Current exhibitions
Re/discovery and Memory
Gallery 2-8
Curated by Karel Nel
28 April – 10 September 2018

Major retrospectives of the work of both Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae will be shown alongside an exhibition of their friend and colleague Edoardo Villa. The Kumalo and Legae retrospectives, the first to be undertaken by any institution globally, draw together a considerable body of work: a series of bronzes and drawings chronicling their innovative artistic practices. The Villa exhibition focuses on the work he produced in the period of 1958-68 and is centred around his monumental sculpture Africa (1958). Serge Alain Nitegeka has been commissioned to create an immersive installation in Norval Foundation’s atrium, supported by the Claire and Edoardo Villa Will Trust.

Artists: Sydney Kumalo, Ezrom Legae, Serge Alain Nitegeka and Edoardo Villa.

Pulling at Threads

Gallery 1

Curated by Owen Martin

28 April – 20 August 2018

Pulling at Threads considers the role of craft in the practices of contemporary artists from South Africa and beyond. Bringing together artists that use techniques such as weaving, sewing, beading and collage, the artworks included in this exhibition challenge traditional art historical hierarchies that prefer painting and sculpture over craft-based media. These techniques represent both process and subject, where the form of making fundamentally informs the meaning of each object. Through labour intensive processes, innovative use of materials, exploration of form and hybrid cultural references, these artworks suggest new approaches to making images and objects in the 21st century.

Artists: Igshaan Adams, Nick Cave, William Kentridge & Marguerite Stephens, Abdoulaye Konaté, Liza Lou, Ibrahim Mahama, Maria Nepomuceno, Lyndi Sales and Billie Zangewa.

notes on spectrality, sorcery and the spirit

Gallery 9

Curated by Portia Malatjie

28 April – 22 October 2018

Stemming predominantly from a period between the 1950s and 1980s to as recent as the 2000s, the artworks in the Norval family’s Homestead Art Collection (and by extension, the exhibition) attest to a longstanding preoccupation with ideas of the oneiric, the spectral, and issues pertaining to different forms of black spiritual economies. Populated by spiritual iconography, representations of visits to the sangoma, and Christian worship, the works speak to a particular mode of black socialisation that is represented through traditional mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.

The exhibition seeks to offer an interventionist reading and grouping of these works in the context of contemporary art and contemporary black thought. It seeks to draw attention to the prominence of a return to the spiritual, and to in fact highlight that there is no return: the spiritual has always been present and prominent, willfully and unapologetically guiding South African artistic practice for centuries. It seeks to ask what strategies can be employed in dealing with the tenuous, albeit widespread spiritual practices in the context of South Africa, and what is at stake in necessarily bringing these questions to the fore?

Artists: Gladys Mgudlandlu, Noria Mabasa, Jackson Hlungwane, Cyprian Shilakoe, Gerard Sekoto, Trevor Makhoba, Dumile Feni, Thomas Kgope, Sithembiso Sibisi, Peter Clarke, Phuthuma Seoka and Billie Mandini.

US, THEM & I

Gallery 1-9 and Sculpture Garden

Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa

25, 27 and 28 April 2018

Is a series of performances exploring place-making, identity and the political. Moving between collective formations to the individual, from objecthood to subjecthood as the “performing” bodies insert themselves as an ongoing critical intervention into the space.

These intersecting works, takes us on a multi-layered sensory and cognitive journey as the Soul Connexion Tap & Dance Choir ignite Steenberg’s landscape with their voices. We are carried through by Wezile Mgibe’s Ndilapha’Nkos looming presence that roams as a body that observes, looks and acts.

iNdoni dancers fly through space, demonstrating their breath-taking, athletic agility and risk taking, made possible by relationships of trust. Their bottle sequence and global drumming, envokes an ancetral rhythm. While Lorin Sookool’s solo piece BAD, queries feminist notions in the image-obsessed, web-empowered generation. Through the portrayal of the iconic sex icon Marilyn Monroe, BAD investigates hypervisibility of the female body and how we may become trapped between a wanting to be seen and also a wanted to hide from public attention that many females of our generation often create in their online self-posts.

Skhumbuzo Makandula’s durational piece titled Lomhlaba ubolile, that proposes how we have not found a vocabulary to mourn and speak to the land question. Makandula’s work contemplates narratives of erasure and ideological medititon of facts and myths around nationhood using a sonic format of a call and response. 

Artists: Skhumbuzo, iNdoni dancers, Wezile Mgibe, Soul Connexion General Zion Choir and Lorin Sookool.

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

28 April 2018 – ongoing

The Sculpture Garden at Norval Foundation features three-dimensional and installation-based artworks by artists from South Africa and Africa. The unique site, bisected by a protected Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Western Cape, features flora that are indigenous to the area. The placement of artwork takes the site into consideration, using the contours of the garden to hide and reveal work, creating an experience of discovery for the viewer. The building has been designed so that the Western side gives way onto the Sculpture Garden at multiple points, allowing visitors access from the galleries, building connections between exhibitions taking place both inside and outside. The exhibition programme in the Sculpture Garden aims to represent a plurality of practices currently taking place in the region, including artists working with the figure, narrative and mythology, abstraction and post-minimalism and craft. Artworks will be a mixture of long term loans and works from the Homestead Art Collection, which are installed permanently.

Special thanks to all of the artists and the generous support of Everard Read CIRCA Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg/London; NIROX Foundation Trust, Johannesburg; STEVENSON, Cape Town/Johannesburg; and WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.