Two new Irma Stern exhibitions will be up during April and May 2019, by Tessa Frootko Gordon and Kathryn Gordon Bernstein.

Irma Stern Exhibitions

Tessa Frootko Gordon’s photography exhibition is titled Meditations, Zanzibar (pictured left) and will be up from 6 April to 4 May 2019.

Gordon, a Boston based, South African-born photographer will be exhibiting images made on the island of Zanzibar in 2018. “I would not have known of Zanzibar had it not been for the art of Irma Stern,” says Gordon.

She developed an interest in African art and also European and American modernism in her mid- teens. Stern’s work held a particular fascination for its foundation and fluency in German Expressionism but also because it was essentially African.

Gordon had Stern’s Zanzibar in mind when visiting the island for the first time in 2018, some fifty years on. She went in search of Irma’s Zanzibar as she discovered her own through photographs of Stone Town and the East Coast. This work in progress is a homage to Irma Stern and it is appropriately exhibited in Irma’s house, the UCT Irma Stern Museum.

Irma Stern Exhibitions

The Long Street Baths

Kathryn Gordon Bernstein’s photographic exhibition is titled The Long Street Baths (pictured right).

“This is a personal journey steeped in nostalgia yet relevant today,” says Bernstein. “I was an asthmatic child and my father didn’t believe in coddling me, as was the fashion in the 60’s. Instead, he took me swimming. My favourite place to swim was the Long Street Baths. The water, the light and the patterns on the mosaics captivated me, and still do.”

She continues: “The interior is like a cathedral that comes alive as people pass through it all day. Up until 1986 the complex was proclaimed a whites-only area but now it’s a melting pot of different races, cultures, ages and professions. Jewish and Muslim men talking about the olden days give way to children from affluent areas and from the townships, swimming together, their laughter reverberating from the high ceiling.”

What: Irma Stern exhibitions – Tessa Frootko Gordon: Meditations, Zanzibar / Kathryn Gordon Bernstein: The Long Street Baths

Where and when: UCT Irma Stern Museum, Rosebank from 6 April to 4 May 2019

WS