This monograph encompasses a single body of work by Wim Botha, focused on Michelangelo's Pietà. Following Botha's 2004 Mieliepap Pietà, a life-size replica of Michelangelo's original modelled from maize meal, in 2015 the artist produced a full-scale bronze extrapolation of the Pietà initially carved from polystyrene blocks; a suite of 119 studies on canvas and paper; and a drawing in three dimensions. The works, reproduced in the monograph, both support and disrupt the ideological, conceptual, material and historical meanings inscribed in the iconic 15th century piece.
The book begins with an essay by Michael P Steinberg (author of studies on Hermann Broch, Aby Warburg, Walter Benjamin and Charlotte Salomon, among others) that looks at Botha's 'unique engagement of both form and meaning' in his Pietà and previous Laocoön sculptures, and explores how his juxtaposition of materials, of sketches and sculptures, suggests 'a complex engagement with the modern, including the modern's retrieval of ancient icons'.
Published by Stevenson | 2015
Hardcover, 164 pages | ISBN 978-0-620-67497-3 | Price: R1 100
Limited edition of 300 copies, signed and numbered