Former director of the Cape Town Art Fair and founder of contemporary art journal Adjective Matthew Partridge is in Grahamstown to answer all the questions you ever had about modern and contemporary art (yes they’re different…). He’s the curator of Strauss & Co’s exhibition of modern and contemporary art in the Alumni Gallery of the Albany History Museum at this year’s National Arts Festival. The exhibition is a “highlights” package from works on offer at the company’s forthcoming sales.

Grocott’s Mail spoke to Partridge on the eve of the opening of the 44th edition of the National Arts Festival. He’d arrived early on Wednesday, had more or less completed hanging the exhibition of “Eleven specially selected works – for the 11 days of Festival!”. He’s here partly to promote art auction house Strauss & Co’s second contemporary art auction in February 2019 – “The only standalone contemporary art sale in South Africa,” Partridge says.

His mini walkabout with Grocott’s Mail on Wednesday (video below) reveals him to be a walking catalogue of information about art in general, and contemporary art in particular. He’s a former art critic for the Mail & Guardian, and lectured at Art History at Rhodes University in 2010, running a post-graduate seminar program focusing on South Africa photography. Read more