Ono’s is not the only well-known international work on Dayile and Lehulere’s good-humoured show, which explores ideas of collectivity and includes work by Zanele Muholi, Santu Mofokeng and Moshekwa Langa.
In 1975, following a lecture at Harvard University, boxer Muhammad Ali was asked to improvise a poem. “Me/We,” he replied. In 2007, American artist Glenn Ligon created a neon sculpture quoting Ali.
Titled Give us a Poem (Palindrome #2), Ligon’s neon work is on permanent display in the atrium of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. The work on view at A4 is an authorised copy and was manufactured locally.
The leverage to borrow – intellectually, if not physically – important pieces by big name artists like Ono and Ligon is directly linked to A4’s patron, Wendy Fisher, the Potchefstroom-born daughter of billionaire businessman Nathan Kirsh.
London-based Fisher is a well-known patron. She is currently president of the trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. Fisher is also a major art collector.
In 2015, Kirsh, who is ranked 244th on Bloomberg’s global rich list, jokingly told Business Day that his daughter “has almost bankrupted me” with her purchases.