Barnard is pleased to present Abstract_ed. an exhibition of works by selected artists whose respective practices consider varying degrees of abstraction in painting and mixed media. Collectively and in conversation, these works articulate various interpretations of form and colour and akin to classical or instrumental musical composition require a sensory engagement to be ‘understood’.
London based artist, Jennifer Morrison graduated from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. She creates abstract paintings which are primarily concerned with colour, scale, texture and form. The artist is interested in weighing accident against deliberation, precision and control against playfulness and abandon. To date she has presented solo shows in London and Johannesburg.
The work of British artist Jo Hummel is characterised by a painted and paper collaged surface on which she employs spontaneous variations of space, colour and form. Although her painting collages are physically engaged and materially driven the context is purposefully anthropological and Hummel’s works are informed by human habits and behaviour, with a particular interest in determinism and freewill just as much as formal concerns. Hummel graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2006 and has, to date, presented solo exhibitions in London, Edinburgh, Munich, Malmo and Barcelona.
The work of German artist Dirk Salz expresses a preoccupation with colour, composition and a resolute reduction of form. Constructed using multiple translucent layers of pigment suspended in resin, the artist creates a truly visual ‘experience’ of form and colour whereby our sense of the painting’s surface and apparent depth is continually challenged depending on our distance from, and orientation to, the artwork’s highly reflective surface. Since 2002 the artist’s work has been presented for exhibition in various cities including Cologne, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Madrid, Chicago and Miami.
The paintings of Cape Town based artist, Jo O’Connor explore the concept of ‘urban camouflage’. Her works utilise urban environments as a palette for colours, patterns and shapes that recall cellular, architectural and man-made structures. Formal elements of abstraction, in particular the correlation of repetition and 'considered randomness' bring to mind the abstract aspect of music, rhythm and composition. To date O’Connor has presented solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Berlin.
Emerging South African painter Liberty Battson is inspired by Modernism, more specifically the Modernist theories around abstraction and the pursuit of ‘truth’ and ‘true art’. She graduated with distinction from the University of Pretoria in 2013 and won the prestigious Absa L’Atelier Award the following year. Battson has since gone on to present solo exhibitions in Cape Town and Johannesburg and her work has been featured in various group shows, notably the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016.
Cape Town based artist, Jill Trappler has, over the past 30+ years, explored and worked in a variety of different media, both as an individual artist as well as in her community focussed roles as teacher, lecturer and occupational therapist. Originally a weaver and spinner by trade, Trappler explores the dynamics of colour mixing, textures and surfaces, applying the same sensibility to her paintings where she now employs brush and pigment to build her compositions.
Katherine Spindler graduated with distinction from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town, where she also lectured in drawing and printmaking. Her practise is characterised by a certain dexterity; she is equally adept at making drawings, collages or text pieces as she is painting or working with light projections and film. Medium and matter are intertwined; the thread or thought that binds them is a preoccupation with transience. All her works, whether seemingly figurative or more abstracted attempt ‘to hold time’, to encapsulate and illuminate ‘the space between moments’.
Sharing conceptual ground with collage, the works of South African artist Asha Zero develop from printmaking techniques as well as a basic exploration of photography. Utilising pieces of etchings, silkscreen prints, photographs and cut-outs from various media platforms, the artist constructs compositions whose shapes and patterns morph together to create an alternative reality. To date, the artist has presented solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London.
The paintings of Swedish born South African artist Tom Cullberg are at once familiar and foreign, pensive and playful. Charting territories between seemingly tangible and intangible worlds, the artist is known for presenting collections of represented painted objects in cabinets, that explore both fictitious story telling as well as real or recorded histories. These signifiers or symbols are presented alongside abstract grounds (such as Abstract R/P1 and Abstract R/P2 here) that, like the mechanics of memory appear in a state of flux. A graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, Cullberg has gone on to present eighteen solo exhibitions in five different countries.