Exhibition | New Romantics | Contemporary Art at Barnard Gallery | Cape Town | Art Week

New Romantics

Share this

Categories:

Exhibition Type:

Country:

City:

Date: 
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 to Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Opening: 
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 - 6:30pm

For the first time in South Africa an exhibition dedicated to exploring a ‘romantic’ turn in contemporary art will be staged at Barnard from 30 January 2018. It is curated by well known art commentator Mary Corrigall, who has been closely observing this movement, which has largely been confined to a generation of young Cape Town based-painters, all contemporaries. Their works will be presented along with established mid-career artists from Joburg that have been preoccupied with the area where nature, science and the sublime converge under the banner of romanticism. In harnessing and coming to grips with the aesthetic and ideological drivers behind this painterly mode, Corrigall has chosen to dub it ‘new romanticism’ as it shares characteristics with a titular movement in the late 18thcentury.

Painters of that era were similarly standing at the threshold of radical shifts as industralisation and enlightenment were shaping the world. Conversely, a contemporary generation of artists, evincing this ‘romantic’ style are capturing, embracing, uncertainty wrought by threats to the environment and the rise of virtual reality in the post-industrialisation and information era. The post-conceptualist turn in contemporary art has not only seen a renewal in painting but an interest in representing subject-matter that escapes reason or logic. This has allowed artists to embrace their medium, lose themselves in the process of making art, without having to ‘explain’ it and to work more intuitively than before.

The artists selected for this exhibition have plunged head-long into the natural world, concentrating on its grandeur, beauty with an inflection of awe via the ‘mystical’ manner in which they render it.

A contemporary exploration of the sublime, an unknowable entity evading description, underpins the curatorial thread uniting this exhibition.  It is given full expression in Alexia Vogel and Heidi Fourie’s expressive treatment of natural settings which hover at the threshold of figuration and abstraction. Nature provides these artists an apolitical space in which to intuitively follow their painterly impulses. For Sarah Biggs this leads towards an evasive psychic territory, which she represents via figures overshadowed, consumed by abstract organic forms enveloping them.

Ronél de Jager delves into the human body and the depths of the ocean in search of beauty and an understanding of universal conditions written into natural forms.

Rosie Mudge’s so-called glitter paintings evoke a giddy ascent into the sublime via an ‘80s retro vibe, recalling the era of ‘new romantic’ pop. As such nostalgia and gendered aesthetics from that time are collapsed into 19th century ideals from a contemporary point of view.

Extending his interest in cosmology, observatories and mapping the inescapable, Marcus Neustetter charts the ‘spaces between the stars’ via naïve painted lines on found 1950’s celestial maps. Robyn Penn too has her gaze fixed on the sky in her seemingly traditional rendering of a cloud, which embodies an untamable and unknowable aspect of mother nature. Her concern with the impact of global warming redirect our fixation with nature towards conditions that belie its beauty. As such she also presents works deconstructing her image-making, thereby challenging art’s function as ‘the sublime’ or a conduit to it.

Curator ( Name ):

Telephone: 
+27216711553

Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

55 Main Street

Newlands 7700

Cape Town

South Africa

Add new comment

Other shows from Barnard Gallery

view
Alexia Vogel: Light Leak
04/16/2019 to 05/21/2019
view
Richard Mudariki: Maonero Angu (My Reality II)
10/09/2018 to 11/20/2018
view
Tom Cullberg: Finding New Life in an Old Form
08/21/2018 to 10/02/2018
view
Stephen Inggs | Vanessa Cowling: Shoreline
07/17/2018 to 08/14/2018

Pages

_____________________________________________

Related Shows This Week

view
Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840 - 1860
09/08/2019 to 12/08/2019
view
Exhibition: Uptown Meets Downtown / A Group Show
09/29/2019 to 01/05/2020
view
360 Mind Games
11/16/2019 to 11/30/2019
view
Miriam Bloom & Ron Morosan: IN-TER-WO-VEN
09/20/2019 to 11/16/2019
view
A LOVE LETTER: Lynne McDaniel and Lindsey Warren
10/19/2019 to 11/16/2019
view
T. Kelly Mason: Space Film
11/01/2019 to 12/14/2019
view
Space Poetry : The Action Paintings of Michael West
11/07/2019 to 12/21/2019
view
The Observable Universe: Visualizing the Cosmos in Art
09/29/2019 to 01/12/2020

Pages