BY BILLY SUTER
DURBAN’S KZNSA Gallery will be represented by three local artists at the first edition of the Latitudes Art Fair at Johannesburg’s Nelson Mandela Square from September 13 to 15.
The gallery’s presentation will include the works of Sthenjwa Luthuli, Cameron Platter and Derrick Nxumalo. These will appear alongside works by other artists from South Africa, as well as artists from Uganda, Spain, Angola, Norway, America, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Germany.
A spokesman for the KZNSA says the Latitudes programme is curated to present the work of emerging artists predominantly from Africa and its diaspora “with the aim of creating a richer global understanding of African cultural production”.
“With the aim of the fair in mind we present three artists in different stages of their careers, all working with distinctive mediums, an articulated use of colour and an intensity that speaks to the vibrancy of the city in which they live – Durban.
“That intensity is carried through in the laborious art-making process each artist is compelled to use, whether it be relentless pencil marks, wood carving with utter precision or the painstaking use of ballpoint mark making.”
Sthenjwa Luthuli, born in 1991 in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal. He joined Durban’s BAT Centre in 2010. Following on from this he was selected to be a part of the Velobala Mentorship Programme and was mentored by fellow local artist, Themba Shibase.
Since 2011 he has participated in several group exhibitions in KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and in Bremen, Germany, where he painted a mural in the Concordia Tunnel. Luthuli reflects on spiritual and ancestral identity portraying figures that dance, fly and wrestle in the space.
In 2017 Luthuli was placed runner-up in the Sasol New Signatures competition. He was also selected to take part in a three-month residency in Germany, and had work acquired by the National Art Bank. In early 2019 he was part of a group exhibition at KZNSA, Ikhono LaseNatali: a body of work commissioned by internationally acclaimed visual activist, Professor Zanele Muholi.
Luthuli has been selected as one of five artists at the upcoming fair to participate in a special programme, Latitudes Limited, which includes his work being used to promote the fair on all social media platforms, street banners, an Aston Martin car-wrap and a limited edition of prints for VIP packages.
Derrick Nxumalo was born in 1962 in Dumisa, KwaZulu-Natal. He is a self-taught artist with an exploratory approach to his technique and subject matter. He creates obsessively detailed, graphic representations of land/cityscapes.
Nxumalo says that each artwork has its own pattern, in which details of vegetation and architecture are deployed with an understanding of perspective and colour.
A former gardener, miner and waiter, he added politics to his resume in 2003, when he was elected as a councillor for the district of Dududu in KwaZulu-Natal.
Nxumalo’s work is held in numerous collections, including Anglo Vaal Corporation, South African Breweries, The Durban Art Gallery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of Witwatersrand. He has participated in exhibitions in South Africa and abroad – the most recent being Our Africa Dreams, KZNSA Gallery, Durban, 2017.
Born in Johannesburg in 1978, Cameron Platter completed his BFA at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, in 2001. His work filters – through his own idiosyncrasy – the enormous amount of information available today.
Blurring the distinction between high and low, his eclectic and multi-disciplinary approach to art making, typically draws from a range of quotidian, unorthodox, disparate, and often over-looked sources.
Platter’s work has been exhibited at MoMA (NY), SFMoMA, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Le Biennale de Dakar (Senegal), and the South African National Gallery. He represented South Africa at the 55th Venice Biennale. His work is in the permanent collection of MoMA, New York.
His most recent solo exhibition at the KZNSA Gallery, GALAXY AS0-730223NMJ-ZSDSSS, took place in 2018.
Tickets for the Latitudes Art Fair at Johannesburg are: Day pass – R120 online, R150 at the door; Weekend pass: R250 online, R300 at the door. Children aged 12 and under enter free.