Goodman Gallery Cape Town is proud to open a new space with a group exhibition befitting of its relocation. The exhibition marks the start of a new chapter for the gallery, as well as the building it now calls home: a former convent established in 1910.
Did you ever think there would come a time?, a title referencing a painting by Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, reflects on this renewal, both in terms of the transformation of the space itself as well as the gallery's own programme which has grown considerably since first opening its doors in Cape Town 16 years ago. These changes are reflected in the group of selected artists who represent Goodman Gallery's historic legacy in South Africa while also highlighting the international scope of its programme.
Presented under the eaves of the cloister, the exhibition offers a space for both the gallery and its visitors to consider this moment in history and the ongoing role art can play in moving us forward. This reflection is prompted by important new and existing works by Ghada Amer, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Kapwani Kiwanga, Mateo López, Gerhard Marx, Shirin Neshat, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Mikhael Subotzky and Sue Williamson.
Several works included in the exhibition use text to highlight, and in some instances, reconfigure meaning in a variety of poetic manners. William Kentridge does so using extracted text from archival material, which are juxtaposed within his charcoal drawings. Alfredo Jaar and Nolan Oswald Dennis, by contrast, frame text as the primary visual device that informs the content of their work.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Ghada Amer and Shirin Neshat examine the complexities of identity through their personal and public lives. Achieved through different mediums, all three artists consider historic forms of representation in their work, subtly subverting these frames of reference.
Uncovering and recontextualising history similarly sits at the centre of work by Sue Williamson, Kapwani Kiwanga and Mikhael Subotkzy. Drawing on rigorous research, these artists select particularly poignant signs and symbols to delineate colonial narratives in unconventional ways that prompt relooking and rethinking through our presented past.
Taking a more abstract approach, Misheck Masamvu, Mateo López and Gerhard Marx favour form in communicating meaning. The tactile qualities of these artist's works injects a solid sense of vitality into the room, speaking to the physical act of renewal that forms the foundation of this exhibition.
Press release courtesy Goodman Gallery.