Du Toit, Guy
Grant, Sue Pam
Van der Merwe, Strijdom
Van Nazareth, Herman
Beezy Bailey was born in Johannesburg. He received a fine art degree from Byam Shaw School of Art in London in 1986.Born of the frustration of "increasingly prevalent affirmative action" in the art world, Bailey submitted two artworks for a triennial exhibition in 1991. One was with the traditional Beezy Bailey signature (rejected), and the other signed Joyce Ntobe, a female alter-ego Bailey had created for himself. The latter now enjoys an honoured place in the South African National Gallery as part of its permanent collection. When the curator of the Gallery wanted to work on a paper about three black women artists, Joyce Ntobe being one, Bailey let the cat out the bag which caused a huge media scandal.
Deborah Bell is one of South Africa´s most acclaimed artists, a transcendent sculptor, painter and printmaker. She has worked with a great variety of media during her career and has collaborated on various historically important projects with her contemporaries and co-forerunners of the resistance art movement such as William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins.
Bell received her B.A.F.A. (Hons) and M.F.A. degrees at the University of Witwatersrand, and has been an artist working abroad and lecturer at various South African tertiary institutions including the University of the Witwatersrand.
Deborah Bell’s work is a highly spiritual and personal experience of mark making. Memory and the role it plays personally and in society thematically prevails throughout her body of work, from the 1980s to present. Bell’s work explores notions of Africanness and what it means to her as a South African artist.
Willem Boshoff was born in Vereeniging, South Africa, in 1951. His father was a carpenter who worked in and around Vanderbijlpark, very close to where the Sharpeville massacre occurred in 1960. Boshoff studied and taught at the Johannesburg College of Art and the Witwatersrand Technikon, and he lives in Johannesburg. He is both a wordsmith and a maker of images and objects. A self-taught dendrologist, he ranges widely across the fields of botany, literature, and geography. He has made concrete poetry; he reads and makes dictionaries; he is a sculptor and makes installations; he is an inveterate seeker after words, names, plants, and objects both natural and synthetic, from which he constructs his sculptures and images. ‘One of his main aims,’ says the writer Ivan Vladislavic in the monograph TAXI-11 Willem Boshoff, ‘is recovery – of lost words, sated senses, family unities, broken maps.’ Boshoff’s encyclopaedic impulse is evidenced in his collecting and making practices: everything is material for making art, every detail in the natural world is imbued with meaning and can be appropriated or spoken of with fervour. Many of Boshoff’s works are incomplete, evolving, or in process as long as the world yields some form of knowledge that he can incorporate into what he is making.
Andries Botha was born 1952, Durban, South Africa. Lives and works in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
De Wet, Barend
De Wet was born in 1956 in Boksburg, Johannesburg. For Barend de Wet, the job of art-making is to insist upon the unobvious, and to do so without advocating any sovereign law. The value and intent of an art work must remain open. ‘What’s your notion of beauty, what’s mine?’ he asks. If given the real Mona Lisa he’d sell it, because he feels no emotional attachment to the artwork. De Wet abhors false attributions of value, these ‘little boxes’ that give social meaning and worth. During a career spanning almost 30 years, Barend de Wet has operated in the interface between material culture and social networks, consistently testing relationships and perceptions.
Du Toit, Guy
Guy Du Toit was born 1958 in Rustenburg in the North West Province. He uses a wide range of media in his sculptures including bronze, stone, wood and steel. Du Toit’s apparent irreverence can obfuscate the fact that he is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most accomplished sculptors. “Liberated” (as he says) by the advent of democracy in South Africa from having to concern himself and his art with the notions of Identity, he has happily turned his attention to “less provincial” pursuits like revelling in form, concept and media for their own sakes. Du Toit uses the unexpected juxtaposition of bronze casts of universal, everyday found (and made-to-look-found) objects to invite his audience to invent dialogue themselves.
Grant, Sue Pam
Sue Pam Grant’s art continuously explores the transformation of the theatrical into the sculptural, using found objects. A versatile artist, she captures the details of life in mundane objects and uses calico cloth parchments, sewing pattern tissue, wallpaper and stencilled text to create backdrops and stage sets for different dialogues and conversations to play out their parts. The objects she makes hover on the brink of narrative, as they cross the divide between domestic objects and humanised characters.
A respected actor, writer and director, Sue Pam Grant begun to explore the world of visual arts, by experimenting in multi-media work through industrial theatre. Exploring the elements of space, light and pageantry Grant developed theatre installations, like Guard on Shift, which merge elements of static sculpture and dramatic theatre effects.
Kay Hassan lives and works in Johannesburg where he was born in 1956. The experience he has gained from art training at Rorke’s Drift, workshops and residences at Thupelo and Fordsburg Artist’s Studio, a scholarship to study in Paris and a guest residency at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, combined with exhibiting and travelling locally and abroad, equipped Hassan to be a pivotal member of the vanguard of artists who subverted the constraints of resistance art and township art, both of which dominated the South African visual art scene in the 1970s and 1980s. It is through his incessant creative experimentation fusing technology with discarded materials that Hassan produces art which poses meaningful questions surrounding social, political, cultural and human conditions in contemporary society.
Jackson Mbhazima Hlungwane was born in 1923 and died in 2010 in Nkanyani Village, Gazankulu The son of a Shangaan migrant worker, he had no formal training as an artist and learned to carve from his father who made utility items for his community. He spent time as a migrant worker in Johannesburg but returned home after an industrial accident in which he lost a finger. Hlungwani’s earliest extant sculptures date to the 1960s, although it is the work of the 1980s and later that became widely known and appreciated. Hlungwane’s work is housed in numerous private and public collections across the world and is widely regarded as one of the top Venda sculptors to emerge from South Africa.
Born in 1968 in Pretoria, Karstel seems to be rubbing at the scars that mark the surface of South Africa, demonstrating that the wounds have not yet healed. His richly textured paintings may be visually seductive but through their complex colouration and layers of texture one is forced to address a current that is made more visible by renderings of the past. Whether nostalgic and romantic or cutting and critical, Karstel’s revisioning in oil paint of archival photographs gives them a contemporaneity and freshness that forces us to query ourselves in their reflected gaze. His style echoes methods from the history of painting but this only serves to heighten the tension that his canvasses create by their production and display in today’s context. Their beauty, technical prowess and suggestiveness are all tools employed by the artist to draw us in and then to deliver his visual and intellectual punch. Although primarily known for his painting, Karstel also produces conceptual work in several mediums that similarly questions the legacy of South African history and its consequences today.
Dylan Lewis is a South African artist who has emerged as one of the foremost figures in contemporary sculpture. Lewis has focused chiefly on the cat as his subject and has created an unrivalled collection on this theme - ranking as one of the most important collections of animal sculpture to come out of Africa. He has extended his artistic talents to the human form, especially its relationship with nature, and has had equal success as with his animals.
Lewis´s primary inspiration is wilderness. At one level his bronze sculptures celebrate the power and movement of Africa´s life forms; at another the textures he creates speak of the continent´s primaeval, rugged landscapes and their ancient rhythms. He works intensively from life, filling books with sketches, notes and drawings. By referring to these in the solitude of his studio, he is able to reproduce the subject´s physical form while exploring their more abstract, deeper meaning.
Lewis´s work features in private collections throughout the UK, Continental Europe, United States and Australia, and he is one of only a handful of living artists to have had more than one solo auction with Christie´s in London.
Joachim Schonfeldt was born in Pretoria, but his family moved to Namibia just three weeks later. Schonfeldt completed his schooling in Namibia, and after graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand in the early 1980's; he worked for Meneghelli Holdings as a curator and researcher in historical African Art.
Joachim Schonfeldt became a full time artist in 1988. In 1989 he lived and worked in Italy, before settling in Johannesburg the following year, writing criticism for a local daily and curating, but mostly practising art. In 2002 Schonfeldt taught and was artist in residence at ECAV, Sierre, in Switzerland.
He has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad. Joachim Schonfeldt was one of the founding artists of The Fordsburg Artists Studios (The Bag Factory).
Mary Sibande, born 1982, lives and works in Johannesburg. She obtained a B-Tech degree in Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg in 2007. In Sibande’s practice as an artist, she employs the human form as a vehicle through painting and sculpture, to explore the construction of identity in a postcolonial South African context, but also attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of women, particularly black women in our society. The body, for Sibande, and particularly the skin, and clothing is the site where history is contested and where fantasies play out. Centrally, she looks at the generational disempowerment of the black woman and in this sense her work is informed by postcolonial theory, through her art making. In her work, the domestic setting acts as a stage where historical psycho-dramas play out.
Angus Taylor (born 1970) is known in South Africa and abroad for his powerful, often large, works of sculpture, characterised by outstanding craftsmanship. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Pretoria which bestowed an Alumni Laureate on him in 2005.
He currently teaches part time at this University and also acted as advisor to the Tshwane University of Technology. In 1997, he founded his own undertaking, Dionysus Sculpture Works, where he casts his own and other sculptors’ work, and nurtures the talent of young and developing artists. In addition to numerous solo and group shows, Taylor is predominantly involved in national and local government as well as private sector large scale commissions. From this have resulted, among others, the Solomon Mahlangu statue in Mamelodi, the statue of Chief Tshwane in front of the Pretoria City Hall as well as the work commemorating Brenda Fassie in New Town JHB.
Strydom van der Merwe
Strijdom van der Merwe (1961 - ) is a South African land artist who uses materials he finds on site to create his artworks. His materials include sand, water, wood, rocks and stone. By shaping these elements into geometric forms he juxtaposes the contrast between artwork and environment, growth and destruction. Van Der Merwe studied art at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, after which he studied printing in Utrecht and sculpture in Prague. He was also a full time artist at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury, England. Van Der Merwe's work is frequently exhibited in galleries throughout South Africa. He has done commissions throughout the world, including South Korea, Turkey, France, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, Italy and Australia.
Herman van Nazareth
Bron in 1936 in Evergem, Belgium, Nazareth is renowned as both a painter and sculptor, dividing his time between Belgium and South Africa. In 1961, Van Nazareth enrolled at the Royal Academy in Ghent, Belgium followed by a year at the Royal Academy at Antwerp. He also worked as an apprentice in the studio of painter Floris Jespers. Van Nazareth came to South Africa in 1965 and studied at the Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town, focusing mostly on sculpture. His work contains influences of early Flemish expressionism and expressionist painting, evoking the work of Francis Bacon.
Because of his aversion to the abuse of power and any kind of inhumanity, combined with his strong stance against supremacy and power mongers, Van Nazareth was one of the very first to be called a protest or satirical artist in South Africa in the late 1960s.
Edoardo Villa remains one of the great gentlemen and endearing personalities in South African art. He was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1915, and studied at the Andrea Fontini Art School in Milan. Throughout his life, Villa has exhibited in Italy, Germany, France, England, Israel, Namibia, South America and the United States. His sculptures, many of them permanently embedded in his adopted homeland, embody his brilliance and spirit. The most famous public sculpture is perhaps the red ‘Knot’ at the entrance to the Civic Centre in Cape Town.
Edoardo Villa was a member of the self-titled Amadlozi Group started in 1961 (along with Cecil Skotnes, Guiseppe Cattaneo, Cecily Sash and Sydney Kumalo), who exhibited extensively in Europe. The work of these artists was considered to best reflect the sense of Africa; the vastness of landscape, the harsh light and the influence of traditional art forms. Together with his great friend, Douglas Portway, Edoardo Villa is one of the most influential artists of the South African abstract movement of the sixties.
Zulu studied art at the Rorkes Drift Art School, Technikon Natal, and the University of the Witwatersrand and has exhibited his work since the early nineties. In July 2005 he had his first international solo show at the October Gallery, London. Zulu has exhibited extensively in South Africa, as well as in the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Scotland and the Seychelles. He has received many international awards and is represented in public, corporate and private collections around the world, including the South African National Gallery.
Zulu’s work gives expression to his wide-ranging interests in biology, botany, history and philosophy, and he explores the relationship between physical and social conditions. His innovative use of fire on canvas has resulted in a body of work that stands up to rigorous interpretation but conveys a profound appreciation of patterns and harmony.
Pitika Ntuli is a sculptor, poet and writer who spent 32 years of his life in exile in Swaziland and the UK. He holds an MFA from the Pratt Institut in New York and a an MA in Comparative Industrial Relations and Industrial Sociology. While in exile in the UK he taught at Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the London College of Printing, Middlesex University and the University of East London . Since returning to South Africa he has taught at Wits and UKZN , and is currently Professor Extraordinaire at Tshwane University of Technology.
He works in multiple mediums including, found material, steel and bone.
Rina was born in Vryheid, Kwa Zulu-Natal in 1976 and completed the BA (Fine Arts) and MA (Fine Arts) degrees at the University of Pretoria. She has been a part-time lecturer in painting and drawing in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria since 2000. Rina has won a number of awards, including the Bettie Cilliers-Barnard Bursary for excellence in painting, the New Signatures Art Competition: People’s Choice and the first prize in the Ekurhuleni Fine Arts Award Competition (2007). She has participated in a number of group exhibitions since 2000, nationally as well as internationally. Her masters in fine art degree culminated in her first solo and her second took place during 2010 at Everard Read, Johannesburg.
Dutch born sculptor Egon Tania recently settled in Cape Town after living and working in Gauteng. Tania mainly uses wood as a medium for sculptures based on the human form, in a tradition of woodcarving that is probably as old as humankind itself. It is a visual language most viewers are well acquainted with, and therefore an expressive and communicative means not hindered by the shock of the novelty or method. The sculptor therefore feels he has carte blanche and finds the age-old tradition liberating rather than restrictive of expression in this medium.