Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020

Fri, February 14, 2020 to Sun, February 16, 2020

SMITH is pleased to present its fifth exhibition at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. This larger group show focuses on both emerging and more established artists associated with SMITH, and delves into a broader range of mediums.
This exhibtion includes artworks by Stephen Allwright, Grace Cross, Katharien de
Villiers, Dale Lawrence, Michael Linders, Nabeeha Mohamed, Thandiwe Msebenzi,
Sethembile Msezane, Rosie Mudge, Gaelen Pinnock, Talia Ramkilawan, Tiago Rodrigues, Amy Rusch, Brett Charles Seiler, Sitaara Stodel, Marsi van de Heuvel, Michaela Younge.

Dale Lawrence:
“An oil painting on raw linen, with four layers of priming under the sections that will receive paint. Black oil paint is applied in a single layer of thick impasto. The work was exhibited unfinished and worked on throughout the duration of exhibition. The painting is a remake of two classic paintings of strikingly similar composition – Frederic Lord Leighton’s Hercules Wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis, c.1871 and Paul Cézanne’s The Large Bathers, 1905 – notable for their stark difference in subject and mood. The left side features Leighton’s panicked spectators facing Cézanne’s lounging bathers on the right.”

Thandiwe Msebenzi:
“Egwaveni is a game I played as a child with my friends, we would sing “egwaveni” and touch or gesture towards our vagina, which we referred to as the “gwava”. This is a game we played freely and openly on the streets. It became interesting when we played it around men, it intimidated them and in turn there was a strength we gained in that as young girls. The work is part of a bigger body of work that looks at the intersectonality of gender binaries, told through memories, experiences, and childhood games.”

Grace Cross:
“The latest series I have been working on, called Atlas is a woman, investigates the integral role women play within the cultural fabric of South African life. Taking inspiration from the Greek mythos of Atlas, a titan who was condemned to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity on his shoulders, my painted female figures are similarly burdened. The bend over women, carrying their loads of children, world globes and other symbolic artefacts on their backs, are symbols of endurance and strength inspite of the psychic and physical things they shoulder. Women, and mothers in particular, pass down heritage, culture and emotional wisdom through their daily acts of care. Their fragility and softness, which motherhood creates, is countered by their visible strength and profane feminism. The fleshy, unadorned women are empowered through their nakedness; because so much of women’s work has a physical toll whether from the labour of motherhood or in the desire industry. These breasts are working breasts. Their acts of care through carrying, literally and metaphorically, hold the world up. In the wake of the mass outrage against gender-based-violence in South Africa, this series is a call to arms to witness and protect women.”

Michaela Younge:
“The House America Was Talking About, is an undelivered promise, the house comes with all the previous residents. A banner reads out that the house offers 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms and a pool, but the pool is just a plastic kid’s pool and the view from the window is of an oppressive brick wall. The words ‘You Never Have 2 Leave’ are echoed by a skeleton that sits perched on a chair, while a man hangs himself at the dining table. The dog has died, but the wallpaper is perfect.”

Nabeeha Mohamed:
“A fruit bowl, an otherwise conventional and age-old subject matter, comes to represent and question wealth, luxury and decadence. A basket bowl comparatively
too small for the tower of jewel-toned ripe fruit that it holds, questions the fine line at which worldly pleasures can become excessive indulgence.”

Talia Ramkilawan:
“My work is about forging a sense of community and healing particular to the post generation. My work deals with subverting the image of family trauma in relation to my own family and me by healing through making and by creating a presence.”

Sitaara Stodel:
“Building a home, brick by brick. Although I’ve physically moved over 37 times I’ve only lived in one home in my head. It’s the ideal home; parts of houses I loved form to create one perfect space. The perfect space also has hard moments: torn up bits of interiors, cut up windows, lost bricks. There cannot be light without darkness. Placed on soft pink fabric to hold my home carefully, I remember.”

Tiago Rodrigues:
“It’s another work about optimism and choice, or at least the illusion of these. The hand carved barbwire forms a conversation between labour as a form of stoicism and the perverse beauty of a violent object. The symbolic nature of barbwire as a form of forced access control. I suppose the demarcation and prescription of where we can and cannot go, that’s where the idea lies.”

Sethembile Msezane:
Msezane creates commanding works heavy with spiritual and political symbolism. The artist explores issues around spirituality, commemoration and African knowledge systems. She processes her dreams as a medium through a lens of the plurality of existence across space and time, asking questions about the remembrance of ancestry.

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