Largest collection of black modernist art now on show

George Pemba's New Brighton.

George Pemba's New Brighton.

The exhibition examines resistance arts to abstraction and scenes of everyday life.

The Standard Bank Gallery is presenting A Black Aesthetic: A View of South African Artists (1970-1990), an exhibition that draws from the University of Fort Hare art collection, until April 18.

Presented for the first time outside of the Eastern Cape since 1992, the collection features one of the country’s largest holdings of Black South African artists who worked between 1970 and 1990.

Representing more than 150 artists and declared a National Cultural Treasure in 1998, this repository houses some of South Africa’s most revered artists such as Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, Dumile Feni and Gladys Mgudlandlu.

The exhibition includes a wide range of disciplines such as etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, serigraphs, drawings, paintings and sculptures.

Curated by Standard Bank Gallery manager and curator Dr Same Mdluli, the exhibition features the work of black artists from various backgrounds, whose style and approach to art are distinctly each of their own.

Aiming to encourage a more critical engagement of these artists whose works have historically been neglected, A Black Aesthetic attempts to reposition their expression within the larger South African art historical narrative and redefine ways of discussing their work – challenging existing notions of what constitutes South African art history.

The exhibition examines the contentious label of township art, a terminology which has been critiqued for its limitations in labelling and boxing black artists from this locale.

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#Gallery | NOW OPEN! The largest exhibition of black artists in South Africa since democracy! . “A Black Aesthetic: A view of South African Artists (1970 -1990)”, curated by Dr Same Mdluli from 22 February – 18 April 2019. . If you have a passion for South African art and want to learn more about how Durant Sihlali and others have impacted international art movements, join us at the Standard Bank Gallery from 22 February to 18 April this year. . Featuring: Durant Sihlali (1935 – 2004) "The Green House, 2nd Avenue, Alexandra" 1979, Watercolour (Fort Hare University Art Collection) . #BlackArt #SouthAfricanArt #SouthAfrica #mzansi #johannesburg #AfricanArt #culture #storytelling #instamood #artgallery #curator #youth #motivation #followforfollow #likeforlike #AfricanheART

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From resistance arts to abstraction and scenes of everyday life, with artworks depicting both hardships and optimism.

A Black Aesthetic shows work from three decades of the collection; part of an era in the country characterised by challenging conditions that existed under colonial and apartheid South Africa – with the after-effects still felt today.

“These works are a great record of painful experiences, memories, and stories of black people in apartheid,” says University of Fort Hare’s national heritage and cultural studies centre curator Vuyani Booi.

The Standard Bank Gallery is located on the corner of Simmonds and Frederick streets and offers free, safe undercover parking.

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