EDITOR’S LET­TER Ti­aan Nagel dis­cusses the power of art

House and Leisure (South Africa) - - Contents -

afew weeks back, I found my­self along­side writer Jonathan Cane and House and Leisure fea­tures editor Kholeka Ku­malo view­ing one of the largest JH Pierneef col­lec­tions in ex­is­tence – it’s owned by prop­erty devel­oper and art col­lec­tor An­ton Tal­jaard. We were soon caught up in a heated dis­cus­sion about what these art­works’ rel­e­vance is to­day – and why so many white South Africans, in par­tic­u­lar, are fond of Pierneef’s work.

As in all the best con­ver­sa­tions about art, we came to no fi­nal con­clu­sions what­so­ever, al­though of course our dis­cus­sion added an ex­tra di­men­sion to how we ex­pe­ri­enced this re­mark­able col­lec­tion. For me the beauty of these art­works is all wrapped up in Pierneef’s bril­liant use of colour. The soft, muted tones he em­ploys – in­clud­ing dirty shades of pink and li­lac with som­bre touches of ochre and khaki – are truly mag­i­cal, and this sort of colour treat­ment is some­thing that fu­els my love of tra­di­tional paint­ing. Don’t get me wrong: I’m also a big fan of contemporary art, but see­ing these clas­sic paint­ings up close was a real treat.

Speak­ing of contemporary art, I get to tick some­thing off my bucket list in this Septem­ber edi­tion of the magazine. For the first time, House and Leisure has col­lab­o­rated with the FNB JoburgArtFair, and worked closely with en­tre­pre­neur and fair di­rec­tor Mandla Sibeko ( left, cen­tre) on our an­nual art is­sue. It’s the 10th an­niver­sary of the Fair, and we cel­e­brate this with a spe­cial sec­tion of the magazine (start­ing on page 37) that in­cludes an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with South African-born, Ber­lin-based con­cep­tual artist Robin Rhode ( left, be­low). Part of a gen­er­a­tion of post-apartheid artists who are nav­i­gat­ing the art world while re­flect­ing on the trauma of this coun­try’s his­tory, Rhode ex­plores his iden­tity and sense of place through video art and in­stal­la­tions, and his live per­for­mance at this year’s De­sign Ind­aba is, for me, one of the cul­tural high­lights of 2017.

This is­sue is also packed with in­spir­ing homes that show­case im­pres­sive art col­lec­tions. Chris­tine and Mark Read from Ever­ard Read gallery in Joburg share their ar­chi­tec­tural ‘tree house’ ( page 66) with us, which was cre­ated by Sil­vio Rech and Les­ley Carstens and is filled with South African art. Fed­erico Freschi, ex­ec­u­tive dean of the fac­ulty of art and ar­chi­tec­ture at the Univer­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand, takes us around his eclec­tic home in Kens­ing­ton ( page 74), show­ing off his An­drzej Ur­ban­ski col­lec­tion and rare pieces by Gün­ther Herbst.

We also have one of Cape Town’s iconic contemporary homes ( page 58) – col­lo­qui­ally known as ‘ bridge house’ and de­signed by Van der Merwe Miszewski Ar­chi­tects – to share with you, as well as a beau­ti­fully ren­o­vated fam­ily home in Sax­on­wold, Johannesburg ( page 50), that also plays host to an in­cred­i­ble col­lec­tion of contemporary African art.

It’s a pow­er­ful is­sue filled with great sto­ries, and I hope you en­joy it.

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