Norval Foundation is one of Cape Town’s premier art destinations, situated in Cape Town’s lesser-trodden southern suburbs, away from the tourist-ridden CBD and V&A Waterfront. This quiet location gives the museum a contemplative feel, which – coupled with its exquisite setting in a view-drenched sculpture garden, with panoramas of mountains, fynbos and vineyards – certainly sets it apart.
Current exhibitions at Norval Foundation
The enchanting sculpture garden sets the tone upon arrival. Then, it’s time to venture within the impressive glass-panelled building to witness an impressive array of exhibitions.
Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture by William Kentridge
Opening 24 August 2019
On display until 23 March 2020
A collaboration with internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge – whose creations have graced MoMA in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen – this exhibition features a body of work spanning two decades, and is all the more significant for being the first in the world to focus on Kentridge’s output as a sculptor, as opposed to the animated drawings for which he is well known.
According to Kentridge, much of his earlier work was inspired by silhouettes or shadows, which he describes as “immaterial, simply an absence of light, a blockage of the light.” And he adds: “These are the sculptures of a draftsman rather than a pure sculptor.”
Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture at Norval Foundation coincides with Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings To Work at Zeitz MOCAA Museum, which features Kentridge’s work in drawing, stop-frame animation, video, prints, sculpture, tapestry, and large-scale installation.
Trade Winds by Yinka Shonibare CBE
On display until 23 September 2019
The exhibition comprises a number of artworks made from Dutch Wax fabric, which was mass-produced in the Netherlands during the 19th century, using wax-resistant dying techniques that originated on the Indonesian island of Java (where they were co-opted by Dutch colonists).
The material was exported to West Africa and, following decolonisation in the 1960s, was used to produce the colourful cotton clothing that now forms an iconic element of African identity.
The intricate journey of Dutch Wax fabric, from Indonesia to the Netherlands to Africa, is told by Yinka Shonibare’s exhibition
On the Mines by David Goldblatt
On display until 11 August 2019
A collection of 80 photographs dedicated to South Africa’s gold mines and the communities that grew around them, this is the last exhibition that Goldblatt was personally involved in before his death in 2018. It includes individuals who worked in the mine shafts, as well as those who reaped the benefits.
The Sculpture Garden & Skotnes
Surrounded by wetlands and mountains, the sculpture garden is easily accessed from the galleries, forming an immersive, omnipresent art experience.
And then there’s Skotnes Restaurant and Bar, Norval Foundation’s restaurant, where visitors can enjoy a meal before or after touring the galleries. Bring the children, as there’s a playground to keep them occupied.
Good to know
- Admission to the Norval Foundation Art Museum is free on the First Thursday of every month.
- Daily free tours take place at 2pm (meet at the donation box), and can accommodate a maximum of 25 people. Report to reception on the day to reserve your place.
- Private tours can be booked through firstname.lastname@example.org.