Space is the Place in the SOLO exhibition section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020
EVERARD READ, TERESA KUTALA FIRMINO, UNTITLED, MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS, 79 X 107 cm (IMAGE COURTESY OF MICHAEL HALL)
The Investec Cape Town Art Fair, now in its eighth edition, presents SOLO, a curated section featuring works by a number of emerging and established artists from around the world, offering a more in-depth view of varied artistic practices from a wide cross section of contexts – in the form of curated solo presentations.
In its third iteration, SOLO will focus on the notion of space and how it presents itself thematically in artworks; through an amalgamation of mediums and concepts that tie into each other, with themes ranging from the representation of the black body and its movement to issues of exile, migration, mythologies and leisure.
Through this focus, SOLO aims to encourage Fair audiences to take note of the power relations that help to shape the boundaries of spaces and what is possible within them and who may enter, with which identities, discourses and interests.
“The solo representation of just one artist at a time, within the broader section, means that the exhibition and the audience can be more focused on the work, and can gain a deeper understanding, less distracted by other things,” says Investec Cape Town Art Fair Director Laura Vincenti.
“Instead of entering a space with multiple artists, and multiple languages, the focus of SOLO gives you more in-depth knowledge of what you’re looking at.”
The following artists have been selected for the SOLO section of the 2020 Investec Cape Art Fair:
Kirsten Beets (South Africa) of Salon Ninety-One in South Africa; Teresa Kutala Firmino (South Africa) of Everard Read Gallery in South Africa; Nina Holmes (South Africa) of Eclectica Contemporary in South Africa; Alexandra Karakashian (South Africa) of SMAC Gallery in South Africa; Riley Holloway (USA) of Lars Kristian Bode in Germany and Sungi Mlengeya (Tanzania) of Afriart Gallery in Uganda.
Salon91, Kirsten Beets:
Kirsteen Beets paints our contemporary Eden. Her paintings inhabit a place somewhere been the real and imagined, a painted mythology that explores ethical realities. She is continually looking at the shifting relationship between people at leisure and the natural world. She isolates the moments of these interactions, sometimes as immersive images other times as curious objects suspended in the picture plane. Snapshots of our curious human interactions with natural environments are all rendered in delicate detail. Her exhibitions are complex collections of observations and imaginary musings made manifest in oil paint on paper, board and linen. Her carefully considered compositions tell a subtle story of serenity and loss, leisure and decay, stasis and transience.
Everard Read, Teresa Kutala Firmino
Teresa Kutala Firmino was born in 1993 in Pomfret, a former military camp in the North West province of South Africa. She is a multimedia artist, now based in Johannesburg, working with paint, photography and performance. She is part of a collective called Kutala Chopeto, which started as an investigation into their shared history which is linked to the 32 Battalion, the soldiers who were settled in Pomfret in the North West Province after the Border War. Their work addresses issues of identity, heritage and history associated with their family’s migration. Similar to her work in the collective, she takes different stories that are derived from the Pomfret community, and restructures, rewrites and re-imagines them in different art forms.
Eclectica Contemporary, Nina Holmes:
Nina Holmes is a Cape Town-based artist and has been featured in many group shows in and around Cape Town. Her body of work is complex and challenging in ways that extend beyond the comfortable colours, light and techniques of the impressionist-esque visuals. The work pushes the viewer to look further, to look through the pleasantries and floral motifs that are richly available in Nina’s plush and sumptuous palette, and to think further about what surrounds us in our daily lives, to recognize what is presented right before our eyes.
SMAC, Alexandra Karakashian:
Karakashian obtained her Bachelor of Art in Fine Art degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2011. Upon graduation, she was awarded both the Judy Steinberg Painting Prize and the Simon Gerson Distinction Award. She went on to graduate with a Masters degree in Fine Art from the same institution in 2015. Karakashian was an artist in residence at Capo d’Arte in Gagliano del Capo, Italy in 2016. The residency culminated in a solo presentation, self-titled Alexandra Karakashian, at the Villa Medici in Gagliano del Capo.
AfriArt Gallery, Sungi Mlengeya:
Sungi is a Tanzanian-born multi-passionate artist and painter. Being among the few emerging female artists in her country, her path has a great influence on many future creatives. Only recently embarking on a full-time art career, her work is already recognized and appreciated by art critics and broader audiences within the country and beyond.
Lars Kristian Bode, Riley Holloway
Riley Holloway (*1989) lives and works in Dallas, US. Holloway is best known for his dynamic work and fresh look at figurative art. His images are often accompanied by text and other personal references embedded within the work. Holloway uses a bold painterly technique to create depth within the portraits. There is a softness he translates accompanied with his wild markings. This is seen with his utilization of charcoal and hand drawing, in conjunction with his ability to control and manipulate oils in a traditional process. There is also a wonderful counterbalance of roughness and masculinity seen in the works. This is accomplished with his utilization of the "unfinished" aspects of the image and the rawness and utilitarian nature of many of the panels, gessos and nails he works upon. Riley Holloway's aesthetics create familiar spaces that are rich in storytelling, free from constraints, and true to his subjects. Holloway's technique is undeniable and his content is rich in both drama, history and intimacy.