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Material Gains: Contemporary African Art from the Spier Collection

Curated by Candice Allison

Material Gains, which opens 25 July at the Stellenbosch University Museum, showcases more than 50 works from Spier’s diverse collection of contemporary art. The pieces are by emerging and established artists working across the African continent – including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Congo and Nigeria.

The intricacies of artistic output from different regions, countries, cities, and individuals cannot be condensed into a single narrative. The curatorial intention, therefore, is to reflect on the concept of ‘material’. This is defined as both intangible ideas and physical substance. Woven through this selection is a common interest in materiality and especially in concepts and values attributed to materials, alternative mediums, and contemporary appropriation of traditional techniques. The works span the mediums of painting, photography, bead work, sculpture, crochet, embroidery and found materials.

Miriro Mwandiambira JPMMR0002_Wycliffe__Mundopa_Woman_III. (MR)

As the Stellenbosch University Museum celebrates 100 years by looking forward, this exhibition’s artworks, when viewed collectively, represent and celebrate the ‘material gains’ which have positively impacted the stability and sustainability of Africa’s visual arts. These include rapid growth in urbanisation, advances in technology, strengthening international and local art markets, and access to funding and sales revenue filtering through arts organisations that support creativity and experimentation.

Including works by:

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou | Arlene Amaler-Raviv | Audrey Anderson | Tamlin Blake | Lizette Chirrime | Malcolm Dare | Barend De Wet | Ricky Ayanda Dyaloyi | Paul Emmanuel | Liza Grobler | Robert Hodgins | Marlise Keith | David Koloane | Zemba Luzamba | Elisa Mangka | Michele Mathison | Maurice Mbikayi | Ronald Muchatuta | Wycliffe Mundopa | Terrence Musekiwa | Miriro Mwandiambira | Lisbeth Nkoadi | Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude | Qubeka Fine Art Bead Studio | Cinga Sampson | Chibuike Anselem Uzoma | Sue Williamson | Dale Yudelman | Billie Zangewa | Portia Zvavahera

QBS0290LC_Lizette_Chirrime_Qubeka_Beads_Studio (MR)

Opens Wednesday 25 July 2018

Stellenbosch University Museum
52 Ryneveld St, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600


About Spier and the arts

Spier believes that the visual arts are a powerful tool for transformation – sparking new insights and inspiring us to engage with our world in new and imaginative ways.

Spier supports and stimulates the arts community in South Africa through projects that honour our African arts heritage and enriches its future. Many of these projects are managed by the Spier Arts Trust, a Growing for Good learning initiative that forms part of Spier’s efforts to empower staff and communities to make a positive social and environmental change.

The Spier Arts Trust generates shared value for the makers and buyers of South African art. Through curating art portfolios and managing visual arts projects, it facilitates collaboration and growth opportunities for visual artists and artisans in South Africa.

In 2014, Spier was awarded the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Chairman’s Premier Award in recognition of its sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.

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About the curator

Candice Allison is a writer and curator based in Johannesburg where she recently joined the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios as the Director. Independent curatorial projects include Kudzanai Chiurai’s solo exhibitions Madness and Civilization (2018) at Goodman Gallery Cape Town, and We Need New Names (2017) at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe; Dear History: It’s Not Me, It’s You (2017) at LKB/G in Hamburg; and The First Supper (2014) at Njelele Arts Station in Harare. Previously, Allison served as curator at The New Church Museum in Cape Town from 2013 to 2017. She holds a Masters in Curating Contemporary Design from Kingston University, and a BA Honours in Visual Studies from the University of Pretoria.