Report from South Africa – October 2015

Chad Rossouw, new editor of online South African art publication ArtThrob, rounds up the best of this month's magazine's news and reviews

By Chad Rossouw

Hand coloured studio portrait, circa 1990s, location unknown. Courtesy Gisele Wulfsohn and Ruth Sack Family Collection The Sandton Convention Centre, home of the Joburg Art Fair Adejoke Tugbiyele, Ndebele Castle, 2015, ink and paint on parchment,  52 x 114 cm Wim Botha, Untitled (line drawing), 2015, wood and oil paint

It’s spring in South Africa, which means its time for the Joburg Art Fair. Anyone interested in South African art (and increasingly art from the African continent) descends on Joburg, in an orgy of wine, art buying and schmoozing. After recovering from that, the galleries bring out their big guns after the winter lull. We also have to report that Matthew Blackman, ArtThrob’s editor, has now left to pursue his PhD in England, His insights and input into the South African art world will be sorely missed so as a fitting farewell we’ve summarised some his contributions here

At The Corner of Polyester and Vine

An art fair is a tough place if you are an art believer. Lwandile Fikeni visits the Joburg Art Fair on the last hour of the last day, taking in the atmosphere, rather than the art, until he’s captivated by a work by Zanele Muholi. Read more

Wim Botha at Stevenson

Wim Botha has long been obsessed with Michelangelo’s Pieta, most famously casting a 1:1 replica in maize meal in 2004. In his most recent work he further unpicks this iconic sculpture, with hundreds of drawings and sculptures in various phases of abstraction. Architect and writer Alexander Opper offers an unconventional reading of Botha’s work. Read more

Adejoke Tugbiyele at Goodman Gallery

Nigerian artist Adejoke Tugbiyele’s remarkable works on vellum for her show Testimony’, complex intersections of queer sexuality, Nigerian politics, postcolonialism and the everyday drew in our reviewer, Isabella Kuijers. Read more

The Other Camera at Commune.1

South Africa has a deep and often difficult relationship with the camera, from Apartheid pass books to exoticised black bodies. And yet, vernacular practices of photography are remarkably empowering. Photographer and archivist Paul Weinberg curates a show of images by black photographers from the 1950s to the 1990s. Niklas Zimmer finds it reveals resistance in surprising places. Read more

Online exclusive published on 9 October 2015.