The opening event of Abstract*d, a group exhibition of abstract art curated by Tanja Truscott was held at StateoftheART Gallery on Saturday 7 May 2022.
This artist-run exhibition, curated by Tanja Truscott, is born from a passion for Abstract art. It presents the work of Balekane Legoabe, Odette Marais, Karla Nixon, Tanja Truscott and Shui-Lyn White. Five artists who explore beyond the physical reality to express that which can’t always be explained in words, giving us the time to reflect and look beyond the surface.
For this exhibition five abstract artists were in visual conversation with one another. They ‘spoke’ to one another in images. It was a conversation without words; about line, colour, texture, shape and light. Sometimes the conversation was direct and at other times it was quirky with humorous lateral jumps, but it always spoke about how they saw the world around them through the fundamentals of abstract art.
StateoftheART prides itself on innovative and diverse projects, and by hosting our first artist-led exhibition we are opening our space to fresh voices and new ideas - whilst providing artists with an opportunity to push the boundaries of their own practice.
The exhibition continues until 27 May.
Browse the available artworks online, or visit the Gallery at 50 Buitenkant Street in Cape Town.
Read the curator, Tanja Truscott's opening address below:
"Welcome to the first artist-run exhibition at StateoftheART gallery, owned and run by Jennifer Reynolds.
I must say that curating my first exhibition has been an enriching experience. It pushed my boundaries and clarified my thoughts. For one it got me thinking: Why am I so obsessed with abstract art?
To to the point of gathering four other artists whose work I admire and whom I had never met (until just an hour ago ! :) ) with a similar passion for abstraction, and throwing down the challenge: Make your most abstract painting yet while we are in visual conversation with one another.
In the months before the exhibition we held a visual conversation - in pictures only - taken on our phones and sent via WhatsApp. We ‘spoke’ to one another - about light, shape, form, colour and movement. It gave us a sense of community, a peek into one another’s worlds and served as a catalyst for some of the work on show here. There is more about that in the exhibition handout.
I think one of the answers to our fascination with abstraction is that it is a challenge, for the artist - and the viewer. It is also a burden. Abstract art is generally less understood and many of us don’t know what to make of it, or how to respond to it.
If I paint a landscape it is clear what it is, but if I paint a few squares of yellow, then - what is it? By nature we want to analyse and classify. To make sense of what we see. And while Abstract art may have a reference to the real world, it will be much more open and much less specific.
The work around you has very few direct visual links that we can make sense of. The source of inspiration might be an impression, a memory, a feeling - or it might explore colour for, and in itself. And precisely because it is freed from the weight of reality, it can transport us to many different places.
We, as viewers, can enjoy it for what it evokes in us.
Appreciating abstract art, is a bit like appreciating music. Music is both abstract and evocative. When we listen to a piece of music we never ask What is it? We enjoy it for what it is, we can listen to it again and again because it evokes something, which we don’t need to put into words.
So I would suggest that we approach Abstract art like music. Let is speak to us in its own language and enjoy it what it gives us. In a fast-paced urban world, where we are generally obsessed with facts, data and photographic images, Abstract art gives an opportunity to stand still, to feel and to reflect. You are more likely to delve below the surface to an internal landscape; a world between you and the artist.
Thank you for coming to the opening of Abstrtact*d. We appreciate your presence and support and hope you enjoy the work on show."
View the exhibition online, or see new available work by the artists Tanja Truscott, Shui-Lyn White, Balekane Legoabe, Odette Marais and Karla Nixon.