Star artist of the year

CityPress - - Trending Awards - – Gar­reth van Niek­erk

The stel­lar lo­cal art tra­jec­tory just con­tin­ued to reach ev­er­greater heights this year. The undis­puted leader for 2016, how­ever, was pho­tog­ra­pher Zanele Muholi, whose work doc­u­ment­ing queer com­mu­ni­ties in south­ern Africa has been get­ting ma­jor in­ter­na­tional trac­tion, see­ing her en­ter in­flu­en­tial art magazine Art Re­view’s Power 100 list at po­si­tion 95 – the only African woman on the list. She had ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tions lo­cally and abroad and con­tin­ued to use her pow­er­ful po­si­tion to in­ter­ro­gate and give vis­i­bil­ity to those com­mu­ni­ties on the fringe. Frankly, she’s the rock star of African art.

She’s just one of the lo­cal stars mak­ing it big. Ke­mang Wa

Le­hulere, for in­stance, ex­hib­ited at ma­jor gal­leries and fairs around the world dur­ing his year as the Stan­dard Bank Young Artist of the Year; Dean Hut­ton spread their “F**k White Peo­ple” mes­sage around the con­ti­nent;

Buh­le­bezwe Si­wani de­stroyed the lo­cal gallery scene with her un­con­ven­tional im­agery; Wil­liam

Ken­tridge, also on the Power 100 list again this year, lit­er­ally ex­hib­ited ev­ery­where, break­ing records and be­ing awarded every prize known to hu­mankind. But we’re most ex­cited about the work of cu­ra­tor Gabi

Ng­cobo, whose pi­o­neer­ing ideas about art’s trans­for­ma­tional pow­ers are be­ing recog­nised around the world. It has been an­nounced that she would be the cu­ra­tor of the 2017 Ber­lin Bi­en­nale – a first for some­one from South Africa, and a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment glob­ally for any­one work­ing in that space. We’re su­per­proud and can’t wait to see what she does.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

BIRD IN HAND A work by Ke­mang Wa Le­hulere from his The Knife Eats at Home ex­hi­bi­tion

ZANELE MUHOLI

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