JOBURG ART FAIR 9 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2016
9 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2016
STEFAN HUNDT [ Curator: Sanlam Art Collection ]
“The exhibition compiled for the Johannesburg Art Fair in 2016 comprises a selection of iconic works by artists who forged a new pictorial language for South African artistic expression.”
THE SELECTION OF WORKS CAN BE CONSIDERED IN 3 GROUPINGS:
1. CECIL SKOTNES, SYDNEY KUMALO, LUCKY SIBIYA AND EZROM LEGAE: Central to the selection is the work of Cecil Skotnes whose distinctive imagery set the tone and provided an example for a number of black artists under his tutelage, such as, Sydney Kumalo, Lucky Sibiya and Ezrom Lagae, all of whom developed unique approaches to their chosen media. All of these artists developed a form of figurative abstraction that represented a type of ‘Africaness’ which prior to this had no appropriate and unique visual expression. There are some formal concerns that these artists share with their European counterparts which inscribed these artworks into a broader global evolution of abstraction in the visual arts.
2. DUMILE FENI AND WALTER BATTISS: Alongside the aforementioned artists, Wall is exhibiting a selection of works by Dumile Feni dating from the mid 1980’s, these confrontational images are distinct examples of the artists’ maturing style. In contrast, the selection of works painted by Walter Battiss, dating from 1950’s and 1960’s, with their flamboyant coloration and eccentric design provides a welcome contrast.
3. GERARD SEKOTO, PETER CLARKE AND JOHN KOENEKEEFE MOHL: A selection of pioneer black artists complete the exhibition. These artists continue with the representational tradition in which they were trained, with a focus on subjects close to their hearts. The adoption of the representational style by these artists was a deliberate staking out of a claim to equality in the South African art- world, at a time when ‘Africaness’ was firmly associated with traditional craft. As conservative in outlook as this imagery may appear, it is a significant component of the development of South African art history. Overall, these well established artist will provide the viewer with a selection of works covering almost half a century. The works are representative of these artists’ oeuvres and will prove valuable additions to any South African collection.