South African visual artist James de Villiers

James de Villiers

South Africa | 19 artworks for sale

  • Liminal Space Map - Painting by James de Villiers Liminal Space Map
    Painting / 60 x 90 cm
    R14 000
  • Strata - Painting by James de Villiers Strata
    Painting / 61 x 92 cm
    R12 000
  • That Other World - Painting by James de Villiers
    Reserved
    That Other World
    Painting / 60 x 90 cm
    R14 000
  • In Search Of Enigmas - Painting by James de Villiers In Search Of Enigmas
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
    R38 000
  • Particle Trails - Painting by James de Villiers Particle Trails
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
    R38 000
  • LHC3b - Painting by James de Villiers LHC3b
    Painting / 152 x 122 cm
    R36 000
  • Orbital Abstraction - Painting by James de Villiers Orbital Abstraction
    Painting / 100 x 100 cm
    R24 000
  • Rebirth - Painting by James de Villiers Rebirth
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
    R36 000
  • Memory Of Spring - Painting by James de Villiers Memory Of Spring
    Painting / 153 x 115 cm
    R35 000
  • Signs - Painting by James de Villiers Signs
    Painting / 102 x 67 cm
    R13 000
  • Etude #2 - Painting by James de Villiers Etude #2
    Painting / 90 x 59 cm
    R9 750
  • Symphonic Piece No.1 - Painting by James de Villiers Symphonic Piece No.1
    Painting / 138 x 85 cm
    R26 000
  • Symphonic Piece No.2 - Painting by James de Villiers Symphonic Piece No.2
    Painting / 143 x 93 cm
    R30 000
  • Colourfield 10 - Painting by James de Villiers Colourfield 10
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
    R34 000
  • Etude #1 - Painting by James de Villiers Etude #1
    Painting / 97 x 58 cm
    R9 750
  • Neuron Structures - Painting by James de Villiers Neuron Structures
    Painting / 152 x 122 cm
    R36 000
  • Quantum Shift - Painting by James de Villiers Quantum Shift
    Painting / 152 x 114 cm
    R38 000
  • Seasonal Change - Painting by James de Villiers Seasonal Change
    Painting / 180 x 150 cm
    R42 000
  • Confluence - Painting by James de Villiers Confluence
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
    R36 000
  • Fallen Flowers - Painting by James de Villiers
    Fallen Flowers
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
  • Heat - Painting by James de Villiers
    Heat
    Painting / 122 x 152 cm
  • Plexus III - Painting by James de Villiers
    Plexus III
    Painting / 100 x 80 cm
  • Particle Physics - Painting by James de Villiers
    Particle Physics
    Painting / 152 x 122 cm
  • Plexus - Painting by James de Villiers
    Plexus
    Painting / 152 x 122 cm
  • Summer Blossoms II - Painting by James de Villiers
    Summer Blossoms II
    Painting / 92 x 61 cm
  • The Force - Painting by James de Villiers
    The Force
    Painting / 180 x 180 cm
  • Sic Transit Gloria Mundi - Painting by James de Villiers
    Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
    Painting / 152 x 122 cm
  • Summer Blossoms I - Painting by James de Villiers
    Summer Blossoms I
    Painting / 111 x 51 cm
  • LHC 111 - Painting by James de Villiers
    LHC 111
    Painting / 120 x 150 cm
  • Summer Earth - Painting by James de Villiers
    Summer Earth
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
  • The City And The River - Abstract Painting by James de Villiers
    The City And The River
    Abstract Painting / 245 x 149 cm
  • Horizon Line - Painting by James de Villiers
    Horizon Line
    Painting / 153 x 92 cm
  • Thought As Linear Expression 5 - Painting by James de Villiers
    Thought As Linear Expression 5
    Painting / 122 x 153 cm
  • Spring - Painting by James de Villiers
    Spring
    Painting / 122 x 152 cm
  • Where The Wind Blows - Painting by James de Villiers
    Where The Wind Blows
    Painting / 180 x 180 cm
  • Tree Of Knowledge - Painting by James de Villiers
    Tree Of Knowledge
    Painting / 150 x 120 cm
  • Amazon - Painting by James de Villiers
    Amazon
    Painting / 120 x 150 cm
  • Leaves - Painting by James de Villiers
    Leaves
    Painting / 120 x 150 cm
  • Colourfield #I - Painting by James de Villiers
    Colourfield #I
    Painting / 153 x 122 cm
  • The Garden Of Babel - Painting by James de Villiers
    The Garden Of Babel
    Painting / 122 x 155 cm
  • Forest - Painting by James de Villiers
    Forest
    Painting / 114 x 152 cm
  • Vortex - Painting by James de Villiers
    Vortex
    Painting / 100 x 80 cm
  • Branches - Painting by James de Villiers
    Branches
    Painting / 122 x 152 cm
  • Large Hadron Collider I - Large Oil Painting by James de Villiers
    Large Hadron Collider I
    Large Oil Painting / 152 x 122 cm
De Villiers' work is concerned with change, decay, destruction, and the passage of time. It also specifically deals with the vulnerability and recovery of nature.
A large part of his present work comes directly from the simultaneous study of Gericault’s “The Raft of the Medusa” and working in the garden. He was studying the painting and found the original plans for the actual raft online and built a scale model. James was fascinated by the grid, the way a grid was used as a life support mechanism, and what that raft can represent conceptually. It led him to think of birds’ nests and at the same time, he happened to be doing a lot of trimming in the garden, ending up with piles of twigs, leaves, and branches. Another significant influence has been his studies in particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.

James de Villiers has been active as an artist, since about the age of 19 and has followed a path of continual exploration, experimentation and self-education.

Over the past ten years or so his painting style has undergone several radical changes although the expressionistic style is one he had in the 1980s. He has been influenced mainly by the Dutch, German and Flemish masters and has produced a large body of realist works which include landscape, still life, portraits, and skyscapes. A small part of his output in the 1990s includes paintings based on South African history, namely the Anglo Boer War and the Zulu War. He works between realism and expressionism, emphasising the particular style when the need demands it.

De Villiers' main themes are derived from a study of military, art and social history, an interest in archaeology, science, ecology and music.

Selected Exhibitions:

2021
Affordable Art Fair 2021 at EDG2020 Gallery, Kyalami, Johannesburg. Awarded second prize for Vortex, a multimedia screenprinted work on paper.

2018
Group show at White River Gallery, Mpumumlanga, titled "Na die Maal" (After the Meal)
Group exhibition at The Art of Siver Gallery in Cullinan

2017
Group exhibition "Untitled" at the Moor Gallery Franschhoek
Group exhibition "Genre" at the Moor Gallery Franschhoek

2016
Group exhibition "Ephemeral Pleasures" at the Moor Gallery Franschhoek
Group exhibition "Muse Montage" at Eclectica Design and Art
Group exhibition "Scapes: Rhythms of an Environment" at StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition "Optical Diversions" at Eclectica Design and Art Gallery, Cape Town

2016 July  A pastel painting titled "After the Battle" accepted by the Delville Wood Memorial Museum in the Somme, France

2013
Solo exhibition “Decay Transfigured” at Gallery on 6th in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.

2011
Group exhibition “Altered Pieces” at the Thompson Gallery

2010
Solo exhibition “Earth & Sky” at Right on the Rim at Arts on Main in Johannesburg.

2009
Group exhibition “War and Hate” at Right on the Rim, Arts on Main, Johannesburg

2006
Solo exhibition “Nature Morte” at the Gordart gallery in Melville, Johannesburg

2005
Group exhbition “Earth & Sky” at the Gerard Sekoto Gallery, Alliance Francaise, Johannesburg
Group Exhibition “Forty Hand painted Pictures” at Gordart Gallery

2004
Exhibited on group shows at Gordart Gallery, Melville “For the Record/Off the Record”. Organised and performed in “Mayday Experimental music evening” at Gordart.
Exhibited in Christmas Miniature show Gordart Gallery

1999
Participated in group exhibition touring Mexico and the US, “Transmigrations 1999”

1998
Group exhibition ”Buttons” at the Civic Gallery, Johannesburg

1996
“Landscapes”, two-man show at Gallery Palette, Pretoria Art Gallery with Pieter Swanepoel

1994
Group exhibition “Biting The Ballot”, Rembrandt Gallery, Johannesburg
Group Show at the ICA, Johannesburg

1993
Solo exhibition at the Long Gallery, SA Association of Art Gallery, Cape Town

 

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
The use of digital media.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Christo Coetzee for his incredible range of subject matter and mastery of style and mediums along with a vision that withstands the test of time.
 
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Anselm Kiefer’s “Eros — Thanatos,” 2019. Emulsion, oil paint, acrylic, shellac, gold leaf, wood and metal on canvas.
 
Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Anthony Scullion, Erika Hibbert and Nicholas Hauser. I have known each of the artists personally over a long period of time and each of us owns an artwork of the other. We have very different styles but there are common threads which link them.
 
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
My mother who painted in her spare time inspired me at the age of 17 and when I became an apprentice photo-lithographer and process engraver at The Natal Witness newspaper in 1972, that was when I knew I wanted to be an artist.
 
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
My relationship with nature regarding the processes of decay and growth and more specifically, the interconnections of the micro- and macrocosms of existence as reflected in astronomy and particle physics. The mystery of existence and the transmutation of energy.
 
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
Most works are part of a lengthy process of overlaying and erasing of various ideas and materials. Some paintings are on the other hand very spontaneous and quickly executed. Many paintings and screenprints take up to several years to complete due to new ideas overlaying the original idea. A continual metamorphosis and layering.
 
Tell us more about your creative process.
An artwork usually starts off with an observation of some kind of phenomenon in the natural world which also connects to my spiritual understanding at the time. At first I use very broad and spontaneous brushwork to establish a workable, dynamic surface. The basic form of the work often changes radically in the early stages. From then on the artwork could be resolved over a few days if there aren’t many layers of paint. However if I’m using thick oil or acrylic paint the drying time of paint layers dictates the speed which the painting will finish. I prefer working with oil paint and a painting may take up to a year to be adequately dry to be considered for either selling or exhibiting. I often use screenprinting to establish background patterning or texture when I’m doing certain subject matter on canvas or paper. This is mostly acrylic based.
 
Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
It depends on what type of art one does and I think art could possibly make a viewer more aware of certain environmental and social issues. I don’t think artworks really reach the people who most need to heed whatever societal message is contained in them. In my opinion it is documentary photography and film which has the most impact and greater chance of reaching a wider audience.
 
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
The Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck
 
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
I am able to make a living from my art.
 
What are your aspirations for the future?
I would like to be able to refine my art both conceptually and technically to a very high level and also reach a wider audience.