The Cape Town-born, Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist Robin Rhode (born 1976) engages photography, performance, drawing and sculpture to create arrestingly beautiful narratives that are brought to life using materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk and paint. Coming of age in a newly post-apartheid South Africa, Rhode was exposed to new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual rather than dictated by a political or social agenda. This new Hatje Cantz publication emphasizes the influence of Arte Povera on Rhode's aesthetic, whose creative dialogue also formed during his meeting with the gallery Tucci Russo and his early collaborative efforts with photographer Paolo Mussat Sartor, in which he transformed urban landscapes and interior spaces into imaginary worlds, as two-dimensional renderings become the subject of three-dimensional interactions by a sole protagonist (usually played by the artist or by an actor inhabiting the role of artist).
South African archaeology preserves some of the earliest evidence of artistic thought and production anywhere in the world. Today, South Africa has an established and vibrant contemporary art scene that is often in dialogue with the deep and recent past. South African Art explores this relationship between past and present, showing contemporary and historic art objects alongside each other, bearing witness to the important events in South Africa’s history. Published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum, South African Art moves chronologically, beginning with the first artistic stirrings of our earliest ancestors and moving on to iconic pre-colonial sculptures. The influence of Dutch, British, Malay, Chinese, and Indian settlers from the sixteenth century onward and the ensuing conflicts are considered, followed by a focus on the work of black South African artists from the nineteenth century. The penultimate section addresses the issue of segregation after the Union of South Africa in 1910 and Resistance Art during the apartheid era of the 1970s to 1989. The final section will look at South Africa’s transformation from an apartheid state to a democratic nation—the current artistic optimism of South Africa and the challenges the country still faces.
"Promey's book is a penetrating analysis of Shaker art.... The book is a gem, a true advance in Shaker studies, art history, religious history, and cultural history. Highly recommended." --Choice
"... a very intelligent and articulate... treatment of a stunning set of message-images." --Art Bulletin
"This book is a pleasure to look at and to read." --Religious Studies Review
" A] fascinating investigation into another world. The Shaker spirit drawings... offer clues into a remarkable moment of American life, as well as an opportunity to rethink just how the visual arts, religious revitalizations, and social memory relate to one another.... A] model study: clear, absorbing, and significant." --Neil Harris, author of The Artist in American Society
"Sally Promey's inquiry... critically engages current issues in the study of visual culture: what do images do; how do they work; what needs do they fulfill; just what is their 'power'? Her compelling case study joins fundamental concerns of art historians with those of students of religion and history... By means of an exacting examination of Shaker drawings as the site of both expectation and encounter, Promey successfully situates these Spiritual Spectacles at the meeting point of the 'inner' and the 'outer' eye." --Linda Seidel, author of Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait: Stories of an Icon
"Promey has brought to her work an excellent sensitivity to the religious issues involved, keen sight and powers of observation, and a very creative interpretive framework." --Stephen J. Stein, author of The Shaker Experience in America
For more than three decades, artist William Kentridge has explored in his work the nature of subjectivity, the possibilities of revolution, the Enlightenment's legacy in Africa, and the nature of time itself. At the same time, his creative work has stretched the boundaries of the very media he employs. Though his pieces have allowed viewers to encounter the traditions of landscape and self-portraiture, the limits of representation and the possibilities for animated drawing, and the labor of art, no guide to understanding the full scope of his art has been available until now.
For five days, Kentridge sat with Rosalind C. Morris to talk about his work. The result--That Which Is Not Drawn--is a wide-ranging conversation and deep investigation into the artist's techniques and into the psychic and philosophical underpinnings of his body of work. In these pages, Kentridge explains the key concerns of his art, including the virtues of bastardy, the ethics of provisionality, the nature of translation and the activity of the viewer. And together, Kentridge and Morris trace the migration of images across his works and consider the possibilities for a revolutionary art that remains committed to its own transformation.
"That's the thing about a conversation," Kentridge reflects. "The activity and the performance, whether it's the performance of drawing or the performance of speech and conversation, is also the engine for new thoughts to happen. It's not just a report of something you know." And here, in this engaging dialogue, we at last have a guide to the continually exciting, continually changing work of one of our greatest living artists.
Through works of art, photographs, and writings, this volume explores Picasso's fascination with tribal art and the influences he repeatedly drew upon for his own oeuvre."African art? I don't know it." With this provocative tone, Picasso tried to deny his relationship with art from outside of Europe. However, through hundreds of archival documents and photographs, this volume illustrates how tribal art from Africa, Oceania, the Americas, and Asia was a recurring source of inspiration for the artist. Side-by-side comparisons illustrate the links between Picasso's oeuvre and diverse tribal arts. In both, we find the same themes--nudity, sexuality, impulses, death, and more--along with parallel artistic expressions of those themes--such as disfiguration or destruction of the body. The volume is completed with a chronology of the relevant works and photographs of the artist in his studio.
Over the years, Kobena Mercer has critically illuminated the visual innovations of African American and black British artists. In Travel & See he presents a diasporic model of criticism that gives close attention to aesthetic strategies while tracing the shifting political and cultural contexts in which black visual art circulates. In eighteen essays, which cover the period from 1992 to 2012 and discuss such leading artists as Isaac Julien, Ren e Green, Kerry James Marshall, and Yinka Shonibare, Mercer provides nothing less than a counternarrative of global contemporary art that reveals how the "dialogical principle" of cross-cultural interaction not only has transformed commonplace perceptions of blackness today but challenges us to rethink the entangled history of modernism as well.
As the Roman Empire expanded its African settlements in the early centuries of the common era, thousands of mosaic floor pavements were fashioned to adorn the townhouses and rural estates of the African upper classes. Between the second and sixth centuries, mosaic art blossomed, particularly in Africa Proconsularis, the region comprising modern Tunisia. In contrast to the official art of imperial Rome, mosaics generally expressed the worldviews of private citizens. These artworks are remarkable for the intricate beauty of their polychromatic geometric and floral designs, as well as for figural scenes depicting the interests and activities of the patrons who commissioned them--scenes of daily life, athletic contests, gladiator spectacles, and classical literature and mythology.
Abundantly illustrated throughout, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa offers the general reader a lively introduction to this extraordinary ancient art. Initial chapters survey the historical background of Roman Africa and discuss the development of mosaic art in the Mediterranean. Subsequent chapters profile Tunisia's major mosaic sites and tour the collections of important museums. A final chapter surveys current initiatives to preserve this heritage for future generations.
Ubuntutu: Life Legacies of Love and Action features quilts that pay tribute to the indelible contributions that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the first black Archbishop of Cape Town, and his wife Leah, have made in addressing human rights, advancing social justice issues, and advocating for peace in South Africa and around the world. Archbishop Tutu is one of the most well-known champions of antiapartheid in South Africa and is a vigorous campaigner for many human rights causes. Leah, a founder of the South African Domestic Workers Association, has worked alongside her husband to advocate for peace and social justice. These art pieces also honor the Tutus' faith and the enduring love they have for each other. The word ubuntutu, coined by one of the quilt artists, combines the name Tutu with the Nguni word ubuntu, which can be translated as "human kindness." In the spirit of ubuntu, the quilts featured in this catalog remind us we are all interconnected.
This book, which accompanies an exhibition by the same name, is a collaborative project of the Michigan State University Museum, the Women of Color Quilters Network, and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
In the final installment of the Visual Century Collection, the impact of the end of the apartheid and the emergence of globalization upon South African artists is discussed. Visual Century: South African Art is a four-volume publication that reappraises South African visual art of the 20th century from a postapartheid perspective. It is the only publication that provides an overview of a century of South African art, with in-depth discussion by leading art historians and reproduction of a large number of artworks, providing readers with fresh perspectives on complexities that still resonate today. The fourth and final volume in this collection looks at how the end of the Cold War and subsequent emergence of globalization, along with the advent of democracy in South Africa, introduced new social and political orders, with profound implications for South African artists. The essays critically address some of the most notable developments and visible trends in postapartheid South African art, including South Africa's entry into the international art community, its struggle to address its past, and artists' persistent and often provocative preoccupations with individual and collective identity. The widespread and often unsettling representation of human bodies, as well as animal forms, along with the steady increase in use of new technologies and the development of new forms of public art are also discussed. While much of the art of the period is open-ended and nondidactic, the persistence of engagement with socially responsive themes calls into question the reductive binary between 'resistance' and postapartheid art that has come to dominate accounts of 'before' and 'after.'
In the opening installment of the Visual Century Collection, the division of South African culture is shown through the polarization of art forms within South Africa. Visual Century: South African Art is a four-volume publication that reappraises South African visual art of the 20th century from a postapartheid perspective. It is the only publication that provides an overview of a century of South African art, with in-depth discussion by leading art historians and reproduction of a large number of artworks, providing readers with fresh perspectives on complexities that still resonate today. The first volume in this series begins after the South African War when efforts were made to unify the white 'races' and the period encompasses two world wars, the incremental dispossession of the rights of black South Africans, and the rise of organized black South African resistance to white rule. This volume provides critical perspectives on the ideological and institutional frameworks for white and black artists of the period, and the art they produced. Discussions of public art and architecture, traditionalist African art, and Western-style painting and sculpture are complemented with consideration of the roles played by museums, training, art societies and exhibitions, art historical writing, and patronage.