Goodman Gallery presents a group exhibition simply titled Winter Show, featuring a range of local and international art luminaries. Traveling from Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, the show presents recent works by Goodman stalwarts such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa and Mikhael Subotzky, as well as revealing a shift in the Gallery’s approach, showcasing work from around the African continent and beyond that is both explicitly and implicitly concerned with the synergies and tensions that exist between Africa and the rest of the globe. Some of the participating international artists, such as Ghada Amer, are not only being showcased, but are now officially represented by the Goodman Gallery.
The Winter Show will elaborate on the thorny notion of the politics of representation, which Brenda Atkinson and Candice Breitz confronted in their 1999 collection of essays Grey Areas: Representation, Identity and Politics in Contemporary South African Art. The book was a direct response to the critique of Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who was the creative director of the Second Johannesburg Biennial in 1997. At the time, Enwezor interrogated the practice of artists such as Breitz, Minnette Vári and Penny Siopis, considering in great depth the question of ‘who has the right to represent whom?’. Now, over a decade later, accusations of misrepresentation have been revisited and reconsidered, not only by Enwezor himself and those whose essays were included in Grey Areas, but by the art community at large. The Winter Show augments the dialogue, bringing new voices into the conversation.
Compelling features of the Winter Show include one of artist, Kara Walker’s 2009 films – which are based on narratives from the archives of a bureau established in 1865 to assist African Americans with the transition from slavery to freedom – featuring the artist’s signature black-silhouette cut-out figures, which almost impossibly convey the complexities of race, gender, sexuality and power in their stilted and evocative movements. William Kentridge will present a new drawing produced this year, a large scale tapestry, as well as a maquette of the structure World on its Hind Legs, created in collaboration with Gerhard Marx.
With Goodman Gallery firmly established as a world-class contemporary art institution, the Winter Show will reveal the gallery’s commitment – not only to representing artists of the highest caliber, but to bringing an innovative programme of relevant and compelling international works to South Africa, offering audiences exposure to some of the best contemporary work being produced, both locally and abroad.