May 2019: Jozi showcases a range of art in its upcoming exhibitions

The annual cycle of art exhibitions in Jozi 

Once the festive season is over and January blues are behind, Jozi art galleries open their year with new exhibitions. There’s another lull over April/May holiday period followed by a burst of exhibitions in May (this May is no exception).  July sees the RNB Turbine Art Fair (sadly not at Turbine Hall this year) and then of course September is Arts Alive month with the FNB Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre.    

Standard Bank exhibits select examples from the Wits Art Museum African Art Collection 

Enabled by the generous sponsorship of the Standard Bank, the Wits Art Museum has been collecting African art for over 40 years and has built up a particularly fine collection.  Key works from this collection will be exhibited at Celebrating the Story of African Art which opened at the Standard Bank (cnr Simmonds and Frederick Sts) on 11th May.  There’s no excuse for missing this exhibition as  secure underground parking available on Harrison St, provides easy access. 

Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts at Wits Art Museum

Jack Ginsberg who started collecting in the 1970s, has donated his world renowned artist’s book collection to the Wits Art Museum.  Artist’s books are artworks in the form of books rather than books about art.   And this exhibition of selected works from this collection is a treat beyond speech.  Jack will give a walk and talk on 25th February at 11 am at the Wits Art Museum giving insight into how he started collecting and discussing some of his favourite works.  It is a truly world-class collection which includes 3 000 artworks plus a unique archive of an additional 3 000 items on the history and development of the book art genre. Quite astonishing!  The exhibition closes on 6th July. 

A 1913 poem by Blaise Cendrars illustrated by the famous French artist Sonia Delauney. This is part of the Ginsberg Artist’s Book collection at Wits Art Museum, Source:

Phillemon Hlungwani at Everard Read Gallery

Phillemon Hlungwani  trained and now based at Artist Proof Studio (well worth a visit particularly for first-time collectors), has achieved international fame with his large scale charcoal drawings depicting scenes from rural life and more particularly Xitsonga culture.  In his  more recent images, as with the works on the exhibition opening at the Everard Read Gallery tomorrow evening 16th May he introduces vibrant colour.  Ntsako Wa Xibelani is an exhibition depicting a day in Giyani culminating in a big event.  For Hlungwani, Xibelani, a colorful traditional garment, predominantly worn by women, stands as a potent symbol of women as bearers of culture, as protectors and as leaders in their communities. 

Wa faneri wa fika kwala! Charcoal on paper, 900 x 755cm Source: Everard Read Gallery

Stevenson Gallery’s  inaugural exhibition at 46 7th Ave Parktown North 

Flight of Flames, 2019, oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas, 218.5 x 206cm



Liz at Lancaster is proud to host Portia Zvavehera who along with Talitha Cumi, will be exhibiting at the newly relocated Stevenson Gallery from 18th May until 12th July.  Stevenson gallery has recently relocated to the Parks from its more hip inner-city space in Braamfontein.  As well-known artist from Stevenson’s stable says: “geography can limit one’s audience”.  

“Collecting Contemporary” at Lizamore Gallery until 8th June

Of course all exhibitions speak as much to the curator’s choice and taste as to the works on show, but the exhibition Collecting Contemporary at Lizamore Gallery which opened on 9th May addresses this issue very overtly.  For the past there and a half decades, Teresa Lizamore has been a curator and gallerist adding to Sasol’s impressive collection(1982- 2009) and looking after the Rand Merchant Bank collection of some 1800 works from 1989 to date.  Selecting from a wide variety of contemporary artist, Lizamore constructs a narrative timeline in Collecting Contemporary which not only explores a range of concepts and styles prevalent in the contemporary art scene, but also reflects her own journey in the art world. 

Some works from Collecting Contemporary at Lizamore and Associates until 8th June

Mikhael Subotsky at Goodman Gallery until 6th July 

I am not familiar with Mikhael Subotsky’s recent work and only know the photographic work for which he is so internationally famous (his work in prisons as well as the extraordinary photographs of Ponte).  More recently Subotsky has turned to the medium of painting and to the constructs and values associated with white masculinity. This is the focus of his exhibition Massive Nerve Corpus opening at the Goodman Gallery on 18th May.  In an interview with with Hansolo Umberto Oberist earlier this year Subotsky says:  “I don’t think we can fully understand the exercise of white masculine power without exploring its vulnerability, both in the body and in the instruments that we’ve developed to allay this vulnerability and exercise power”.   In addition to the large-scale paintings, Subotzky will show a series of drawings and photographs as well as a suite of eight photogravure-based prints made in collaboration with David Krut Workshop, Flying Horse Editions and Phil Sanders. The exhibition runs until 6th July. 

Group Exhibition Upstairs@Bamboo until 26th May 

Tableaux opens at Carol Lee Fine Art in the Bamboo Centre in Melville on Saturday 18th May at 9.30 (there’s a preview the day before 12-14.30). There are always smaller works reasonably priced  and a big favourite for domestic interiors.  Upstairs@Bamboo is on corner 9th Street & Rustenburg Road in Melville.  Check @CarolLeeFineArt on Facebook.  



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