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Latest South African Art Books - Art News

Memorandum: A Story With Paintings Marlene Van Niekerk and Adriaan Van Zyl (Human & Rousseau, 2006) 143 pages, Hardcover, ISBN 0-7981-4730-X

This South African book is a collaborative between writer Marlene Van Niekerk and artist Adriaan Van Zyl. The book was published shortly after Adriaan Van Zyl's death in September 2006. The Memorandum is a critic of modern medical practices and institutions as well as an exploration of the revelatory potential of death.

The book contains reproductions of paintings produced by Adriaan Van Zyl between long bouts of hospitalization and intensive surgery. The paintings depict scenes of the Tygerberg Hospital emphasising its banality, functionality and drabness.

Marlene Van Niekerks' accompanying story takes the form of a memorandum by the protagonist Johannes Frederikus Wiid who is on the eve of major surgery for advanced secondary cancer of the liver. Wiid is a retired civil servant in his fifties who recounts a dialogue overheard between two dying patients. The epic and irreverant conversation is interspersed with poems, songs and references to Norse Mythology, ancient townplanning, architecture and ornithology.

The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook by Conrad Botes & Anton Kannemeyer (Jacana, 2006) 218 pages, Softcover, ISBN 1-77009-303-6

The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook was launched at the opening of the two artists' recent exhibition at the Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town which was held to celebrate a decade and a half of Bitterkomix.

The handbook is a collection of extracts from Kannemeyer's and Botes's work in Bitterkomix, Gif, and Loslyf including images from postcards, commercial design projects, pages from sketchbooks and Kannemeyers illustrated journal. The book also contains essays which contextualise, criticise or cheers on Bitterkomix. Some of the artists's independant fine art work is reproduced at the end of the book.

Other New South African Art Books

Sam Nhlengethwa edited by Kathryn Smith (Goodman Gallery Editions, Johannesburg, 2006) 183 pages, Softcover, ISBN 0-620-3652-6-9

Zip Zip My Brain Harts with photographs by Angela Buckland (HSRC Press, 2006), 104 pages, Softcover, ISBN 0-7969-2159-8

Free Ground by Trevor Appleson (Booth Clibborn Editions, 2006) 248 pages, hardcover, ISBN 1-86154-262-3

Uplifting the Colonial Philistine by Jillian Carman (Wits University Press, 2006) 448 pages, Softcover, ISBN 1-86814-436-4

Alt Pop by Jacques Coetzer (Jacques Coetzer, 2007) 130 pages, softcover, ISBN 9-780620-378598

Rover of January by Conner Cullinan (Conner Cullinan, 2007), Exhibition Catalogue

African Basketry by Anthony Cunningham & Elizabeth Terry (Fernwood Press, 2006) 208 pages, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-847950-77-6

The Beautiful Struggle by Per Englund & Mlamli Figlan (Dokument Forlag, 2006) 144 pages, hardcover, ISBN 978-91-97381-5-2

Hiding Behind Simple Things by Andries Gouws (Andries Gouws, 2006) 20 pages, softcover

Round the Bend by Obie Oberholzer (Double Storey Books, 2006) 176 pages, hardcover, ISBN 1-77013-102-7

South African Art Now (Michael Stevenson,2006) Exhibition Catalogue #23


Art South Africa, Volume 05 Issue 03 Autumn 2007.

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