The art of making sense of a tough 2020: salvaging hope from the ...

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The art of making sense of a tough 2020: salvaging hope from the wreckage

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words has works by artists who have collaborated with the David Krut gallery this year

Chris Thurman

In last week’s column, I expressed a less-than-sanguine view about the apes known as Homo sapiens. I’d visited Cruise at Krut 2020, in which Wilma Cruise’s maudlin chess-playing baboons and gnomic pigs become characters in a cautionary tale, warning the viewer not to think too highly of the human animal. Paradoxically, art and abstract thought, the foundations of any exceptionalist claims made on behalf of our species, are also the means by which we can criticise such claims.

Scepticism about humanity is healthy and necessary, but it can all too easily slip into a kind of jaundiced cynicism. For long stretches of this annus horribilis, many of us have found misanthropy to be our default setting. But before we start thinking about 2020 as “the year that was” (as if a magic wand will be waved on New Year’s Eve and all of our problems will disappear), there are opportunities to remind ourselves of what can be salvaged from the wreckage.

One of these is just up the road from David Krut Projects in Parkwood, where Cruise’s exhibition has just closed (the online version is still available): the oasis of the Blue House bookstore at 151 Jan Smuts Avenue, where the group exhibition Pictures Worth a Thousand Words incorporates works by artists who have collaborated with the gallery over the course of 2020...

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