Bronze Age Studio and Southern Guild to co-curate group exhibition
Southern Guild and Bronze Age Studio present House of Bronze, a group show exploring the versatility of bronze in contemporary design, from 20 September – 21 November at GUILD in the Silo District.
“Bronze is a material to live with – tactile, warm and transformative, with the comforting knowledge that it will last generations,” says Julian McGowan, co-founder of Southern Guild.
Joining Julian as co-curator of House of Bronze are Otto du Plessis and Charles Haupt of Bronze Age Studio, in celebration of the close working relationship the gallery and studio have enjoyed over the past 10 years.
Otto, a classically trained sculptor, opened Bronze Age Foundry in Simons Town in 1997. Incorporating a gallery and artist residency, it nurtured the careers of many young bronze artists who apprenticed there. Charles joined in 2005 to help start a design studio and the pair then moved their operation to Woodstock, where the foundry and its adjoining gallery became one of the neighbourhood’s focal points of creativity.
They regularly produced work by artists such as William Kentridge, David Brown, Brett Murray and Wim Botha, and kept their doors open so that curious onlookers could witness the casting process. Around the same time, Julian was building Southern Guild as a collection of limited-edition design pieces unlike anything the South African industry had seen before and from the get-go, bronze featured heavily.
Together, they began to foster a new regard for bronze as a modern material equally suited to furniture, lighting, functional design and sculpture. Through its affiliation with Southern Guild, Bronze Age added international designers to its list of clients, producing work for the US-based Haas Brothers and Misha Kahn.
House of Bronze will feature work by some of the country’s leading artists working in bronze, including Egon Tania, Cobus Haupt, Louis Olivier and Jop Kunneke, as well as designers from the Southern Guild stable such as Stanislaw Trzebinski, Jesse Ede, Philippe Bousquet, Ferdi B. Dick, Xandre Kriel, and Charles and Otto themselves. It will steer away from figurative sculpture in the classical tradition towards something more unusual, contemporary and functional.
“Because of its strength, bronze allows you to achieve a level of delicacy and detail far superior to other materials,” says Otto. “I love its versatility – bronze is durable, malleable and luxurious.”
House of Bronze runs alongside Woven Forms from 20 September to 21 November 2018.
Southern Guild opening hours:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 2pm