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A Black Aesthetic: A view of South African Artists Exhibition Review

The exhibition A Black Aesthetic: A view of South African Artists (1970 - 1990) is a collection of 200 artworks reflecting the black condition and Dr Same astutely separates the artists by their different styles and mediums allowing for clear divisions between artists.



She creates a dialogue between the artists through their subject, style, materiality and places them objectively against other artists.


The visual contrast between the artists creates clear divisions.




Dr Same Mdluli connects backgrounds and elaborates on their other professions, bringing a larger context and understanding of how to place many of these less well known South African Artists.


She captures how scattered the narrative is and how their is conversation between Western and African influences in a dual conversation with examples of Cubism, Surrealism and advanced techniques of linocuts, etching and water colouring.



It must be noted that there are only two female artists included which could be developed and built upon.


I particularly loved the works revolving around theology in Africa. Artists that personally stood out for me included Dumile Feni and his work Africa Guernica inspired by Pablo Picasso’s work Guernica. Further Daniel “Dan” Sefudi Rakgaothe’s collection of works.



The most thought provoking term I found in the walk about was questioning the black condition within the black experience.


This showcases a large collection of artists who should be far more well known and reflects the rich diversity within Black South African’s Artists during the 90s.


This exhibition is on show for two more weeks at the Standard Art Gallery in Johannesburg.

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