Hasan and Husain Essop, Cape Town South Africa variation, 2010, Pigment print on cotton rag paper, 64 x 92 cm.
Hasan and Husain Essop, Cape Town South Africa variation, 2010, Pigment print on cotton rag paper, 64 x 92 cm.
Image: Supplied

1. Stories to Tell by Joël Mpah Dooh | Gallery Momo, Johannesburg

Cameroonian artist Joël Mpah Dooh’s new solo exhibition Stories to Tell is the first show for Gallery Momo in 2021 and has opened at the Johannesburg gallery after a successful run in Cape Town.

The exhibition presents a new body of work Dooh, created during his 2020 residency at Gallery Momo in Johannesburg. What was meant to be a 90-day residency, shortly after his arrival in Joburg in March, turned into a five-month period during the country’s strictest part of the lockdown last year.

Turning his experience into an opportunity to examine the human condition, Dooh was inspired by the challenges during this period. Stories to Tell speaks to the artist’s confinement, having to grapple with the “new normal”, interacting with the external world through the use of technology and his experience of grief during this time.

Stories to Tell is open to view at the gallery by appointment only. Email info@gallerymomo.com or call 011-327-3247 for more information. 

2. Proverb by Deborah Poynton | Stevenson, Johannesburg

Deborah Poynton’s 12th solo exhibition with Stevenson but her first in the Parktown space, Proverb showcases new paintings by the artist. Her subject matter includes animals, still life, human figures, and domestic scenes.

Deborah Poynton, Proverb 1, 2020, oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Deborah Poynton, Proverb 1, 2020, oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Image: Stevenson

Commenting on the collection of artworks, Poynton writes: “Terse, humorous, metaphorical, a proverb delivers truth with a light slap of recognition, an admonishment to do better next time.

“These paintings seem to me imbued with a kind of droll fatalism. The lesson not-quite-learned is on the tip of my tongue. The animals regard us quizzically from a mossy slope, or dog basket, or lush field, not caring to share what they know.”

Deborah Poynton, Proverb 2, 2020, oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Deborah Poynton, Proverb 2, 2020, oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Image: Stevenson
Deborah Poynton, Proverb 6, 2021 oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Deborah Poynton, Proverb 6, 2021 oil on canvas, 150 x 190 cm.
Image: Stevenson

Proverb will run until May 14 (appointments are recommended but not required). The exhibition can also be viewed online with commentary by the artist and accompanying audio clips. Visit the website for more information.  

3. FathomCurate: RHE | Goodman Gallery, Cape Town

Fathom is the Goodman Gallery’s first contribution and collaboration with Galleries Curate: RHE — an international collaboration and online platform with the goal of bringing together galleries from around the world in an attempt to share dialogue between their programmes in the midst of their ongoing struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first project on the platform was launched on January 4  with new projects added by the 20 participating galleries each month.

Fathom: installation view featuring Kiluanji Kia Henda's Mare Nostrum, right, and Alfredo Jaar's Searching for Spain, centre.
Fathom: installation view featuring Kiluanji Kia Henda's Mare Nostrum, right, and Alfredo Jaar's Searching for Spain, centre.
Image: Goodman Gallery

The subject of this first collaboration is water; and with Fathom the Goodman Gallery has put together a group exhibition featuring artworks ranging from collage, land-based intervention, and sensory installation from the likes of Sue Williamson, Alfredo Jaar, Gerhard Marx, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Jeremy Wafer, Dor Guez and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum.

Fathom will run until May 30. Visit the website for more information.

4. Chant by Faith XLVII | Everard Read CIRCA Gallery, Cape Town

In her solo exhibition at Everard Read, internationally acclaimed SA interdisciplinary and street artist Faith XLVII continues to comment on social and human rights issues.

Writing about her new solo exhibition, she says, “Chant investigates our ability to deal with the insistent series of personal events, natural disasters and disruptive external situations. Witnessing the collective reeling, it calls for us to find ways of healing the trauma within us.”

WATCH | You’re invited to experience Chant:

Chant opens on May 5 and will run until May 28. Visit the website for more information.

5. Photographs in Our Mother Tongue Standard Bank Gallery, virtual exhibition

Photographs in Our Mother Tongue is a virtual exhibition of photographs inspired by the power of photography to communicate messages. It interrogates questions of identity, of speaking in one’s mother tongue and of looking at the world.

Showcasing images produced between 2003 and 2017 from the Standard Bank Corporate Art collection, it features work from prominent SA artists, including Mary Sibande, Berni Searle, Hasan and Husain Essop, Candice Breitz, Kathryn Smith and Mohau Modisakeng.

Berni Searle, Waiting I, 2003, Lithographic print, 34.5 x 52.5 cm.
Berni Searle, Waiting I, 2003, Lithographic print, 34.5 x 52.5 cm.
Image: Standard Bank Gallery

Photographs in Our Mother Tongue will run until May 30. To view the exhibition, visit art.sbvr.co.za.

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