Hazard Arts on Main, The Maboneng Precinct [former NIROX Projects gallery space]
Sunday, 12 April 2015 – Sunday, 03 May 2015

The exhibition presents a series of sized drawings done in ink on paper.

“In 1995 I started to paint and photograph horses while studying in Durban. This culminated in an exhibition in 1999 in Cape Town showcasing works depicting dead horses represented at varying levels of abstraction. At the time I was interested in the representation of the horse as a symbol of colonial power, and the notion of a dead horse seemed apt in the wake of the changing political regime in South Africa. Twenty years later I return to the horse image, but this time I have chosen to look at race horses represented as moving, energised and vital in contrast to earlier depictions of the dead horse.

Horses are particularly compelling to draw as subject matter, but they are also symbolically charged, problematized by a history of representation often connected to wealth and power. Through my series of horse drawings, I have tried to downplay typical connotations connected to the horse, and focus on the horse as an armature onto which new symbolic possibilities emerge. In some instances I see this exercise as purely explorations in drawing, in which I try to dissolve the representational aspects of the horse, landscape, the picture in other words, into a kind of abstract space, disconnected from its original frame of reference. In short the horse provides a loaded but interesting starting point for emergence of other possibilities.

Previous exhibitions


15 February – 10 March 2015

Resident Artists NIROX

The Swedish artist and photographer Anna Nordquist Andersson has for many years been interested in the photograpic gaze and it´s gender coding. In a seemingly simple but yet very inticate image study she deconstructs the prejudice of the male gaze. The concept of deconstruction is here for once completely in effect – it is exactly what Andersson does. Her method is to see through, elucidate and in various ways ask questions about underlying structures. In her latest work Black Chamber she reuses photographs, media images and texts as readymades. Her starting point is the old ads and magazine pages from camera manufactures during the 60s and 70s such as Hasselblad, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and others. All ads are from the American magazine LIFE, famous for it`s photojounalism. What interested her when she started working with this material, was the clearly male language in the ads that unabashedly targeted at a male consumer. This is Canon’s slogan: ”Finally, an SLR camera that even your wife can use”. Another example: ”Where man goes, there goes the Hasselblad”. Her method is a photogram, they are contact printed so that both sides are superimposed in a single image, which then resembles an x-ray. The work involves conceptual work on what’s under the surface and thus shed light on important issues.

The Swedish artist David Svensson’s works range from the maximally expansive – public space, the city and our social relationships – to the minimal and contracted – the almost empty page of a book and the barely perceptible way a sheet of paper speaks to us.

Absent Stories is the title of David Svensson collages made out of blank pages from books from the 19th century and onwards. The pages, just like the books, have various formats and paper qualities. The blank pages that lead and follow texts in books, tinted by age, gently marked with pentimenti from inserted notes and clippings, are far from mute. The artist is interested in the stories they hold. The very life of the book is imprinted into these fragile pages. The book is the vehicle for transporting the story; the blank page is in fact not blank at all. The support for the story tells a story. Story is both noun and verb. As a verb, it means to decorate something with images of scenes.

Beast of Burden | Colbert Mashile
15 March – 08 April 2015

On Sunday, 15th of March 2015 at 12pm, Colbert Mashile will be opening his solo exhibition at NIROXprojects, Arts on Main, Johannesburg CBD.
The exhibition titled Beast of Burden is curated by Mlungisi Kongisa (MK & Artists), who has been collaborating with Mashile over the past months.
Mashile will be showing original drawings and a selection of prints that were produced in the MK & Artists Studio.

The theme of the show was conceived on the idea of how the beastly attitude in man often rears its head unexpectedly. The instinctive voracious manner of survival is so imbedded in man that it becomes the sole instigator of power relations in our modern society. The timid beast of burden serve as a metaphor of the quiet constituency that toil so hard with a hope that all will one day become well. Like in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, power relations are played out openly between those in authority and the timid ones.
Colbert Mashile | 2015

Colbert Mashile is a painter and visual artist who has developed a unique iconographical language within South African art, often dealing with the mystical, mythological and archaic elements of traditional African culture and its legacy on present-day life. Within the context of a modern, hybridized and integrated post-apartheid society, these practices, customs and rituals have inevitably filtered into contemporary consciousness and contribute to the complex psychological landscape which characterizes the new culture in a historically divided country. Mashile’s early work dealt primarily with the traumatic, cruel and highly controversial circumcision rituals practiced widely upon young black initiates of both sexes, in different guises, as ceremonious, tribal, coming-of age rites of passage. These practices are criticized and condemned locally and internationally as cruel and inhumane and especially in terms of their long-term psychosomatic impact. Mashile draws on his own experiences, memory and psyche in an autonomous and intuitive process, creating vivid and intricate imagery, recalling both Surrealism and the satirical Pop art of artists such as Phillip Guston or more recently, George Condo.
Mashile’s consummate understanding and application of colour conveys metaphorical meaning and signifies the artist’s innate, organic understanding and connection to the land and its occupants. Colour is a tool employed to evoke and trigger emotional and emotive responses and through very considered colour combinations, the subtle manipulation of light and the sensitive insertion of visual stimuli, Mashile communicates on an instinctual level. Mashile’s training and formative background in printmaking, is ever-present and his predisposition for graphic construction serves to integrate and anchor the disparate wanderings of the unconscious and the subconscious. Mashile’s distinctive and original work escapes typical classification and despite the inherent cultural references, the visual landscape (and its inhabitants) are ambiguous and intriguing beyond its local origins. From within his well-honed and individual stylistic framework, the scope of Mashile’s focus has expanded in recent years to deliver incisive political commentary and criticism. Originally from the rural Mpumalanga province, Mashile currently lives and works in the picturesque area of Howick in Kwazulu-Natal.

NIROX projects

NIROXprojects is a founding tenant at Arts on Main, the inaugural development of the Maboneng Precinct, which has re-invented urban Johannesburg.

Previous exhibitions

GRAY | a group exhibition
20 November – 11 December 2014 

Peter Mammes | Triumph Prosthetics for the People
26 October – 16 November 2014 

Bevan de Wet | Vestige
04 – 24 September 2014

3 | a group exhibition
Curated by Neil Nieuwoudt
10 – 31 August 2014

CAPRI Trend Photographic exhibition | a group exhibition
Curated by Denis Curti in association with Fondazione Capri
13 July – 07 August 2014

I Take it All Back | a group exhibition
Curated by Jayne Crawshay-Hall and Maaike Bakker
05 June – 08 July 2014

Nicole Levenberg | SAMPLE (I – VIII)
11 May – 01 June 2014

Sean Blem | Hyperextension
04 – 27 April 2014

Rodan Hart | Forms ( S | W)
12 – 31 March 2014

Johan Thom | New works from the Animal Series, 2013 – 14
16 February – 09 March 2014

Thinking in a Space | a group exhibition
Curated by Kim Lieberman
19 January – 11 February 2014

ZOO | a group exhibition
Curated by Ann-Marie Tully and Neil Nieuwoudt
05 December – 15 January 2014

Maaike Bakker | Now Museum / Now You Don’t
10 November – 01 December 2013

Stephan Erasmus | Reconstruct
20 October – 06 November 2013

Paint + | a group exhibition
Curated by Brundyn + Gonsalves
25 September – 16 October 2013

Bronwyn Lace | Resuscitate
01 – 22 September 2013

Steven Dubin | Developing Characters. Contending Cultures and Creative Commerce in a South African Photography Studio.
01 August – 22 August 2013

ARN2013 at NIROXprojects
07 – 27 July 2013

Ann-Marie Tully | A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
09 June – 03 July 2013

Gordon Froud | A Retrospective of all the exhibitions I never had
12 May – 05 June 2013

Et al. | a group exhibition
Curated by Brendan Copestake and Neil Nieuwoudt
28 April – 08 May 2013

Geoffrey Hendricks | About Earth and Sky
31 March – 21 April 2013

Candice Kramer | Transient Dust
10 – 26 March 2013

Georgina Gratrix | Open Studio and Residency
29 January – 23 February (residency/ studio in projects)
24 February – 06 March 2013 (Open Studio) n NIROXprojects

Marcus Neustetter and Walter Stach | Courier – Dialogue
25 November – 13 December 2012

Facing the Climate | a group exhibition
Curated by Ann-Marie Tully
28 October – 18 November 2012

Luan Nel and Joachim Schonveldt | An exhibition of new work
23 September – 10 October 2012

Richard Penn | Field of View
14 – 24 October 2012

Alain Clement | (untitled solo exhibition)
02 September – 18 September 2012

13 – 29 August 2012

Marcus Neustetter | Between
22 July – 08 August 2012

Sean Slemon | New Work
08 – 18 July 2012

Clifford Charles | Umwelt
17 June – 01 July 2012

Apart from its own exhibition program, NIROXprojects is available for hire by country culture offices, academic institutions and visiting galleries to showcase diverse exhibitions.