Barnard is pleased to announce that the following limited edition publications (100 per edition) were recently added to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Pratt Institute library collections in New York.
This includes: Jaco van Schalkwyk: -arium (edition 100), Katherine Spindler’s TO HOLD TIME (edition 100), Lien Botha: Yonder (edition 100), Alexia Vogel: Along the Way (edition 100), Sarah Biggs: Waiting for Rain (edition 100), Ryan Hewett: Once Were Leaders (edition 100).
To purchase Barnard publications please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday 10 February from 10:30 Mary Corrigall will be hosting her New Romantics art crawl. This is Corrigall’s first walking-talking art crawl of the year. Nature is the focus, and how and why artists are once again fixated with representing it in their art through a romantic lens. Art commentator Mary Corrigall has dubbed this movement ‘new romanticism’ as it shares characteristics with a titular movement in the late 18th century. Fittingly, the crawl will begin at the Newlands Forest, where Corrigall will introduce the theme, chat to Alexia Vogel and look at how humankind’s connection to nature has been renewed in the wake of water shortages in this province. After a studio visit with Ruby Swinney in Salt River, we will meet Sarah Biggs, Rosie Mudge and other artists at Barnard in Newlands. The crawl will conclude with an optional light lunch at Basilico in Newlands.
Many of your landscapes echo notions implicit within the thematics and visions of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, an archetypal book speaking to the ills of Western commodification, obsession with materialism and consumerism. Would you agree with this notion and if so why?
Yes and no. First of all the irony lies in the title. The “Great Gatsby”. What is so great about the unfairness of his demise? He has become a metaphor for consumerism. My paintings depict the folly of consumerism but one still needs money to acquire one.
Some of your paintings such as “Industria – After the Rain” and “Progress Elsewhere” speak to a very machinistic landscape that is ordered, calibrated and rational. Would you agree with this?
Representation of order is riddled with many problems. I am not comfortable with order – the balance of what can be controlled. I am more interested in what cannot. Perhaps that is why my landscapes seem to epitomise rationality because it is an expression of the opposite of my internal landscape. Painting is laden with an element of chaos yet the end result does not always reflect this. Disorder lurks between what is real and imagined – there is a subtle tension there which I reflect in the landscape.
A number of your paintings do not include any figures, not too dissimilar from aspects implicit within J.H. Pierneef’s ‘Johannesburg Station Panels’. Was this a specific strategy that you adopted or did it occur naturally?
It occurred naturally. My landscapes are not devoid of people rather it illustrates the impact of people on their surroundings.
Please guide us through your process of conceptualization from beginning to end. Do you work from photographic source material?
I never replicate a landscape from a photograph – what would be the point? As a dyslexic individual my visual modalities have naturally taken centre stage. This includes my visual memory. When painting whatever is stored in that area of my brain seems to finds itself on the surface of what I paint. It happens quite spontaneously and surprisingly so my actual process is still a bit of a mystery to me.
Look, landscapes are quite problematic because it is glimpses that instantly fades with time. Landscapes are experienced in passing. So to frame and capture a scene that is still and laden with meaning, should transcend that which is being portrayed.
More recently in 2016 and 2017 your paintings have shifted into what could be construed as a more tangential approach to painting implicit in, ‘Birth – A brief end of violence II’. What brought about this shift in your practice?
It has come full circle. My initial approach to painting has always been a classical approach, but in exploring art I have discovered a doorway into working from a more auto-matistic frame of reference. This was my introduction to pathephysics. I have experimented with decalcomania when I was in my early years of practise. Now it has found a new confidence in my work.
Why do you choose the medium of paint to express your subject matter?
Paint has at the same time a freedom in fluidity and is something that needs to be tightly controlled.
What thematics are you planning to explore in your next exhibition here at Barnard in 2018?
For my second solo exhibition I am exploring the connection between order and disorder as manifested in the flux of an ever changing environment which I call home. The focus of my paintings has become resolute by what small things mean in a bigger vista.
In seven days time Barnard will open Mary Corrigall’s curatorial exploration into the effervescent theme of Romanticism, evinced by artists based predominantly in Cape Town. It brings together a new and established generation of painters preoccupied with the area where nature, science and the sublime converge under the banner of a title referring to a movement that dates back to the late 18th century. Works by Barnard artists – Alexia Vogel, Sarah Biggs and Robyn Penn will be joined by those produced by Heidi Fourie, Ronél de Jager, Rosie Mudge and Marcus Neustetter. Be sure to join us from 18:30 onwards.
For the first time in South Africa an exhibition dedicated to exploring a ‘romantic’ turn in contemporary art will be staged at Barnard. It is curated by Mary Corrigall, who has been closely observing this movement, which has largely been confined to a generation of young Cape Town based-painters, all contemporaries. Their works will be presented along with established mid-career artists that have been preoccupied with the area where nature, science and the sublime converge under the banner of romanticism. New Romantics will run from the 30 January – 6 March 2018.
Showcasing signature works by the gallery’s stable alongside 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 exhibition will run through to 23 January, 2018.
In his recent solo exhibition entitled, -arium, at Barnard in South Africa, artist Jaco van Schalkwyk considered questions of exotic representation both in the artistic endeavor and in the everyday ways we construct and mediate realities around ourselves, our environment and our encounters with the other. This exhibition was reviewed by Ashraf Jamal in the most recent edition of Art Africa. To read the full review please click here.
During his two-month residency at the Künstlerhaus Meinersen, the artist has been fascinated by the natural cinematic play of Shadow and reflection on the walls in the house. The paintings and films from his solo project “Mehr Licht/ More Light”, continues to investigate these encounters with the exotic and the other, but deflects from objectifying the actual environment by rather capturing its shadows and reflections.
Jaco van Schalkwyk presented his life as an artist in South Africa to the Meinsersen community. Further to this van Schalkwyk also mediated an inter-cultural workshop on Trauma and Transformation with curator Indra Wussow from the Sylt Foundation on the island of Sylt, Germany.
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.