Since its inception in 2013, the RMB Turbine Art Fair has unfailingly offered visitors an opportunity to view and buy quality artwork from emerging and established talent in a fun and un-daunting way with great live music, artisan food, all curated within the heritage building that is Turbine Hall in the heart of Newtown. Because of this, the fair has earned itself a top spot on the annual calendar of South Africa’s very rich art scene.
Each year, RMB Turbine Art Fair offers visits a host of special projects, installations, talks and walkabouts alongside the host of artworks on sale by handpicked galleries. This year is no different, with Strauss & Co’s Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, numerous installation works, Talent Unlocked, The Graduate Show – Home/Land and A Tribute to David Koloane.
In line with the dual mission of the RMB Turbine Art Fair to promote emerging artists and encourage art collecting, Strauss & Co has embarked on a series of exhibitions by prominent South African artists to show budding art collectors what they can achieve if they select their art wisely.
In 2017, Strauss & Co mounted an exhibition of a single-owner collection of Pierneef landscapes. The owner purchased his first Pierneef linocut when he was 13 years old and has since amassed one of the finest collections of Pierneef landscapes in the country.
This year at RMB Turbine Art Fair, in an exhibition featuring a selection of Irma Stern still lifes from private collections titled Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, Strauss & Co expands on the notion of the ideal collector and what he/she can achieve in a lifetime of collecting.
One collector recalls, as a young girl, looking at a still life strategically hung by her mother in the dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This painting is now in her own collection.
Not only is Irma Stern the best selling artist on the secondary market, and specifically at Strauss & Co, but her still lifes serve as inspiration for a group of young contemporary artists as well. Strauss & Co has launched a competition among scholars at tertiary art schools in Gauteng to submit a still life in a medium of their choice. These works will be exhibited alongside the Sterns and will be on sale.
All of the Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern artworks are graciously insured by iTooArtinsure for the duration of the fair.
For Talent Unlocked, Assemblage, in collaboration with VANSA and RMB Turbine Art Fair, has coordinated a six-month intensive workshop programme for emerging artists that integrates practical art-making (focusing on process and conceptual development) and professional practice training. The objective of this comprehensive programme is to provide the selected participants with support and guidance to develop their work and, very importantly, with tools to sustain their art career once the programme is completed.
This year’s Talent Unlocked curator, Fulufhelo Mobadi, is a South African photographer born in Johannesburg in 1986. In 2012, she graduated from the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme at the Market Photo Workshop. Her photographic practice focuses on the day-to-day struggles of women within contemporary South Africa and the African continent more broadly. As a socially engaged photographer, she is motivated by making the unspoken and the hidden visible. In June 2016, Mobadi collaborated with the Zimbabwean photographer Kresiah Mkhwanazi on a project exploring issues of rape and the objectification of women’s bodies. The work produced was exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in the exhibition titled In my Private Moments.
This is all just a taste of what one can expect at this year’s RMB Turbine Art Fair – which is sure to yet again be an unmissable event. To read more about what to expect at TAF, please purchase our July 2018 issue, or to continue supporting the arts and culture sector subscribe to our monthly magazine in print or digital format. Tickets are available from www.turbineartfair.co.za
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