Absa L’Atelier | Ian Grose: Then and Now



Ian Grose is a Cape Town-based painter who is represented by the Stevenson Gallery. He’s had several solo exhibitions that have been very well received and at last year’s Joburg Art Fair the Stevenson booth comprised his work exclusively. In 2011, he won the Absa L’Atelier award and spent six months in residence in  Paris. We got in touch with Ian now to find out how that experience influenced and impacted where he is today – one of South Africa’s most interesting young painters.


“The best thing about winning the award was the financial buffer it afforded, which gave me the opportunity to really spend time looking and learning. Coupled with the residency’s location amongst some of the richest collections of art in the world (and the CIDA card that gets you in for free without having to wait in line), it’s really a perfect prize for a South African with an interest in art and history.


“Winning the award gave my work great exposure. And then the residency itself influenced my work profoundly, in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I gained many new friends from around the world, which makes travelling a lot easier… and the sustained proximity to museums deepened my interest in and understanding of history. Also, unexpectedly, I learnt the value of our position in South Africa; the historical centre of the art world isn’t necessarily the best place to be right now.


“You really have nothing to lose, so enter without expectation and then forget about it.”


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Great art takes blood, sweat and tears.


Entries to the 2014 Absa L’Atelier competition close on Friday 7 March. Only online entries will be accepted. Click here for more info.


Young artists, aged 21-35 may enter, and also art students (meeting the requirements) who are in their final year of study. Entrants may submit a maximum of 3 pieces, which must be original and completed in the 24 months prior to closing date.


–          Main prize: R150 000 from Absa, a return air ricket to Paris and at least 3 months (no more than 6) study and accommodation at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris


–          The Gerard Sekoto Award prize: (most promising artist with an annual income less than R60 000) A return air ticket to Paris and 3 month residency at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, sponsored by Alliance Francaise and French Embassy


–          Two Merit Award prize: 2 month stint at the Sylt Foundation on the Island of Syly in Germany and 1 month stay at the Ampersand Foundation in New York



Ian Grose

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