery, it’s a complicated sacredness, that is as much about […]

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African sculpture, tweaked

THE AFRICAN NARRATIVE that takes traditional material culture and rethinks it, is not a new one. Think of the work of Man Ray, or the late bronze cast assemblages of Joan Miro, or the tinkering of Picasso in an Africa-wards direction. Some of these forays led the artists […]

Ghost ship, ahoy!

LANDSCAPE IS A difficult genre. It’s earned its reputation in colonialist lingo about lands conquered and possessed, but the land is there beneath our feet and remains contested and loved, the site of bloodshed and that of sanctuary. Cape Town-based painter Luan Nel takes on these harsh and […]

Is there a peanut in the gallery?

STARE INTO THE harsh winter light outside for a second or two and then close your eyes, tight for another second or two. That afterimage that has burnt itself into your eyeballs is what contemporary American philosopher Timothy Morton mooted an electric peanut, and this is the focus […]

Fifteen fine reasons to visit Braamfontein

THERE’S A POTENT and muscular articulation of joy as you enter the gallery space for the Stevenson Gallery’s celebration of its 15th anniversary. It’s difficult to pinpoint why this happens because contemporary artwork is traditionally not happy but contemplative, not easy but sophisticated and often very self-focused. The […]