Pausing in 2017

My foremost objective as a gallerist is to development and promote the inventory of our represented artists. However, after twenty three years in a fast evolving industry, and fifteen years of presenting a regularly changing roster of exhibitions, it was time to push the pause button. In 2017 I will be using my time to brush up on contemporary discourse and finally produce a research paper on Roger Ballen’s photography. Erdmann Contemporary will re-open in January 2018. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on exhibitions being hosted elsewhere.

Retrospective for Bauer

Derek Bauer, who died in 2001, was a cartoonist who became well-known for his inherently irreverent cartoons and caricatures of politicians and other prominent figures during the troubled, apartheid stricken South Africa in the mid to late 1980’s. He expressed his fiercely independent and challenging views through the critical art of cartooning by means of a weekly published drawing in the Weekly Mail newspaper. His retrospective titled Alternative Press curated by Heidi Erdmann and Andrea Lewis will go on view at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town from 21 September.
Visit Derek Bauer Estate Editions to view his archive.

Nomusa Makhubu Catalogue

Our latest publication Nomusa Makhubu Intertwined 2005 - 2017 is now available for sale from the gallery and select bookstores.

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi writes that Makhubu seeks the intersection of the personal and the political in examining the full import of history. Her work destabilizes assumed truths and charts complex narratives about the indexed black image. Her idea of “performed photography,” a strategy in which she combines her own image and appropriated archival or canonical photographs to disrupt, question, or revise normative historical narratives, represents a kind of collective-self excoriation in which she acknowledges and engages the past in order to gain a profound understanding of the way in which entrenched repressive structures have shaped or continue to condition systems of representations.

Nomusa Makhubu in Poland

Makhubu is included in the group exhibition, A New Region of the World which opened on 8 September at the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland. The exhibition includes a selection of photographs from Makhubu’s famed series Self-Portrait Project.

Also included are works by Ewan Atkinson, Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, Fiona Banner, Marie-Hélène Cauvin, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Jan Dziaczkowski, Gilles Elie-Dit-Cosaque, Brendan Fernandes, Joscelyn Gardner, Nomusa Makhubu, Christine Meisner, Yedda Morrison, Rachelle Mozman Solano, Claudia Rankine & John Lucas, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Wilhelm Sasnal, Janek Simon, Hank Willis Thomas, Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organisation.

Turbine Art Fair 2017

The fifth edition of TAF concluded on Sunday 16 July. More than eleven thousand visitors attended the fair over the course of the weekend. Gallery artist Eleanor Turvey had a sell-out exhibition at the Cape Town Art Fair earlier this year, she achieved the same success at TAF in Johannesburg. Nicola Roos’ life-sized sculptures received a favorable response and this young graduate gave two impressive (and impromptu) talks about her work. TAF is where we get an opportunity to catch up with our Johannesburg based artist, Chepape Makgato; his collage works continued to be a favorite with audiences and collectors.
We were also very pleased with the positive response to and sales of Kyu Sang Lee’s photographs (illustrated) and metal sculptures by Charalambos Kentrotas.

Anglea Buckland’s Latest series

For the past seven years Angela Buckland has been working on the theme of “rites of passage”, examining diverse young voices negotiating the fragile years between childhood and adulthood, and in particular what this means in contemporary South Africa. To that end she has been documenting three viewpoints: a group of multicultural, urban teenagers including her own daughter; a rural perspective negotiating gender inequality, agency and resilience and thirdly a group of Xhosa Initiates in the Eastern Cape. Her photographs are currently on view in Cape Town until 12 August.

The story of Yasuke

London based Chief Editor, Massimo Gava was so impressed by the sculptures of this young South African artist Nicola Roos that he commissioned a lead story and featured one of her works on the cover of the July 2016 edition of DanteMag. Roos says “my interest in colonial history and the commemorations of abstruse individuals was sparked be the little-known narrative of Yasuke and the myriad of socio-cultural implications that ripple outwards from this remarkable man in Africa and abroad”.
Yasuke, the name given to the first known black samurai in recorded history, was the inspiration for Roos’ 2015 series, No Man’s Land.

Jokeit’s Latest Photographs

In early 2016 Swiss-bases photographer Hennric Jokeit launched his now much acclaimed exhibition and book Negative Vision both in South Africa and in Europe.

Fellow photographer Roger Ballen wrote that: Negative Vision is a book of images that transforms the mind in such a way that the dark becomes the light. These powerful images have the ability to resonate deep inside our cores”.

Jokeit continued his exploration of the negative image and in February 2017 he released another evocative series of photographs of masks, titled Migrations. Read Jokeit’s Artist Statement and Cape Town critic Danny Shorken’s Review.

Qampi releases new series

Inside My Heart originated with a poem written by Lindeka Qampi and is dedicated to her late mother. Each word of this poem is illustrated with self-portraits and images of Qampi’s own children. While on residency in Sardinia in December 2015, Qampi produced this video which enabled her to combine her photography with music.
The series is on-going and has developed to also include drawings, paintings and installation based works by the artist.

Since 2012 Lindeka Qampi and Zanele Muholi have worked independently and as a team to expose the violence and inequality faced by girls and women across the continent, and in particular gender-based violence in the LBGTI community. They were recipients of BRAVE AWARD 2016, in the Art and Activism category.

Manfred Zylla

Manfred Zylla dropped out of school, became an apprentice at a printing firm and started painting. It was 1956 and he was then living in Augsburg, Germany. Having personally experienced discrimination against his deaf parents, he made it his life mission to use his art as a tool of action against all social injustices. During the 1980’s and then living in South Africa, Zylla produced some of his most confrontational works, all highly critical of the Apartheid regime. For more information about this artist and resistance art as a genre, please refer to our publication Manfred Zylla Art & Resistance .

The Photographers Gallery ZA

Founded by Heidi Erdmann in 2001, this gallery has a long history of launching and developing careers and hosting important group exhibitions. Solo exhibitions by South African photographers include, Guy Tillim, George Hallett, Jurgen Schadeberg, Roger Ballen and Patricia Driscoll. The newly launched website features work by familiar South African names and select international portfolio’s from China, Japan and South Korea.
The Photographers Gallery ZA.

Photography Festivals in China

My experience of China is limited to attending and participating in photography festivals in that country. Asleep in front of the Camera is an article I wrote for Art South Africa recounting my experiences at two such festivals, namely, the Dali International Photography Exhibition (DIPE) in Dali, and the Pingyao International Photography Exhibition (PIP) in Pingyao; the latter being one of the most well known and best attended festival in the country. Read the article here.

Art Basel Hong Kong

My introduction into the Asian art market came late (in 2012) and it came via an invitation to participate in a photography festival. In that same year, and prior to my first trip to China, I also accepted an invitation to attend the Hong Kong Art Fair, unbeknownst to me then, it would be the final edition of that particular fair. It became Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013 and with the exception of 2015, I have attended every edition since. In the articles below, I recount my impressions in March 2014 and March 2016
All images referenced in this text are courtesy of Carsten Rasch and can be viewed on our Facebook page

Studio Photography

View The Photographers Gallery ZA‘s online exhibition, Studio Photography. The exhibition references the Bobson Studio Portraits and contemporary Indian studio photographs from the Satish Sharma collection. Gallery represented photographer Lindeka Gloria Qampi’s photographs, taken in a make-shift studio in Delft, Cape Town, are also included.

The accompanying essay pays homage to Sukdeo Bobson Mohanlall, South Africa’s most celebrated studio photographer.

Grada Djeri Estate News

The Grada Djeri Estate has released a single original hand-print, signed and printed by the artist. Grada Djeri (1956 - 2014) was long admired for his unique developing technique and his love for printing on substrates other than photographic paper.
This rare, 1/1 photograph titled I Sea You can be viewed at the gallery. A limited edition digital print of another well known Grada Djeri image, entitled Hug, has also been released.
Installation Images
Jorge Sierra Rubia’s Portraits

Pierre Crocquet Estate

Pierre Crocquet Estate has appointed The Photographers Gallery ZA in Cape Town to manage the release of a selection of limited edition prints. All photographs were printed by Silvertone International, Johannesburg, who worked with Crocquet until his death in 2013.

Crocquet published five photography books, US, On Africa Time, Enter Exit, Sound Check and Pinky Promise. In 2012 he received an Alan Paton Non-Fiction Honorary Mention for Pinky Promise.

Interview with Dodho Magazine

Dodho Magazine is a free independent magazine based in Barcelona, and “features the best of contemporary photography, bringing together diverse bodies of work by established and emerging artists from around the globe.” Since its launch in April 2013, has continued to be the fastest growing photography magazine, and currently has more than 750,000 annual hits. Read Interview

South Africa through the eyes of a Gallerist

In celebration of her longstanding contributions to the establishment of the local art scene and Erdmann Contemporary’s new location at 84 Kloof Street, Between10and5 caught up with Heidi Erdmann to find out about her views on the development of the South African art market, the importance of content-rich exhibitions and some of the challenges facing gallerists in South Africa today.

Read Interview

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