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Author Archives

Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and artslink.co.za and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years. This blog promises you new stories every week, be they reviews, profiles, news stories or features.

What makes abstraction sing: Behrmann and Stadler

Abstract painting may be seen to have had its day, in the avant-garde 1940s and 1950s in the West, when painters of the ilk of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman, to name but a few, were in their heyday, cocking snooks at the notion of literal […]

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Surface detail to make you melt

Before binaries like politics or gender, what really determines our sense of place in this world? Our grip on the veracity of maps? Our understanding of the sinisterness of germs?  Our ability to access colour? Richard Penn’s current  exhibition, Surface Detail, may, by and large, be seen  to […]

How to fall in love with Afrikaans

What is it that can take a language coloured by historical violence, a conservative community with historical bias on its hands, and turn them completely around, enabling the community in question to view itself in an hilarious and truthful mirror? The unequivocally miraculous phenomenon of Afrikaans culture that […]

The importance of Johnny

Very occasionally there comes a play which confronts an era from the inside out, with both a sense of empathy and one of hard-edged objectivity, with as complete and yet vulnerable an understanding of how riddled with complexity a given issue can be. Even more occasionally, do you […]