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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. Overlooking the scenic landscape is The Skotnes Restaurant and Bar. 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
Africa, 1959-60
Steel and enamel paint 
670 x 220 x 260 cm

Courtesy of Exxaro Resources Ltd.

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

Marlene Steyn
Arching Type, 2019
Fibre glass, resin and automotive paint

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

Homestead Collection 

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

Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle

  Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle   Gallery 9 29 October 2022 – 20 March 2023     From her earliest works to the present, Kavula’s art has existed between the intersections of painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture, pushing the limitations of each....

World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba

  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...

Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady

  Shady: Kapwani Kiwanga Atrium 9 February 2022 – 9 January 2023     Kapwani Kiwanga is a Franco-Canadian artist based in Paris, whose work traces the pervasive impact of powerful asymmetries. Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady is an exciting exhibition on a large...

iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-patra ruga III

  iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra  Ruga III Museum Entrance Ongoing     Norval Foundation is pleased to present a major commission by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga in their triple-volume atrium. Coinciding with the Foundation’s relaunch on 2...

As Yet Untitled: James Webb

  As Yet Untitled: James Webb Sculpture Garden 2021 – 2023 Norval Foundation is pleased to present James Webb’s As Yet Untitled (2021), a site-specific, sound installation, on view until 2023. Obscured within the Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland of Norval...

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...

When Rain Clouds Gather

When Rain Clouds Gather: Black South African Women Artists, 1940 – 2000 Galleries 2-8 9 February 2022 - 9 January 2023 When Rain Clouds Gather: Black South African Women Artists, 1940 – 2000 is a reflection upon the influential and often unacknowledged contributions...

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...

The Norval Sovereign Africa Art Prize

  The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize  Gallery 9 26 January 2022 - 28 February 2022 The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or of the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure. A...

Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle

  Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle   Gallery 9 29 October 2022 – 20 March 2023     From her earliest works to the present, Kavula’s art has existed between the intersections of painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture, pushing the limitations of each....

World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba

  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...

Uncover: Kamyar Bineshtarigh

  Uncover: Kamyar Bineshtarigh Gallery 9 23 July 2022 - 10 October 2022     Norval Foundation is honoured to present Uncover: Kamyar Bineshtarigh, which opened on 23 July 2022 and runs to 10 October 2022. The exhibition is an opportunity for a selected...

Selections from the Homestead Collection

  Selections from the Homestead Collection Gallery 9 16 March 2022 - 11 July 2022 The Homestead Collection, housed at Norval Foundation, comprises of an extensive collection of artworks by twentieth-century South African artists, and a growing collection of...

Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady

  Shady: Kapwani Kiwanga Atrium 9 February 2022 – 9 January 2023     Kapwani Kiwanga is a Franco-Canadian artist based in Paris, whose work traces the pervasive impact of powerful asymmetries. Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady is an exciting exhibition on a large...

iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-patra ruga III

  iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra  Ruga III Museum Entrance Ongoing     Norval Foundation is pleased to present a major commission by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga in their triple-volume atrium. Coinciding with the Foundation’s relaunch on 2...

An Evening with Irma Stern: The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

A captivating evening celebrating an incredible artist and and her legacy works. The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern focuses on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in Zanzibar and the period surrounding 1939-1945. This exhibition...

The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern

  The Zanzibari Years: Irma Stern Gallery 1 3 November 2021 – 1 August 2022 Norval Foundation is pleased to present Irma Stern: The Zanzibari Years, an exhibition focusing on a small body of significant works produced by Irma Stern during her two stays in...

#CTABF21

Cape Town Art Book Fair 2021 is proudly sponsored by Coronation Fund Managers. Over three days in September, Norval Foundation’s Atrium will be transformed into the second edition of the Cape Town Art Book Fair. Bringing together galleries, writers, publishers,...

Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle

  Bonolo Kavula: Lewatle   Gallery 9 29 October 2022 – 20 March 2023     From her earliest works to the present, Kavula’s art has existed between the intersections of painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture, pushing the limitations of each....

World of Illusions: Grada Kilomba

  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...

Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady

  Shady: Kapwani Kiwanga Atrium 9 February 2022 – 9 January 2023     Kapwani Kiwanga is a Franco-Canadian artist based in Paris, whose work traces the pervasive impact of powerful asymmetries. Kapwani Kiwanga: Shady is an exciting exhibition on a large...

iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-patra ruga III

  iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra  Ruga III Museum Entrance Ongoing     Norval Foundation is pleased to present a major commission by South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga in their triple-volume atrium. Coinciding with the Foundation’s relaunch on 2...

As Yet Untitled: James Webb

  As Yet Untitled: James Webb Sculpture Garden 2021 – 2023 Norval Foundation is pleased to present James Webb’s As Yet Untitled (2021), a site-specific, sound installation, on view until 2023. Obscured within the Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetland of Norval...

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...

When Rain Clouds Gather

When Rain Clouds Gather: Black South African Women Artists, 1940 – 2000 Galleries 2-8 9 February 2022 - 9 January 2023 When Rain Clouds Gather: Black South African Women Artists, 1940 – 2000 is a reflection upon the influential and often unacknowledged contributions...

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...

The Norval Sovereign Africa Art Prize

  The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize  Gallery 9 26 January 2022 - 28 February 2022 The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or of the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure. A...
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. Kindly send an email to curatorial@norvalfoundation.org