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Friday, October 15, 2021


Krone X Whatiftheworld gallery in Tulbagh presents 40 under 40 a hotbed of discourse and delight, featuring 40 progressive artists under the age of 40.

Participating artists hail from across the African continent. Of the 40 artists selected, five hail from South Africa’s sub-tropical province and the strong KwaZulu-Natal contingent is of particular interest.

The vibrant work on show denotes the bright multiculturalism of KZN with its melange of surfer culture, Hindu and Zulu influences. This makes its presence felt in bold palates and assured brush strokes as evident in the work of Kylie Wentzel, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Dada Khanyisa, Mia Chaplin and Callan Grecia.

Rickshaw Cowboy, a large acrylic painting on canvas by 28-year-old Wentzel, is inspired by Durban’s unique iconography and inhabitants. Like the rest of Wentzel’s work - where you might expect to see fish sold out of booze bottles, taxis blasting gqom, public showers filled with all manner of beaching bodies - this piece typifies the idiosyncrasy and verve of eThekwini.

Based in Bothas Hill, 30-year-old Luthuli is a respected international artist whose work is held in major public and private collections. He primarily produces wooden reliefs and woodcut prints that are notable for their meticulously hand-carved patterns, resulting in imagery which reverberates with an almost supernatural energy.

Khanyisa is also a 30-year-old artist, this time from UMzimkhulu, whose work has been exhibited anywhere from the USA’s Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC to the Sfeir-Semler in Hamburg, Germany. Through painting, drawing and sculpture, Khanyisa pictures people engaged in various conversations, flirtations, tensions and pretensions as played out in clubs, bars, cafes and homes.

Chaplin has held solo exhibitions in South Africa and The Netherlands and has completed residencies at the Cite Internationale Des Artes in Paris, and Nirox Foundation in Johannesburg. Lost Woman, her oil on mixed-media sculpture, is part of a continuum; Chaplin’s practice is both guided and plagued by constructed femininity. She creates a narrative of womanhood and femininity that is complex – it is all at once ugly, violent, comforting and containing.

Durban-born Callan Grecia has exhibited as part of Paris Fashion Week and his work is held in the public collection of the Durban Art Gallery. His experimental, almost playful, approach to painting combines figures, still lives and geometric abstractions. By pairing these modernist techniques with pop culture and classical canonical references, Grecia fashions scenes that seem mythological yet familiar, creating a hybrid world where the history of art collides with a futuristic fantasy. His daring and exciting acrylic painting on paper Blue Lagoon Box Shape Romance speaks of symbolism, sex and souped-up cars at the legendary Durban riverside park-picnic-and-party spot on the Umgeni, known as the Blue Lagoon.

The exhibition runs until February 28, 2022, at the historic Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate, the home of Krone Cap Classique, in Tulbagh in the Cape.

Entrance to the exhibition itself is free. Viewing hours: Monday to Saturday, from 10h00 to 16h00

There will be guided public walkabouts on November 6 and December 4, 2021, and on January 15 and February 5, 2022. Pre-booking for the walkabouts is advised. Book via email:

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