Curated 8 – Week Four of Eight (9 – 15 November)

Group curated by Julia Meintjes
Image by Corné du Plessis

I hung Anton Karstel’s oil, documenting activity at Nkana copper mine, beside Walter Meyer’s deserted road and block of flats. Immediately I was struck by the underlying structure of Meyer’s painting, with rhythmic vertical and horizontal patterns, and how these pace a stillness. Karstel’s criss-crossing diagonal lines, in contrast, create movement in his image. Looking at buildings that we humans construct on the earth, paired with Karstel’s excavation, led to a group of works connected by artists’ views of surveying, above and below the earth’s surface. Rauri Alcock’s photograph of an arid slope in the Thukela Valley contrasts with one of Sally Gaule’s poetic photographic series in which she tracked the removal of Johannesburg’s iconic Top Star Drive-in mine dump. You no longer see this dump when facing the city from the viewpoint of Herman Neibuhr’s spontaneously-drawn lithograph. Strijdom van Der Merwe and Christine Dixie map the landscapes. By placing her figure in the foreground, with his ample back towards us, Dixie summons us to stand beside him and gaze over the expanses – indeed, to look back into history: her landscape is taken from an engraving of 1878 when the Kei River region was a site of frontier battles.

There was February… and then, October! At JMFA we have missed our usual (pre–COVID) pace of putting works together to rub shoulders with one another. One of the most fulfilling aspects of our consultancy is telling stories and encouraging conversations by looking at art. We choose works which relate to the people who live with them, and support artists in whom we believe.

And so, in our bid to put us all in a positive place in the surreal year that is 2020 and bring you some stories, we have made our own groups:

  • 8 groups of 8 works which we will release on our website, week by week, every Monday, for 8 weeks
  • hung and photographed in friendly spaces to give you a sense of scale
  • for the release week only, if you buy 2 or more, you will pay 8% less on the total cost of the works. You can, of course, purchase only one but you will be missing out on the discount.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to enquire about the condition or to arrange to view the works at either our Cape Town or Johannesburg studio, depending on where they (and you!) are.