138 Jan Smuts Avenue
Tuesday – Friday
09:30 – 17:30
10:00 – 15:00
Sunday – Monday
by appointment Visit Website
Established as one of South Africa’s leading fine art galleries, Gallery 2 is built on a strong affection for the arts, promoting young contemporary up-and-coming artists across all disciplines.
This exhibition explores the myth that abstract art, as well as the contemporary art-making process in creating ‘abstract art’, is dead. Any art student can tell you of the two golden ages of abstract art, between 1912 and 1925; and again between 1947 and 1970. Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and Jackson Pollock are some of the well-known artists from these eras.
So, did this art form, known for informal composition and general independence from overt visual references to ‘reality’, expire after 1970? A brief internet search reveals that abstract art is generally still very popular, (think of artists such as Anish Kapoor and Gerard Richter). The question is, it may still be popular, but is abstract art still radical, still relevant? When Kazimir Malevich exhibited his first Black Square in late 1915, it was regarded as enigmatic, a work that demarcated the ‘new’ art from the ‘old’ art. Some current commentators speculate that it sometimes feel as if this ‘radical’ energy has dissipated
SEE ART: Contemporary Abstract explores how selected artists approach this question, how they explore contemporary possibilities in abstract art-making.
For example, abstract art is not necessarily abstract. In 1951 the Dutch artist Willem de Kooning said "There is no style of painting now. There are as many naturalists among the abstract painters as there are abstract painters among the subject matter school". The German artist Sigmar Polke, who died in 2010, moved paint, resin, meteorite dust and silk screens around in search of an image, or often maybe not. Many artists believe that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as abstraction – that abstract art-making is a state of mind. The New Zealand artist Maxwell Harold says "The impulse moves between the instant and the gradual... in alertness and attention. … inherently mysterious, it’s a state of being where there is no recognizable ‘Mind’...".
SEE ART: Contemporary Abstract is an exhibition that reminds us of the capacity of abstraction to visualise the unknown, to explore contemporary art-making processes that are free from tradition, which invents a new visual narrative for a post-modern, technological world.
Participating Artists: Allen Laing, Bevan de Wet, Blake Daniels, Colijn Strydom, Collin Cole, Daandrey Steyn, Derek Zietsman, Gordon Froud, Heidi Fourie, Io Makandal, Jenny Stadler, Lothar Böttcher, Natasha Norman, Stephen Hobbs, Wayne Matthews.
Simmonds St & Frederick St
Cnr Bertha and Stiemens streets
155 Jan Smuts Avenue
Cnr Melle and De Korte Streets
142 Jan Smuts Avenue
163 Jan Smuts Avenue
19 Keyes Avenue
Corner of Bertha & Jorissen Streets