Monday, April 15, 2013

Art on Paper IV: Sam Nhlengethwa, Conrad Botes and Claire Gavronsky

Sam Nhlengethwa:

Once seen as one of South Africa’s leading resistance artists, Nhlengethwa has grown from this and adjusted the style and content of his works to explore other themes such as music, specifically jazz and the mechanics of everyday living. He works with found printed images from posters and magazines, including his recollections of township life in his imagery.

In his prints and paintings Sam Nhlengethwa uses overlays of techniques such as collage painting, drawing and photography. His fine sense of colour and form lend an abstract quality to his work.

Let's Go II by Sam Nhlengethwa
Let's Go I by Sam Nhlengethwa
Left Alone by Sam Nhlengethwa

Conrad Botes:
Conrad Botes was born in 1969 in the Western Cape. Part of his childhood was spent living in a Department of Water Affairs prefab house on the edge of the Theewaters Dam. His father was a teacher at the local school. Listening to Conrad Botes tell stories of the characters that peopled his childhood world one can see how he has been able to develop his eye for targeting the soft underbelly of Afrikaanerdom and by extension South African culture. It does not take much to imagine Botes out on Commando during the Boer War and it is this dichotomy between who he physically is and his mental space that makes his work so powerful. 

Botes says, "The paintings I make are much more personal. I can explain them if I have to - but I'd much rather not. It is difficult to explain something that you are meant to feel. People can formulate their own ideas about the work, the viewers reaction is more important than my own explanation".

Masters Voice by Conrad Botes
Haunted by Conrad Botes
Claire Gavronsky:
Gavronsky addresses topics such as racism, memory, violence against woman and children and economic injustice in her artworks. Considering these themes she bridges the past and present. Gavronsky enjoys the contradictory nature that is inherent in overlaid images. “The fact that there are clear lines, but that they cannot easily be read; lines, saying something, yet inaudible – too many people speaking at once – unless you trace a single outline before it slips into an interchange of place or limb. This is a complex narrative that defies linearity, although made of line and one that refutes hierarchy.” (Gavronsky 2006)

Evolutionary Choice by Claire Gavronsky
Run with the Hare and Hunt with the Hound by Claire Gavronsky

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