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August 2010 Artist’s feature
For the full online edition go to: Supplement
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Includes: SA Business Art and SA Artlife Titles

Ceramicist, John Bauer, at home at his studio, Claremont, Cape Town. John took part in an international artist – on - couch photography project led by New York based photographer
Rainer Hosch. Other famous artists taking part in the project are Wilem Dafoe, Whoopi Goldberg, David Duchovny and Warren Buffet to name but a few. (the latter unsurprisingly said he hoped
Hosch was making a lot of money from the pictures). At the moment his client is furniture company Dedon who have sponsored him to take their couch around the world and shoot pictures in
beautiful and unusual places. For more see page 13

New SA Art Life Magazine launched Exclusive interview with Dylan Lewis
on his Untamed show in Business Art
We are thrilled to bring you our new magazine format of SA Art Life.
After some time of planning we have reformatted the tabloid size Art Life Steve Kretzmann interviews Dylan Lewis in Kalk Bay and chats to him
to magazine. The reasons are that the magazine format assisted with the about his latest show entitled: “Untamed”: Restoring the lost balance
clearer branding of the 3 titles that we publish, as well as to be ultimately between man and nature at Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town
be available on more countertops, as well as be able to be collectable in “Untamed” consists of exciting new work and collaboration project
the form of stacking the volumes into bookshelves. between Dylan Lewis, Enrico Daffanchio (architect) and Ian McCallum
(poet/writer). Lewis’s primary inspiration for his sculpture is wilderness.
This months Art Life includes a photo- essay on Kalk Bay by Jenny community. The exhibition will allow visitors to the garden to view a
Altschuler, a well known photographer and recent graduate of Michaelis. selection of Dylan Lewis’s sculptures, which will be held within a
temporary structure designed by Enrico Daffonchio.

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South African Art Times August 2010 Page 3

Landmark Johannes Meintjes exhibition

“ the spectacular suddenness with which Johannes Meintjes catapulted to the headlines during the last years of WW2
is a phenomenon seldom equalled in SA cultural history. Before he was 22 years old the intense young artist enjoyed
the kind of public adulation which was later reserved for youthful idols of the pop-music world”. Esmé Berman

Young man in sleep, 1959, Johannes Meintes 1940, Man with cigarette below

An exhibition of the South African artist, author and historian, Johannes Meintjes (1923 -1980) is
presented at the Sasol Art Museum,Stellenbosch University, 52 Ryneveld Street Stellenbosch, and
open to the public from 18 July to 28 August 2010.

Meintjes was a painter that enjoyed public support for his art since an early age and also received
international acclaim as an author and historian. All of these aspects of his oeuvre will be hightlited at
the exhibition.
The fame he enjoyed as a 21 year old artist is unequalled in the South Afrian history of art. Esmé
Berman wrote in her authoritative Art & Artists of South Africa that “ the spectacular suddenness with
which Johannes Meintjes catapulted to the headlines during the last years of WW2 is a phenomenon
seldom equalled in SA cultural history. Before he was 22 years old the intense young artist enjoyed
the kind of public adulation which was later reserved for youthful idols of the pop-music world”.
Johannes Meintjes died in 1980 and had established himself as a major South African painter and
writer. Apart from numerous articles and smaller literary works, he had published 35 books, amongst
them authoritative works on South African history.
He had painted more than a thousand canvases, produced dozens of sculptures and exhibited in all
South Africa’s major galleries - sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of artists such as
Alexis Preller, JH Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser and Walter Battiss.
For more information about Johannes Meintjes see:
Page 4 South African Art Times August 2010

Dan Halter in good spirits as being fourth invited SA Artist to Glenfiddich art residency, Scotland

Zimbabwe-born, Cape Town-based artist Dan Halter is the latest South matrix is important in his progressive, acclaimed art endeavours),
African artist to be invited to the Glenfiddich Artists-in-Residence Dan Halter graduated from the Michaelis in 2001.
programme. Halter, who took part in the tenth Havana Biennale in Cuba
last year. He has previously completed two international residencies, one At present Halter is working towards two exhibitions opening in May and
in Zürich, Switserland and one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. June this year; one at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg, the other
Halter is the fourth South African to be invited since the Glenfiddich pro- at the What if the World Gallery in Woodstock. Utilising video, installa-
gramme was established in 2002. Last year, another Capetonian, Dathini tion and mixed media, these shows will be the outcome of his recent
Mzayiya, joined seven other artists from around the world for the seventh engagement and interrogation of the physical, as well as metaphorical,
annual creative get-together in Scotland. border between Zimbabwe in crisis and palliative South Africa. He is also
completing a sculptural commission for Idasa’s offices in Cape Town.
The 33-year-old artist is well suited for this kind of artistic residency,
working, as he often does, with inter-person issues set in highly-politicised Dan Halter’s solo exhibition titled “Double Entry” opened at the
social contexts. What if the World Gallery in Woodstock, Cape Town on 7 July.
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, from Swiss parents (the African/European See more details on Dan’s show at

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South African Art Times August 2010 Page 5

The new and Untamed work by Dylan Lewis - the exhibition will allow visitors to the garden to view a selection of Dylan Lewis’s sculptures, which will
be held within a temporary structure designed by Enrico Daffonchio. They will also be able to follow a marked garden trail along which they will discover
strategically placed monumental bronzes interspersed with McCallum’s prose and poetry. The temporary structure will showcase contemporary, sustain-
able South African architecture, using solar power and natural light. The building will also feature a specially designed “living wall” of indigenous plants.
The exhibition will run for one year, and over that time almost a million visitors to Kirstenbosch will have the opportunity to see Dylan Lewis’s latest

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David Goldblatt Researched and written by Patricia Hayes

And for me the first principle in photography is economy of means. To tell the most with the least. Not to use fancy gadgets, not to use strong devices but rather to let the
subject speak … And Bosman somehow does that in those stories, a remarkable economy of means, simplicity of language, and yet enormous eloquence. And then his use
of irony I found very inspiring. I actively seek irony, I think, in photography. David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt describes himself as a photographer, not an the art world in the 19th century. In late 20th century South Thus in his view, his photography is neither documentary nor
artist. He is ambivalent about his photographs fetching large Africa however, photography found itself endowed with an- art. It is, quite simply, photography.
sums of money in art galleries, even as he acknowledges other cachet, that of imaging the democratization process. It It is ironic that as a young man, in choosing between the
the importance of this relatively new platform for photog- is now a truism of critical art writing in South Africa that, after study of economics or taking up photography (his two pas-
raphers. It is important to explore the photographic world apartheid, documentary photography moved from a more sions), what initially attracted Goldblatt to photography was
from which he comes, and which he has shaped, in order to political arena in the 1980s into the art gallery. the desire to show the deeply disturbing things happening in
understand the ethics, aesthetics and politics that Goldblatt We get some clue as to Goldblatt’s provocative position in South Africa. This was after Sharpeville in 1960.
articulates in such statements. For perhaps photography, all these debates, and his success in negotiating the divide But he soon found that covering events - especially violent
more than art, has been a site of more overt political debate between anti-apartheid and post-apartheid eras, when confrontation - did not appeal to him. This has been a
and challenge in a place like South Africa. we recall that Goldblatt rejects the label of ‘documentary’ consistent thread throughout his career. He argues that what
Photography has after all been universally endowed with the altogether. All photography is documentary. drove him to probe things with his camera was something
cachet of ‘democratizing the image’ from the elitist grip of else altogether.

Background & early work

Goldblatt was born in Randfontein in 1930. Some argue that For a thinking young photographer in the early 1960s, magazine culture at the time. Goldblatt was able to work out
working in his father’s haberdashery and outfitters store as however, South Africa did not have much in the way of an an eccentric arrangement with the magazine run by Anglo
a young man gave Goldblatt an acute sense of people’s audience or a market. Even those earlier photographers American Corporation, where his work was published ‘if the
bodies. It also gave him an ambivalent but appreciative re- such as Constance Stuart Larrabee, Leon Levson and editor liked it’. From there, as photo editor of Leadership
lationship with the local Afrikaner customers. From boyhood Eli Weinberg who are now labeled ‘documentary’ made magazine, Goldblatt was able to establish himself in a world
however, the local landscape of mine dumps and the small their living largely as commercial photographers. Jürgen where editing and page design also came to shape his eye.
human figures working it also affected him profoundly. This Schadeburg and Drum photographers such as Ernest Cole, From his early work on the mines, Goldblatt then combined
produced something visceral that he needed to explore. Alf Khumalo, Bob Gosani and Peter Magubane were feeling commercial work with his own personal projects.
severe constraints by the 1960s. There was in fact very little

(Left) : (Detail) David Goldblatt seen during two-day photography workshop at the University of Botswana organized by Medu, 9 May 1981. Photo: Albio Gonzalez.
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef
Koringlande Agter Paarl
signed and dated 52
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53 by 84 cm
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The Transported of KwaNdebele 1989:
Going home, Marabastad-Waterval bus, February 1984

Some Afrikaners Photographed 1975: The Structure of Things Then 1998:

Policeman in a squad car on Church Square, Pretoria, 1967 Hassimia Sahib’s butchery and housing for whites. Pageview, 8 March 1986

Apartheid years (1960s-80s)

Goldblatt has exhibited internationally since below ground, are mapped into a literally and mature, full-blown project on ‘structures’, where
the early 1970s, but the spotlight increased symbolically dehumanized landscape. the photographer’s framing draws out the not so
dramatically in the last ten years culminating much pompous as distinctly self-elevating archi-
in top awards by the Hasselblad Founda- His next exhibition and publication work tecture of apartheid (especially Dutch Reformed
tion in 2006 and the Henri Cartier Bresson cohered around the down-to-earth, vulnerable churches), the towering monuments to bullish
Foundation in 2009. His international fame and sometimes raw whiteness of particularly capitalism engulfing Johannesburg, and the
and the ‘normalisation’ of his oeuvre makes it small-town Afrikaners (and others) in Some dereliction caused by forced removals of black
difficult to appreciate how unusual some of his Afrikaners Photographed 1975, and again with people who had constantly to build anew.
choices of subject matter have been at the time In Boksburg 1982. These conveyed the class
of photographing. While it might be thought vulnerability and the gendered and generational Goldblatt was amongst the photographers cho-
that he is to some extent addressing social positionings within those groups which at the sen by the Carnegie Commission to focus on
documentary expectations concerning condi- time were less obvious behind the façade aspects of poverty in South Africa in the 1970s,
tions for black workers in South Africa in ‘On of uncompromising apartheid and National later published as The Cordoned Heart. Gold-
the Mines 1973’, this work is difficult to contain Party government. In Boksburg also features blatt’s assignment was transport, which he later
within the genre, for Goldblatt portrayed white Goldblatt’s commitment to representing the developed as The Transported of kwaNdebele
managers, officials and storekeepers in ways homogenization of South African towns and (1989). The ambiguous title speaks eloquently
that herald his complex later work on Afrikaner villages as the spread of chain-stores and capi- to the new form of hardship faced by working
whiteness and history. This was in addition to talist institutions sets these characters against a people allocated citizenship in the new bantus-
Goldblatt as landscape photographer in On the series of ugly, generic architectural backdrops. tan. Goldblatt traveled with commuters moving
Mines, where he conveys a sense of how the This was a period of unprecedented growth by night bus, shunted through the liminal space
environmental penetration and destruction of in South Africa’s economy and in Goldblatt’s between ‘homeland’ and white city, home and
mining dwarfs and diminishes human beings work this historical context is sited in construc- work, family and alienation, darkness and dawn,
altogether. Men and machines, both above and tion itself. The latter later blossomed into the dreaming and waking.

On The Mines 1973:

Boss Boy, (detail), Battery Reef, Randfontein Estate Gold Mine. 1966.

The Structure of Things Then 1998: Some Afrikaners Photographed 1975:

Suburban garden and Table Mountain. Bloubergstrand, 1986 On an ostrich farm near Oudtshoorn, 1967
Some Afrikaners Photographed 1975:
Picnic at Hartebeespoort on New Year’s Day, 1965

In Boksburg 1982:
During a session of the Junior Town Council at the Town Hall In Boksburg 1982: Mother and child in Sunward Park In Boksburg 1982: A girl and her mother at home
In Boksburg, published 1982: On the stoep: a girl in her new tutu

Elements of Goldblatt
Familiar with the work of great European and American photographers, Goldblatt’s work. The influences are not literal or direct, but they appar- If the two elements of economy and the particular are very important to
Goldblatt from early on sought a way of photographing that would rep- ently resonate. The way his reading of Herman Charles Bosman affected Goldblatt, then there is also a third, and that is space. Goldblatt explains
resent the singularity and originality of South Africa. This did not simply his photography of rural Afrikaners is well-known, but he articulates more that magazine work taught him about the effects of cropping, that is,
refer to content or subject matter. In The Structure of Things Then (1998) than this: reducing the space of the image. ‘Magazines need, generally speaking,
he states that in retrospect, nothing so much as the strong, sometimes strong pages. The editor wants strong pages that will convey essen-
hard African light that defines objects in such a different and saturated And for me the first principle in photography is economy of means. To tials very quickly, so that when a reader goes flipping through, they’re
way, has made a uniquely South African mode of photographing possible tell the most with the least. Not to use fancy gadgets, not to use strong stopped’. But this ultimately educated Goldblatt’s sensibility in another
for him. In subject matter he has always seemed to stand back from the devices but rather to let the subject speak … And Bosman somehow way.
obvious, and his work on the ‘structures’ visible during apartheid uses this does that in those stories, a remarkable economy of means, simplicity of
natural light with its sculpturing effect to virtually inscribe deeper histories language, and yet enormous eloquence. And then his use of irony I found Perhaps with great maturity and more awareness of the subtleties of
into the objects and architectures photographed. This work most strikingly very inspiring. I actively seek irony, I think, in photography. photography I gradually lead to the point where I’m very interested in the
demonstrates the Goldblatt axiom of ‘less is more’. It gives plainness things that happen almost subliminally and often at the edge of the frame.
and ordinariness an unsurpassed dimensionality and presence, very In conversation with writer Marlene van Niekerk, Goldblatt expanded on I don’t even see them, I can’t honestly say that I see them all, but they’re
striking in Suburban garden and Table Mountain. Bloubergstrand, 1986 another aspect of his photographic philosophy. there. And when I come to working with the photograph, I now very often
for example. include bits and pieces that are untidy. They, if you like, at one level they
But let me say that I’ve always regarded photography as being extremely detract from the essentials of the picture. But I’ve come to believe that in
This capacity to bring out an awareness of more latent things has been and totally concerned with the particular. You can never photograph uni- fact they don’t, because this is how reality is.
sustained across Goldblatt’s oeuvre. One of the virtues of foregrounding versally. From the point of view that the photographer and photography,
banality is the way it exposes the dead time of apartheid, where things they don’t exist. You can photograph a dog peeing against a pole, it’s that The tension between space and detail is a difficult thing to negotiate.
happen that are at the same time atrocious but naturalized and everyday. particular dog and that particular pole. It’s not a platonic dog, and it’s not Goldblatt accepts that his photographs may not be easy for viewers.
The truncated structure of Hassimia Sahib’s butchery. Pageview 1986 is a platonic pee or pole… But if you manage somehow to infuse the picture It is fortuitous that a series of technological shifts in colour film, digital
a case in point. with a sense of dogdom… then yes, it might conceivably become or have photographic printing and cameras have given the photographer greater
a quality that some readers might find has attained the universal. But it’s ‘latitude’ after apartheid, enabling him to move from the ‘slightly abrasive
Given that he is a photographer, the strong influence exercised by South not something that I seek or that I would claim for my photographs. and reduced quality of black and white photography’ to a more expansive
African prose writers rather than visual artists is a fascinating feature of realm of colour.
From Intersections Intersected 2008: Are You Master? Km 4 on R74 between Harrismith and Bergville, In a time of AIDS, 25 August 2005

Intersections Intersected 2008: A stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Intersections 2005: Intersections Intersected 2008: Remains of longdrop lavatories, Frankfort,
Green Point, Cape Town, 17 August 2008 Municipal people. Garies, 28 June 2004 Eastern Cape, 22 February 2006

Quotations and much of the material is derived from interviews with the
photographer by the author together with Farzanah Badsha (2002), as
well as by Mdu Xakaza (2006 & 2008), and Marlene van Niekerk (Cape
Town Book Fair in 2007). Many thanks go to David Goldblatt for inter-
views, informal conversations, and the photographs generously provided
for this issue. The portrait of David Goldblatt comes from Clive Kellner
and Sergio-Albio González (eds), Thami Mnyele + MEDU Art Ensemble
Retrospective (Johannesburg Art Gallery). Sunnyside: Jacana, 2009.

Goldblatt, David. On The Mines (with Nadine Gordimer). Cape Town:
Struik, 1973.
Intersections Intersected 2008: Intersections 2005: A cairn, perhaps marking a grave, Goldblatt, David. Some Afrikaners Photographed. Johannesburg: Murray
Gateway to Ville de Fleur townhouse complex, Sunward Park, 17.12.2008 Moordenaar’s Karoo, Leeuwenvalley, 24 April 2002 Crawford, 1975.
Goldblatt, David. In Boksburg. Cape Town: Gallery Press, 1982.
After apartheid Goldblatt, David. Lifetimes: Under Apartheid (with Nadine Gordimer). New
York: Knopf, 1986.
The move to colour notwithstanding, Goldblatt claims that he is doing nuanced and differentiated society like South Africa. What is especially Goldblatt, David. The Transported of KwaNdebele (with Brenda Goldblatt
much the same thing after apartheid as he did before 1994. If a photog- visible in his post-apartheid urban work is how Goldblatt has returned to and Phillip van Niekerk). New York: Aperture, 1989.
rapher is indeed tracking the same questions, then to a large extent he his old preoccupation with values: And I suppose if you look at my work, Goldblatt, David. South Africa: The Structure of Things Then. Cape Town
or she will end up literally documenting disgrace. While certain things a great deal is concerned precisely with that. With trying to unravel how and New York: Oxford University Press and Monacelli Press, 1998.
after apartheid have changed – such as the way that South African people express their values, what those values are, and what might be Goldblatt, David. David Goldblatt. Fifty-One Years. Barcelona: MACBA
cities have become Africanized after long histories of ‘influx control’ the consequences of those values. and Actar, 2001.
– many things have not. It is still possible to see enormous socio- But it is especially through land and landscapes (‘for want of a bet- Goldblatt, David. Particulars. Johannesburg: Goodman Gallery Editions,
economic asymmetries that have their basis in class and race, which ter word’) that he has pursued his obsession with putting space and 2003 (Awarded the Arles Book Prize for 2004).
Goldblatt’s photographs of new football stadiums appear to highlight particulars into the same frame. From Echo Canyon, Richtersveld, 25 Goldblatt, David. David Goldblatt. Intersections. Munich: Prestel, 2005.
(see A stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Green Point, Cape Town, December 2003 has no visual echo because now the foreground has Goldblatt, David. Some Afrikaners Revisited. Cape Town: Umuzi, 2007.
17 August 2008). This means that after the transition to democracy, the same detail as the immense middle and background. Moreover, the Goldblatt, David. Intersections Intersected. Porto: Civilização Editora,
instead of entering a state of grace, many of the cleavages, structures experiment of the series Intersections to photograph seemingly random 2008.
and landscapes have intensified in new and complex ways. This is a geographic co-ordinates produced A cairn, perhaps marking a grave, Wilson, Francis and Omar Badsha, South Africa. The Cordoned Heart.
familiar postcolonial condition in Africa, but is both subtle and garish in a Moordenaar’s Karoo, Leeuwenvalley, 24 April 2002. Cape Town: The Gallery Press, 1986.
South African Art Times August 2010 Page 13

Jedaja (Jakes) Ikoli at the Good Hope Studio’s, The Castle Cape Town John Bauer, artist at his studio, Claremont, Cape Town

Nomlildo, Sophie Peters Jakes Ikoli- and Zxolani Sithungela, Good Hope Studio’s Hanlie Coetzee-Liza Grobler-Elise O’Connor at the Bijou Studio’s, Observatory

Zarvic Botha, The Castle, Cape Town John Bauer sucessfully trims his hedge with new couch, (top) international couch “fixers” moving couch,
(right) Selvyn November, artist. (below): Rebecca Townsend, Observatory, Cape Town

International couch photographer makes local artists proud

Serendipity and the magic of helpfulness or right time, right space. photographed Bauer, resplendent in a 70’s style purple afghan and look-
If you met a world renowned photographer and a rapper in Cape Town ing like a glam rock singer, hanging off a topiaried tree in his front garden
recently you’d assume a connection to the World Cup. But although they accompanied by pottery and couch. The first the potter realised of the
went to a match, that’s not what Rainer Hosch and Janic de Kaser, alias unassuming Austrian’s high profile was the number of ‘fixers’ who piled
Estikay, were here for. It was all about artists, and a couch out of two vans to haul the couch over his wall.

New York based Hosch has photographed Wilem Dafoe, Whoopi Gold- Accompanied by Estikay they then set off to the Good Hope Art Studios
berg, David Duchovny and Warren Buffet to name but a few. (the latter in Cape Town Castle where the rapper commissioned a self portrait in the
unsurprisingly said he hoped Hosch was making a lot of money from the distinctive style of Jedaja Ikoli and a woodcut by Zxolani, a panel depict-
pictures). At the moment his client is furniture company Dedon who have ing a South African life study. Hausch also photographed Sophie Peters,
sponsored him to take their couch around the world and shoot pictures in and at the Bijou Theatre, Selvin November, Lisa Grobler, Hanlie Kotzee
beautiful and unusual places. Estikay heard about the project and signed and Elise Connor and Norman O’Flynn..
up to help, and they’re shooting a rap video on the way.
At Ore Gallery in Observatory Rowan Smith’s ‘Pocket Calculator’caught
The team came into Africa through Kenya, where they strategically placed the photographer’s eye, The piece displays the words to a Kraftwerk song
the furniture in a Masai celebration and had their fortunes told by a warrior crawling across the screen, perhaps a reminder of his teutonic roots.
witchdoctor. Hosch describes the experience as ‘ an incredible privelege’.
They then had time for only one stop in South Africa - Cape Town -where In conversation Hausch mused about the role of photography in art. He
he had the opportunity to indulge his personal passion, photographing says like all art, ‘it’s what you choose to frame in a picture’. On the rise
artists at work. of digital he is philosophical “It changes everything. I tried to fight it at
first and then I realised it’s about what I choose to photograph, not the
Having trained in Austria, Rainer Hosch was lured to New York, where medium” On purchasing art, he admits to missing out on many great op-
he now lives, by the fashion photography industry. Early on he was also portunities to buy pieces from artists he’s photographed, only for them to
asked to take pictures of artists at work and that has spawned a book that make it really big later. He hasn’t made that mistake this time.
he’s waiting to publish,Portraits of Artists, which can be seen along with
his blogon his website He loves the work so much Hausch and Estikay had to fly out of Cape Town before the end of the
that he does it on his own time. World Cup, saying it seemed far too soon. The photographer leaves
Africa not only with work from emerging African artists but the words of
In Cape Town, a chance encounter with ceramicist John Bauer in a the Massai witchdoctor. “You’re a happy man, a good man and everything
gallery led to a flurry of visits to artists studios and some purchases that will be alright.” For more about the project see:
will now be hanging on the walls of apartments in the big Apple. First he

the art of recognizing yourself

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