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23 Oct 2015 11:53
This is the place. (Supplied)
A sense of
youthful exuberance marks the group show,
This Is the Place, at Salon 91 in
Cape Town until October 31. Paul Senyol’s lyrical line; Andrezej Urbanski’s
clinical yet quirky geometric abstraction; Andrew Sutherland’s light, gentle
brushwork; Dani Loureiro’s sculptural word-play; Jade Klara’s poppish
graphic-design work and Wesley van Eeden, who seems to straddle the styles on
offer – these all add up to an intriguing exhibition.
The artists also collaborate
on a number of pieces.
“This is the
place” where differences co-exist and come together, where the sexy and
superficial co-exist with the profound and philosophical. It Was Us, a
layered image by Senjol, Sutherland and Klara. A tiger seems to rest on the
glass surface (by Klara), beneath which Senyol’s unmistakable wiry lines are interspersed
with Sutherland’s realism (for lack of a better word).
Photo by Dani Loureiro and Andrezej Urbanski
The trio creates a
tantalising image; one is uncertain how to piece these strands together. That
it is one unified image is in itself meaningful: together the surface ignites
in layers that emanate from distinct consciousnesses and distinct stylistic
The tiger rests on
the bed of roses. The fact that an image appealing to the eye results perhaps
gives one a sense that indeed differences can not only tolerate each another
but can also combine to build and establish something the individual, alone and
self-absorbed, simply cannot achieve.
It Was Us, rather than trying to assert
self in contradistinction to the social, transmutes into an “us” without
swallowing the individual in the process. Is that not a lesson for politics?
of the geometrically precise Urbanski with word-sculptor Loureiro confirms this
reading: her words become neon-like electrical signals as Urbanski’s spray
painting lends itself to Loureiro’s playful word “sculptures”. Each enlivens
the other. Duality is overcome as sculptural form and paint coalesce.
stage” piece, marked by a title of coded letters and numbers, is a deluge of
diamonds, an orderly mass of structured lines painted with precision, a
Google-like design (re)contextualised as fine art. The carefully nuanced
squares, planes and “perspective” of Urbanski’s other works on this show
display an exactitude broken asunder – a square is not quite a square, a cube
not quite a cube and a vanishing point is only suggested. These “abstract”
paintings are formal suggestions asking us to see, through the mass of things,
some sort of coherence, while also deconstructing that perception.
This Is the Place is an evocative landscape with a bluish cast. The
actual location of this place is unsure — does it matter? When one is in a
particular place, more often than not one really wants to be elsewhere, or, if
not, to “capture” the place so one may move to a “new” place, to remember it, change
it, own it, return to it. So is one ever actually there?
This show should
appeal to a diverse audience. Its spirit is warm and, without trivialising it,
it is not heavy. It is particularly encouraging to see artists working together
on a single piece, offsetting extreme individualism and opening up a dialogical
relationship between self and other.
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