The New VanguardBerman Contemporary’s The New Vanguard is a mentoring group for artists with emerging practices. We create opportunities for them such as curated exhibitions, art fairs and coaching. The first curated exhibition is “The New Vanguard” opening on 4 April and closing on 25 April at Rand Steam.
Traces of Untold StoriesCurated by Els van Mourik
The geological foundations of Príncipe, this island in the Gulf of Guinea, and its larger younger sibling to the south-west – São Tomé – were laid millions of years ago by an effulgence of volcanic lava.
The second layering is the visible verdant growth which – midwifed by the ultra-rich volcanic soil and equatorial climate – became a thick carpet of rain forest. The islands remained uninhabited until Portugal’s maritime explorers landed in 1471 and began a gradual and ultimately ruthless process of colonisation. By the 16th century, this tiny archipelago off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa was a vital commercial centre for the Atlantic slave trade.
The works in this series emerged from a deep well of reflection as I travelled throughout these islands, up through the layers of collective memory and loss; industrial decomposition and natural renewal; painful enslaved extraction and fecund yield.
#ARTladiesCurated by a guest curator
South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to petition against the proposed changes to the pass laws. The women left 14,000 petitions at the office doors of prime minister J.G. Strijdom. The women stood silently for 30 minutes and then started singing a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” which means “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”. An inspiring display of political strength and female solidarity, the march is a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa. As a tribute to these brave women, Berman Contemporary has invited a group of female artists to showcase their work.
Earth, Wind and FireCurated by Els van Mourik
Chrisél Attewell worked together with French artist Barabara Schroeder on a collaborative body of work during their 4 week stay at the Entabeni Artist Residency in Knysna during August 2019. The interesting pairing of these two artists continues with the exhibition Earth, Wind and Fire.
Chrisél Attewell works in multiple mediums, including experimental printmaking, sculpting, painting and installation. Her work often explores different ways in which energies, moments, memories and histories can be captured, documented and preserved.