Alex Emsley shares details and particularities regarding oil painting:
Sarah Sands, the senior technical specialist at Golden Artist Colors Inc, recently described oil paintings as “battlegrounds of conflicting forces”. This sounds dramatic, but when one reads her research papers, one gets the picture. The “battle” she is referring to may be raging on a microscopic level, but the fight is nevertheless brutal. Oil paintings are chemically dynamic melting pots, and even centuries after the painter has put his/her brushes down, complex processes still take place within the paint film.
Oil paint consists of pigments suspended in drying oils (usually linseed or safflower oil). Like a group of random strangers gatecrashing a party, these pigments all behave differently and do not share the same properties. Some dry quickly, other take an eternity. Some absorb lots of oil, and others not at all. The drying oils dry through a process known as ‘autoxidation’. This can be described as a chemical reaction between the fatty-acids within the oil, and the oxygen molecules that enter the paint and bind to them. As oil paint oxidises, polymer chains are cross-linked together, locking the pigment particles in place. A skin-like film first forms on the outer, exposed layer of paint, and this film eventually spreads deep into the paint layer until all of the paint is hardened. This process slows over time, but it actually continues for centuries, and the paint becomes increasingly brittle over time.
This process can be classified as an exothermic reaction, meaning that heat is generated. This ‘heat’ can obviously not be detected, but a drying oil painting is literally doing a slow burn through a process of flameless combustion. It is also interesting to note that a paint film expands and becomes heavier as it dries — thanks to absorption of oxygen. Research conducted by Golden Artist Colors revealed that a paint layer can gain 15 – 20% of its mass as it dries. For further details please click on this link: http://www.justpaint.org/weighing-in-on-the-drying-of-oils/. The first few days of drying time is the period when the expansion rate peaks. It is for this reason that painters should avoid applying a fast-drying layer of paint over slow-drying layer, because the wetter lower layer continues to expand under the dry upper layer (which is expanding at a slower rate). If this rule is ignored, then cracking becomes a real possibility.
Showcasing signature works by the gallery’s stable along side works by invited artists this exhibition reviews examples of highlights from the past year while introducing examples of exciting collaborations planned for 2018.
Barnard Collective includes works by Alexia Vogel, Sarah Biggs, Lien Botha, Hugh Byrne, Tom Cullberg, Alex Emsley, Ryan Hewett, MJ Lourens, Virginia MacKenny, Richard Mudariki, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Robyn Penn, Katherine Spindler, Alastair Whitton and Jaco van Schalkwyk. The show will open to the public from 6 December running through 23 January, 2018.
Virginia MacKenny’s exhibition At Sand’s Edge comprising oil and watercolour paintings re-examines the tradition of landscape painting in a time of environmental duress and socio-political uncertainty. This much anticipated solo exhibition by the artist is not to be missed so be sure to visit the gallery before it closes on 28 November. The artist will conduct a walk about of the exhibition on Saturday 25 November at 10:00. Entrance is free and all are welcome to attend.
Be sure to diarise the forthcoming Barnard Collective. Showcasing signature works by the gallery’s stable along side works by invited artists this exhibition reviews examples of highlights from the past year while introducing examples of exciting collaborations planned for 2018. The show will open to the public from 6 December running through 15 January, 2018.
Barnard recently participated in the second edition of AKAA (Also Known As Africa) in Paris. The gallery’s presentation – focussing on the exploration and investigation of painting and the treatment of the photographic print medium within a South African context – was applauded by visitors and collectors alike Artists represented included Alexia Vogel, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Sarah Biggs, MJ Lourens, Robyn Penn, Katherine Spindler, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Ryan Hewett, Alastair Whitton and Lien Botha.
Known for uniquely designed booth presentations at the Joburg Art Fair, Barnard again presented a signature show at this years event; look out for Ashraf Jamal’s review of the work of Alex Emsley in the summer edition of Art Africa.
Barnard is pleased to announce its participation in AKAA at Carreu du Temple showcasing a presentation of new paintings by Ryan Hewett, Alexia Vogel, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Sarah Biggs, MJ Lourens, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Robyn Penn, Katherine Spindler and photographs by Lien Botha and Alastair Whitton.
Barnard looks forward to welcoming and connecting with you to Booth C3.
Alexia Vogel has recently been featured in Talent Watch magazine, enabling readers to learn more about her artistic practice that includes explorations into nostalgia, fantasy and wanderlust. Furthermore we are delighted to announce that Alexia will be attending her first artist’s residency in May 2018 in St Émilion in the Nouvelle-Aquitine region of south-western France. St Émilion is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. The residency occurs in association with the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA). Whilst participating in this residency, Vogel will be collaborating with post-graduate students.
Since 2013 Barnard Publishing has been active within the galleries’ parameters and to date has editioned 7 books. This initiative aims to further explore and support the work and careers of the gallery’s stable of artists through the medium of the book. These limited edition (100 copies only) and signed publications are an extension of the collaboration between gallery and artist and provide relevance and criticality to emerging and established practitioners alike. To date publications by Lien Botha, Ryan Hewett, Alexia Vogel and Sarah Biggs have been added to the collection of the Thomas J Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as well as the University of Cape Town (UCT) special collection amongst others.
Barnard has just launched its most recent publication, Katherine Spindler TO HOLD TIME. This new book features essays by Dominique Edwards and Nina Liebenberg with an introduction by Charis de Kock. It is now available at the gallery.
Jaco van Schalkwyk is currently the artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Meinersen in Nedersachsen, Germany. The residency runs until the 7 December 2017. During this residency van Schalkwyk will be creating a small exhibition of new works as well as a presentation of his work from South Africa.
Further to this from the 2 – 6 November van Schalkwyk will be participating in an ongoing workshop dealing with the thematic, “Trauma and Transformation” at the Sylt Foundation on the Island of Sylt, located off the coast of Germany. He will be working with a host of international artists from Cambodia, Chile, Myanmar and Germany. The results of this workshop will be curated into a group exhibition shown in Yangon and Phnom Penh in 2018.