s p r i n g ‘ 1 5
_____________h i g h l i g h t s
Thu 8 Oct – Thu 22 Oct 2015
Showing in Room 2
Fried Contemporary is pleased to showcase a selection of some of the highlights of the year in an exhibition titled: “Spring ’15”.
Leanne Shakenovsky’s notable ‘Pierneef’ series brings to mind the lavish Transvaal landscape, and its promise of gold. The painting is covered in glitter and the once purple and blue landscapes now shine in different tones of gold. Beauchamp’s mixed media painting ‘Be A Man’ also seems to refer to a form of decadent opulence – a celebration of art and its forms to be sure, but also of a celebratory contemporary postcolonial consumer culture that require ever more critical consideration. Here bright colors and messages writ large meet with symbolic forms drawn form the artist’s childhood to strike a sometimes ominous note: The otherwise yellow and friendly looking Pacman characters become decorative motifs spray-painted in somber black. Pieter Swanepoel’s ‘Seascape’ (mixed media on canvas) depicts a dynamic oceanic wave as if frozen in a state of tranquility. The wave is forever on the edge of breaking and not breaking, an unresolved to and fro (towards the beach or back into the ocean?). Roger Ballen’s photographs may at first glance be understood primarily as representations of lower class Afrikaners. However, on closer inspection, the viewer is quickly drawn into an imaginary space constructed by the artist. Spanish Painter, Joan Miró (20 Apr 1893 – 25 Dec 1983) would connect various pictorial elements in his paintings through the use of line. This formal device is arguably the single most important motif in the selection of work on show by Ballen too. The strong use of line is present in Marcus Neustetter’s paintings of the Gaza Strip too. However here line fulfills a largely conceptual purpose: The black ‘strips’ of paint now trace clear and brutal, political division of land in the region. But these minimalist works are truly beautiful and all the more poignant socio-political commentary on an unbearable conflict for it. Nigel Mullins’ two paintings on show (‘Stand Here’ and ‘Good Life Guarantee’ ) are powerful renditions of seemingly familiar themes in thick, delicious blobs of impasto. The passing of time, the absurdity of life, unexpected events and a healthy dose of dark humor all combine to create a wonderfully fresh take on the painting traditions (such as the Dutch vanitas painting and popular depictions of African wildlife).
We hope to welcome you to the gallery during this short time during which the exhibition runs – it concludes Thu 22 Oct 2015.
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