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South African Art News - "making waves" a selection from the SABC art collection

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A version of this exhibition, previously shown at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2004- 5 and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2006, is to be shown at the Iziko Good Hope Gallery at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town from  September 6th to October 28th 2007.

The exhibition which will feature approximately 100 works attempts what no South African collection, either public or corporate, has previously done, to provide both an interpretation of the development of South African art through the 20th century and a selection of the best contemporary South African work.

The historical coverage traces the emergence of a local tradition distinguishable from the earlier indigenous and Europe-derived traditions. The latter is illustrated in the work of Kay, Laubser, Preller and Stern among others. The local tradition is seen as originating in the township painters from Sekoto among others in the 30s to Motjuoadi, Ngatane and Sihlali in the 60s and 70s and also in the very different hybrid products of the Rorke’s Drift and Polly Street art schools in the third quarter of the century. Of pivotal importance in this process is the unique work produced in the context of political struggle after Sharpville 1960 and Soweto 1976, seminally in the drawings of Dumile and Motau in the 60s, followed in the 70s and the 80s by the work of Kumalo, Legae, Alexander, Ractliffe and others in a range of media.

In addition distributed through the exhibition spaces are some of the finest examples of contemporary South African work in a range of media, including the sculptures of Hlungwane, Mabasa and Schütz, the drawings of Kentridge and Victor, the photographs of Mofokeng and Tillim, the prints of Rakgoathe and Shilakoe, the mixed media of Nhlengethwa and Rose and the paintings of Hodgins and Siopis.  The work of several younger artists including Gush, Hlobo, Hugo and Madikida is also featured.

The works are hung in a series of numbered and labelled spaces forming a suite of themes from Struggle and Identity through Street to that which informs much of the exhibition - Predicament. The exhibition includes a number of exceptionally fine recently acquired works, both historical and contemporary. An illustrated catalogue with text and alphabetical list of artists will be available to viewers.

The exhibition, which received a BASA award in 2006, has been widely acclaimed in art journals and in the press. Among these, Art South Africa commented: “When it comes to corporate and public art collections, the SABC collection is one of the most potent assemblies of work this country has to offer.” And the Sunday Times wrote: “Making Waves shows a consistent sensitivity to artistic quality and social relevance…In quantity and quality [it] has the critical mass needed to give an illuminating overview of our troubled history,”

The exhibition which has been curated by Koulla Xinisteris, Collection curator, and Graham Neame, Collection art advisor, will be opened on 6th September 2007 at 6.00pm by the Chief Financial Officer of the SABC, Robin Nicholson.

The Iziko Good Hope Gallery at the Castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.00pm. Safe parking is available in the grounds of the gallery.

For further information contact:   Koulla Xinisteris; Curator: SABC art collection, Mobile: (082) 574 5568                   

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