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What Time Hides Forever in Plain Sight: The Timeliness of Adrian Fortuin

ARTHROB, February 2024

"Fortuin cites Armitage as an influence, among many other painters including David Koloane, Edvard Munch, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Francisco Goya; With an Eye to Their Later Existence as Ruins (2024) is a remix of Goya’s Witches’ Flight (1798). Fortuin’s abundance of guest features and painterly samples confirms Gilles Deleuze’s proposition that “Every Painter Recapulates the History of Painting in His or Her Own Way”, expressed as a chapter title to his 1981 book, ‘Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation.’ But it is what he does with this cast of inspirations, that is interesting. For one, he approaches his source material with an awareness of and curiosity about his positioning. He described for instance, the awe of hearing the Korana language (an endangered Khoe language) for the first time in the Anthony Traill Khoisan collection at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits): Historical Papers Research Archive, and the profundity of experiencing this linguistic heritage while trying to learn more about his indigenous roots, an experience that is inaccessible to many who are unable to as easily explore their own heritage. In Korana, the word for moon and month is the same, a discovery that has influenced his approach to languaging the world in an attempt to translate that aural experience into visual language. Recurring symbols through his paintings – birds, stars, skulls – suggest that he is on track to codifying this language. "

The Investec Art Fair is gaining momentum

Le Quotindien, February 2024

“The number of international visitors increases from year to year, testifies Julie J. Taylor, gallery founder Guns & Rain, born in Johannesburg in 2014. The local scene is quite restricted and the economic situation is tense in South Africa. The local collectors have less means and are more reserved facing big expenses. For the international buyers, it is the opposite: the price of the rand is very low, and we offer good opportunities in the sense that it is still possible here to buy quality art at a low price.” On his stand, several paintings with bright colors of the young South African painter Adrian Fortuin (between 500 and 3,000 euros) found a buyer from European collectors. With 30,000 visitors, 70% of whom are locals and 30% international, the fair is breaking records this year and following the curve of its expansion – 1,200 m2 of additional exhibition space and around fifteen new galleries for a total of 115 exhibitors. A growth exponential when it brought together, ten years ago, around ten galleries and a heart of local collectors who met there as if among friends."

Plantation Inheritances: Zenaéca Singh in ‘US’

ARTHROB, July 2023

"The artist’s detailed paintings, achieved through molasses, utilise another painstaking method, one that evinces Singh’s dedication to thinking through and with her material. This careful exploration inadvertently links to the sugar plantation and its history of slave labour. A model perfected in the Caribbean, most notably in Jamaica and Saint Domingue (now Haiti), the sugar plantation was a site of a methodical labour management, in which the slave’s body was yielded as an industrial machine. It operated in service of an agricultural project that was particularly sensitive and exacting: sugar cane had to be tended to throughout the year, and the time between harvesting and milling was kept to a minimum, as harvested cane is quick to spoil"

(BE)LONGING

NATAAL, February 2024

"South Africa embodies a maelstrom of different identities and narratives: disparate yet interconnected, divided and liberated, a nostalgia that celebrates and mourns. Through archival photographs and experimental mediums, Cape Town-based artists Zenaéca Singh and Alka Dass are exploring South African Indian history, uncovering sentiments of identity, migration and belonging. Singh is currently completing an MFA at Michaelis School of Fine Art while Dass studied at Durban University of Technology and recently opened a solo at Church Projects. As a media partner for Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF), we got the opportunity to sit down with these two participating artists to delve into the intersections of their practices and how they document their heritage in contemporary ways. "

ZENAÉCA SINGH PAINTS A BITTER HISTORY WITH SUGAR & MOLASSES

CRUSH MAG, February 2024

"Before the moment it’s planted, produced or procured, food tells a story. The sugar in your tea, the molasses in your syrup, and the hands that once cultivated the crops they’re made from – they all tell a story. Ahead of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, we shine the spotlight on artists who explore the connection between food and art. “To understand her sense of belonging and freedom,” visual artist, Zenaéca Singh, revisits the bitter history of indentured Indians – who were brought to South Africa to establish the sugar economy in 1860 – by painting and sculpting with sugar."

Warrior Woman: Zenaéca Singh (The Art Of Using Sugar In Artwork To Explore Indentured Labour In The Sugar Plantations)

Leigh-Anne Williams breakfast show on Good Hope FM, January 2024

"Zenaéca Singh, an artist from Cape Town, uses her art to explore the complex history of the sugar economy in South Africa. She chats to Leigh-Anne Williams on Warrior Woman to explain how she uses sugar in her artwork with materials made from molasses, sugar paste, panes crystallised sugar and resin, to addresses the histories of indentured labour in the sugar plantations of KwaZulu Natal, as well as her own family’s roots in the Indian population brought to South Africa to fulfil this role."

The Best Booths at 2023 Edition of London’s 1-54 Fair

ARTnews, October 2023

For his first London exhibition, Raymond Fuyana has a captivating series of paintings that take us on a surreal journey of discovery from the canals of Venice, to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, to the Statue of Liberty, and to the diamond mines of Kimberley, where Cecil Rhodes and his De Beers corporation mined.

Botswana-Based Artist Thebe Phetogo Paints with Shoe Polish to Subvert the History of Blackface

Art in America, July 2023

"In Thebe Phetogo’s paintings, acid-green backdrops offset spectral black figures that become all the more unsettling once you find out what they are made of: Phetogo renders them partially with shoe polish, the material once used by actors to put on blackface. Phetogo says it’s that shoe polish that makes his figures “come out a certain way” and guides the disarming, disquieting beauty of his work. At the heart of this is a question: what does it mean to place blackness on a figure?"

Tuli Mekondjo at House of World Cultures

tagesspiege, June 2023

"The artist Tuli Mekondjo, who lives in Berlin and Windhoek, Namibia, is also showing a commissioned work for the reopening of the HKW. She dabbles in fertility dolls, a lost tradition in her community. Truong Cong Tung from Vietnam finds a connection to nature and spirituality in a very different way. His "Blind Map" is six meters long and one meter fifty wide, hanging from the ceiling, a termite-eaten canvas. You can't help but see the aesthetic quality in it, a mysterious writing like on old punched tape, which of course eludes any attempt at deciphering".