Must-See Art Exhibitions Happening in CPT & JHB this Month

With Art month approaching, it may be a good idea to start exploring and engaging with the art scene through the different exhibitions taking place across Cape Town and Johannesburg. Below is a list of exhibitions that we think are worth checking out.

Blessing Ngobeni – Study Song of Chicotte

The thought-provoking works of Blessing Ngobeni normally explore the knotted realities from the past and present, looking at humanity’s seemingly long-lasting urges towards chaos, violence, and destruction. Ngobeni’s latest exhibition, titled Study Song of Chicotte, presents hand-colored linocuts that refer to the same themes of slavery and the perpetuation of inherited traditions of mental and physical exploitation as the bold exhibition of 2016.

The exhibition will open on Saturday, January 18 at Everard Gallery, Rosebank with an opening event and a walkabout with the artist. The exhibition will go on until 20 February.

Mandy Johnston and Cow Mash – Back to Back They Faced Each Other

The artworks of artists Mandy Johnston and Kgaogelo Mashilo, better known as Cow Mash, will be exhibited at Everard Read, Cape Town until 25 January. Both Johnston and Cow Mash are multi-disciplinary artists who explore with multiple mediums.

The exhibition forms part of the Cubicle Series at Everard Read, Cape Town. The series gives artists scope to exhibit smaller bodies of artwork and site-specific installations for a period of two weeks. Additional artists taking part are Andrew Kayser, Nobukho Nqaba and Skumbuzo Vabaza.

Lazi Mathebula – Shadows of My Freedom

Award-winning art director, illustrator and designer Lazi Mathebula will share what he describes as his ‘Illmatic’ by rapper Nas, his ‘College Dropout’ by Kanye West, and his ‘Mad Villain’ by MF DOOM. His body of work titled, Shadows of My Freedom can be viewed at the Kalashnikov Gallery, Braamfontein from 18 January.

AD- Reflex – Hindsights and Foresights 

Artist duo AD_Reflex will be hosting their first solo exhibition in South Africa. ‘Highlights and Foresights‘ will be held at Cape Town’s Deepest Darkest Gallery from 9 January to 20 February 2020.

The exhibition navigates moments of unexpected beauty in the mundane. Textured riots of colour pervade landscapes of rubble and plastics, plucking them from their solemn destiny. Once an ode to the Baroque culture of consumption, the body of work also draws parallels between the multiplicity of consumer goods that fill our daily lives – those who subvert them through their continuous plastic recycling efforts, and the triumphant spirit of transformation.

Kevin Mackintosh – Hero

South African photographer Kevin Mackintosh will exhibit his first body of work in South Africa after the enormously successful Bolshoi Ballet series in 2008.

Entitled Hero, the project is a series of ‘styled and controlled’ portraits that were created over a five year period in various locations across Africa.

The exhibition runs from 22 February – 10 April at Deepest Darkest Gallery in Cape Town.

Vusi Beauchamp – Prisoners of Waar

99 Loop Gallery is pleased to present multi-talented artist Vusi Beauchamp’s solo exhibition titled  Prisoners of Waar. Beauchamp’s mixed media paintings explore the socio-political critique with a distinctive, yet humorous voice.

In popular media and myths embedded in patriarchal ideology, Prisoners of Waar tests the unwavering stigma and exploitation of black African bodies.

The illustrated bodies and narratives within Beauchamp’s work aim to reveal the colonial domination of black bodies and spiritual identity, the relentless demonising of immigrants, political refugees, religious indoctrination, cultural practice and xenophobia within the context of the South African, African and European landscapes.

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PRISONERS OF WAAR Vusi Beauchamp at 99 Loop Gallery Thursday 23 January 2020 'Prisoners of Waar' probes the unwavering stereotype, exotification, and exploitation of black African bodies in popular media and the participation of black folks in the narrative rooted in colonial ideologies. The problematical inheritance of the stigma can be found in the celebrated artist Paul Gauguin's paintings and the now-banned publication of "Tintin in the Congo". The illustrated bodies and the narrative aim to reveal the colonial domination of black bodies and spiritual identity, the relentless demonising of immigrants, political refugees, religious indoctrination, cultural practice and xenophobia within the context of the South African, African and European landscapes. Echoed in fashion, film, television adverts and music videos the stereotype only serves to be consumed as nonentities, the polarised contemporary world unknowingly and knowingly participates in these stereotypes and inactions of brutality. The American president daubed Africa as "shit hole" countries, Indian Muslims from the North-Eastern part of India have been recently excluded as citizens. African migrants escaping war, genocide, and famine are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya as a result of corrupt and corrupted African countries. In South Africa, hate becomes a tool of power by right-wing parties spewing genocide before solutions. The title of the show is to probe into a medley of toxic legacies left behind by the "scramble for Africa" expedition. The series of artworks are staged scenes in vexed narratives that can be dismantled by wide lenses into the now, the past and the future. #capetown #politicalart #soloshow #contemporaryart #contemporarysouthafricanart #contemporarypainting #artonpaper #AAAA

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Art & Activism – Social Change Through Imagery

Art & Activism, part of the Cape Town Salonfestival 2020, examines how art and imagery have the power to create discourse, foster open communication and try to promote awareness on important topics as a way of bringing about social change. These topics are discussed by Sarah Jayne Fell, curator and founder ANON. Pop Up Art Show, alongside artist Carin Bester, photographer and documentary filmmaker Nicky Newman, and cartoonist Andy Mason (N.D.Mazin).

The showcase will be followed by the screening of award-winning documentary Drummies.

Art & Activism will take place at 44 On Long, 44 Long St, Cape Town from 5 pm to 9 pm. A R200 entry fee will be charged per person.

Nina Torr – Wayfinding

Pretoria-based artist/illustrator Nina Torr will showcase a selection of two-dimensional works created with the use of various mediums; these include drawings, paintings, collages, and printmaking. The exhibition, titled Wayfinding, is part of the artists Masters dissertation, which is centred around ‘Making Sense: Tacit and Explicit Knowledge in the Creative Process.’

The exhibition will open on 25 January at 11:00 – 14:00 and will go on until 22 February.

Between 10 and 5