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About the Foundation

Norval Foundation is dedicated to the research, understanding and care of twentieth and twenty-first century visual art from Africa and its diasporas. We realise this commitment through our exhibition, education, publication, and public programming as well as our stewardship of the Homestead Collection. We aim to be a catalyst for contemporary practice through our commissioning of major works by living artists. The Sculpture Garden and outdoor amphitheatre are situated within an indigenous garden and protected wetland. Located in the Steenberg area of Cape Town, adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, Norval Foundation’s unique setting is intrinsic to its character.  The Gerard Sekoto Foundation is based at Norval Foundation, as are the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive.

The Norval family founded Norval Foundation, a registered not-for-profit organisation, in 2018. Their ongoing aim is to make art widely available to the public through the creation a self-sustaining centre for art. The proceeds from capital donations are used to secure the Foundation for future generations.

The Homestead Collection

Assembled by the Norval family over the past two decades, the Homestead Collection is one of the leading 20th-century South African art collections. It is committed to an expanded narrative of South African art that includes both African voices and archival materials of established South African modernists.

The Homestead Collection has acquired the Alexis Preller Archive, the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Bruce Campbell Smith Revisions Collection, among others, and also includes in-depth holdings of artists such as Dumile Feni, Peter Clarke, Sydney Kumalo, Maggie Laubser, Ezrom Legae, Trevor Makhoba, John Muafangejo, George Pemba, Gerard Sekoto, Cecil Skotnes, Anton van Wouw, Deborah Bell, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller and Edoardo Villa. It also has a significant collection of books on South African art.

The Architecture

The Norval Foundation was envisioned by DHK Architects as a modern pavilion for art. Set against a mountain and vineyard landscape, it is a pure expression of form.

The building is constrained by its linear site, between a busy road and an existing wetland. The linear shape of the building is a direct response to this, with the galleries and public spaces facing the natural landscape, capturing framed views of the wetland, vineyards and mountains beyond.

The building therefore shields the wetland, creating a private space for the sculpture park, forming a threshold between public and private zones. A triple-volume atrium establishes a deliberate visual connection between these zones, one urban, the other natural, and provides a physical transition between contrasting environments.

The Norval Foundation is experienced in a linear sequence: visitors are greeted by a triple-volume restaurant with a gift shop beyond, flanked by a generous reception area which calmly directs guests to the central atrium that introduces the main galleries.

The gallery spaces comprise a large exhibition venue and a series of six small galleries, culminating in a dramatic triple-volume sculpture gallery. The upper level accommodates offices, library, bar and artist’s residence. Externally there is a large sculpture garden, with an amphitheatre, picnic area and timber deck serving the restaurant.

The Norval Foundation is a celebration of art, architecture and landscape.

The Foundation and Nature

Uniquely situated on the edges of a natural wetland, the Norval Foundation has become the custodian and protector of its indigenous plants and animals.

Specifically, the Foundation has recognised its duty to the western leopard toad, an indigenous species that has come under threat from rapid urbanisation. The toads travel great distances to find safe areas to breed, and in so doing take on the perilous task of crossing major roadways.

The survival of the endangered western leopard toad has been safeguarded through the construction of concrete culverts underneath the Steenberg road to allow the toads safe access to the Norval Foundation wetland for mating.

The building has been specifically designed so as to minimise its environmental impact. A large solar plant on its roof provides the Foundation’s power and feeds excess energy into the local power grid. There is also a grey-water purification system that allows a high degree of independence from municipal water supplies.

Board and Governance

Board of Trustees

Louis Norval – Chair

Steve Kettle

Mareli Voster

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita

Gary Vogelman

Robyn Merrington

Karel Nel (Ex Officio)

Owen Martin (Ex Officio)

Sculpture Garden
28 April 2018 – ongoing

The Sculpture Garden at the Norval Foundation features three-dimensional installations by artists from South Africa and the rest of Africa. The unique site, bisected by a protected Cape lowland freshwater wetland and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Western Cape, features flora 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 to the Sculpture Garden and creating 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 work from the Homestead Collection, which are installed permanently.

Norman Catherine
Joyride, 2016
Bronze
155 x 250 x 125 cm

 

Homestead Collection

Mark Swart
Voyage, 2016
Mild steel and stainless steel
351 x 171 x 217.5 cm

Homestead Collection

Yinka Shonibare CBE
Wind Sculpture SG (III), 2018
Steel armature with hand painted fibreglass resin cast
700 x 254 x 200 cm

 Homestead Collection

Michele Mathison
Volition, 2017
Steel
375 x 95 x 162 cm

Collection of the artist

Edoardo Villa
Bird Form, 2004
Painted steel
290 x 275 x 140 cm

Homestead Collection 

William Kentridge
World on its Hind Legs, 2010
Steel and paint
432 x 312 x 495 cm

Homestead Collection

William Kentridge
Action, 2018
Bronze
345 x 265 x 285 cm

 Homestead Collection

Nandipha Mntambo
Ophelia, 2015
Bronze and mild steel
303 x 121 x 25 cm

Collection of the artist

Angus Taylor
Holderstebolder, 2018
Belfast Gabbro granite and steel
645 x 605 x 423 cm

Homestead Collection

Joni Brenner
Kin, 2015 - 2016
Bronze
82 x 90 x 110 cm

Collection of the artist

Brett Murray
Again Again, 2015
Bronze
250 x 180 x 260 cm

Homestead Collection 

Speelman Mahlangu
Riding the Bull I, 2004
Bronze
182 x 143 x 72 cm

Homestead Collection 

Jake Michael Singer
And All Birds Flew With A Harsh Scream (Marmara), 2020
Stainless Steel
358 x 206 x 189 cm

Courtesy of the artist and THK Gallery, Cape Town

Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024

  Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024 Gallery 9 14 February 2024 – 12 May 2024   The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize is an annual award that celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. A collaboration...

Cinga Samson: Ukhe nje wasondela, ndakuphosa kulo mlambo

  Cinga Samson: Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo Gallery 1 13 December 2023 – 1 September 2024   Opening 13 December 2023 and running until 1 September 2024, an exhibition of works by the Cape Town based artist Cinga Samson focuses on a selection of...

Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis

  Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis Atrium 16 November 2023 – 14 August 2024   Oltmann's sculptures seem to transcend the terrestrial and evoke a cosmic and eternal quality that defies the ephemeral nature of both insect and human existence. Within this intersection,...

Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon

  Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon Galleries 2-8 30 November 2023 - 25 November 2024   Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon revisits a substantial body of Preller’s work, enabling viewers to understand its symbolic and fugue-like nature. Its haunting, dreamlike...

Mixed Company

  Mixed Company Gallery 9 13 February 2021 – 28 June 2021 Mixed Company is a thematic group exhibition exploring the act of gathering, pictured through the eyes of eleven modern and contemporary artists from southern Africa: Omar Badsha, Jody Brand, David...

Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection

  Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection Gallery 9 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection brings together a series of artworks that speak to the evolving identity of the Homestead Collection, a major resource...

And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi

  And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi Zanele Muholi Gallery 1 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Zanele Muholi, born in 1972 in Durban, is a self-described visual activist, working primarily through photography. Their stated mission is to “re-write a black...

Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani

  Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani Gallery 7 29 August 2020 to 10 January 2022 Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani offers an immersive and inclusive look into Hlungwani’s artistic practice. Jackson Hlungwani’s artistic practice was spiritual, innovative, and...

Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024

  Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024 Gallery 9 14 February 2024 – 12 May 2024   The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize is an annual award that celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. A collaboration...

Cinga Samson: Ukhe nje wasondela, ndakuphosa kulo mlambo

  Cinga Samson: Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo Gallery 1 13 December 2023 – 1 September 2024   Opening 13 December 2023 and running until 1 September 2024, an exhibition of works by the Cape Town based artist Cinga Samson focuses on a selection of...

Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis

  Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis Atrium 16 November 2023 – 14 August 2024   Oltmann's sculptures seem to transcend the terrestrial and evoke a cosmic and eternal quality that defies the ephemeral nature of both insect and human existence. Within this intersection,...

Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon

  Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon Galleries 2-8 30 November 2023 - 25 November 2024   Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon revisits a substantial body of Preller’s work, enabling viewers to understand its symbolic and fugue-like nature. Its haunting, dreamlike...

Famakan Magassa: Witness of My Time

  Famakan Magassa: Witness of My Time Gallery 9 24 August 2023 - 25 January 2024   In this exhibition, Famakan Magassa, the winner of the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023, reflects on the complexities and persistent struggles that migrant bodies encounter...

Collectors’ Focus: The Kilbourn Collection

  Collectors’ Focus: The Kilbourn Collection Gallery 9 22 April 2023 - August 2023   Frank Kilbourn, an entrepreneur and Chairperson of Strauss & Co., and Lizelle, his wife, a property lawyer and author, have been art collectors for nearly forty years. They...

World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba Copy

  A World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba Gallery 1 8 September 2022 - 9 January 2023     Norval Foundation is honoured to present an immersive installation A World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba in Gallery 1 at Norval Foundation which opens on 8 September...

The Norval Sovereign Africa Art Prize 2023

  The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023 Gallery 1 26 January 2023 - 28 February 2023 The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or of the African diaspora Born and raised in Kita, a village located 180...

Berni Searle: Having but little gold

  Having but little Gold: Berni Searle Atrium and Galleries 2-8 15 February 2023 - 13 November 2023   Norval Foundation is delighted to announce a retrospective exhibition of the work of South African artist Berni Searle, that will run from 15 February 2023 until...

Maggie Laubser Portraits and the Landscape

  Maggie Laubser Portraits and the Landscape: 1886 - 1973 Gallery 1 1 April 2023 - 30 November 2023   Maggie Laubser. Self-portrait, 1924. Oil on board. 42.5 x 34 cm. Courtesy of the Sanlam Art Collection Cape Town, South Africa – Norval Foundation is...

Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024

  Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Finalists 2024 Gallery 9 14 February 2024 – 12 May 2024   The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize is an annual award that celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. A collaboration...

Cinga Samson: Ukhe nje wasondela, ndakuphosa kulo mlambo

  Cinga Samson: Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo Gallery 1 13 December 2023 – 1 September 2024   Opening 13 December 2023 and running until 1 September 2024, an exhibition of works by the Cape Town based artist Cinga Samson focuses on a selection of...

Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis

  Walter Oltmann: Metamorphosis Atrium 16 November 2023 – 14 August 2024   Oltmann's sculptures seem to transcend the terrestrial and evoke a cosmic and eternal quality that defies the ephemeral nature of both insect and human existence. Within this intersection,...

Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon

  Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon Galleries 2-8 30 November 2023 - 25 November 2024   Alexis Preller: Mythical Lexicon revisits a substantial body of Preller’s work, enabling viewers to understand its symbolic and fugue-like nature. Its haunting, dreamlike...

Mixed Company

  Mixed Company Gallery 9 13 February 2021 – 28 June 2021 Mixed Company is a thematic group exhibition exploring the act of gathering, pictured through the eyes of eleven modern and contemporary artists from southern Africa: Omar Badsha, Jody Brand, David...

Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection

  Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection Gallery 9 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Recent Acquisitions by the Homestead Collection brings together a series of artworks that speak to the evolving identity of the Homestead Collection, a major resource...

And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi

  And then you see yourself: Zanele Muholi Zanele Muholi Gallery 1 2 September 2020 – 25 January 2021 Zanele Muholi, born in 1972 in Durban, is a self-described visual activist, working primarily through photography. Their stated mission is to “re-write a black...

Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani

  Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani Gallery 7 29 August 2020 to 10 January 2022 Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani offers an immersive and inclusive look into Hlungwani’s artistic practice. Jackson Hlungwani’s artistic practice was spiritual, innovative, and...
Library

The Norval Foundation research library is a quiet place of study and academic research. It houses a comprehensive collection of publications, documents and catalogues related to 20th-century South African artists, including primary and secondary sources.

Researchers are welcome to make an appointment to view material in the library.