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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Answer This Question: What is Art for You? (Video)

Youngblood Arts and Culture Development, situated in the beautiful three-story building on Bree Street in Cape Town, has asked an important question in their new promo video:

What is art for you?

For us, art is a myriad of things. It is the expression of creative skill, it is the sharing of imagination, it’s the application of individual knowledge. Art can be unconventional or traditional, subtle or overt. Looking at South African art, as reflected in various Penguin Random House publications, we can safely say that art can, above all things, not be confined to a single word.

South African Artists at HomeArdmoreListening to Distant ThunderDylan LewisCape Town - A Study in Watercolours

Watch the video, and answer the question on social media using the hashtag #whatisartforyou:


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Haunted Landscape by Peter Clarke Put on Auction for R200 000

Listening to Distant ThunderHaunted Landscape along with a number of other works by Peter Clarke were recently auctioned at Russell Kaplan Auctioneers.

Clarke’s first Haunted Landscape painting is, according to the authors of Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke, a seminal work in art history. The collage, which reflects on the original and shares its title, was expected to fetch between R150 000 and R200 000 at the auction.

Stacey Vorster wrote an article about the collage for Art Times:

In 1975, Peter Clarke spent 9 months in Ohio, USA on a writing residency. During this time he completed a large oil triptych titled Haunted Landscape,which was littered with ominous symbols of the turbulence that was going on in his home country: a black cat atop a fence, a lonely pram, a trash can, a wheel-less bicycle, a barking dog and two white doves in a brawl, mid-air while three children make their way home. The painting is one of his most famous and interpreted works: Phillipa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin dedicate a whole chapter to it in his 2011 monograph titled Listening to Distant Thunder, The Art of Peter Clarke. As they argue, the artwork’s seminal place in art history is because of the prophetic quality of the haunted landscape as a “harbinger of the trauma that children would suffer in South African townships” (2011: 137). Preceding the Soweto Uprising of 1976, the painting begins to suggest the loss of innocence that the country would face during the violent clash between school children and police.

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Ronald Cohen’s Portfolio of Architectural Studies Collected in Cape Town – A Study in Watercolours

Cape Town - A Study in WatercoloursFernwood Press is proud to announce Cape Town – A Study in Watercolours by Ronald Cohen:

This artist’s portfolio of 25 watercolour prints of architectural Cape Town is a feast of colour, character and perspective. The late Ronald Cohen, architect and artist, spent a lifetime capturing his surroundings on paper. His first love was the urban scene, where he never tired of recording the lines, volumes and details of beautiful buildings, and the play of light on their facades.

Assembled here loose leaf, on A3-sized, high-quality thick art paper, are 25 of Cape Town’s iconic scenes, from soaring classical edifices to rows of flat-roofed semis, and incorporating schools, mosques, churches and homes, from grand to humble.

A booklet is included, in which each work is discussed, giving some history about the site, its architects, influences and inhabitants.

For lovers of Cape Town and its buildings and history, or anyone with an interest in painting, this is a wonderful collection to have, to enjoy, to frame – and it makes an inspired gift.

About the author

The late Ronald Cohen (1936–2007) grew up in Bloemfontein and qualified as an architect in Johannesburg before emigrating to the UK. In London he pursued a successful and fulfilling career in both architecture and interior design, and painted at every opportunity. He travelled widely, producing a rich body of work from innumerable holiday destinations. But it was in Cape Town that he found “everything to delight [his] senses”, and from where his best work emanated.

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An Untamed Force: View Photographs of Sculptures by Dylan Lewis

Dylan LewisDesign Mine has shared incredible photographs of sculptures by one of South Africa’s greatest living artists, Dylan Lewis.

The towering sculptures designed and created by Lewis are becoming well-known landmarks in South Africa, where they grace botanical gardens, golf courses, grand hotel foyers and the halls of discerning collectors. Increasingly, they are being snapped up by galleries and institutions abroad.

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force by Lewis and Ian McCallum is a beautifully presented book which showcases some of Lewis’ most ambitious and successful works in a series of dramatic photographs, and includes images of preliminary sketches and working methods.

Have a look at some of Lewis’ work:

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An Interview with Paul Duncan About Artist’s Homes that Are Themselves Artworks

South African Artists at HomePaul Duncan, author of South African Artists at Home, was recently interviewed by Random Reads about his book and the artists who inspired him to write it.

In the interview, Duncan speaks about the wonderful homes he was welcomed into while he was doing research for this book, and the “varied and captivating” interviews he conducted with some of South Africa’s best artists.

Duncan says it is impossible to pick his very favourite moment in the process; he has enjoyed many special and intense moments. As he says, “Some of the homes were in themselves artworks.”

Read the interview:

1. What inspired you to begin researching and writing your book ‘South African Artists at Home’?

It’s an area of life that’s completely uncharted. There’s an incredible world of contemporary art in South Africa and yet for the most part we’re only ever on the outside looking in. The book is a chance to be a part of it. Don’t we all want to know where our artists live, how they live and what their homes look like?

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Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force – Join the Artist at the Gorry Bowes-Taylor Wordsworth Literary Lunch

Dylan Lewis: An Untamed ForceFernwood Press would like to invite you to the Gorry Bowes-Taylor Wordsworth Literary Lunch with Dylan Lewis.

Come and meet the artist and author of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force on Saturday, 16 May, at the Allee Bleue Grand Hall in Franschhoek. The lunch will start at 12 for 12:30 PM and costs R280 per person.

Exciting prizes will be up for grabs, including two copies of Lewis’ book, two R100 vouchers from Wordsworth Books, a lunch, a posh picnic, a selection of Allee Bleue wine – and much more.

There is only room at the event for 200 people so make sure to RSVP as soon as possible.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 16 May 2015
  • Time: 12 for 12:30 PM
  • Venue: Allee Bleue Grand Hall
    Intersection R45 and R310
    Groot Drakenstein
    Franschhoek | Map
  • Cost: R280
  • RSVP: Johandie van der Westhuizen, 021 874 1021

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Dylan Lewis: Wild Animals and Wild Areas are the Most Elegant Subjects for Art

Dylan LewisDiane de Beer recently wrote an article for Tonight about the artist Dylan Lewis and his recently launched book, Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force.

This publication builds on an earlier book, bringing the photographic record of Lewis’ work up to date. The brief introductory text reveals how the sculptor’s boyhood in a happily bohemian, nature-loving and creative family inspired him, and traces his artistic development from what have come to be known as ‘the cat years’ to his current, more esoteric and mythical approach.

This beautifully presented book showcases some of Lewis’ most ambitious and successful works in a series of dramatic photographs, and includes images of preliminary sketches and working methods.

In the article, co-author Ian McCallum speaks about what it is that makes Dylan Thomas’ art so evocative and why he chooses wildlife as the subject of his sculptures.

Read the article:

“For him,” writes Ian McCallum, “wild animals and the wild areas in which they live are far more than elegant subjects of art: they are an essential part of human identity.”

Lewis believes, says McCallum who is a doctor, a Jungian psychologist, author, wilderness guide and founder of the Wilderness Leadership School in the Cape, that wildness isn’t just out there, it is inside all of us.

Also read:

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“Inimitable” Michael Taylor One of Two African Artists Featured at Invitational Contemporary Art Fair in New York

A Rake’s Progress by Michael Taylor

South African Artists at HomeMichael Taylor, one of the artists featured in South African Artists at Home by Paul Duncan, is exhibiting his work in New York as part of Volta NY.

Volta NY is a contemporary art fair that invites selected artists from around the world to take part. Duncan was one of only two Africans featured in the fair.

In an article for The Times, Yolisa Mkel reported on Volta NY, and Taylor’s “inimitable style” which was on display there.

Read the article:

For Volta Taylor created a whole new body of work, re-imagining Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, and the legends of the fountain of youth and Avalon.

Taylor wrote a short description of the exhibition, and what he seeks to explore with his work. He says that he looks for disarming modes of communication, in order to make viewers aware of themselves as simply human.

Read Taylor’s description:

My work can be described as ironic, illustrative, and self-reflexive pictures. I draw comparisons between personal and cultural knowledge – themes and narratives that inform my everyday thinking.

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View Photographs from South African Artists at Home by Paul Duncan

South African Artists at HomeSouth African Artists at Home by Paul Duncan offers a rare look at the private spaces of 15 of South Africa’s most revered artists, and an intriguing look at how making art interacts with living life.

Bruce Denhill has shared a few photographs from the book on pArticipate.

The photo below shows Willie Bester, who makes his art installations from found objects, sitting on one of his art pieces (the piece also happens to be a chair in Bester’s home).

View the excerpt:

South African Artist at Home


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Win a Copy of Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force as Part of a Book Hamper Worth R1,650

Dylan LewisOne lucky Visi reader can stand a chance of winning a book hamper worth R1 650. One of the three books included is none other than Dylan Lewis: An Untamed Force by Dylan Lewis and Ian McCallum.

Lewis is a world-renowned sculptor who recently launched his book, co-authored with poet, psychiatrist and nature guide McCullum, at the Everard Read in Cape Town. The book is a testimony to his life’s work and contains early sketches and working methods.

To stand a chance of winning this magnificent prize, simply visit the Visi website, complete the entry form and answer one easy question. The competition closes on Monday, 1 June.

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