Iziko South African National Gallery hosts three events looking into contemporary art | Art.co.za Art Blog
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Iziko South African National Gallery hosts three events looking into contemporary art

Posted on 24 June 2019

Iziko South African National Gallery presents three events looking into contemporary art conservation and techniques as well as a open conversation with artist Penny Siopis facilitated by Patricia Smithen, Assistant Professor in Painting Conservation at the Queen`s University in Canada.

Panel discussion: Should Contemporary Art Last: moderated by Patricia Smithen
16 July 2019 from 13:00

Contemporary art challenges collection practices on many levels. A straightforward object can be relatively easy to collect: a singular artwork made by a sole creator, to be purchased and displayed by the legal owner. Yet every aspect of this scenario is challenged by the current production methods, shifting societal values and the very definition of an artwork. Consider an artwork which exhibits rapid and visible change: it is possible to collect this responsibly and should this change be acknowledged, slowed, or celebrated? As boundaries are pushed, will some artworks simply be uncollectable?


  • Julia Kabat, Interium Registrar, Zeitz Mocaa
  • Mawande Ka Zenzile, Artist, (represented by Stevenson, Cape Town & Johannesuburg.)
  • Same Mduli, Manager and Curator of Standard Bank Gallery
  • Brett Scott, Manager, Sheryn Art Collection

    Our panel will explore some of these topics:

  • Can we collect artworks with an expiry date? Should there be boundaries for the acquisition of contemporary art in a Public Museum?
  • Can donations challenge this? What is the role of the collector, artist or Gallery in this context?
  • Restrictions and artist rights ? can we collect work with conditions (for display, association, interpretation or presentation)? This could be as simple as choosing a new frame for a painting or as complex as allowing another artist to re-present an artwork as part of a new installation.
  • Is change OK? What happens if it isn't?
  • Is contemporary art a good investment? What are the trends in the current art market? How do you forecast which artist to choose when collecting?
  • How do commercial galleries choose some artists up over others?
  • What strategies should be used for collecting contemporary art?
  • What is the role of documentation and preservation?

    Each panelist will introduce themselves, give a brief introduction to the topic (if possible show an example or two!), and start in with some questions. Will we open up the floor to questions from the audience.

    More than Paint: Art on the Edge, by Patricia Smithen
    17 July 2019 from 13:00 - 14:00

    Even historic paintings are made from different materials with different properties, however contemporary artists can use anything and everything when creating a picture. From installations to performances, from plastics to dung, modern paintings are more than just paint. Patricia Smithen will share some stories about the more unsual `painted` artworks encountered throught her career, their issues and the creative solutions devised to preserve and protect them.

    Artist Conversation with Penny Siopis
    18 July 2019 from 17:30

    Open conversation with Patricia Smithen, Assistant Professor, Painting Conservation, Queen`s University, Canada, on painting techniques and materials used by the artist and implications for conservation.

    Some material processes used by Siopis, including her cake paintings and more recent glue nad ink paintings will be illustrated.

    All events are free but booking is essential. To RSVP email Nomapatho Mesele at nmesele@iziko.org.za and for enquiries email Angela Zehnder at azehnder@iziko.org.za.

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