What’s up with the art in Joburg?


What’s up with the art in Joburg?

A look at some of the galleries you should be visiting this month

Andrea Nagel

In preparation for a new month of art exhibitions, we trawled Joburg’s galleries, art magazines and websites to bring you a selection of shows to see and be seen at.
Concerning Violence by Ayanda Mabulu and White Masks by Richardt Strydom
Both of these shows launch on Thursday at 6.30pm at the new Kalashnikovv Gallery in Braamfontein.The new Kalashnikovv is an interesting space that’s launching with two controversial and conversation starting exhibitions.
According to the gallery Mabulu’s latest solo exhibition Concerning Violence explores the layers of violence that affect the mass psyche of South Africa and continent at large. Mabulu, famous for showing graphic paintings of Jacob Zuma in compromising positions with the likes of the Guptas and even Nelson Mandela, tackles colonialism in this show (he was notoriously thrown out of the Johannesburg Art Fair one year).
“Colonialism and the violence that enabled it spread like a parasite and set like cement roots, the foundation of systematic oppression,” says Mabulu.Included in the show is a series of work called The Object of Colonial Conquest which incorporates collected objects of notable colonial heritage.
In the exhibition White Masks, Richardt Strydom makes portaits of scars. “The masks refer to both the African andEuropean significance of masks, as well as the Western colonial exotification of ritual African masks – these images transforms the performance of whiteness and masculinity into apparitions that are willfully grotesque and alien,” says the exhibition blurb. The expressed outcome of the work, according to the artist? To make the familiar strange.Narrative Means
Opened on Saturday at the Goodman Gallery,  until July 14.
June is traditionally a month for consolidation in the local art world, what with the Turbine Art Fair next month and the Johannesburg Art Fair in September.
The Goodman Gallery has in the meantime put together a show that profiles some of the artists on their books, including William Kentridge. There is no overall theme to the works, but each individual piece has its own narrative.Works are both challenging and aesthetically pleasing, and show how the artists are moving forward.
The artist to watch is Zimbabwean Misheck Masamvu, who is gaining a reputation for his vivid colours and expressive brushstrokes from which figures eerily appear, camouflaged by brightly coloured backgrounds.Chroma718 by Kilmany-Jo Liversage
At Circa, Everard Read from June 14 to July 14.
Wait a week to view this one. This exhibition represents Liversage’s intimate relationship with her alter ego and street name, “Orda”. It traverses the boundaries between street art (graffiti) and work produced for a gallery in the studio.Liversage's work is in the style of an artist like Lionel Smit, who, incidently, is doing brilliantly, particularly in Cape Town and Dubai.Uhambo luyazilawula by Mawande Ka Zenzile 
At the Stevenson Gallery until June 29.
This is a difficult one if you don’t have the art vocabulary already. The paintings are made from dung and oil which gives them a very interesting texture.Keep your eye on the Art Basel festival which is taking place in Basel, Switzerland, from June 14-17. Both the Stevenson and Goodman galleries are representing South African art.

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