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Issue : July 2009

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New Arts Axis for Johannesburg

new outlet will become a platform for
Arts on Main will foster up-and-coming artists from outside
experimentation and see artists their existing stable.
and art institutions working closely, “As a leading contemporary gallery
writes Mary Corrigall we really wanted to establish a project
space. Our schedule at the Goodman
is so busy that we don’t have the
settled in one destination. It is a first flexibility to work with younger artists
for Joburg. With assortment of arts and give them a chance to show,”
practitioners working cheek-by-jowl, observes Liza Esser, owner of the
Arts On Main will more than likely Goodman Gallery franchise.
foster an intimate ambience – or at
Arts on Main is the brainchild of
least deepen existing associations.
twenty-seven-year-old Jonathan
For example, the Goodman Gallery’s
Liebmann, an ambitious and astute
new project space at the centre is a
property developer with a penchant
stone’s throw from the kingpin of their
for the east side of Joburg’s inner
Baring traces of its former life in the stable: William Kentridge, who has
city, which has not to date been the
cycle of industrial commerce its face snapped up a humongous new stu-
target of revitalisation projects. He
brick facade does little to betray its dio. Other artists from the Goodman
obviously shares an affinity with the
new incarnation as a multi-use arts stable such as Rosenclaire (Claire
visual arts – no doubt fostered by
hub. So it’s a surprise when one Gavronsky and Rose Shakinovsky)
his familial connections (he is the
enters the Arts on Main development and Mikhael Subtotsky will also be
son of Benji Liebmann of the Nirox
in the east of Joburg’s inner city to nearby in more modest workshops.
Foundation) – but his plan to gentrify
find oneself in the centre of an über
this industrial part of town was also
trendy centre boasting a grassy The centre’s edgy location seems to
dependent on setting up an arts
courtyard studded with lemon trees. have encouraged residents towards
related development. He is well
But it is still early days in this much embracing experimental art activities.
aware that the gentrification cycle
awaited centre’s existence. The Goethe on Main, a derivative of the
of cities tends to begin with artists.
Canteen, a fashionable eatery, which Goethe Arts Institute, will be a venue
London’s Shoreditch and New York’s
flanks one side of the courtyard, is for unconventional art initiatives such
Soho are cases in point.
only one of a handful of establish- as its current exhibit, Trolleyworks, by
ments that is already up-and-running. social art activist, Ismail Farouk. The “Artists want to be part of regenerat-
But with a host of studios and exhibi- Goodman Gallery have envisioned ing a city. I think they also see the
tions spaces nearing completion that their new space will also facilitate value in areas more than others.
one is able to get glimpse into the alternative projects and installations The structure and volume of space
future of this pioneering art centre, and are, therefore, hoping that this particular to industrial properties also
which will see a range of established An art collector views “The Centre vs. Periphery Ultimate Cage Fight” by Avante Car Guard at the Brodie Stevenson
artists, gallerists and art institutions continued on page 3 Gallery, Johannesburg. To see AVG Show see continued on page 3

Johannesburg to get Kentridge’s Fire Walker A Cape Town Museum of Art?

Staff writer

The city of Joburg is to get its first Melvyn

Kentridge, in the shape of a monu- Minnaar
mental public sculpture, entitled
The Fire Walker, the Weekender
reports. The work is a collabora- The manner in which the Natale Labia
tion with Gerhard Marx and will be museum was abandoned by Iziko is a
constructed of laser-cut steel plates, blot on its hapless history as ‘flagship’
standing 10 m tall. According to manager of Cape Town’s cultural
an article posted by Bongani Nkosi institutions – with the overseeing
and Lucille Davie on, department of public works and the
the piece will be up by the end of one responsible for arts and culture
June, and will be positioned at the as hapless accessories to the crime.
Image : continued on page 3 continued on page 3 South African National Gallery

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Johannesburg winter auction features
over 200 works from traditional South African artists
August 4 and 5 in Rosebank, section, Lot 112 is an assembled That evening, at 18h30, the mood catalogued at R200 000 - R300 000, company’s broad-based auction
Johannesburg, sees the staging of Belleek ‘Neptune’ green tint part tea and tempo will be upbeat as South Lot 381 a still life from Irmin Henkel categories, and this sale is no
a remarkable two day auction with service from the Second Period African art comes under the (R80 000 - R120 000) and Lot 435, exception, with the session moving
its focal session being on the 1891-1926, notable for the hammer in the best place for it, here a Judith Mason mixed media in on to longcase clocks, featuring Lot
Tuesday evening, featuring some inclusion of a much sought-after in South Africa in the sale rooms of relief work entitled ‘Tourist Photo’ 553, an imposing 19th century
230 paintings, drawings and matching 45cm tray. The set the country’s best-established at R50 000 - R70 000. 230cm oak clock pre-sale estimated
sculptures, the bulk of them South is pre-sale estimated at R6 000 - auctioneering company. It’s difficult at R18 000 - R24 000. The session
African works. Some of the art R8 000. The lot most likely to attract to pick stars from the stellar selec- Carter, Mayer, Oerder, Domsaitis, then progresses to wristwatches
represents pinnacles from the top level bidding is Lot 122, a pair tion, but the cover lot would seem Roworth, De Jongh, Laubser, Stern, where no fewer than 40 examples
lifeworks of the artists involved, and to fit all criteria including appro- Coetzer, Sumner, Battiss, Klar, are to be auctioned. Featured are
their release onto the local market priate timing. It is Lot 326, used by Boonzaier, McCaw, Villa, Ngatane, Lot 608, a gentleman’s 18ct gold brooch highlighted with rose-cut
is a significant event. Stephan Welz the company to ‘front’ the entire Bhengu, Tretchikoff, Rose-Innes, Cartier Divan automatic wristwatch diamonds on 15ct gold, silver
& Company, in association with sale, a Cecil Skotnes (South African Van Heerden, Büchner, Fasciotti, (R45 000 - R65 000), Lot 612, a fronted (R30 000 - R40 000). Of
Sotheby’s, is pleased to issue the 1926-2009) work entitled ‘Three Boshoff and many more … a gentleman’s IWC Schaffhausen Big about the same age, Lot 649 is
following sneak preview details of Standing Figures’, a carved, incised veritable feast for collectors of taste Ingenieur stainless steel automatic a Victorian serpent-form necklace
each of the four sessions. and painted wood panel 122 by and discernment. wristwatch (R66 000 - R68 000) and employing an enamelled and garnet
120cm and estimated at R300 000 Lot 624, a quite superb and highly design, pre-sale estimated at
It all starts on Tuesday 4 August at to R500 000. On Wednesday 5 August, interest sought-after gentleman’s 18ct white R30 000 - R40 000. Then, from
14h00 with a session including will be maintained in the 10h00 gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Garrard of London circa 1940,
books and maps, then on through Of equal import, four works from morning session by carpets & rugs, Chronograph ‘Daytona’ wristwatch, Lot 678 (R20 000 - R30 000) is a
ceramics, metalware and silverware. Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South furniture, clocks, pocket watches circa 2004 (R115 000 - R120 000). platinum brooch set with a total of
Of over 80 lots of books, a remark- African 1886-1957) are to be and a spectacular array of approximately 4.50cts in total.
able collection of original manu- offered, two of which, Lots 248 and wristwatches. The fourth session of this two day
scripts and first editions of the 249, being sure to attract interest in auction is scheduled for 14h00 on
works of Sarah Gertrude Millin will the upper financial bracket. Lot 248, The carpets on offer include Lot 451, Wednesday 5 August and is
be certain to attract bibliographic ‘An Extensive Landscape with an a four-strip North-West Persian dedicated to one of the most
attention, as will a number of lots Aloe in the Foreground’ (R800 000 - decorated cover, c1900, estimated at exciting jewellery sessions seen for
from her book collection inscribed of William Moorcroft ‘Eventide’ R1 200 000) and Lot 249, ‘Karoo R8 000 - R12 000. The furniture some time. With just under two
to her by various political and pattern vases at R20 000 - R25 000. Landscape’ (R700 000 - R1 000 000) section features Lot 500, a Victorian hundred lots of antique, period,
literary luminaries. Lot 96 is of In silverware, competitive bidding is provide ample proof of the rosewood secrétaire Wellington contemporary and modern
particular cartographic and expected generally for this popular inimitable talents of this artist Chest, c1855, pre-sale estimated at jewellery on offer, it’s difficult to
collectable interest, being a first section, but with specific attention across a broad executional and R10 000 - R12 000, Lot 530, a 19th illustrate the breadth of appeal
issue John Speed, London 1626, likely to focus on Lot 176, a German stylistic base and, at the same time, century Italian walnut and marquetry which spans unset diamonds from Stephan Welz & Company, in
map of Africa with a frieze of cities 19th century 800 standard silver deliver investment potential and commode (R15 000 - R20 000) and around one-half up to over three association with Sotheby’s, looks
and peoples of the times with a jardinière estimated at R7 000 - ownership pleasure for collectors Lot 536, a most unusual late French carats, diamond rings galore, forward to this being a significant
woodcut imprint on the reverse R9 000 and Lot 201, a large circular and investors alike. onyx, marble, gilt-metal and brooches, pendants, bracelets, sale across a wide range of
indicating its first issue status. silver bowl by Charles Boyton of champlevé column, late 19th/early gemstones, pearls and more. consignments. The following times
It is conservatively estimated at London, 1939, in martelé finish In relative terms, for the more 20th century, 120cm high and and dates apply.
R16 000 - R20 000. In the ceramics (R3 000 - R5 000). conservative budget compared estimated at R9 000 - R12 000. The company’s departmental head,
to the rarified atmosphere of the Eva Miklas, also a director and VIEWING
foregoing, a range of paintings from Timepieces in their various forms auctioneer, pinpointed four lots of Friday 31 July 10h00 - 17h00
much-favoured artists has been have emerged as stars of the particular interest. Lot 646 is an Saturday 1 August 10h00 - 13h00
consigned to auction in the R50 000 early Victorian Sunday 2 August 10h00 - 17h00
to R300 000 region. As examples, diamond cluster
Lot 219, a Jan Ernst Abraham brooch, circa 1840, AUCTION SESSIONS
Volschenk, ‘Wood-Clad Mountains, composed of flower- Session One
George’, estimated at R150 000 - heads and leaves in Tuesday 4 August 14h00
R200 000 can claim considerable 18ct gold, silver Session Two
appeal, as can Lot 227, a Pieter fronted, and set with Tuesday 4 August 18h30
Hugo Naudé entitled ‘River rose-cut and old Session Three
Landscape’ (R80 000 - R120 000). miner’s-cut diamonds, Wednesday 5 August 10h00
To further illustrate the breadth of estimated at R40 000 - Session Four
appeal, examples abound, including R60 000. From the Wednesday 5 August 14h00
Lot 242, a rare Dorothy Kay mayoral Victorian era, circa
portrait of Clifford Bell Payne, 1870, comes Lot 648, For further details please contact
Mayor of Walmer 1941-1947, a diamond and pearl Natalie Randall on 011 880 3125
South African Art Times July 2009 5
Johannesburg to get Kentridge’s Fire Walker New Arts Axis for Johannesburg
continued from page 1 continued from page 1
southern end of Queen Elizabeth This image then ‘explodes’ into loose Dodd also draws attention to the attracts them,” asserts Liebmann.

Bridge in the CBD. individual fragments and abstraction possibility of theft, a problem which
Consisting of five roomy industrial
as you move around it”, Marx and has plagued various public sculptures
buildings, the centre boasts some
Commissioning agent for public Kentridge explain. in the city in recent years. “We’re
formidable exhibition spaces. With
artworks in the city, artist Marcus trying to make it as solid and strong
Neustetter, reports that the The work is being hailed as as possible, but there is the chance
its vaulted ceilings, the Seippel
Gallery’s new space (they will be FINE ART GALLERY
Johannesburg Development Agency Johannesburg’s Statue of Liberty, that parts could get stolen”, Marx con-
leaving August House) will be able
has been hoping to get Kentridge to evoking the Big Apple’s monu- cedes, adding that concerns about
to accommodate enormous hanging
produce a public sculpture for the city mental torch bearing woman. “But safety, and the piece being used as
or sculptural artworks that smaller
for some time. Lael Bethlehem, JDA she is a very particular Statue of a possible hiding place for hijackers
suburban galleries couldn’t dream of
chief executive was heard exclaiming Liberty – Johannesburg’s Statue of were also taken into account in the
displaying. For Essers the generous
on 702 Talk Radio “We are getting our Liberty – which carries with it, at every manufacture of the piece.
dimensions of the studios was also a
very first William Kentridge!” point, either the history or the threat
selling point.
of its own collapse”, the artists say. Then again, theft of part of the
The sculpture will resemble a woman Neustetter also noted the contradic- statue’s metal might only add to the “We really wanted a space that we
carrying a burning brazier on her tory implications of the work, which, sense of contingency offered by could show big installations,” says
head, but only from certain angles; while its message of survival inspires, Joburg’s “exploding” and fragmented Essers.
“If one approaches the work from the “if we carry fire on our heads, what Statue of Liberty.
direction of the bridge, these loose The first show planned for the
else can we do?” it is also disturbing;
steel fragments combine to create the Goodman Gallery will consist of a
“should someone have to do this?” For more information, visit www.
cohesive image of The Fire Walker... collection of Kentridge’s tapestries –
In her article for the weekender, Alex
some are as long as four metres.

A Cape Town Museum of Art?

continued from page 1

A more worrying issue, hinted to by lingers in many local art lovers’ bosom. (and old) pieces. On the other, a large ‘re-exhibiting’ older art within a contem-
some readers’ letters to the Cape Many of us only realise the treasures number of those associated with the porary framework.)
Times in recent weeks (including one in the SANG collection when they are previous paradigm were hastily shoved It seems that Iziko does not realise the
from the original Muizenberg satellite hauled out for retrospectives in other into storage. The taint of our sad past economic value of its collections: one
museum benefactor, count Labia), is museums (Judith Mason, Johann Louw) fell like a veil over many great pieces, which is majorly linked to tourism.
one about the overall management of or appear in print in a rare monographs doomed to the dark below.
Iziko: specifically in what it envisages (the upcoming Alexis Preller). It is within this context - with Iziko drift-
At the same time, a vigorous empower- ing into murkier waters (has anyone any
as its day-to-day job and its future aspi-
The old, hackneyed excuse is the one ment process of upcoming artists and hope for the new powers that inhabit
rations. The serious question is whether,
of exhibition space. In fairness, it’s a new art also stressed Iziko curators in the DAC?) - that one should polish the
for all the bureaucratic ducking-’n-
complaint that runs as a refrein through terms of funds and space. idea, no matter how far-fetched, of a
diving, Iziko has a future vision and a
art museums world wide. But, and this lively, contemporary, civically-minded
practical plan. What we see a t the SANG these Maurice van Essche, ‘The Clown’ - 1972
is the crux of the question Iziko seems and professionally-run Cape Town
days looks very much like an ad hoc
As has happened from time to time, to evade, what’s to be done at the Museum of Art.
exhibition management policy. Shows
visitors to the Iziko SA National Gallery SANG?
come and go and linger in ways that A showcase for the best of South African Masters,
had travelled from afar with the hope of There is no doubt (as we will see with
The limited space in the lovely old build- seldom seem to make any connection the football hoopla next year) that Cape as well as some leading contemporary artists.
seeing one or two of the holdings for
ing has been an issue since before the with anything outside, neither the public Town is the country’s favourite tourism
which the institution is quite well known
days of director Raymund van Niekerk, nor social conditions in the city. (Part destination. As the country’s cultural Telephone: 021 423 6075
- yes, even in foreign places and acad-
and it bamboozled Marilyn Martin’s of the problem too is clearly that of PR and creative hub, there is so much
emies. Of course, as we Capetonians
reign. (The latter, using her persuasive and media management. Capetonians happening (count the operating galler-
know, the SANG shows only a few
charm and cutting arguments, made sometimes simply don’t know what’s ies and art schools, gauge the Cape
works from the vast permanent col-
various efforts to find other spaces, inside those rooms.) Hit and miss, is 09 buzz ), Cape Town needs a proper,
lection in the overflowing basement.
to get other potential benefactors more like it. ‘National Gallery’ hardly Mon-Fri: 09h30 - 17h30
(In fact, we take the officials’ word that well-managed contemporary art space.
interested, to develop strategies. She seems to fit its description; it’s more like Sat: 10h00 - 13h00
those paintings and pieces are not rot- And it should be under the auspices or by appointment
constantly walked into walls.) a temporary slap-up exhibition space.
ting away, and are, in fact, still there.) of the Cape Town city council. The
When political correctness also got And still important art in the collec- latter has, unfortunately, never had any In Fin Art Building
Our disappointed visitors wrote to the
behind the steering wheel, it took a seri- tion - that people, Capetonians, as serious art/culture policy, not to mention
newspaper to say how sad it was not to Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town 8001
ous turn. On the one hand - and cor- well as visitors would like to admire a proper such department. It’s time it
see what they came to admire. Why are
rectly so – a major effort, over the past - remains hidden from public view. (Of Cell: 082 566 4631
these well-known works not on view? does. And we culturally minded, should
twenty years, to rectify the imbalance course, someone like curator Hayden force its hand. Now isn’t that a vibey
This, of course, is a question that of art holdings, brought in many new Proud has done exceptional work in idea? E-mail:

the plot thickens

new paintings by michael taylor
WAS ONCE FUNNY, Michael Taylor 2009, Gouache on board, 20cm x 20cm

27/07 - 22/08

Worldart Gallery
54 Church Street | Cape Town
021 423 3075 |
4 South African Art Times July 2009


Taryn Cohn on Ross Douglas and

Mary Corrigall’s war of words
Taryn Cohn responds to a debate association rather than sheer one way to make money from art; I personally know of several gal-
between Douglas vs Corrigall, numbers, it is still allowed to play by sell it. leries who are most definitely not
published in the June edition of the same rules. Therefore, as long “little shops in malls peddling trite
But really? In the year 2009 are we
the South African Art Times. as there is a sponsor who values the landscape art” that don’t count who
really still in a space where publiciz-
-Read it at brand equity that the event brings, either did not make the grade, or
ing the intention to make money off
the project is sustainable. who simply couldn’t afford to take
I have been following the exchanges art somehow taints its authenticity
part. Apparently fair rules also do
between critic and writer Mary The Art Fair model is no different and intrinsic value? Surely we have
not allow the sharing of stands that
Corrigall and Jo’burg Art Fair to every major event worldwide. seen the rise and fall of enough
would allow so many more members
Director Ross Douglas with some Like the Confederations Cup, communist states to be comfortable
of our art market to participate.
interest. these events could never support embracing the essentially market
Surely considering smaller stands
themselves on ticket sales alone, driven values that govern our soci-
The debate raises some interesting and broadening the offer of legiti-
nor are they meant to. So while the ety? And for those who go back to
and very relevant points, and, while it mate contemporary galleries and
Confederations Cup is playing to issues of funding and sponsorships
meanders dangerously close to get- dealers on display would increase
half empty stadiums you’d be hard being responsible for preserving
ting personal, it also misses a few. the range of works that reflect “the
pressed to find anybody calling for and supporting art, it’s still some-
work the country and continent is
Most obvious was the issue of its cancellation. Why is that you won- one’s money somewhere that pays
sponsorship and Corrigall’s rhetori- der? Perhaps because the sports those bills.
cal question “ If ArtLogics model industry and those associated with it I would assume that a broader range
Are we to believe that you can’t sell
is so sustainable why is it that their understand the symbiosis of spon- of more widely priced work from
art and be transcendental at the
survival depends on FNB sponsor- sors and sports better than we in the established and emerging artists
same time?
ship?” To answer simply, note the art industry do. would both invite more sales from
word sustainable. This is a different It is time that as artists and arts a wider range of clientele and be
So, onto the business of business.
concept (but often confused) with practitioners we aim to engage in a better than design stands and object
the concept of self-sustainable. Like According to Corrigall, “ Art fairs more positive manner with the orga- displays that are “derived from that
every other major trade fair the event are about generating sales and, as nizations and individuals to whom fuzzy territory that delineates the
is hosted by a sponsor. such, most gallerists were keen to we look to for support, be they overlap between art and craft.?”
hedge their bets by displaying a full buyers or sponsors. Rather than look
Sponsorship is a form of market- The questions to be asking is who
array of art in the hope that they on the issue as black and white,
ing for an organization. It is not judges the galleries proposals to
would have more of a chance of we need to ensure that we build
seed funding or an investment. A take part and on what basis.
nailing a sale. In such a context, the these relationships to a point where
sponsor takes the decision to be
aesthetic or transcendental nature we can balance the needs of the As free market liberal, I fully endorse
involved based on the opportunity
of art objects is stifled.” art community and its supporters Douglas’s right to manage his entity
for brand equity that is offered by
without compromising the integrity the way he sees fit, but in support-
the project. Brand equity does An interesting point. Here we have
of either. That will only happen when ing freedom of speech and in the
not merely depend on how many two conflicting agenda’s that make
they respect us enough to listen to interests of nurturing a robust and
people attend the event, nor is it up the tightrope of being an artist.
what we say and how we say it. But critically engaged art media , I
measured by how many logos are On the one hand there is a purist
it will never happen until we respect support Corrigall’s right to ask these
plastered around a venue. It’s about view that art exists to question
them, period. questions. I also thank them both for
something more subtle. It’s about society and explore the “transcen-
the debate.
the value that comes from the right dental and aesthetic” from outside I am fast running out of space so
association - communicating a mes- the constraints faced by people who am left with one more point to raise. Don’t miss the panel discussion on
sage about your brand by picking need to provide goods or services I do support Corrigal’s observation art fairs on 30 June, that includes
the right platform and audience. to make money. On the other, well I that the Art Fair turned to design Ross Douglas, Clive Kellner and Alex
Surely, although art is not sport and have never met an artist who doesn’t to fill spaces. But I do want to ask Dodd. See for
it offers a lifestyle and intellectual like to eat. Simply put, there is only Douglas why this is so? further details.
South African Art Times July 2009 5

New Daily News OBITUARY

updates now available at Long awaited Ricardo Rangel 1924 - 11 June 2009
Limited edition books
Go to to read daily breaking news
and stories as they unfold.
A new remix for Africa? Gabriel De Jongh
(29 Jun 09)
Sarah-Neel Smith gives ‘Continental finally available
Rifts: Contemporary Time-Based Works
of Africa’ the thumbs up in a review for
Frieze magazine.

Photographer Crispian Plunkett

passes awaY (26 Jun 09)
Suid-Afrika verdien beter (South Africa Visionary fashion photographer,
deserves better). De Rust, Western Cape. Crispian Plunkett, passed away last
Courtesy Michael Stevenson Gallery week as a result of diabetes-related
Some of the daily stories include: Ricardo Rangel, In the embrace of the night, 1970.
Countdown to Grahamstown
David Goldblatt wins Henri (29 Jun 09)
Cartier Bresson Foundation As exhibitors head off to Grahams- started his career as a darkroom
Award town to frantically begin installing work assistant during World War II. He
Veteran South African photographer for the opening day, on Thursday, the worked as a photojournalist for a
David Goldblatt has won the Henri South African Art Times picks out some number of newspapers, including
Cartier Bresson Foundation’s grant of highlights. Notícias and La Tribune. In 1970
R 341 400, Volksblad reports. he became a founding member of
2009 Tierney Fellowship Tempo, the country’s first colour
Development Grant winners over the moon news magazine.
winners announced The 2009 recipients of the $5000
The Arts and Culture Trust (ACT), an Tierney Fellowship have been Rangel covered the events that lead
independent funding organisation for selected; the South African Art Times up to Mozambique’s independence
arts and culture, has announced the chatted to young Cape Townian pho- from Portuguese rule in 1975, and
2009 recipients of its development tographer, Ariane Questiaux was appointed chief photographer
grants. about her success. for the Notícias in 1977. He then
Self-portrait, Ricardo Rangel began training photographers for
Hanging out with Hlobo Sloon and Maggs in shady both Agência de Informação de
(29 Jun 09) dealings Written by: Market Photo Workshop Moçambique (AIM) and Notícias.
“I think there is a tradition of English Controversial blogger Robert Sloon
language and culture being very domi- and video artist Charles Maggs pair In 1981 he became director of the
nant in the art world, and I feel there up for a two-man show, ‘Syndrome’, “I used to say to the younger weekly Domingo, and three years To order: phone
is a need for that to be challenged which opens at Whatiftheworld/ gallery photo–graphers, photography is later was asked to establish the Office 011 783 5080
somehow.” in Cape Town. Sloon, (a pseudonym), one of the most beautiful profes- Centro de Formaçao Fotográfica in
has edited the blog ArtHeat since sions you can have. It can take Maputo, a school for photography. John Contat 083 2666 188
Christian Nerf is Barend de Wet 2006, and has long been a mysterious
figure on the Cape Town art scene.
you to places more strange and
Often regarded as Mozambique’s or P-J 082 4506 598
(maybe, sometimes) wonderful than you have ever
“Christian does whatever the f**k he
greatest contemporary photo– Cost: R600-00, incl. vat & postage
wants with my name” says Barend ‘Maybe art is the spinach’ grapher, Rangel will be sorely
Ricardo Rangel
de Wet. In a shock disclosure, Cape Jeff Koons’ current exhibition at the missed. Ricardo Rangel died 11
Townian tricksters Barend de Wet and Serpentine Gallery in London looks Rangel was born in Lourenço June 2009.
Christian Nerf have revealed that they back at Popeye, the iconic strong Marques (Maputo) in 1924, and Errol Boyley books
have been using each other’s signa- man of the last big recession, in the
tures since 2003, “to an extent which hopes of learning something from his Image courtesy of Afronova Gallery also available at R750-00
may never be known”. optimism.
Daniel Novela

Mother and child carrying wooden fire – commissioned by Sarah Salm NY

Exhibiting at room no. 2 Barret Art Centre

from 2 to 11 July daily from 09h00 to 17h00.
After the festival people may visit his studio
in Klerksdorp near Potchefstroom

For a preview please logo on to

To book an appointment please contact the studio at 018 489 1780

I first met a 28 year old Daniel Novela in 1992 while organizing an art exhibition on He has participated in some ten group exhibitions has at least five one-man shows
the campus of the then Potchefstroom University. In the spirit of the policial moments to his credit. Daniel has exhibited in America, where his works were very well
we were living in at that time, the exhibition was called “Images of Reconciliation” received. After his recent solo exhibition in Potchefstroom I was quoted in saying
and featured works by more than eighty artists from all walks of life and virtually the following: “Daniel is an incredibly talented young artist with a vision embedded
every colour and creed in the country. in the long tradition of Impressionism that can be said to have started with Turner.
He has a tenacity an an integrity that has led him to his exhibitions in New York,
Daniel’s works featured a style of hyper realistic renditions of figure studies and I predict great things to come. His works are well worthy of investment, and
including those of San hunters amidst the setting of the veldt in which they live. It his artistic style, particularly the sensitivity of his brush strokes and his feeling for
was abundantly clear that here was an artist with great talent, who only needed to atmosphere, is commendable.”
be pointed in the right direction, and I predicted even then a bright future for this
young artist. Daniel subsequently enrolled for Fine Arts studies at the Klerksdorp I am very proud to be associated with Daniel’s development as a painter and as
Campus of the Vaal Triangle Technikon where he eventually obtained his National an artist who is represenative of what I would like to describe as a new breed. For
Diploma in the year 2000, receiving accolades as one of the top students. With his too long we have been satisfied to applaud the works of mediocre artists in order to
wife Frangely they form a close knit family that includes two children. promote them as part of a political agenda. It is time to undertstand that good art
or even more important, great art, can only be produced by integrity, talent and a
Daniel has evolved a style of painting that is remarkably sophisticated; although he commitment to work hard and produce quality.
maintains his ancestral roots with the land, Africa, he interprets this in a style that
is neither purely realistic nor overtly abstract. He uses his very sensitive feeling for This can be said of Daniel Novela, that he is a child of Africa, rendering pictures
colour to imbue the works with a sense of time and place that is quite ephemeral. of Africa. But he is also an artist of the world with an understanding of the need
Always in contact with the human scale, it is nature that eventually dominates his to produce qualitative works with an inherent artistic value that can even now be
works, and his singular use of bold brush strokes combined with an innate sense translated into investment value. It remains exciting to keep an eye on his future
of composition shows an artistic sensibility born of pure intuition. His paintings development.
become a real sensual experience in which the eyes are used to touch and relay
emotions in much the way that Kandinsky would have appreciated. John R. Boha
Associate Professor: History of Art, Univerrsity of the North West
Peter Willem Frederik Wenning
Supplement to The South African Art Times

Red Hibiscus (Johannesburg Art Gallery) oil on canvas

“I think that there is no higher calling in art than to be true to ourselves.” (from a letter to Pierneef)
Pieter Willem Frederik Wenning appealed to his serious, enquiring bookkeeper to the Pretoria branch became a vegetarian. Although he contributed to a small fund, which
(1873 – 1921) was born in The and sensitive nature. It was also which, having a great spirit for did not create a ‘new’ form of art allowed him to start painting full-
Hague, Southern Holland. After his here that Wenning’s sympathy for adventure, he readily accepted. as so many of his European art time. This he did with passion and
schooling he entered the Railway the poor and working classes began counterparts were seeking to do – fervour at the forfeit of his own
Services, and due to his linguis- to emerge in his artworks as he Wenning was a keen amateur musi- he sought to find truth for himself. health. Wenning never lived to see
tic abilities, worked as foreign chose to represent marginalized cian; playing the mandolin (he was His artistic pursuit was to express his name become established as
correspondent in the Clearing urban spaces. Even though he was part of a mandolin / guitar orchestra the essence of that which he one of South Africa’s leading art
Department. This necessitated that a white-collar worker, he supported formed by the Italian Community of perceived; a philosophy in keeping masters, as he and Hugo Naudé
he travelled frequently to England the strike action taken by the blue- Pretoria), and violin. He was deeply with the Japanese printmaking and are credited with establishing
and various other European collar labourers in the Great Railway interested in philosophy and the calligraphy he studied. It became an the genre that is referred to as
countries, providing him with the Strike of 1903, resulting in him being religions of the world (reading the earnest desire of his to visit Japan ‘Cape Impressionism’. He died at
opportunity to visit galleries and fired. Wenning was by now married Bible, Talmud and Koran) – he hated to study printmaking further; to this the age of 48 due to fragile
museums – giving him a broad and and this period of unemployment narrow-minded bigotry and yearned end he set himself the task of learn- health. His impassioned pursuit
solid grasp of European art trends. was to mark the beginning of finan- for a ‘new religion’. He joined ‘The ing to speak Japanese. to paint (mostly outdoors and
cial difficulties for Wenning and his Theosophical Society of Pretoria’, through all kinds of weather)
Wenning was then posted to family. He eventually found work with where he took on the responsibility It was only at the age of 41, that created a small but invaluable
Zaandam, where he became the largest publishing firm in Holland of secretary. He believed he was he found himself in a position to legacy of landscape and still-life
familiar with Dutch Socialism. – J.H. de Bussy. In 1905 (age 32) a re-incarnation of a monk from pursue painting as a profession. masterpieces produced in the short
The principles of the movement Wenning was offered a transfer as Benares, India and to this end he A circle of friends and patrons time-frame of ca. ten years.

Old Oak, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands

Lane, Malay Quarter, Cape Town – oil on canvas Winter Landscape c. 1920 (Rembrandt Van Rijn Collection Stellenbosch) pencil on paper with touches of watercolour heightening
– oil on canvas
The Influenza Epidemic (known in other parts of the world as the Spanish flu) struck “Wenning handles his colour in a manner that is totally different to any other artist
Cape Town and its environs in 1918 going on to 1919. Despite Wenning’s fragile in the country and it is in this handling that his individuality proves so strong. His
constitution, he worked in the most contagious areas and never succumbed to the ill- “everything a painter has to say pencil and wash drawings are exquisite in their simplicity, and in a few lines he is
ness. Wenning related to his son that when he would visit his studio in Keerom Street able to convey the impression of streets, houses, people, light, shadows, and a big
in the Bo-Kaap, the streets would be deserted due to the illness. can be said on a small canvas” distance.” (From the catalogue of the sale held at Lezard’s 21st December 1917 by
Ernest Lezard)

Backyard, Malta Farm (Johans Borman Gallery) – oil on canvas Still Life – oil on canvas

Wenning responded to the Cape with its softer light and more verdant greens. The “For the deep-thinking artist a still-life painting was an essay in colour, form and
weather, trees and buildings were more akin to his homeland, igniting recognition composition. Wenning’s achievements in this field were governed less by the
within. His brushwork became more deliberate, precise and calm. Malta Farm was influence of Dutch precedents than by the lessons gained from Oriental art.”
one of his favourite painting sites. He returned time and again to paint and sketch it (Berman, E. Art & Artists of South Africa, p. 498)
from various angles.

Blue Vase with Sweet Peas c.1916 – oil on canvas

Wenning studied Eastern philosophies, Japanese and Chinese printmaking,
and collected and revered both Chinese and Japanese artefacts. His brushwork
imitated the calligraphic pen and ink strokes of their pictorial conventions – the
simplification of elements to the essentials, creating the poetry of haiku in an
uncrowded still-life.

Location outside Pretoria (Early period) – oil on canvas

Artists signature style Oakfield, Newlands 1917 – oil on canvas
Although Wenning delighted in the green of the trees – a characteristic of his work
Wenning, under the auspices of Bubberman, had studied his country’s painting Wenning discarded non-essential details in his pursuit for the essence of form, deriving from Japanese printmaking, was to choose to depict the trees in their winter
and became increasingly attracted to the naturalistic plein-airism of The Hague eliminating any unnecessary details. He was able, much as Cezanne was, to paint bare starkness as dark silhouettes, which formed a rhythmic lattice or fretwork across
School. On arriving in Pretoria, he continued to study and explore the environment swathes of surfaces such as vegetation, fields of grass, walls and roofs in a simpli- the canvas. Wenning primed his canvas with washes of ground colour; laying a
around him, struggling to capture and depict the harsh atmospheric conditions of fied swift laying down of paint. His work is also recognizable in his mastery of greys foundation upon which to apply the lighter colour to create form. However he allowed
the Highveldt environs. The scenes he did find to inspire him were the areas where and greens, his dark outlines, and the under-painting showing through the paint the base colour to show through as shadow and outline, surrounding shapes and
man and nature intersected. His application of paint tended to be heavy and his to surround, define and delineate form. He represented trees either as stark black defining details. The dark imprimatura would serve to unify the composition into a
depiction of detail was laid down in overly sketchy mark making. In time, however, silhouettes or in rhythmic simplified lattice-like patterns. He was inspired and influ- harmonious whole, while also highlighting the brighter colours he would use spar-
the discipline of etching honed his mark making ability, while his study of Japanese enced by Japanese calligraphy and emulated this stylized, simplified and elegant art ingly, to bring a spark of life to his scenes. In effect the musician in Wenning would
printmaking refined his ability to discard unnecessary detail. especially when representing trees or a detail in a still-life. He did not try to emulate allow him to orchestrate the scene – not merely replicate it - “What we see around us
time of day or deeply receding pictorial planes. is merely our theme upon which we ourselves must create the melody.”

Analysis of the artists work/ key stylistic influences

From an early age Wenning showed a passion and talent for art, with a keen eye for observa- face-to-face. He would draw the scene onto the canvas in soft lead pencil or charcoal. Next exhibitions, galleries and museums in Holland. While working for De Bussy’s, he would have
tion, perhaps unsurprisingly as both his father and grandfather were artists. At school, his he would fill in the foreground and middle-ground with washes of dark imprimatura in earth handled books filled with representations of historical and contemporary art pieces aside from
excellence in languages and drawing were recognized by his teacher Mr. Bubberman. He tones of umber and ochre. His paint was applied using the following methods; either the the actual art prints they handled. We also know that Wenning was compelled by Japanese
nurtured Wennings talent, taking him on drawing excursions and visits to art galleries and brush would be heavily loaded with paint and applied in a swift assured motion, which he and Chinese artworks; he spent hours pouring over the prints of Hokusai and Hiroshigo, so
museums. We may trace Wenning’s working methodology to the mentorship of this teacher rarely re-worked or overlaid, or he would drag a lightly-loaded, dry brush over the imprimatura that he might learn from these masters, which he applied in his use of black as outline, the
and a high school friendship with Grada van Woude. She and Wenning would regularly go in a action called scumbling – leaving the darker tones of the base colour to show through stark silhouettes of trees, simplified compositions and calligraphic mark making. He was often
on long walks in the country, with Grada collecting plant specimens, which he would then the paint. Details were captured in light, calligraphic touches. As his work matured, Wenning accompanied on his excursions by his fellow Pretoria and then Cape Town artists, and while
illustrate in drawing and watercolour. no longer covered the entire canvas in thick paint, rather by letting the ground colour show we can see the influence of Wenning on the work of Nita Spilhaus, perhaps then we might
through it would create outlines to forms while simultaneously tying the whole composition assume that she in turn would have an influence in his work. Wenning’s choice of subject
Wenning was a versatile artist, working in water-colour, pen and ink, pencil, pastel, etching together. This would provide the bass note to the daubs of brightly-coloured accents he matter and colour palette also relates back to The Hague School and the works of Willem and
and oil. His subject matter included landscape – mostly semi-rural where man lived in nature, would use sparingly, to create a musical harmony in his paintings. Wenning’s work matured at Jacob Maris, Anton Mauve, Josef Israels, George Breitner and Marius Bauer. His choice of
urban environments and still-life. Although he did paint a few portrait studies, he was not at a rapid rate from 1910 to 1920 as he honed his techniques. He was his own worst critic and subjects and paint application references the work of Cezanne.
ease representing the human form. Where figures occur in his paintings, they are represented would destroy work that he did not feel was good enough. His friend, the caricaturist, D.C.
in a few dashes of paint as a highly simplified symbol. Boonzaaier, had to rescue many beautiful works from Wenning’s overly harsh self-critical eye. The predominant art trends in South Africa at this time were either highly stylized picture-
Wenning would walk out into the country until a scene would “seize him with the impulse to As his body of work was produced over such a concentrated time period, we can only speak postcard scenes of gabled houses and pink-tinted soaring mountains, or more realistic works
paint” - he later referred to this method of working as ‘Impulsionist’. He had many favourite of his early (1910 to 1916) and mature work (1916 to 1920). done in the English Academic tradition. While Wenning did not create a new genre of art, he
drawing and painting locations that he would return to time and again. He was a plein aire did bring a refreshing new breath of artistic insight and inspiration, helping to create an artistic
artiste, which meant he painted outdoors at the scene of his subject. His paintings would be Wenning used to state that he would not attend exhibitions as he did not want to see or be language that more relevantly reflected the landscape of South Africa. His influence continues
completed in situ (on location) in one ‘sitting’. He would set out early in the morning with his influenced by other artist’s work, this seems to have been a strange affectation on his part. through the second generation of ‘Cape Impressionists’, principally Terence Mc Caw and
easel, leather briefcase with paint, palette and brushes, and two canvases strapped together We know that Wenning’s high school teacher, Mr. Bubberman, had taken him to see many Gregoire Boonzaier and on.
The friendship
between Nita
and Pieter

Red Hibiscus (Johannesburg Art Gallery) – oil on canvas

Malay Quarter, Cape Town – oil on canvas

Nita Spilhaus. A young artist and

“The Red Hibiscus… has actually been signed twice – in the top and in the
The Dutch Tradition from the outdoors, and then paint the scene the landscape. This in turn inspired close-friend of Wenning who
lower right-hand corners. Dad told me how this had come about. When the pic-
Seventeenth Century was a celebra- later in their studio, however, it was the French schools of plein-airists accompanied him on many paint-
ture was completed and Boonzaier was inspecting it, he said to Wenning, ‘For
tion of that which the artists saw the stimulus which lead to French – the School of Fontainebleau, the ing excursion – she was strongly
goodness sake, why don’t you sign your pictures?’ – so Dad took up a brush
around them; the domestic environ- Impressionism. An interesting cycle Barbizon School, leading to the influenced by his style and choice
there and then and signed it, twice. I find it quite amusing, just something that
ment and the ordinary everyday of influence occurred starting with Parisian Impressionists. This, in turn, of subject matter. It is alluded to in
Dad would have done.” (Wenning, H. My Father, p.80). Harco Wenning confirms
occupations of people going about the Dutch Tradition, which inspired inspired The Hague School of plein- many of the texts on Wenning that
that his father often did not sign his artworks. He goes on to relate that years
their chores in the home, the towns John Constable’s choice of subject airists, who returned to the subject he became engaged to a much
later he would see paintings that he knew were his father’s that were unsigned,
and markets and out on the farms. matter, method of working and matter of the Dutch Tradition of the younger woman after the death of
and then the next time he would see them, a ‘Wenning’ signature would mira-
Th is was not plein-airist paint- depiction of atmospheric conditions 17th C, but this time capturing the his wife.
culously have materialized. Wenning has been given the unfortunate notoriety
ing as the artist would first sketch and light playing naturalistically on scene spontaneously in one sitting.
/ compliment of having been the first South African artist to have had his style Her name is never mentioned, but
forged and artworks not painted by him sold under his name. his friends new her and strongly
tried to dissuade them from the
union. If Nita was this secret
intended other, this was cut short
when in July of 1920, under the
advice of his dentist, Wenning had
all his teeth extracted, causing his
s health to go into sharp decline.
Wenning spent the last few months
of his life being cared for either in
hospital or in the homes of various
friends, eventually resulting in Harco
fetching his father and escorting
him home to Pretoria via train transit;
many friends from his artists com-
munity were there to see him off,
including Nita. The possible
romantic nature of their friendship
is hinted at, but not confirmed,
as it could have caused a scandal,
which might have destroyed her
Having been friends with Wenning
while he was still a married man,
they had gone on many unchaper-
oned painting excursions together,
it is possible that this is what kept
Harco from confirming whether this
Riverbank, Newlands – oil on canvas was the true nature of his father’s
relationship with Nita or not.
The canvas is alive with the quick deep earth tones in the foreground This influence may also be traced Nita Spilhaus – Street Scene – oil on canvas However it is interesting to note that
and lively application of paint and repeated on the roof of the to his simplification of forms and he left instructions in his Will to
through which Wenning has house. Wenning stuck to a limited shapes to fit within an overall bal- Wenning returned to work in Cape Town in July of the year 1919, but his have all their correspondence
allowed the brown ground of his range of colours within a composi- anced, simplified and harmonious health was now in serious decline – he seemed to pay no attention to his (which was in Harco’s possession)
imprimatura to show through. This tion, but created a multitude of sub- composition. Wenning has created own physical reality while trying to capture the corporality of the world destroyed after his death, thereby
acts as a warm base note to the tly varied tones within each colour. a lyrical refrain in the repetition of around him. It was during this time that his friendship with Nita Spilhaus, unfortunately erasing what may
varied cool and muted greys and This work shows his use of black as the roots of the trees, repeated in seemed to become one of a more tender nature. Theirs was more than have been an interesting insight into
greens for which he has become an outline to define and delineate the branches against the light blue just a meeting of minds, but of genuine fondness, with Wenning and a secret chapter of South African
famous. Another characteristic of form reflecting his appreciation and of the sky, with light, staccato notes Spilhaus going on many painting excursions together and Wenning being Art History.
his colour palette is the use of a study of Japanese printmaking. of the leaves. instrumental in her development as an artist.

The Rupert Museum is exhibiting 27 bronze sculptures
by legendary French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Included
in the exhibition, which will be up until early 2010,
are prominent works such as The Thinker, The Kiss and
The Cathedral. Rodin, at the pinnacle of his career by the
end of the 19th century, was deemed the greatest sculptor
since Michelangelo.

Maandag tot Vrydag / Monday to Friday : 09:30 - 13:00 14:00 - 16:00

Saterdag / Saturday : 10:00 - 13:00
Gesluit op openbare vakansiedae / Closed on public holidays
Artists that influenced Pieter Wenning

Terence McCaw (1913-1978) 1961 - The White Gregoire Boonzaier (1909-2005) 1963 – Mount Ararat Terence McCaw (1913-1978) – Genadendal Still Life with Bottle, Vase and Blooms - oil on canvas
Cottage (Lot No. 309 Stephan Welz in Association with (Lot No. 284 Stephan Welz in Association with Sotheby’s (Stephan Welz in Association with Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s 4th of August sale R20 000 to R30 000) 4th of August sale R150 000 to R200 000) October sale)

Important artists dates Exhibitions:

1873: Born 9th of September 1873 in The Hague - Holland. 1911: First group exhibition with The Individualists in Pretoria City Hall
1890: Finished High School - 18 years old 1916: First one-man exhibition – Johannesburg
1891: Joined the Railway Company of Holland and took up a position as a 1917 – 20: Group and one-man exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape
clerk in Amsterdam. Town
1898: 3rd of September, at the age of 26, he married Johanna Hillegonda After his death there were numerous exhibitions both group and solo of
(a widow with a daughter and son). his work within South Africa, in England and then Rhodesia, his paintings
1903: The Great Railway Strike broke out across Europe. Wenning have also been exhibited in Boston and Chicago.
supported the strike action and as a result lost his position with
1910 in Africa
the railways.
Boutros Ghali – the Prime Minister of Egypt is assassinated
1905: Wenning, then 32 years of age, was employed by the book sellers
and publishers De Bussy, he was then transferred to the Pretoria Haley’s Comet fills the sky
branch in South Africa. April the 27th Louis Botha and James Hertzog found the South Africa
1906: Wenning bought his first piece of land on the outskirts of Pretoria. Party
1909: While living at Rietfontein Wenning began to broaden his artistic May 31st the Union of South Africa is created
exploration, expanding from the mediums of water-colour, pen and
1910 Internationally
ink, to oils.
The Boy Scout’s were founded
1910: Moved to a home in Rissik Street in Pretoria
The Monarchy of Portugal is overthrown and a new era of governance
1910: The Society of Artists was formed in Pretoria – they called them-
begins – they take a severe anti-clergy / Catholic stance to separate
selves ‘The Individualists’, Wenning joined the group, which included
Heerco Wenning, father of the artist, was an Pieter Wenning, photo taken on his wedding state and religion.
a young J.H. Pierneef.
artist who made his living as an art teacher; day to Johanna on the 3rd of September 1898. King George V begins his 25 year reign as monarch of England
1910: He sent a selection of his oil paintings to the Brussels Exposition for
which he received a commendation. he also specialized in illustrated cartography Unfortunately there are no available photos of Albanians rise up against the Ottoman rule of their country
1911: Bought a home in President Street (Sunnyside Pretoria) for 800
and Heraldry. Johanna. An International Convention of Socialist Organizations met in
pounds – an indication that his fortunes were doing much better. Copenhagen, Denmark and proposed to launch an International
Woman’s Day for the right to vote – this day is still acknowledged and
1912: A second-hand etching press arrived on order from Holland –
celebrated throughout the world and continues to be relevant as there
Wenning set up a studio on their enclosed back verandah at
are still countries that continue to deny women the right to vote.
President Street.
Demonstrations against public executions turn into a riot in France.
1913: General strike of mine workers in South Africa, Martial Law remained
in effect until 24th of March 1914. During this time riots would fre- African American boxer Jack Johnson defeats a white American boxer
quently break out in the streets of Johannesburg and Pretoria James Jeffries, sparking race riots across America.
1913: De Bussy’s opened a branch in Johannesburg – they appointed The Japan-Korean Annexation treaty is signed which is then followed by
Wenning manager of the art department. the abdication of Emperor Sunjong of the Korean Empire resulting in the
abolishment of monarchy.
1913: Johanna’s health ‘declined’ and she returned to Holland with the two
boys to receive treatment and to recuperate; she was hospitalized in The Vatican introduces a compulsory oath against Modernism for all
December. priests upon ordination.
1914: Wenning met D.C. Boonzaaier Mexican Revolution of 1910 when the election results are declared null
and void.
1914: 3rd of August 1914 – World War I was declared and Johanna and
the boys were stranded in Holland. Other Important dates during his life-time
1915: April the 3rd, Johanna and the boys returned to South Africa Haley’s Comet – 1910
1915: De Bussy distributed the first volume of a collection of etchings by 1911 – The Manchu Dynasty is overthrown in China and a new Republic
Wenning, titled “Johannesburg Impressions”. was proclaimed in October
1915: Resigned from De Bussy’s due to managerial differences, this alter- The sinking of the Titanic – 14th May 1912
cation was to further impact on his health.
1913 – General Strike of Mine workers in South Africa, Martial Law
1915: Bought his own business “The University Fine Art Gallery” from remained in effect until 24th of March 1914. During this time riots
Denis Lefebvre, which proved to be a financial disaster. would frequently break out in the streets of Johannesburg and
1915: Began working in September at Van Schaik’s in Pretoria – like De Pretoria
Bussy they were publishers and book sellers. 1914 – 3rd of August 1914 – World War I
1915: December – brought out a series of Christmas card etchings, which
were sold through Van Schaik’s
Charicature of Wenning by D.C. Boonzaier. A year in the life – 1910
D.C. and Wenning became good friends Wenning had contracted malaria as a child in Fresia but was re-
1916: First artistic sabbatical working for 3 months as a full-time artist
through funding organized by D.C. Boonzaaier but D.C. could be a bit of an overbearing Wenning painting near Tokai Forest, Cape Peninsula. infected living in Pretoria, which was then still a Malaria area – he
1916: Second trip to Cape Town, sponsored by Johannesburg patrons man at times, trying to tell Wenning what or Here we may see Wenning in his trademark long became so ill that in 1910 he had to be hospitalized. This seems to
organized by art auctioneer Ernest Lezard. how to paint. They corresponded regularly overcoat and hat. Wenning would have walked a have been a turning point in his life; the nature of illness and having
1916: Elected to the South African Society for Artists (SASA) and exhibited when Wenning was not in Cape Town. When long distance to reach Tokai from Newlands. It was to spend so much time in bed recovering generally calls one to
on their group exhibition at the Cape Town City Hall. there, he was a regular visitor to their home, not uncommon for him to return only after dark hav- rethink how one’s life is being led. It was not just his health, but his
he was friendly with all the members of the finances were also severely strained as the company did not pay
1917: Included in Roworth’s essay on “Landscape Art in S.A.” ing painted all day that he might finish the painting.
him sick-leave. But then a new and exciting development occurred;
1917: January – Wenning and Johanna temporarily resided in Camp Street, household including the young Gregoire. If it was raining, he would either read or paint still- De Bussy’s decided to expand their business and aside from
Gardens (Cape Town) D,C. had many of Wenning’s work on his lives indoors, but many times he would be caught selling books and art pr ints they decided to stock art materials to
1917: Only public commission – to paint the Vrouemonument in walls, leading to his work having a tremen- in the rain and arrive at the Boonzaier family home the growing art community of Pretoria – much to Wenning’s delight
Bloemfontein dous influence over Gregoire’s artworks. drenched right through. they put him in charge of this new department. He began to come
1917: July – went to Lourenço Marques, he returned halfway through into regular contact with the artist’s active in Pretoria at that time,
November with a large selection of artworks in all his different which included Oerder and Pierneef. Together with these artists and
mediums various other practicing amateurs, they formed an art society named
1917: Sale of 53 works by the auctioneer Ernest Lezard, was held without “The Individualists”, with Wenning as secretary for the society. They
reserve and, although all the works sold, they sold for abysmally low held group exhibitions in the Pretoria town hall, providing a platform
figures making no profit for Wenning who still had to cover the bill for and support for Wenning to be recognized as the artist that he was.
framing. On Sundays, public holidays and Wednesday afternoons, Wenning
1918 & 1919: The Influenza Epidemic (known in other parts of the world as would set out on long walking excursions to find material suitable to
the Spanish flu) struck Cape Town and its environs. inspire him to paint. He would often be accompanied by other artists
and a mutual exchange of ideas would take place. These excur-
1918: An exhibition was set for 10th of October, but was delayed until the
12th of November. There is little doubt that this sale constituted
sions, and the art books and prints he was able to study through the
some of the best work Wenning had ever produced, but once again auspices of the bookstore, placed him a unique position of making
the sale total amounted to a paltry sum of money. an informed approach to what he wanted to out of his artwork.
Towards the end of that year he sent a selection of his oil paintings
1919: February 16th – Johanna fell ill and died on the 23rd.
to the Brussels Exposition for which he received a commendation.
1919: July – Wenning returned to work in Cape Town, but his health was
now in serious decline. He worked feverishly through all weather Bibliography
conditions, ignoring his health, in his drive to pursue his passion for Berman, E. (1975) The Story of South African Painting, Cape Town: A.A. Balkema.
painting. Berman, E. (1983) Art & Artists of South Africa - An illustrated biographical dic-
tionary and historical survey of painters, sculptors & graphic artists since 1875,
1920: 18th July – Under the advice (detrimental as it would turn out) of Cape Town: A.A. Balkema.
his dentist, Wenning had all his teeth extracted. The shock was too Boonzaier, G. (no date) Pieter Wenning - Our Art, Pretoria: Lantern Journal in
much for his system and this marked the turning point from which he collaboration with the S.A. Broadcasting Corporation.
would not recover. “The Individualists” – The Art Society founded in Pretoria 1910. This photo- Boonzaier, G. & Lipschitz, I. (1949) Wenning, Cape Town: Unie-Volkspers Bpk.
1921: January 3rd Harco Wenning fetched his father and escorted him Wenning, H. (1976) My Father, Cape Town: Howard Timmins.
graph was taken at the first exhibition held at the own hall. From left to right:
home to Pretoria via train transit. Dr Grünberger, Nina Murray (seated), Marcelle Piltán, Jacob Hendrik (Henk) Written and researched by Cate Wood Hunter
1921: 24th January Pieter Wenning died. Pierneef, Miss Harding, Pieter Wenning and Mrs Sent.


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Raw Vision Gallery
89 Sir Lowry Road

Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm

Sat: 10am - 2pm

tel: 0765 819 468

Artists welcome to
submit their work by CD
or email:

CHRISTOPHER MØLLER ART R u s t -e n- V r e d e Gallery

1 July – 22 July
82 Church Street (cnr Church and Loop Street) Salon A & B:
Cape Town, South Africa, 8001, Postnet Suite 26 Sandveld Diary – oils by
Private Bag X7, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060 Annelie Venter
Tel: 0027 21 439 3517 Fax: 086 611 3871 Salon C:
Cell: 083 312 3450 “Brokkies nostalgie” – oils by Madelein Marincowitz. The Cube in the Clay Museum:
Ceramics by Martin Swart &
Annelie Venter Noeleen Read Madelein Marincowitz
Hugh Mbayiwa work entitled “Busy Bus”, Mixed media on canvas, 99 x 79cm
12 Wellington Road, Durbanville Tel +27 (0)21 9764691
South African Art Times July 2009 13

SA Art Times Contemporary Artist Profile

traditional genre of portraiture to
examine identity formation, appear-
ances and prejudices based on
appearances. Speaking about the
work, ‘Thug’, what appears to be
a portrait of a hip-gangster youth,
Khambule reveals the work is in fact Friday Night
a self-portrait. “When you look from Acrylic on canvas 150cm X 100cm
far, you might think I’m a thug, but if
you come closer, you will see I am While most of Khambule’s works
not a thug.” do include naturalistic figures, there
is are signs of an exploration of
Elsewhere, the notion of a mask abstraction. ‘Free Fall’, for instance,
takes on a protective meaning. shows a figure who is all but a ghost
In ‘This is it Kid’, a portrait of emerging from a wash of falling, red
2008 Start Nivea Winning Artwork Thug Khambule’s last born son, a pattern streaks.
Acrylic on canvas 150cm X 100cm of umbrella’s adorn the background.
Khambule is currently working full
Umbrellas, Khambule explains,
protect one from the rain. “I’m trying time with business partner Welcome Finalist’s Exhibition
(Durban-based painter, Themba to evoke the identity of children; they Danca at Vulindlela craft and
Staff writer
Shibase was Khambule’s mentor), need to be protected”. design; an interior design company 12 July – 08 August 2009
With no formal art training, and crucially, culminates in a three- who produce unique designs
Khambule’s progression has week exhibition in a professional
Khambule also understands por-
traiture to include the spaces which
influenced by contemporary African KZNSA Gallery, Durban
been impressive. Born in 1977 in gallery. culture. Khambule is very interested
we inhabit. ‘Friday Night’, a painting in promoting young, upcoming
Mdlankala, near Richards Bay, he
A year on from winning the prize, of a pair of shoes hovering in front artists, and hopes to one day
has been dedicated to art since the
in June, Khambule’s debut solo of a city skyline, is one such work.
age of eight. After meeting fellow
show of paintings appeared at the “Sometimes I take a photo of where
open his own gallery and school View the competition artworks
artist Welcome Danca, Khambule for children.
moved to Durban where he snagged
KZNSA in Durban. The exhibition I stay and use that as a portrait”, of 23 of KZN’s hottest upcoming artists.
entitled ‘It’s a Mask’, a selection Khambule says, the shoes were To read more see www.nsagallery.
a job working for Vulindlela Art and
of acrylics on canvas, used the photographed in his bedroom. or Share in the excitement as they
Design because of his painting
talents. He was also introduced by compete for R35 000 in prize money
Danca to galleries Fresh Paint and and a solo show at KZNSA Gallery.
African Accent, and participated
in Fresh Paint’s 2009, ‘Hayibo’
exhibition, as well as Kizo art gal-
lery’s 2008 ‘Love Art’ exhibition. It
was also Danca who suggested
Khambule enter the 2008 START For further details:
Nivea Art Award Competition, a
prize which Khambule took home
last year.
The award, designed by the
Beiersdorf, the makers of Nivea,
gives young, aspiring artists a
chance to kickstart a career in
the arts. It offers prize money of
R20 000 to its first prize winner, START Award winners 2008 are Mizuikyisa Ndlela , Bheki Khambule, Natalie Fossey Glamour Girl
along with a mentorship program Acrylic on canvas 150cm X 100cm
Geoffrey Armstrong (1945-) Landscape ,
acrylic on canvas, Sanlam Art Collection.

Sanlam Art Gallery

2 Strand Road, Bellville

The Sanlam Art Gallery located in the Sanlam Head Office in Bellville is the
premier exhibition venue for the Sanlam Art Collection.

Presently on show is a selection of still life and landscape paintings and

sculpture covering almost a centruy of South Arican art history.
Visiting Times: Monday – Friday 09:00 – 16:30

For more information contact the curator: Stefan Hundt

Tel: 021 947 3359 / 083 457 2699
Guided tours of the collection can be arranged by appointment with the curator




Buy three sides of a new custom made frame for
any picture and we’ll give you the fourth side for
Cape Town’s largest contemporary art gallery
exhibiting works by leading South African artists

Exclusive Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill framing when you can

distributors of have something custom made tailored to the picture
Carmel Art Pieter
you want to frame! Every painting deserves to be shown off at its best, so why not
use this opportunity to frame (or reframe) that special piece?
66 Vineyard Road, Claremont van der Westhuizen
Ph: 021 671 6601 *Calculated as a 25% discount on the frame only. Offer valid until 31 August 2009.
Wolfe Street y Chelsea y Wynberg y 021-761 2816 + Buitengracht Street y Cape Town y 021-423 2090
email: y web:
Website: full selection on website

The Hout Street Gallery

270 Main Street

The Gallery is open

Monday – Saturday
from 08:30 - 5:30pm
and on Sunday
from 10:00 - 5:00pm

or contact 021 872 5030

signed, oil on board, 60 by 49,5cm R500 000 - 700 000

signed and dated 1946, oil on canvas, 72 by 80,5cm R3 000 000 – 3 500 000
Freida Lock 1902-1962, Kitchen Interior with a Red Carpet signed and dated, oil on panel, 36 by 52,5cm R250 000-350 000 Irma Stern 1894-1966, Still Life with Red-flowering Gum

signed and dated 44, oil on board, 57,5 by 49cm R800 000 - 1 200 000

George Mnyalaza Milwa Pemba 1912-2001, The Blessing Jean Welz 1900-1975, Still Life with Jugs and Fruit


Important South African Paintings, Important South African Paintings,
Watercolours and Sculpture Furniture, Silver and Ceramics
Including The Collection of the Late Leslie Milner

Monday, 7 September 2009 Thursday, 8 October 2009

Closed for entries Entries close mid July
Enquiries: 011 728 8246 Enquiries: 087 806 8780

Vanessa Phillips Ann Palmer Stephan Welz Mary-Jane Darroll Bina Genovese

Tel: +27 11 728 8246 Fax: +27 11 728 8247
89 Central Street, Houghton, Gauteng, 2198 P O Box 851, Houghton, Gauteng, 2041
First Floor Colinton House, The Oval, 1 Oakdale Road, Claremont, 7700
Postnet Suite 200, Private Bag X26, Tokai 7966 Tel: 087 806 8780 or 078 044 8185 Fax: 021 683 6085
Titta Fasciotti (1927-1993) Green Meadow, Natal (detail) Oil on Board 295 x 390 mm

The Philip Harper Galleries

Hermanus, Western Cape
We specialise in South African Art, both Old Masters and select Contemporary Artists, catering for both corporate and private clients

Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Road, Hermanus, Tel: 028 3124836