Corner Simmonds and Frederick streets
Monday - Friday
8:00 - 16:30
9:00 - 13:00
Sundays and Public Holidays
Since it opened in 1990, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg has become one of the top fine art venues in South Africa. Operated on a non-commercial basis, over the years the gallery has hosted the cream of the crop of the local and international art scene, showcasing the work of leading contemporary artists such as William Kentridge and Penny Siopis, as well as old South African masters like JH Pierneef and Gerard Sekoto.
The gallery has also hosted retrospective exhibitions of the finest works by major European artists such as the record breaking Picasso and Africa exhibition in 2006, a Marc Chagall exhibition in 2000 and a major exhibition of works by Matisse in 2016 . The Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award winner’s exhibition presents the work of the winner of this prestigious prize and takes place annually. Previous winners have included William Kentridge and Jane Alexander.
In addition to the main exhibition programme, the gallery also runs exhibitions that show off Standard Bank’s collection of historically significant African and South African arts and crafts, including cultural items such as figurines, drums, masks, clothing and ritual objects, as well as beadwork, textiles and valuable ceramic pieces.
The Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg presents The Safest Place is the Knife’s Edge, the first retrospective exhibition in 35 years showing the works of the artist Christo Coetzee (1929 – 2000). Curated by Wilhelm van Rensburg and Shoni Netshia, the exhibition aims to revive and restate Coetzee as one of South Africa’s modern art masters.
Coetzee was not only a leading exponent of abstract expressionism in South Africa and Europe during the 1950s and 60s, he was also a key member of international art movements like the radical Gutai Group in Japan where he worked from 1959 to 1960 and the Assemblage Art in New York during the early-1960s. He was the first South African artist to exhibit at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as part of the seminal exhibition, The Art of Assemblage in 1961 alongside Pablo Picasso.
It was in 1975 that Coetzee performed a spectacular slashing of his paintings in Cape Town a day after the opening of an exhibition of his work at the South African Art Association. The intervention sent shockwaves through the artworld that reverberate to this day. It was one of many bold and seemingly outrageous creative interventions he made throughout his long career. Coetzee explained the dramatic slashing incident as “a Gutai act’’ – similar to some of the performances by a movement of post WWII avant-garde Japanese artists, the Gutai Art Association.
Coetzee left South Africa in 1951 after graduating from Wits University where he was one of the WITS Group. He died later in the year 2000.
The Safest Place is the Knife’s Edge, a retrospective exhibition by Christo Coetzee (1929 – 2000) is at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg from 5 October - 1 December 2018. Follow us on our social media for more information on this and future exhibitions;
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