Kenneth Bakker, Dumile Feni, Robert Hodgins, Sam Nhlengethwa, Douglas Portway, Cecily Sash, Larry Scully and Cecil Skotnes
“Celebrated South African Artists in Transformation.”
The jazzy subject matter in the diptych ‘And A One and A Two and A Three’ by Sam Nhlengethwa serve as the inspiration for the title of the exhibition which showcases diverse works by a selection of South Africa’s celebrated exponents of Modernist painting from the early 1960s to the near present. The contrasting approaches by eight artists echoes the characteristically dynamic history of the South African artworld. ‘Abstract’ paintings of Kenneth Bakker, Douglas Portway and Larry Scully set the basis for the early attempts by artists to develop a unique South African / African visual narrative. A combination of introspective reworking of close observations and the sublimity of the endless feeling permeates these works. In discord Cecily Sash’s painting is a cerebral sequence much in tune with the American Hard-Edge movement she was well acquainted with. The works by Cecil Skotnes and Robert Hodgins are exemplary samples of the resurgence of figuration despite the persistence of abstraction in South African art form the1960’s to the present. A discord of sorts yet a harmony of endeavour.