This Women’s Month the Sanlam Art Collection presents Her…

Laubser Maggie, Portrait of a Women with Pink Blouse, Oil on canvas, 1989-69. IMAGE COURTESY OF ATMOSPHERE.

This Women’s Month Her… an exhibition celebrating women artists and their contribution to the industry is exhibiting in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Using a variety of media, the exhibition tells the story of the female experience through meaningful and innovative works that illustrate the issues pertinent to women over the last century, from domestic life and motherhood to discrimination, inequality, gender beauty standards and violence against women. Curator of the exhibition, Stefan Hundt, says that by far some of the greatest contributors to the development of South African art over the past century have been women.

Benade Hanneke, Late Bloomer, Pastel on paper, 1996-7. COURTESY OF ATMOSPHERE.

Exhibiting in Johannesburg at the Sanlam Art Lounge from 1 to 22 August, and in Cape Town at the Sanlam Art Gallery from 4 August to 22 October, the exhibition features work from 58 of South African artists from the early twentieth century to present. Exhibiting artists are Wendy Anziska, Kate Arthur, Ilona Anderson, Marion Arnold, Patricia Pierce Atkinson, Deborah Bell, Hanneke Benade, Elza Botha, Claude Bouscharain, Peggy Delport, Nerine Desmond, Merle De Jager, Nel Erasmus, Ethna Frankenfeldt, Anthea Delmotte, Mary-Rose Dold, Bertha Everard, Ruth Everard, Eleanore Esmonde White, Leor Farber, Emily Fern, Bronwen Findlay, Faiza Galdhari, Erica Hibbert, Cecil Higgs, Penny George, Pauline Gutter, Judith Gluckman, Heather Gourley-Conyngham, Gina Heyer, Phillippa Hobbs, Karen Jarozynska, Dorothy Kay, Maggie Laubser, Noria Mabasa, Lyness Magwaza, Judith Mason, Clare Menck, Bommie Ntschalintschali, Freida Ollemans, Sofie Peters, Marianne, Podlashuc, Nina Romm, Helen Sebidi, Adela Seton-Tait, Penny Siopis, Pippa Skotnes, Tina Smith, Nita Spilhaus, Marie van Reenen Stander, Irma Stern, Maud Sumner, Alice Tenant, Diane Victor, Barbara, Wildenboer, Judy Woodborne and Florence Zerffi.

Looking at artists such as Irma Stern, Pippa Skotnes, Helen Sebidi and more, we can see that women artists were innovative and daring at time when the dominating patriarchy saw little value in the visual arts.  As museum directors, gallerists and art historians such as the late Marilyn Martin, Linda Givon, and Dr Marion Arnold, to name a few, South African women have done an incredible job and still do so today, not only here but also on the international stage. They deserve to be recognised and celebrated ’’ – Stefan Hundt

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