Norval Foundation Celebrates Reopening with First Solo Exhibition by Georgina Gratrix


As the second wave subsides a new window opens on the arts

As restrictions finally lift, visitors are once again invited to immerse themselves in the arts while social distancing in the spacious Norval Foundation galleries and sprawling Sculpture Gardens. In line with current health and safety regulations, Norval Foundation presents The Reunion: Georgina Gratrix, the South African artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum, on view from Saturday, 13 February 2021 to Monday, 31 May 2021. Curated by Guest Curator Liese van der Watt, The Reunion brings together 25 major artworks by Gratrix, completed between 2011 and 2020, and draws upon the holdings of the Homestead Collection, based at Norval Foundation, as well as loans from private lenders.

Georgina Gratrix (born Mexico, 1982) is known for paintings that feature expressive, impasto brushwork and humorous yet uncomfortable distortions of figures, objects and landscapes filtered through a colour saturated aesthetic. Portraits of family and friends, as well as artworld insiders and popular culture icons, appear alongside oversized still life paintings of impossibly exuberant bouquets and, to a lesser extent, verdant landscapes recalling the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where the artist grew up.

Norval Foundation is delighted to have collaborated with Guest Curator Dr. Liese van der Watt on The Reunion. Van der Watt’s understanding of South African art history is complimented by an awareness of global developments in the discipline, making her ideally positioned to reflect critically on Gratrix’s practice. Van der Watt taught art history at the University of Cape Town before moving to London, UK in 2007. She has published widely on contemporary art from Africa in peer reviewed journals and books, visual art publications and online forums. This collaboration reaffirms Norval Foundation’s aim to be a platform where cultural practitioners with different understandings and backgrounds can interpret the cultural practices of the present and recent past.

In light of the ongoing health crisis, an online public programme will accompany the exhibition over the course of its presentation with conversations and presentations taking place on digital platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Zoom.

Only 20 people will be allowed into Gallery 1 at a time, where The Reunion will be on view. For the exhibition’s opening weekend, Saturday, 13 February and Sunday, 14 February 2021, visitors will be required to book timed slots—either in advance, on Norval Foundation’s website, or at the front desk.

Should government advice and wider health conditions change over the course of the exhibition, this decision will be reconsidered. Please check our website for more information.The Reunion will be accompanied by a catalogue edited by Chief Curator Owen Martin and Curator Khanya Mashabela, with a text by Van der Watt and an interview with the artist by Mashabela.

The Reunion appears alongside Alt and Omega: Jackson Hlungwani and iiNyanga Zonyaka: Athi-Patra Ruga.

Norval Foundation is open Mondays to Sundays 10am – 5:30pm, closed on Tuesdays. Last admission 30 minutes before closing.


4 Steenberg Road
Cape Town