Face to Face
25 May – 30 June 2018
Face to Face catalogue (PDF)
Walk into any building and you are bound to find at least one portrait. This art form aims to showcase the individual, whether real or imaginary. A well-crafted work is said to portray both appearance and character. Whether realistic or not, a painting or photograph the aim is to represent the feature, personality and traits of the individual. In the words of a well-known Greek philosopher, “The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality.”
The history of portraiture stretches back thousands of years to ancient times, images of Egyptian rulers signalling the start of this genre. Throughout the course of history it was only the rich and famous who were worthy of having their image reflected in a work of art. Among the most well known artist in this genre you are likely to hear the names Velazquez, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh, etc..
More recently the band of Dutch artists from the 17th, English and American artists from the 18th and 19th century and the well known figures from the modern portraiture movement have defined our understanding of the genre. From the latter, names like van Gogh, Manet, and Ganguin come up while the revival of the 70s is associated with name like Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney.
Portrait art can take on many forms, from a painting to a sculpture to a photograph. The essence of art is to give expression to that which is unseen, the same goes for this genre. Many well-known voices from the art world has offered their opinions in this regard, mostly highlighting the role of expression, features and mood in pre-empting interpretation for the connoisseur.
Sequence & Formation
An Exhibition of Abstract Art
13 April – 12 May 2018
Sequence & Formation catalogue (PDF)
Featuring artists: Leandri Erlank; Dirk Meerkotter; Ben Eagle; Paul Marais; Klara Christen, Christo Coetzee & Strijdom Van Der Merwe
Letterlik / Literally
1-29 March 2018
Letterlik / Literally catalogue
Featuring artists: Corne Theron, Leandri Erlank, Gerhard Human, Roger Hopley, Paul Marais, Haidee Nel, Marlene Dumas, Maritha Van Amerom & Nicola Roos.
Cape Town Art Fair
16-18 February 2018
Cape Town Art Fair catalogue (PDF)
South Africa has a rich history of phenomenal artists, often characterised by the political, cultural and religious ideas of the time. For a long time artist have been the soul of society, some of the most important people on earth. Absolut Art markets South African masters and contemporary art and is ideally situated in Stellenbosch, one of South Africa’s oldest towns.
Absolut Art is proud to showcase the works of Pierneef, Dumas, Preller, Hodgins and Battiss at the 2018 edition of the Cape Town Art Fair. Among this list of very well-known South African artists, Pierneef enjoys almost iconic status. His career as an artist started taking shape soon after the Anglo-Boer War, thriving on the influence of Anton van Wouw and Frans Oerder. Many critics agree that one thing that made Pierneef unique was his ability to paint with ‘different eyes’.
The list continues with some of South Africa’s greatest modern artists in Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller, praised by many as an imaginative genius and master colourist. He had such magical abilities that he was even dubbed the ‘South African Gauguin by some. Robert Hodgins, another acclaimed artist, comes from an era where artists were known for making socially conscious statements and satirising those in power. Browsing through some his art one is sure to find these themes repeated throughout his work.
There aren’t many people who can claim the accolade of being credited with most expensive art by a living female artist. Her 1987 work, “The Teacher” fetched $ 3.3 million. The South African born Marlene Dumas, is not one to shy away from controversy. Her paintings are often borderline shocking and offensive. Dumas’ works such as ‘Naomi” (1995) and ‘Dead Marilyn’ (2008) are perfect example of her willingness to toe the line.
On the timeline of South African art there are many highlights and standouts. Absolut Art is proud to present the works of some of South Africa’s legendary artists. Enjoy a company of creatives sure to create some excitement for years to come.
– Written by: Martus Greyvenstein
19 January – 17 February 2018
Nature Morte, finding its roots in Greek mosaics of the 16th Century, this art genre is still very popular. Still lifes are known to depict a thought full composition of everyday objects, however they are often filled with great personal or cultural significance. Living Art exhibition will pose Nature Morte and collection of living art in contrast to each other. On show will be a collection intricately crafted bonzai trees.
Nature Morte Exhibition Catalogue (PDF)
Terrain – A Group Exhibition
13 October – 4 November 2017
Capturing the beauty of an open terrain or untouched plain is no easy task. The term landscape, originating from the dutch word ‘landschap’, is usually thought of as a scene of nature. It is a a traditional concept has certainly evolved to include other scenes including urban settings and a variety of human elements. In similar fashion a terrain speaks of a stretch of land, notably looking at its physical features.
The ‘terrain’ exhibition will primarily focus on landscape art, dating back to the 17th century when this form became important historical features. Art during this time is generally considered to subscribe to a specific style, earning it the name of classical landscape. As a result art graduated to becoming the subject itself as opposed to merely a background. Landscape art gained popularity throughout the 18th century but it wasn’t till the 1800s that this art form saw a dramatic increase of landscape paintings which depict nature. In this time the art became a clear depiction of the natural surroundings, allowing us to ‘explore’ foreign lands. As people began to appreciate these aspects of nature the effect of man on nature also became apparent, leading to industrial and urban focused landscapes.
Black and White
27 July – 29 Aug 2017
Black and white. Few phrases in the English language are more loaded than these three words. Putting something in black and white means we know exactly where we stand, it creates distinction. The metaphorical value of these words go as far back as the beginning. When there was light and dark.
For the artist, black and white means clarity. Favoured by the minimalist. A cleaner canvas means the viewer has more space to appreciate the beauty. The profile and texture underscores the beauty of the brush. Picasso was a proponent of the idea that colour weakens. An observation of his works shows his obsession with line and form.
While colour is by no means the dark horse in the art family, it is obvious that the absence of colour plays an important in role in one’s perception and attitude towards the picture. The absence of colour opens the door to our own imagination.
Elliott Erwitt is credited with the following wise words: “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.”
Black and White Catalogue (PDF)
Elements of realism
25 May – 24 June 017
Show me an angel and I will paint one. The words of Gustave Courbet aptly describes the realist movement. Coming to life around the 1850’s, this art form rests on the idea that everyday life and the world around us be suitable subjects for art.Realism was the first statement against the institution of the state and started a non-conformist movement among artists at the time. Post-revolution France saw newspaper printing and mass media gaining unprecedented popularity in the wake of the industrial revolution.
Artists like Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet exploited this new found media frenzy to enhance their public status. The unblemished nature and rejection of idealim.
Elements of Realism Exhibition Catalogue
A Modern Journey: 21 April – 20 May 2017
Modern art was a response to the subjective, factual nature of the industrial age. Artists sought to express themselves through their art. An expression of their perspective, emotions and soul.
A trademark of the industrial revolution was urbanisation. As more people made their way into the city in search of jobs, life as they knew it would also change. New forms of leisure and enjoyment became a major influence in modern art. Art was no longer academic or reserved only for the rich and famous. People started making art about things that interested them – people, places and abstract ideas.
Many artists who we hold dear today come from that era. Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne and the like. Early impressionists ruffled the feathers with their new ways. Pictures were constructed from freely brushed colours as opposed to the more rigid, structured academic painting. On top of that, much of their work was done in the open air.
One could definitely describe this part of history as one where new ways and ideas were the order of the day. The impressionist movement was well represented by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir and company. A short while later artists like van Gogh and Munch were seeking ways to portray art with an element of exaggeration and abstraction. This move saw little pockets of change pop up all over Germany and was often done to evoke moods and ideas.
These movements continued for a number of years and its influence was not only limited to art. Other parts of society, such as music, theatre and even architecture, were also to explore new measures of expression.
Assemblance Exhibition Catalogue
3 – 30 March 2017
Art. An expression of imagination. Starting with a single word and ending with a masterpiece. A single piece of art can often be the topic of years of mystery and discussion.
The written word is another expression of the imagination. Painting with words brings clarity and insight to often vaguely understood concepts. History notes that Leonardo da Vinci recorded more than 13 000 pages of notes throughout his career. Words can paint a picture, when colours seem to fade.
The “US Woordfees” is a collective of artists and creatives combining their voices to inspire, challenge, explore and sometimes just to entertain.
Woordfees Exhibition Catalogue