De Arte - Volume 2006, Issue 74, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 2006, Issue 74, 2006
Author Bernadette Van HauteSource: De Arte 2006 (2006)More Less
In this 74th issue of de arte, the article section consists of three contributions. Eunice Basson's article on 'Pottering around in Africa: Erich Mayer's search for an indigenous South African style as exemplified in his ceramic designs' investigates the ideas, ideals and contribution of the German-Jewish artist Erich Mayer.
Pottering around in Africa : Erich Mayer's search for an indigenous South African style as exemplified in his ceramic designs : researchAuthor Eunice BassonSource: De Arte 2006, pp 3 –19 (2006)More Less
This article investigates the ideas, ideals and contribution of the German-Jewish artist Erich Mayer, who was born in Germany in 1876. He settled in South Africa in 1898, where he developed an affinity with the early Boer pioneers living in the rural areas.
Mayer's background was solidly European as he was trained at the various art academies of Germany. Shortly after settling in South Africa, he realised that a knowledge of European art history or, indeed, any awareness of an aesthetic consciousness concerning the fine and applied arts was sadly lacking within South African society in general. His interest in arts and crafts prompted him to conduct research into and document examples of folk art among the different cultural groups in South Africa in an attempt to establish an aesthetic awareness in South Africans. Mayer was of the opinion that the development and marketing of these cultural objects and artefacts would contribute towards a uniquely indigenous South African national character and artistic style.
Author Alexander DuffeySource: De Arte 2006, pp 20 –36 (2006)More Less
Erich Mayer and Walter Battiss were both intensely involved in a study of the art of the indigenous people of southern Africa, especially San rock art. Mayer's interest in San rock art started as early as 1898, when he made tracings of the Stow drawings he saw in the possession of a distant relative, Dorothea Bleek, in Cape Town. It was Erich Mayer who introduced the young Walter Battiss to actual San Rock paintings. Although Battiss' interest in San rock art was strongly influenced by the views of Erich Mayer, Battiss' identification with the artists of the rocks is more intense and spiritual and this undoubtedly contributed in a great measure to the development of his own art. This article explores both these artists' utilization of indigenous art and gives some insight into their views of indigenous art.
Author Frikkie PotgieterSource: De Arte 2006, pp 37 –47 (2006)More Less
The modern Continental aesthetic and artistic tradition is often placed in the humanist camp and implicated in the construction of totalising subject formations. In this article I emphasize the other side of the coin by analysing deconstructive tendencies at work in this tradition. I specifically note instances of metaphorical phrasing, as well as a broader "metaphorical" understanding of art that undermines the notion of a common, humanist aesthetic experience.
Author Alan LipmanSource: De Arte 2006, pp 48 –49 (2006)More Less
Johannesburg appears to empty each year-end. Many, my family and I included, take to the road for Africa's most southern coasts. Often too speedily, we pass through the sublime plains, the varieties of bush and grasses, the sunsoaked dorpies of the Karoo. This past month, we broke our journey in order to overnight with friends in Philippolis: 'the oldest settlement in the Free State' we were told.
Author Ingrid StevensSource: De Arte 2006, pp 50 –54 (2006)More Less
The novelist Henry James wrote, 'It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance.' This set me to thinking about the connection between art and life. At a recent wedding held at the Graskop Hotel in Mpumalanga, it seemed that art did meet life and that, if only for a limited time, they were the same thing - art was life, life was art.
Source: De Arte 2006, pp 55 –60 (2006)More Less
The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) is a major metropolitan museum located in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. It has extensive collections of traditional and contemporary South African and international art from the sixteenth century to the present. It has been at the forefront of the reassessment of the history of South African art through its presentation of groundbreaking exhibitions and the publication of accompanying catalogues. The Gallery's collections reflect the artistic heritage of all South Africans.
Author Ruth Kerkham SimbaoSource: De Arte 2006, pp 61 –64 (2006)More Less
AmaNdebele is a very attractive book with beautifully reproduced colour photographs taken by the renowned photographer Peter Magubane, who secured enormous credibility as a photojournalist during the violent years of apartheid. While some South African readers who browse through the glossy portrayals of ceremonial attire and homestead decorations may recall Magubane's earlier books such as Soweto speaks (1981) and Soweto: The fruit of fear (1986) in which the photographer laid bare the ferocious violence of apartheid rule, many readers will skip over the nuances of both Magubane's disrupted career and the contentious relationship between the Ndebele people and the South African apartheid government.
Author Federico FreschiSource: De Arte 2006, pp 65 –71 (2006)More Less
When I went to the Trocadéro museum for the first time with Derain, a smell of mould and neglect caught me by the throat. I was so depressed that I would have chosen to leave immediately. But I forced myself to stay, to examine these masks, all these objects that people had created with a sacred, magical purpose, to serve as intermediaries between them and the unknown, hostile forces surrounding them, attempting in that way to overcome their fears by giving them colour and form. And then I understood what painting really meant. It's not an aesthetic process; it's a form of magic that interposes itself between us and the hostile universe, a means of seizing power by imposing a form on our terrors as well as on our desires. The day I understood that, I realised that I had found my path (Pablo Picasso 1965).
Walter Battiss : Gentle Anarchist. A retrospective exhibition of the works of Walter Whall Battiss (1906-1982), Karin Skawran (ed) : book reviewAuthor Robyn SassenSource: De Arte 2006, pp 72 –74 (2006)More Less
From the outset, this carefully produced catalogue offers a consistent tone of whimsy. This does not compromise its integrity; it is obviously an intentional element to the project and, up to a point, considering the catalogue's projected popular readership, it works. Walter Battiss was clearly a man who enjoyed the ardent love and admiration of his colleagues, and the text of this catalogue is interspersed with anecdote and fond recollection as well as factually based essays. Given the status accorded to him and invested in him in a retrospective of this scope undertaken by the Standard Bank Gallery, however, it does feel a little uncomfortable for the project's catalogue to be as anecdotal as this. With a foreword by Linda Givon and an introduction by Karin Skawran, the catalogue opens in a particularly eccentric manner: the spell is cast for an exploration of Battiss's sense of the idiosyncratic, the zany and the spontaneous.
Author Dominic ThorburnSource: De Arte 2006, pp 75 –77 (2006)More Less
William Kentridge Prints is notably the first publication to focus exclusively on the superb oeuvre of Kentridge graphic printworks. Initially conceived as a catalogue for an exhibition at Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery in Iowa, it has since been expanded and enhanced by David Krut Publishing, recognised for their educational Taxi Art Book series and more recent extended titles. The elegant book now highlights over 180 works, is comprehensively illustrated, and available both in bound hardcover and softcover form.