Investec Art Fair 2020: Black & White

Investec Art Fair 2020: Black & White

We attended the much anticipated Investec Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this year and were not disappointed. The art on display was enough to blow one’s socks off!

There is just so much to see and take in that one can get quite discombobulated with all the concepts, colours, textures, and creativity bombarding your walk-about. We were there for about 5 hours and we must have walked kilometres to absorb all that was on offer.

Last year I divided the artworks into categories to make it easier to consume for blog readers and I’m going to do the same this year. Some artists I blogged about last year exhibited again this year, but I’m choosing a different bunch this year to showcase.

This blog focuses on mainly black and white artworks that took my fancy.


The above 3 close-ups are cropped from the main feature picture of this blog: “Bo mam’gobozi, 2019” – by Neo Matloga, a South African artist who now resides in the Netherlands.

This artwork was one of the last ones I saw and it immediately captivated me. “Matloga’s monochromatic palette and magazine cut-out collages distort depictions of the ‘everyday’ Black South African’s narrative while exploring intimacy and nostalgia in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The work is bold, forthright and engaging.


In strong contrast, Dan Halter’s “The Wretched of The Earth” was created from hand-woven strips of archival ink-jet prints! I overheard someone state that it took Dan 2 months to complete. Initially you are almost unaware of the woven technique and it’s only on VERY close inspection do you realise: 1. It’s all woven – 2. It’s still legible – 3. All the strips are continuous, meaning they are not little pieces glued together, but lots of long strips woven together. That must have scrambled his eyes and and his brain during the process. His work is labour intensive, detailed and quite incredible.


The two paintings on the left “Across” and “Four Friends” are created by Tanzanian artist, Sungi Mlengeya in acrylics. Her strong use of positive and negative (bare canvas) shapes contrasts well to the very delicate treatment of the faces. All her paintings are breathtaking.

“Untitled (79 PRIVATE)” 2019 was created by Kenyan artist, Onyis Martin. It was the very first painting I saw as I walked in and it certainly set the tone. I loved the rich textures and abstraction. His substrate is constructed from pieces of old canvases he has sew together – the seams adding graphic, 3D lines to his work. I just wanted to reach out and touch it.

These were my top black and white favourites. In the next blog, I will choose a different grouping, so stay tuned.

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  • “Colour is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Eliott Erwitt

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NOTE: We would like to state that we are not professional art critics! We, love all kinds of art and we love to share our experiences, picks and preferences and make comments on them.

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