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Category: Visual Art

Still, but never sedate: Colbert Mashile’s things, shelved

THE STILL LIFE genre is so well used as a safe teaching device, you may consider it to have a long beard and scant relevance. Truth is, it’s not just a didactic exercise about decent perceptual skills. There’s a whole rich history behind it about contemplations of mortality […]

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Pretty pictures, shallow ponds

THERE’S SOMETHING INTRINSICALLY engaging and satisfying about saturated colours painted with a flat sense of accuracy, but there’s also something deadening about this approach to art-making. The more you look at the paintings in acrylic on canvas by Neill Wright in his show at the Everard Read Gallery, […]

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 […]