WHAT TO EXPECT AT RMB TURBINE ART FAIR 2018
Since its inception in 2013, the RMB Turbine Art Fair has unfailingly offered visitors an opportunity to view and buy quality artwork from emerging and established talent in a fun and un-daunting way with great live music, artisan food, all curated within the heritage building that is Turbine Hall in the heart of Newtown. Because of this, the Fair has earned itself a top spot on the annual calendar of South Africa’s very rich art scene.
Each year, RMB Turbine Art Fair offers visitors a host of special projects, installations, talks and walkabouts alongside the host of artworks on sale by handpicked galleries. This year is no different, with Strauss & Co’s Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, numerous installation works, Talent Unlocked, The Graduate Show – Home/Land and a special tribute to David Koloane.
In line with the dual mission of the RMB Turbine Art Fair to promote emerging artists and encourage art collecting, Strauss & Co has embarked on a series of exhibitions by prominent South African artists to show budding art collectors what they can achieve if they select their art wisely.
In 2017, Strauss & Co mounted an exhibition of a single-owner collection of Pierneef landscapes. The owner purchased his first Pierneef linocut when he was 13 years
Since its inception in 2013, the RMB Turbine Art Fair has unfailingly offered visitors an opportunity to view and buy quality artwork from emerging and established talent in a fun and undaunting way with great live music, artisan food, all curated within the heritage building that is Turbine Hall in the heart of Newtown. Because of this, the Fair has earned itself a top spot on the annual calendar of South Africa’s very rich art scene.
old and has since amassed one of the finest collections of Pierneef landscapes in the country.
This year at RMB Turbine Art Fair, in an exhibition featuring a selection of Irma Stern still lifes from private collections titled Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, Strauss & Co expands on the notion of the ideal collector and what he/she can achieve in a lifetime of collecting.
One collector recalls, as a young girl, looking at a still life strategically hung by her mother in the dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This painting is now in her own collection.
Not only is Irma Stern the best-selling artist on the secondary market, and specifically at Strauss & Co, her still lifes serve as inspiration for a group of young contemporary artists. Strauss & Co has launched a competition among scholars at tertiary art schools in Gauteng to submit a still life in a medium of their choice. These works will be exhibited alongside the Sterns and will be on sale.
For Talent Unlocked, Assemblage, in collaboration with VANSA and RMB Turbine Art Fair, has coordinated a six-month intensive workshop programme for emerging artists that integrates practical art-making (focusing on process and conceptual development) and professional practice training. The objective of this comprehensive programme is to provide the selected participants with support and guidance to develop their work and, very importantly, with tools to sustain their art career once the programme is completed.
Participating artists include Vanessa Tembane, Theko Boshomane, Sharon Moses, Selwyn Steyn, Ofentse Seshabela, Nathi Khumalo, Mncedi Madolo, Mignon Modema Mayhew, Marguerite Visser Sanders, Lusanda Ndita, Loreal Vos,
Lebogang Mabusela, Keneilwe Mokoena, Jessica Le Roux, Henrietta Elizabeth Scholtz, duo Jacques du Toit (Andre) and Tamara Langwe (Bumba), Xoliswa Ngwenya and Zandri Oosthuysen, with mentors: Koulla Xinisteris, Murray Turpin, Lara Koseff, and Lawrence Lemaoana.
This year’s Talent Unlocked curator, Fulufhelo Mobadi, is a South African photographer born in Johannesburg in 1986. In 2012, she graduated from the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme at the Market Photo Workshop. Her photographic practice focuses on the day-to-day struggles of women within contemporary South Africa and the African continent more broadly. As a socially engaged photographer, she is motivated by making the unspoken and the hidden visible. In June 2016, Mobadi collaborated with the Zimbabwean photographer Kresiah Mkhwanazi on a project exploring issues of rape and the objectification of women’s bodies. The work produced was exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in an exhibition titled In my Private Moments.
Mobadi’s most recent achievement was being selected as the winner of the ASEF Visual Arts Award 2017, a prize created by the philanthropic arts organisation Prospero World. This award supported a sixweek artist-in-residency programme in Nairobi, Kenya. During her stay, she worked with an organization called Access AFYA, and ran photography workshops with young mothers in the informal settlements of Mukuru, Nairobi. During the course of the residency, Mobadi produced a new body of work titled In Between. She also organised and curated an exhibition titled To the Women I Have Never Met, which displayed the 400 works produced by the young mothers of Mukuru with disposable cameras. The residency was a turning point in understanding the possibilities of photography as an educational and community-building tool.
In December 2017, Mobadi was invited by Prospero World to travel to London to speak about the work completed in Mukuru, and debut her first solo exhibition, titled In Between, at a Private View in Mayfair.
The Graduate Show returns for the fourth year and is curated especially for the Turbine Art Fair. This exhibition features some of the best post-graduate painting and, in 2018, the inclusion of photography from the arts departments across South Africa. The 2018 exhibition will be curated by Musa N. Nxumalo.
‘We are interested in exploring how graduate artists regenerate the idea of home, land, space and identity. How their work speaks to hopes, fears and dreams regarding this subject. We are looking for graduate artists that work with the medium of photography as well as painting to explore the reality, fantasy and abstract ideas relating to home, land and identity,’ says Nxumalo.
This landscape. This landscape! The Quintessential Metaphor For Life is an exhibition by David Koloane in collaboration with LL Editions, curated by Ruzy Rusike. This tribute to David Koloane exists in the odd tension of his approach to the world and art-making.
Installations have always been an exciting part of the RMB Turbine Art Fair, this year the Fair has engaged curator Tamzin Lovell Miller, who has been involved with the Fair since its inception as the director of participating galleries, Lovell (Cape Town), and later Sulger-Buel Lovell (London). This year, not hosting a booth, but as installations curator, she brings a new vision to the Fair. Specifically, she’s asking the question ‘who are we after this “Post-Truth” time has shaped us?’ Pulling together artworks that range from the finely crafted to the augmented virtual, and the interactive physical and digital, this year’s installations are experiences set to intrigue and inspire visitors to the Fair, and leave them with some extraordinary new ideas.
Another interesting installation is the thirteen-metrelong RMB THINK Bench. The original bench, which can be found outside RMB’s offices in Sandton, was created by Louis Olivier and the Workhorse Bronze Foundry. For the Fair, Olivier is recreating the bench in resin so that it can travel (its next stop is the Hilton Arts Festival), while still retaining its enormous structure and allowing visitors to the Fair to experience this life-size structural wonder. The extraordinary bench is designed to spell out ‘THINK’ from one side, while from another appear to be life-sized human figures in different thinking poses – a spectacular feature that will add something special to this year’s RMB Turbine Art Fair.
The ‘THINK’ theme continues with the talks programme and art walkabouts, this year sponsored by RMB Private Bank. Interesting topics include ‘THINK Promise’ and ‘THINK Legacy’, and John Vlismas’ art walkabout: ‘THINK Fun – Art that tickles my fancy’.
The Newtown precinct will come alive this July as visitors make their way across the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Just a short trip from Turbine Hall is the Standard Bank Gallery; Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, which is hosting the historic The Wonders of Rock Art: Lascaux and Africa exhibition; and Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) will be showing Wolfgang Tillmans’ Fragile.
This is all just a taste of what one can expect at this year’s RMB Turbine Art Fair – which is sure to yet again be an unmissable event. Tickets are available at www.turbineartfair.co.za