Surface: Emerging Painters continues Barnard Gallery's ongoing commitment to presenting curated group shows and collaborative projects of work by artists from the gallery's stable alongside invited artists that explore diverse aspects of contemporary art practice. Notable examples to date have included Changing Faces: Profiling Portraits in South African Art (2013), Point of View: Contemporary South African Photography (2013) and Paint Matters (2014). Both the preceding and current curated exhibitions have focused on painting and its relevance in contemporary art.
Surface: Emerging Painters considers and celebrates the dynamic creative process that painting has and continues to be; one that resists containment and refuses to be silenced. At different stages in history painting has been both lauded and seemingly overlooked and at one point was declared ‘dead’. Yet it would appear, whether we are makers of paintings or observers thereof that we are never ‘finished’ with it and continue to be fascinated by its many forms and expressions. From cave painting to today painting has persisted. Not only has it persisted; it has recently and once again begun to thrive.
Surface: Emerging Painters features the work of a select group of up-and-coming painters redefining the medium in contemporary South African art. From the evocative surfaces of Alexia Vogel’s paintings to the meditative 'oil works' of Alexandra Karakashian, each of the participating artists brings their own unique engagement with paint and the process of painting. The exhibition considers and celebrates paint both as medium and subject, substance and means; showcasing a diversity of attitudes and approaches to the long-established and recently resurgent practice of painting.
Alexia Vogel graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art (with a distinction in Fine Art 4) majoring in painting and was subsequently awarded a Simon Gerson Prize in 2013. Her work is represented in the University of Cape Town (UCT) Collection. The artist's debut solo exhibition will open at Barnard Gallery in March 2015.
Jaco van Schalkwyk holds a BA degree in Historical studies from the University of Pretoria and his knowledge and appreciation of art history provides ongoing content for his creative dialogue with past and contemporary art forms. Van Schalkwyk was a Finalist in the 2011 Absa L’Atelier Award and in 2013 won a Merit Award in this prestigious national competition. Residency awards include the New York Art Students League (2008) and Kunst: Raum, Sylt Quelle, Germany (2014). His work is represented in the collections of the South African Reserve Bank, Absa Bank and Ellerman House.
Katherine Spindler completed her BA(FA) (2004) and MFA (2011) with distinction at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town where she currently lectures in drawing and printmaking. She also teaches in the art department at Bishops Diocesan College. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the Katrine Harries Memorial Bursary, a MacIver Scholarship and the Jules Kramer Fine Art Travel Scholarship. Katherine’s first solo exhibition at Barnard Gallery will take place in August 2015.
Mia Chaplin was born in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, in 1990. After matriculating she moved to Cape Town to study at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, where she graduated with a BA in Fine Art in 2011. Mia works predominantly in oil on canvas and oil on paper. Her works are highly expressive and characterized by muted tones, visible brushstrokes and a rich application of oils. The artist’s subject matter ranges from landscapes and portrait studies to still life and abstracts.
Ryan Hewett is a self-taught painter whose solo exhibitions at Barnard Gallery sold out within days of it opening to the public; the demand for his work continues to grow. Hewett has held successful solo shows in New York and California and has participated in group exhibitions in London, Berlin and San Francisco. His paintings have also been presented at various art fairs including Joburg Art Fair; Cape Town Art Fair; Fountain Art Fair, Chicago and SCOPE Miami.
Sarah Biggs graduated in 2013 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, with a Distinction in Discourse of Art and Studio Work. She was awarded the Matthew Somers Memorial Prize in 2011 and the Judy Steinberg Award in 2013, as well as a Humanities Faculty Scholarship 2010-2013.
Alexandra Karakashian obtained her BA(FA) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art. During 2011, she received the Judy Steinberg Painting Prize as well as the Simon Gerson Prize. Alexandra’s work forms part of the permanent UCT Collection. Karakashian’s practice investigates the relationships between natural environments and the aesthetics of landscape painting, through examination of process and uncertainty that exist within both the natural world, and the developments in painting.
Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi studied at Community Arts Project 2000 -2001. He has since participated in various exhibitions both locally and abroad and is the recipient of a number of international residency fellowship awards. In 2012 he was selected to represent South Africa at the Dakar Biennale where he was the winner of the Foundation Blachere Award. At the recommendation of former Turner Prize nominee, Tacita Dean, Ngqinambi was subsequently awarded a residency fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany.
Kirsten Lilford graduated in 2011 from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town and was awarded the South African Society of Artists Award for Excellence in Painting.