SPOT OF 2012 ART

21 December 2012 - 02:00 By Jackie May

Thanks to Brett Murray's painting, The Spear , art entered the mainstream.

BRETT MURRAY

Thanks to Brett Murray's painting, The Spear , art entered the mainstream.

After the May opening of Murray's controversial Hail to the Thief II exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, the ANC said it was ''disturbed and distressed" by the controversial portrait of Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. There were racial, cultural and generational divides, and a closer look at our society.

AUCTIONS

Art continues to fetch astronomical prices on international auctions and local artists are selling well. Last month, Mark Rothko's No 1 (Royal Red and Blue) fetched $75-million at Sotheby's and Claude Monet's Nymphéas fetched $43-million at Christie's in New York. Here, Irma Stern's painting of an Omani Arab man was auctioned for R17.2- million , the second-highest price paid for a painting sold on a local auction , says Sotheby's.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR

Piet Viljoen, executive chairman of asset manager RE:CM, said in September: ''I strongly recommend that we all go out and buy as much art as we can afford. Buying art has tremendous positive social benefits."

THEFT

This year, at least 12 artworks were stolen from local galleries. I n November, the Pretoria Art Museum lost five paintings worth over R17.5-million. Four were found.

MARY SIBANDE

Sibande, 30, won the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist award with her massive images of a maid in a blue Victorian dress.

VENICE BIENNALE

South Africa's participation in the 2011 Venice Biennale was mired in controversy. But the good news is that Department of Arts and Culture director-general Sibusiso Xaba has confirmed South Africa will exhibit in Venice next year.

PIETER HUGO

In collaboration with the FNB Joburg Art Fair, Pirelli commissioned Hugo to explore the notion of natural beauty. Hugo photographed ordinary people, completely overturning the stereotypical Pirelli calendar shoot.

FNB JOBURG ART FAIR

Ross Douglas and his team at ArtLogic curated nine special art projects and selected 24 galleries from the continent . Kudzanai Chiurai won the FNB Art prize.

21 YEARS

The Bag Factory in Fordsburg and the Artist's Proof Studio in Newtown hosted exhibitions to celebrate 21 years since opening.

A 2012 FAVOURITE

The National Portrait Gallery in London last month unveiled a portrait of the late British singer Amy Winehouse by South African-born artist Marlene Dumas.

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