Penny Siopis' Love (2011) included in 'Time and Again: A Retrospective of Penny Siopis' at WAM

Penny Siopis’ Love (2011) included in ‘Time and Again: A Retrospective of Penny Siopis’ at WAM

April – July 2015


Wits Art Museum presents Time and Again, a modified version of her  recent retrospective exhibition of the same title at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.

Working within the genres of painting, video and installation, this innovative artist explores intimate narratives that speak of the convergence of personal and collective history, and the emotions of trauma, shame, love and loss. Whatever the medium (whether oil paint, glue, found objects or time-ravaged home movies) materiality is as important as the subject matter which often comments on historical representations that have shaped South Africans over time. The phrase ‘Time and Again’, draws attention to the cyclical nature of time as reflected in the artist’s subject matter and working process. AlthoughSiopis’ artwork is clearly grounded in the present, both past and future are deeply implicated in its content and physical appearance. The processes of change, decay and ageing (all traces of the passage of time) are integral to her approach of making time tangible through her manipulation of process, chance and materiality.

In addition, the retrospective will reveal the extensive influence the WAM collection has made on the evolution of the artist’s practice. Siopis has a long history with Wits University as a lecturer in the Wits Fine Art Department from 1984 to 2010. She is currently Honorary Professor at Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town. Some of her well known works on the exhibition include ‘Embellishments’, ‘Melancholia’, ‘Patience on a Monument: A History Painting’, ‘Shame’, ‘My Lovely Day’, ‘Obscure White Messenger’, ‘Communion’ and the controversial ‘Pinky Pinky’ series.

A comprehensive book tracing the trajectory of Siopis’ artistic production has been published by Wits University Press, titled ‘Penny Siopis: Time and Again’.  Edited by Gerrit Olivier, the book contains essays and interviews by leading artists, critics and cultural commentators that contextualize this prolific artist’s contribution to South African art history.

For more information visit the WAM website.