SOLO Investec Cape Town Art Fair – curated solo presentations

By MapMyWay
7 January 2020

SOLO, Investec Cape Town Art Fair
SOLO spotlights the Politicisation of Space in Contemporary Art

SOLO, at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, will once again feature works by a number of emerging and established artists from around the world, in the section of the Fair, which offers a more in-depth view of varied artistic practices from a wide cross section of contexts – in the form of curated solo presentations.

In its third iteration, the section will focus on the notion of space and how it presents itself thematically in artworks; through an amalgamation of mediums and concepts that tie into each other with the themes ranging from the representation of the black body and its movement to issues of exile, migration, mythologies and leisure.

Through this focus, SOLO aims to encourage Fair audiences to take note of the power relations that help to shape the boundaries of spaces and what is possible within them and who may enter, with which identities, discourses and interests.

Presented in the section are mixed media works from a varied selection of artists with different aesthetics and contexts, at differing stages in their careers, each with a unique perspective on the issue of space and how its politicisation appears in artistic practice.

2020’s edition of SOLO at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair will include presentations by 

  • Teresa Kutala Firmino (see image above),
  • Sungi Mlengeya,
  • Kemang wa Lehulere,
  • Alexandra Karakashian,
  • Nina Holmes,
  • Kirsten Beets and
  • Riley Holloway.

See below for information about these artists.

This will be the eighth edition of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, and the third iteration of SOLO.

Investec Cape Town Art Fair

WHERE: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)  1 Lower Long Street, Cape Town

WHEN: 14 – 16 February 2020

PHOTO: Teresa Kutala Firmino, Buffalo Town Hall 2 (detail). Image courtesy of Teresa Kutala Firmino and Everard Read.

  • Teresa Kutala Firmino, South Africa | Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Franschhoek, London

Teresa Kutala Firmino was born in 1993 in Pomfret, a former military camp in the North West
province of South Africa. She is a multimedia artist, now based in Johannesburg, working with paint,
photography and performance. She is part of a collective called Kutala Chopeto, which started as an
investigation into their shared history which is linked to the 32 Battalion, the soldiers who were
settled in Pomfret in the North West Province after the Border War. Their work addresses issues of
identity, heritage and history associated with their family’s migration. Similar to her work in the
collective, she takes different stories that are derived from the Pomfret community, and
restructures, rewrites and re-imagines them in different art forms. For her Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020 presentation, her work will explore the multiplicity of histories and the fact that history is never objective but always constructed, she achieves this by dramatising black collaged bodies on what appears to be theatrical stages. This staging, of history and bodies further attests to the staging and construction of histories Firmino refers to.

  • Kemang wa Lehulere, South Africa | Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Wa Lehulere was among the artists featured in the 58th Venice Biennale titled May You Live in Interesting times (2019) and a presentation of Kemang Wa Lehulere’s installation I cut my skin to liberate the splinter was recently shown at Tate Modern, London. In 2017 Kemang Wa Lehulere was named Deutsche Bank’s ‘Artist of the Year’, the recipient of the fourth Malcolm McLaren Award and was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize. Wa Lehulere was the winner of the inaugural Spier Contemporary Award in 2007, the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2010, and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2012; he was one of two young artists awarded the 15th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel in 2013, won the first International Tiberius Art Award Dresden in 2014 and was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts in 2015. Kemang’s presentation will consist of new works on paper and smaller scale sculptural configurations continuing his investigation of broad socio-political references, drawing from both his familial experience and research. These sculptures use materials embedded with rich pedagogical associations – chalkboards, salvaged school desks – alongside objects that relate more specifically to a particular pre-1994 South African history – porcelain dog sculptures and tyres.

  • Sungi Mlengeya, Tanzania | Afriart Gallery, Kampala

Sungi is a Tanzanian-born multi-passionate artist and painter. Being among the few emerging female
artists in her country, her path has a great influence on many future creatives. Only recently
embarking on a full-time art career, her work is already recognized and appreciated by art critics and
broader audiences within the country and beyond. Sungi offers portraits of black people adorning white clothing, and superimposed against a white background which emphasizes the subjects and the roles of mothers, carers and educators that Mlengeya calls attention to.

  • Nina Holmes, South Africa | Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town

Nina Holmes is a Cape Town-based artist and has been featured in many group shows in and around
Cape Town. Her body of work is complex and challenging in ways that extend beyond the
comfortable colours, light and techniques of the impressionist-esque visuals. The work pushes the
viewer to look further, to look through the pleasantries and floral motifs that are richly available in
Nina’s plush and sumptuous palette, and to think further about what surrounds us in our daily lives,
to recognize what is presented right before our eyes.

  • Kirsten Beets, South Africa | Salon Ninety One, Cape Town

Kirsteen Beets paints our contemporary Eden. Her paintings inhabit a place somewhere between the
real and imagined, a painted mythology that explores ethical realities. She is continually looking at
the shifting relationship between people at leisure and the natural world. She isolates the moments
of these interactions, sometimes as immersive images other times as curious objects suspended in
the picture plane. Snapshots of our curious human interactions with natural environments are all
rendered in delicate detail. Her exhibitions are complex collections of observations and imaginary
musings made manifest in oil paint on paper, board and linen. Her carefully considered compositions
tell a subtle story of serenity and loss, leisure and decay, stasis and transience.

  • Riley Holloway, USA | Lars Kristian Bode, Hamburg

Riley Holloway (1989) lives and works in Dallas, US. Holloway is best known for his dynamic work
and fresh look at figurative art. His images are often accompanied by text and other personal
references embedded within the work. Holloway uses a bold painterly technique to create depth
within the portraits. There is a softness he translates accompanied with his wild markings. This is
seen with his utilization of charcoal and hand drawing, in conjunction with his ability to control and
manipulate oils in a traditional process. There is also a wonderful counterbalance of roughness and
masculinity seen in the works. This is accomplished with his utilization of the unfinished aspects of
the image and the rawness and utilitarian nature of many of the panels, gessos and nails he works
upon. Riley Holloway’s aesthetics create familiar spaces that are rich in storytelling, free from
constraints, and true to his subjects. Holloway’s technique is undeniable and his content is rich in
both drama, history and intimacy

  • Alexandra Karakashian, South Africa | SMAC, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch

Karakashian obtained her Bachelor of Art in Fine Art degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the
University of Cape Town in 2011. On graduation, she was awarded both the Judy Steinberg Painting
Prize and the Simon Gerson Distinction Award. She went on to graduate with a Masters degree in
Fine Art from the same institution in 2015. Karakashian was an artist in residence at Capo d’Arte in
Gagliano del Capo, Italy in 2016. The residency culminated in a solo presentation, self-titled
Alexandra Karakashian, at the Villa Medici in Gagliano del Capo.