Sanell Aggenbach


Sanell Aggenbach’s work is as illusive and ethereal as her subjects. Whether she is delving in satirical cultural exorcisms (Graceland, 2009) or exploring intimate portraiture of archived negatives (Sub Rosa, 2008), Aggenbach’s work retains a strange intimacy, despite the anonymity of her subjects. The emphasis of her work relates to visual trickery and plays on subterranean elements. Her most recent paintings offer an ambiguous open-endedness, employing a restrained palette of corroded process colours.

Aggenbach’s work deals primarily with the intersection of history and private narratives by considering the process of recall and interpretation. Her work presents a haunting ambiguity characterized by her materially multifarious nature as she moves comfortably between the various disciplines of painting, printmaking and sculpture. She has proved to be a critical voice in contemporary South African art.

Born in Cape Town in 1975, Aggenbach currently lives and works in Woodstock, Cape Town. Her explorative work has secured her many achievements including winning the 2003 Absa L’Atelier Award. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including Sasol, ABSA, Spier, SABC, Red Bull (Austria) and Anglo Gold.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017 Bend To Her Will - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Johannesburg
Bend to Her Will - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2015 Atopia, NWU Gallery, Potchefstroom
2013 Famila Obscura, Brundyn+, Cape Town
2011 Some Dance to Remember Some Dance to Forget, Blank Projects, Cape Town
2009 Graceland, Gallery AOP, Johannesburg
2008 Sub Rosa, Joäo Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town
2007 Perfectly Still, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
2006 Blues and Greys, Art on Paper Gallery, Johannesburg
2005 Hoogwater/High Tide, KKNK, Oudtshoorn
Fools Gold, Bell Roberts Contemporary, Cape Town
2003 Blank, AVA Gallery, Cape Town
2001 From a Netherworld, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2000 Northern Ladies, Art Konsult, New Delhi, India

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 Cape Town Art Fair 2017, Cape Town
The Future is Female, 21C Musem Hotels, Louisville, USA
2016 Nano, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
Transformation, Southern Guild, Cape Town
2015 Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2014 20 Years of Democracy, Appalachian State University, North Carolina
2012 Paint I, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town
Seeing Eye, Brundyn +, Cape Town
Positive Tension - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2011 Alptraum, Deutscher Kuenstlerbund, Berlin, Germany
2010 Twenty, Contemporary Public Sculpture, Nirox, Johannesburg
2006 20 Artists06, Contemporary Printing, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2005 Sweet Nothings, New Photographic Work, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2004 2nd Spier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Stellenbosch
40 Years, University of Stellenbosch, Sasol Art Museum
2003 ABSA L'Atelier, Johannesburg
YDESIRE, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
Brett Kebble Art Awards, Cape Town
Picnic, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2002 Spier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Jan Marais Nature Reserve, Stellenbosch
2001 Aarsel/Waver, KKNK, Oudtshoorn
Micro/Macro, South African Printmakers at Xchanges Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Permanent Collections

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Absa Collection
Anglo Gold South Africa
Hollard Collection
Sasol Collection
Spier Collection
Labour 24 Pty Ltd
Red Bull Collection, Salzburg, Austria
New Church Museum
21C Museum in Kentucky

Selected Publications

2013      Familia Obscura
2009      Graceland Catalogue
2007      Turbulence, Hangar-7, Austria
2007       Sanell Aggenbach Catalogue
2007       Artinvestor, Germany
2007       Art South Africa: Vol. 5, Issue 04; Page 82 (Review)
2005       Cape Town Month of Photography
2004       2nd Spier Sculpture Biennale Catalogue
2004       Sasol Art Museum, University of Stellenbosch
2003       ABSA L’Atelier
2003       Art South Africa: Vol. 02, Issue 01; Page 14 (Review)
2002       Spier Sculpture Biennale Catalogue