Former Mountains – a must-see group show featuring Jean de Wet, Bruce Mackay, Michael Tymbios and Dale Lawrence – is currently on exhibition at Salon91 in Kloof St, Cape Town.
The four artists were selected to exhibit together based on a strong narrative quality common to their individual practices, as well as for the unique quality of line present in and signature of each of their styles. The resulting show is a sophisticated display of drawing and print, seamlessly combining bold expression, abstraction and moments of extremely fine, as well as graphic, detail expressed through a limited palette of red, blues and black.
Each exhibiting artist has taken a truly individual approach to the subject of ‘Former Mountains’; from singular to composite multifaceted interpretations, ranging from the very literal to the far-off, poetic and obscure.
The show will conclude 18 September at 14h00.
Jean de Wet: Inspired by nature documentary films, this is a playful and observational look into the isolated and surreal environment of rock and mountain dwelling organisms, all commuting within an underground network of rooms, quarries, halls and living rooms within the crust of the earth. Biologically unequipped for the ‘outside world’ and thus very acquainted with matter, these communities can often be found celebrating their own existence and civilization through creating art in all mediums and purposes.
Bruce Mackay: With Former Mountains I have attempted to illustrate the effects of authorities and rulers on their worlds and the drastic changing of landscapes caused as power is usurped, dethroned, surrendered, succeeded and inherited. I have attempted to illustrate new regimes consuming their former rulers and the chaos and tension created in the process.
Michael Tymbios: The work that I will be showing at Former Mountains deals with the symptoms and functions of what it means to be descended physically as well as on less concrete levels. Through mark and line there is an amateur investigation of artifacts and a study of sites and landscapes in a bid to reconstruct a narrative, which can be read.
Dale Lawrence: In this body of work I attempt to explore the dynamic nature of memory and legacy and the distortion of which that occurs with loss of context and with the passing of generations. Found illustrations of unfamiliar and outdated machinery, distorted to conform to my own bias about their intended purpose and then re-appropriated to my aesthetic desires, form the subject of the work. They reference our too frequent and expedient resort to religious or ritualistic explanations of temporally foreign people and places upon interpretation of the vestiges of their legacy. Technical drawing provides an empirical and supposedly precise language that, when applied to the generally expressive medium of linocut, comes to reveal its evasion of being known or accurately observed and exposes the distorting effect of ownership as inherent to observation. Memory and understanding are thus imposed at each exchange of meaning from one person or context to the next.