South African artist Wim Botha’s works are a study in contrasts: seductive yet displeasing, sacred yet profane, heavy yet light, and stable yet unsettled. Through his varying materials and subject matter, Botha explores issues of history, status, power, and religion with a focus on Western art history. Botha’s take on classical or conventional art history, however, is blurred, deconstructed, or fractured. Though his works refer to the original meaning of a work of art, that meaning is equally subverted.
Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent is presented in conjunction with 21c Museum Hotel, Durham, N.C. This partnership—the second between the NCMA and 21c—showcases Botha’s art simultaneously in two separate spaces. At the NCMA several of Botha’s larger installation pieces are presented, including a new, site-specific temporary work that provides the centerpiece for the exhibition. Botha’s intellectually stimulating works are questions and curiosities themselves, providing viewers with fodder for conversation and surprising juxtapositions about art history for further exploration.
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, and 21c Museum Hotels, Durham. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.
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