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Irma Stern Museum
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Current Exhibitions

Penny Mobsby exhibition

From 8 to 29 June 2019


The artist will give a walkabout on Saturday 22 June at 11am.

Penny Mobsby’s exhibition, titled, Abstractionist, will be held at the UCT Irma Stern Museum from 8-29 June at the UCT Irma Stern Museum, Cecil Road, Rosebank. The artist will give a walkabout on Saturday 22 June at 11am.

The body of work was created whilst living and painting full time, from 2015 until 2017, in Scarborough, a nature reserve in Cape Point. The pulse, land shapes and Cape environment informed the paintings and drawings as an existential mirror.

Automatism and chance open the paintings realities into abstraction in a process of: I do, undo and redo. Push and pull qualities working painterly elements bring tensions, patterns, lines and form structures. The ambiguities of thinking, the ambivalence of emotions and the seeing eye, never betray the paintings in conception and realisation. This connection structures order in the evanescence of disorder.

For me, painting is 'Jacob wrestling with the Angel', wounding, naming and blessing, all take place at once.

From Louise Bourgeois: 'I don't need an interview', Phaidon Folio, August 22 2017. 'Without compassion, there is no work, no life, there is nothing. That is it.'

Gerard Richter describes 'Abstract Expressionism as a kind of meditation on what was once possible, but, which precisely at that moment is no longer useful'. From interview, 'On the Rhetoric of Painting', Benjamin H.D. Buchloh

Tessa Frootko Gordon photography exhibition

Part of two photography exhibitions - 6 April to 4 May (extended to 29 June)

Meditations, Zanzibar

Tessa Frootko Gordon, a Boston based, South African-born photographer will be exhibiting images made on the island of Zanzibar in 2018. “I would not have known of Zanzibar had it not been for the art of Irma Stern,” says Gordon.

She developed an interest in African art and also European and American modernism in her mid- teens. Stern’s work held a particular fascination for its foundation and fluency in German Expressionism yet its sensibility and subject matter were essentially African.

Gordon had Stern’s Zanzibar in mind when visiting the island for the first time in 2018, some fifty years after first seeing her work. She went in search of Irma’s Zanzibar as she discovered her own through photographs of Stone Town and the East Coast.

This work in progress is a homage to Irma Stern and it is appropriately exhibited in Irma’s house, the UCT Irma Stern Museum.

Tipping Point

Threatened plants of southern Africa runs from 6-27 July

An exhibition of botanical art from private collectors and new work by BAASA members, curated by Mary van Blommestein, to be held at UCT Irma Stern Museum from 6-27 July. It features rare and endangered plants on the Red List of South African Plants and aims to encourage engagement in sustainable conservation to ensure their continued survival. A collaborative event with an interactive programme, including walkabouts, workshops for children, and choral music.

Use a touchscreen to discover connections between botanical art and the work undertaken by CREW volunteers.

More than 2 500 plant species are threatened with extinction in South Africa making it one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. In 2003 a sustainable conservation initiative, CREW: Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers, was established under the auspices of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). A partnership between the professional botanists of SANBI, and volunteer citizen scientists from the Botanical Society of South Africa, CREW aims to document and monitor the status of threatened plants and contribute towards the annual updating of the Red List of Southern African Plants. To date, twenty five new species have been discovered whilst others, such as Serruria fuscellata, formerly thought to be extinct, have been re-discovered, propagated and successfully re-introduced into the wild.

Look back in time and get a glimpse of fynbos pollen grains viewed through a microscope from cores of sediment dating to 10 000 years ago.

For an online catalogue of botanical art on sale - goes live on date of opening (6 July).

On Wednesdays a pop-up tearoom will be available from 10.30 am-12.30 pm and walkabouts will be offered at 11 am.

VOX Cape Town, directed by John Woodland, will present a rich bouquet of botanically inspired choral music, including Benjamin Britten’s Five Flower Songs, on 20 and 27 July at 11 am. Tickets: R150 include entry to the museum and a complimentary glass of wine. Bookings:

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21 Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town, South Africa | Tuesday - Friday 10h00 - 17h00 | Saturday 10h00 - 14h00 | Tel: +27(0)21 650 7240/1
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