Lionel Smit working on Interlude.
Lionel Smit working on Interlude.
Image: Lionel Smit Studio and Everard Read

Here are five arts events being held in April in Johannesburg, the Cape and online. This month, artist collaborations take centre stage alongside works from Lionel Smit and Ghanaian artist El Antsui.

Interlude by Lionel Smit Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg

Lionel Smit’s newest exhibition at Everard Read in Johannesburg builds on his 2021 solo exhibition at Everard Read in London.

The impasto portraits in this exhibition are a culmination of Smit’s focus on human emotions and comment on the relationship between the subjective observer’s gaze and the observed subject.

It serves a further purpose of exploring Smit’s interest in the metaverse, avatars, simulations and the influence deep fakes have on our perceived reality. 

Interlude opened on March 24 and will run until April 30. The gallery is open from 9am — 5pm Mondays to Fridays and from 9am — 1pm on Saturdays.

Lionel Smit working on Interlude.
Lionel Smit working on Interlude.
Image: Lionel Smit Studio and Everard Read

Freedom by El Anatsui Goodman Gallery Cape Town

Ghanaian artist El Antsui’s career has spanned more than five decades and in this exhibition with Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, the artist has put together a body of work in line with the artistic style he has become known for, using simple, mostly discarded materials to create artworks of a grand scale that have a complex visual impact.

The exhibition title draws from his tapestry with the same name in which the artist has used copper wire, aluminium and nylon strings to create a cartographic work of sorts on which three “birds of freedom”, as he calls them, are reflected.

Freedom opened on March 24 and will run until May 14. The gallery is open from 9am — 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays and from 9am — 4pm on Saturdays.

Installation of El Antsui’s 2021 artwork Freedom.
Installation of El Antsui’s 2021 artwork Freedom.
Image: Courtesy the Artist and Goodman Gallery

Juxtapositions by Shine Shivan and Jane Alexander Stevenson Gallery Cape Town

What the gallery refers to as “idiosyncratic two-person exhibitions” is a new initiative by Stevenson to reintroduce the joy of art to viewers after two years of having to enjoy viewing through a screen and two years of “rapid regionalisation” after 15 years of “rapid internationalisation”.

The first exhibition of this kind is Juxtapositions, an exhibition featuring works from Shine Shivan and Jane Alexander: “two artists from different continents working in different mediums whose work resonates in unexpected ways”.

Indian artist Shine Shivan is known for his depiction of mythological figures and gods from Indian cultures while South African artist Jane Alexander sculptures portray figures of animals and mythical alterations.

Juxtapositions opened on March 26 and will run until April 30. The gallery is open from 9am-5pm Mondays to Fridays and from 10am-1pm on Saturdays.

Installation view of Jane Alexander’s Harbinger (2004) with ghost (2007) and hobbled ruminant (2003-04) and Shine Shivan’s Nandan.
Installation view of Jane Alexander’s Harbinger (2004) with ghost (2007) and hobbled ruminant (2003-04) and Shine Shivan’s Nandan.
Image: Courtesy Stevenson Gallery

Spier Light Art Spier Wine Farm

Visitors to the fourth annual Spier Light Art event can once again look forward to exploring artworks across the Spier wine farm. Created by South African artists and designers, the interactive artworks make use of light, sound and video to create a visual display that comes to life at night.

Also offering the event as a comment on the Covid-19 pandemic, the curators hope to take a moment in the pandemic and have put together the offering “both to reflect and to depart — gazing back while looking forward”.

Works will be on display from more than 20 artists, featuring the likes of Seth Deacon, Jenna Burchell, Joe Turpin, Nicholas Hales, Lady Skollie and James Delaney. 

Spier Light Art opened on March 18 and will run until April 18 and can be viewed daily on the Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch between 6.30am-9pm.

Spier Light Art, Ghost Night Light by Lady Skollie and James Delaney, 4m x 1.5m, aluminium.
Spier Light Art, Ghost Night Light by Lady Skollie and James Delaney, 4m x 1.5m, aluminium.
Image: James Delaney

SOUTH SOUTH Veza 02

Launched last year, SOUTH SOUTH is an online forum and community for artists, curators, galleries and collectors from the Global South. 

Last year’s iteration brought together more than 50 galleries from 30 countries and five continents with the idea of presenting a holistic worldview of contemporary art. 

This year, SOUTH SOUTH Veza 02 will focus on digital art and the possibilities of new media.

The curators of the event have partnered with the NIIO Art platform, a curated platform for the streaming, acquisition, preservation and sharing of video and new media art, as well as SP—Arte, an international art fair in São Paulo.

This year’s platform will feature artworks from more than 30 participating galleries — including the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London — and artists from Latin America, Africa and Asia.

SOUTH SOUTH Veza 01 opened on March 31 and will be live until April 10. Visit south-south.art/veza.  

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