The influence of the fine art market on the work produced by black artists (post 1994)
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This paper explores the chronological relationship between the fine art market and the work produced by black South African artists since the emergence of a black urban class in the 1940s. It stems from the hypothesis that historically the art market had (and to some degree, still has) a major influence on the works produced by black artists in South Africa. In the introduction I contextualized the title of this dissertation by discussing the definitions of the terminology which feature therein. In Chapter One I have contextualized the study by looking at the historical background (the pre-1994) of South African art. I have specifically looked at how the socio-political conditions of that time influenced the work produced by black South African artists, hence the emergence of Township Art and Resistance Art. In Chapter Two I looked at the roles played by art institutions, galleries, and organizations in the stylistic developments made by black South African artists between the 1950s and 2000. The discussion of the influential role played by such informal institutions as Polly Street Art Centre, Jubilee Art Centre, the Johannesburg Art Foundation and many others on black artists forms a greater part of this chapter. Also included in this chapter is the discussion which examines the hypothesis that many black artists who do not have a formal academic background constitute a greater part of the informal art market. Tommy Motswai, Joseph Manana and Sibusiso Duma are examples of such artists and their work is discussed in depth. David Koloane, De Jager, Anitra Nettleton and other writers who have made literary contributions to South African art history, have been extensively cited and critically engaged in this chapter. iv In Chapter Three I discussed contemporary perceptions of the formal art sector, particularly in the post apartheid period. In this regard I looked at what defines mainstream or high art and how it differs from the marginal forms of art which are discussed in the preceding chapter. In this discussion I looked at the work of Sam Nhlengethwa, Colbert Mashile and my own work. In my discussion of their work I mapped out the characteristics of contemporary mainstream art, focussing primarily on 2-dimensional art.