170 Buitengracht Street
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Gallery MOMO is a world renowned contemporary art gallery situated in the suburb of Parktown North, Johannesburg. The gallery was founded in 2002.
Artists exhibiting at the gallery have been at the forefront of the local and international art world. These artists, through their respective genres, keep pushing the boundaries of local and international markets. The gallery continues to support local and international young-and-upcoming talent through its renowned residency program. This program allows artists to exchange ideas and engage with the new environment.
Apart from the gallery space in Johannesburg, MOMO recently opened an exhibition space in Cape Town. Aside from its acclaimed exhibitions in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, Gallery MOMO also pursues its international presence by participating in local and international art fairs. Artists presented with Gallery MOMO constantly feature in international biennales such as Venice Biennale, Beijing Biennale, Havana Biennale, Lyon Biennale and many more.
Gallery MOMO is proud to present a group exhibition featuring George Pemba, Dumile Feni, George Hallett, and Leonard Matsoso. Each of these artists has been labelled a “master” in his own regard. But what makes a master’s work? Is it the craftsman’s skill?Is it the political moment surrounding the oeuvre? Must it be avant-garde, socially and formally? Must it be made at the height of an artist’s successful career, or does mastery spawn from suffering?
Is the cultural significance of a work determined by the public, or by galleries, museums, and auction houses? If the space between an object and an art object is difficult to determine, the space between an artist and a historically significant artist is all the more elusive.
The works in this show meet at a unique nexus of past and present. On the one hand, they are archival documents. The works of Dumile or Pemba belong to a specific histori-cal context. Their works and biographies speak to issues of oppression, censorship, destitution, and exile in the context of the apartheid regime. On the other hand, the im- ages and messages in these works continue to resonate with contemporary audiences.Not only do they speak to broader issues of representation, corporeality, materiality, and aesthetics, but these works shed light on social and political conditions that might not look so distant from the so-called past.
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