/ CURRENT Exhibitions
Stilled Lives II
21 September 2018 to 10 October 2018
Conceptually and thematically, the selection of paintings on this exhibition reflects Karin Preller’s ongoing interest in the relationships between painting, photography and memory through the prism of family snapshots and stills from home movies mainly of the 1960s and 1970s. All of her paintings that take family photographs as subject matter are autobiographical; a personal history archived as photographs and film, revisited and ‘re-presented’ in paint.
More than an engagement with nostalgia, the interaction between painting and photography is pivotal to Preller’s work. Painstaking manipulation of paint on canvas is the very antithesis of the ephemeral fragility of the snapshot. The ambiguous surface (caught disquietly between the painterly and photographic), allows the most throwaway snapshot to become ‘visible – the blur of time inscribed both in the photographs and in their reappearance in oils.
Known mainly for her photo-based paintings referencing pictorial archives such as family albums, still life remains an ongoing interest. Exhibited together, the photographed object and the ‘photograph as object’ interact with each other, emphasising both the nature of still life (as memento mori – reminders of the fragility and transience of existence) and of the photograph as already an object; as already a ‘still life’.
Hyperbolic Discount (plus or minus 2)
7 September 2018 to 16 September 2018
Hyperbolic discounting is a cognitive bias, an ingrained mental chaos that defies logic and common sense. It happens when people would rather receive R5 right now than R10 in a month’s time. Given two similar rewards, people show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. We are said to discount the value of the later reward by a factor that increases with the length of the delay. The true objective of the brain is to maximize the rate of reward - it has a built-in mechanism that produces a greater desire for immediate satisfaction. It is often argued that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 plus/or minus 2, or the 'magical number' plus/or minus 2, which may be the difference between experts and novices depending on the chunking of information.
This exhibition of Kobus Rossouw - which consists of toner-powder paintings, woodcuts, etchings and screen prints - comments on a person’s irrational desire for an immediate reward rather than a higher value, delayed reward and how that is influenced by short term memory. It also comments on superstitious pigeons and the 'reconditioning' of a superstitious response after extinction; in other words human nature.
The artist has an unorthodox approach to painting and printmaking. The subject matter in his work is mostly superficial, but sometimes explores relationships and how we confront our identity. A recurring theme is how we burden ourselves by constantly striving for self improvement, rather than just 'being'.
The artist says: “My work is what it is: marks on canvas and board. No efforts are made to engineer meaning and influence interpretation. It is, however, capable of adding value to dialogue."
Potter of the month
Potter of the Month: Dale LambertDale Lambert is the Association of Arts Pretoria and Ceramics SA’s Potter of the Month for September 2018.
Her fascination with clay and form goes back to early childhood when she would spend countless inspired hours in the sandpit. For as long as she can remember she was obsessed with clay creations. She is intrigued by the fact that a substance as rudimentary as clay can be transformed to express the complex and diverse world around her.
She used to work with porcelain and experienced the thrill that only working with the medium allows. Her affinity with porcelain exists because it mirrors personal vulnerability and sensitivity whilst also containing a quiet inner strength.
In recent years she started using stoneware clay bodies, such as on this exhibition. She wanted to concentrate on vibrant and muted colours alike. She says: ‘I want to work on achieving better and bolder forms. I constantly want to challenge myself and achieve more because every day that I can be in my studio is a blessing.’