Cape Town’s latest exhibition space Norval Foundation opened its glass doors to the public on Saturday. An exclusive gathering on Freedom Day brought together the media, and arts and culture enthusiasts and experts for a special preview where champagne flowed along with live music acts.
Situated in Steenberg and adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, the minimalist and sleek concrete structure was designed by dhk Architects. It features world-class, purpose-built galleries, a sculpture garden, an amphitheatre, a research library, a restaurant and bar, a shop and a children’s playground.
The Norval family are the founders and initial funders of Norval Foundation. Their aim is to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors, by creating a self-sustainable centre for art. The proceeds from capital donations will be used to secure the foundation for future generations.
Divided into several curated gallery spaces, the artwork hanging on the walls is by well-established and up-and-coming artists.
The Homestead Art Collection, housed at the foundation as a curatorial asset, is one of the leading collections of 20th century South African art assembled by the Norval family over the past two decades. The collection includes work by artists such as Deborah Bell, Peter Clarke, Dumile Feni, Sydney Kumalo, Maggie Laubser, Ezrom Legae, Trevor Makhoba, John Muafangejo, George Pemba, Alexis Preller, Gerard Sekoto, Cecil Skotnes, Irma Stern, Edoardo Villa and Anton van Wouw. It also incorporates Bruce Campbell Smith’s Revisions Collection and a significant collection of publications on South African art.
The ongoing sculpture garden can be enjoyed by young and old. The placement of artwork takes the site into consideration, using the contours of the garden to hide and reveal work, creating an experience of discovery for the viewer. Artworks will be a mixture of those permanently installed, and loans.
In addition to the sculpture garden, the foundation has three opening exhibitions. The first, Re/discovery and Memory, features major retrospectives of the work of Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae, and is curated by Karel Nel.
* Admission is R140 per person or R200 for an annual membership. For info visit: www.norvalfoundation.org