The Easel

25th June 2024

Once banned for his work, anti-apartheid activist highlights role of politics in art

South Africa has produced many distinguished photographers, but fewer painters. Jantjes is one of the latter whose major retrospective details decades of activism through art. The above writer thinks the work “terrific” with its urgent testimony about apartheid. Another writer sees it differently. Jantjes’ confrontational screenprints are “incredible” but his paintings are “just not great. Maybe anger can only fuel you for so long before you need to put down the weapon and treat art as … a soothing balm”.

18th June 2024

Zanele Muholi at Tate Modern review: delightful but devastating show by one of today’s supreme photographic artists

Muholi’s photography show was cut short in 2020 by Covid 19. Now returned, it amply justifies the writer’s comment that they are “one of the supreme purveyors of photographic art today”. They have recently branched into bronze sculpture, not with complete success. Their photography, which focuses on Black queer life in South Africa “by turns delightful and devastating, is one of the greatest exercises in self-portraiture of this, or any, age.” Wow!