New reflections on (slightly) old art
Stevenson Art Gallery celebrates in wide-ranging group exhibition, writes Melvyn Minnaar
As new and big money tightened its grip on the art world over the past two decades — squeezing expertise from traditional institutions such as museums and consigning products to the currency of status — the nature of art history shifted. Two exhibitions celebrating local art gallery Stevenson’s 15 years in the business put an awkward spotlight on that shift. Under the typical post-modernist title "Both, and," it is a wide-ranging one-group show in two locations, Cape Town and Johannesburg. The oddly enigmatic title suggests dynamic questions about art history and how a contemporary art business responds to and reflects it, say Sisipho Ngodwana and Alexander Richards — the curators and recently appointed directors of the art dealership. With the intent to visually illustrate the gallery’s history since its founding in 2003 and demonstrate its present perspective, the shows comprise "new and existing works by current gallery artists, by old friends and by new acquaintances".