Art In Memory of Mandela

Poignant Art Exhibition Honoring Mandela Opens on Anniversary of His Death

Posted By Melanie Nathan, Dec 05, 2014.

Richard Stone and his Mandela portrait
Richard Stone and his Mandela portrait

On the one-year anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death, an exhibition curated by Natalie Knight featuring works created after Mandela’s passing on 5 December 2013, will be launched at Stephan Welz & Co. in Johannesburg. We Love Mandela: In Memoriam will be shown in The Studio, the auction house’s special exhibition space opened earlier this year in Nelson Mandela Square, and will be open for public viewing 5 December 2014 – 11 January 2015.

Amongst the 50 works featured in the exhibition are a series of beaded artworks by Jane Makhubele which document the days of mourning and the funeral, and a Zapiro drawing with comments by US President Barack Obama made during the memorial ceremony. This is the fifth Mandela show curated by Knight, providing an opportunity for collectors to acquire significant art works which will be lasting tributes to Mandela.

“Mandela’s life and deeds have inspired all of the artists represented in the exhibition and they are unanimous in their love and praise for this world leader and iconic personality,” said Knight.”The whole world mourned the loss of our beloved Madiba. These artistic tributes will touch anyone who loved and admired him.”

“While there is a wealth of photographs, sculptures, paintings and other works of art that were created in Mandela’s lifetime, those that were made following his death have special meaning to South Africans and the world,” added Alan Demby, Chairman of Stephan Welz & Co. “Each of these pieces is a reflection of Madiba’s life, work and profound influence, and will form part of the collective body of Mandela art that will keep his memory forever alive,” he said.

The current exhibition We Love Mandela: In Memoriam showcases a collection of art including paintings, sculpture, photography, cartoons, beadwork and prints, Johannes Maswanganyi, , Joachim Schonfeldt, , Alfred Thoba and more.

Highlights include a limited edition print of a sensitive Mandela portrait created by British artist Richard Stone ; a study of the portrait was donated by the artist to charity and was auctioned by Stephan Welz and Co. in February, realizing R1 million. There is a modern version of the Xhosa collar which Mandela wore when he was facing the death sentence, created by jewellery artist Beverly Price, which was recently on show at the Museum of Art and Design in New York as part of the Multiple Exposures show. Cape Town artist John Catlin marks his debut in Johannesburg with three works of Mandela created through layers of Perspex. There are also a number of outstanding photographs, including a rare image by Paul Weinberg taken on April 27, 1994 which captures the moment of Mandela voting for the first time, and an ethereal portrait of Mandela in 2008, taken by Ilan Ossendryver .

Also on exhibit will be a selection of the works from the We Love Mandela: Art Inspired by Madiba show which previewed at the Peacemaker’s Museum on 18 July 2013 to celebrate Mandela’s 95th birthday. The show traveled to South Africa House in London later that year before moving to Cape Town’s V& A Waterfront, where it was viewed by a wide audience. Shortly after Mandela’s death, a version of the show called Mandela Remembered opened at the SA Jewish Museum in Cape Town.

The first of Knight’s Mandela exhibits was Mandela@90, and was displayed at the South African Constitutional Court. Mandela visited the exhibition and expressed his delight at the artworks by inviting some of the artists to visit him in his office. The second show Mandela@ 94 was held at Origins Gallery at Wits University and was opened by Mandela’s lifelong friend and legal counsel Advocate George Bizos, who shared his memories from when he and Mandela studied together at Wits.

The series of travelling We Love Mandela exhibitions has been made possible by Alan Demby, Chairman of Stephan Welz & Co. and Natalie Knight, formerly owner of the Natalie Knight Gallery, Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

The We Love Mandela: In Memoriam Exhibition takes place at the Stephan Welz & Co. Studio, Shop No L 38, Nelson Mandela Square, from Friday 5 December to Sunday 11 January. The studio is open from 10h00 until 18h00 from Mondays to Saturdays and closes at 16h00 on Sundays.

For more information visit http://www.stephanwelzandco.co.za

Follow Stephan Welz & Co. on Twitter @StephanWelzCo or ‘Like’ facebook.com/Stephan-Welz-and-Company-Fine-and-Decorative-Arts-Auctioneers for regular updates
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