De Arte - Volume 2009, Issue 79, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 2009, Issue 79, 2009
Author Eunice BassonSource: De Arte 2009 (2009)More Less
The South African art world was shocked by the untimely passing of two esteemed colleagues, namely the renowned sculptor Peter Schütz, and painter and art historian Alan Crump, who were both members of staff in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Walter Oltmann and Karin Skawran pay tribute to these colleagues.
Author Karin Maria SkawranSource: De Arte 2009, pp 7 –8 (2009)More Less
After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Alan Crump, one of the most energetic and prominent personalities in the South African art world, died on 1 May 2009, a few days after his sixtieth birthday. 1 May is celebrated by many as Workers' Day, but in the northern hemisphere this day also heralds the beginning of spring with its promise of new life. Remembering Alan is indeed remembering life, vitality and his role as a worker for the arts.
Source: De Arte 2009, pp 9 –22 (2009)More Less
This article investigates the notion of the 'contemporary vernacular' in the visual arts and how this is invented or developed in response to certain national imperatives, as delineated in Hobsbawm & Ranger (1983), Fine (2004) and Bowe (1993). It then examines the socio-political factors that give rise to the need for the invention of the 'contemporary vernacular' and the characteristics of such 'vernacular' arts, and clarifies this theoretical explanation briefly in relation to two historical examples, viz. the Russian matrioshka doll and the products of Morris & Co., the Victorian craft company belonging to William Morris. It then examines three examples of contemporary South African crafts, namely Ardmore Ceramic Art, Kaross embroideries and the Mapula project. The works produced by these initiatives show stylistic characteristics that reveal a developing South African 'contemporary vernacular' and, furthermore, in their modes of production, correlate with the social, political and economic characteristics of 'vernacular' arts in a number of countries.
Themes of genetic engineering and the homunculus in Patricia Piccinini's sculptural installation, We are Family : researchSource: De Arte 2009, pp 23 –33 (2009)More Less
In this article Patricia Piccinini's We are Family of 2003 is considered in terms of the concept of the genetic homunculus, which can be understood as the product of artifice. The genetically engineered human being is investigated within the context of alchemic and post-human discourse, with specific reference to the ideas of Donna Haraway and Jean Baudrillard. It is maintained that, although it is as yet impossible to accurately predict what the outcomes of such forays into the realms of the natural or the divine may be, post-human futures are already imagined and simulated in the milieu of artistic licence.
Playing the illusion : a review of selected public sculpture at the Irene Village Mall : views and re(views)Author Paul CooperSource: De Arte 2009, pp 34 –40 (2009)More Less
Author Karen Von VehSource: De Arte 2009, pp 41 –48 (2009)More Less
From its inception, the MTN Art Collection has differed from other South African examples in that it was started relatively recently in the post-apartheid era (September 1997, to be exact), which had an impact on the nature of works collected. There was no pressure by a conservative white leadership in the company to purchase classic SA modernist art works, such as Pierneef and Stern.
African dream machines : Style, identity and meaning of African headrests, Anitra Nettleton : book reviewAuthor Diane PelrineSource: De Arte 2009, pp 49 –52 (2009)More Less
With African dream machines, Anitra Nettleton presents the results of over three decades of examining and thinking about African headrests. The result is a book that moves far from the narrowly focused ethnic-specific studies that have become commonplace in the field of traditional African art studies, suggesting less constricting perspectives as a way to understand and appreciate these individual objects, which have attracted Western attention since at least the nineteenth century.
Author Emile MauriceSource: De Arte 2009, pp 53 –56 (2009)More Less
In 2008 Albert Adams was honoured with a retrospective exhibition, Albert Adams: Journey on a tightrope, at the Iziko South African National Gallery (Iziko SANG) in Cape Town. The son of a domestic worker, and classified as 'coloured' in apartheid South Africa, Adams was born in 1929 in Johannesburg but lived most of the South African phase of his life on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.
Author Barbara LindopSource: De Arte 2009, pp 57 –60 (2009)More Less
The publication of Professor Diana Wylie's book on the South African artist Thami Mnyele conveniently coincides with the Thami Mnyele and the MEDU Ensemble Retrospective exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The preparation of the book and the exhibition share several years of planning and research, and both contribute profoundly to hitherto little-known aspects of South African history and art history.
Reservoirs of potency : The documentary paintings of Stephen Townley Bassett, Stephen Townley Bassett, David Lewis-Williams and Benjamin Smith
Unconquerable spirit : George Stow's history paintings of the San, Pippa Skotnes : book reviewAuthor Christopher ThurmanSource: De Arte 2009, pp 61 –63 (2009)More Less
South Africans in the 21st century have an ambiguous relationship with the 'Bushmen' or San people (an ambiguity foregrounded by our uncertainty over what to call them). On the one hand we are complicit in their demise, insofar as our forebears, black and white alike, were guilty of subjugating, enslaving and ultimately exterminating them. Paradoxically, on the other hand, they have left us a cultural legacy that - fragmentary though it may be - is arguably the only heritage shared by all South Africans.