Matereality – a testament to the challenge of tradition

on show at the Iziko South African National Gallery

Media images and interview requests, please contact:

Zikhona Jafta on 021 481 3838 or at zjafta@iziko.org.za

Matereality highlights how contemporary artists from the African continent are challenging traditional notions around what materials are suited to art-making. The group exhibition explores different issues and ideas such as climate and environmental issues; pollution; waste; xenophobia; poverty; beauty; gender; and politics – using certain materials to provide insight into their reality. 

1
Mounir Fatmi
Maximum Sensation (20) (2012)
Skateboard and prayer rug
12.5 x 21 x 80 cm
©Image courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery

 

Set to open at the Iziko South African National Gallery on Friday, 14 February 2020, the exhibition unpacks how artists have used the materials, whether directly or indirectly, to raise questions about larger societal concerns. The selection of artists may explore a wide range of issues; however, the thread that connects them all is that of using materiality to guide the aesthetic experience.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Athi Patra-Ruga, Patrick Bongoy, Jodi Paulsen, Billie Zangewa, Bert Pauw, Bronwyn Katz, Cyrus Kabiru and Gabrielle Kruger – to name just a few. These artists explore what is important to them with autonomy and authority, but without losing the material traditions that have been such an important part of their nation’s artistic or historical legacy. The materials being used often have an inherent history, which can offer a powerful starting point and make for a more meaningful process.

1
Bert Pauw
Compact (2019)
Plastic bags
140 x 102cm
© Image courtesy of the artist

 

These mostly upcoming or established artists provide a glimpse into the vibrant South African art scene as well as the visual production from the rest of the African continent. This swathe of contemporary artists from across the continent are exploring ‘the material’ in new and exciting ways. The works encapsulate a very wide scope of materials, showing that ‘materiality’ is a rich subject; materials range from cow-hides to plastic bags, from bra-straps to pantyhose, from fake nails to computer parts.

Matereality, curated by Andrea Lewis, Iziko Curator of Prints and Drawings, is on show at the Iziko South African National Gallery from 14 February 2020.

1
Cyrus Kabiru
Blue Nile (2017)
Steel and Found Objects
150 x 30 x 140 cm
Private Collection
©Image courtesy of the artist and SMAC Gallery

 

 

1
Usha Seejarim
A Letter (2019)
Pegs and wire
145.4 x 87 cm
©Image courtesy of the artist and SMAC Gallery

ENDS  

 

Issued by: Ellen Agnew

Communications Coordinator: Iziko Museums of South Africa

Telephone: 021 481 3830 Email: eagnew@iziko.org.za

Website: www.iziko.org.za

Issued on behalf of the Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa

 

 

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

 

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums), Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.