Sulger-Buel Lovell cordially invites you to attend the opening of our next solo exhibition featuring Vivien Kohler (South Africa), titled At the Still Point of the Turning World curated by Andrew Lamprecht. The exhibition will be opened in the presence of the artist on Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 18:30 and the exhibition runs until Friday 30 November 2018.
About the Artist:
Born 1976, in Johannesburg, South Africa
Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa
Vivien Kohler is an experimental mixed media painter based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The concept of liminality; the liminal city and its people, lies at the core of Kohler’s work, which explores migration, marginalization and displacement in the urban landscape of post-Apartheid South Africa.
“His work has an immediate and intimate relationship with the materiality of the city” - Prof. Gore
Kohler constructs two and three dimensional assemblage pieces; appropriating discarded material, painting naturalistic figures and detailed replications of packaging material (a layered visual metaphor signifying transience, migration, displacement), to articulate challenging social and economic circumstances that affect those on the periphery. “My works do not hide the realities of the unfair perception, but symbolically display it in relations to the liberating verdict of the human spirit”. Fascinated by man's ability to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, he captures with gentle rawness the complexity of the human disposition. His work seeks to illuminate the duality of lived experiences by depicting, with an air of surreality, meditative moments of the individual, mentally cocooned from, yet physically enveloped by life’s detritus.
Kohler received his National Diploma in Fine Art from the Ruth Prowse School of Art and Design in Cape Town, 2000. He has exhibited in art fairs and group shows across South Africa and internationally, including "Is There Still Life" curated by Prof. Michael Godby which featured William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and Willie Bester. He has produced two solo shows to date shown in South Africa; Given to Fly (2012) and De(re)tritus (2014). Clay Opera (2017) is his first international solo exhibition. He has received awards; the ItWeb / brainstorm competition (2012) with his entry commissioned by Vodacom, and in 2013 he was the winner of the Lovell Gallery artist competition. His work is housed in both private and public collections, the latter including the Nandos Collection, the Hollard Collection, SAB and Fusion UK. He has an impressive number of artworks sold (close to 80% of all he has produced).
About the Exhibition:
At the Still Point of the Turning World
Vivien Kohler will bring an array of innovative and technically demanding works together for his latest solo exhibition in London. Tied together by a deep concern for issues of homelessness, poverty and the plight of indigent people in his native South Africa, Kohler takes great care to give dignity to his subjects and present them as human beings facing seemingly insurmountable odds in their everyday life.
The artist works closely with his subjects on a daily basis and the resultant works are not only beautiful and moving but also show technical skill and the development of unique artistic methodologies to portray what he sees as a scourge affecting South Africa. The seeming ‘invisibility’ of the homeless is brought starkly to the forefront in this multimedia exploration of the subject.
A recurring theme in the exhibition is that of cardboard boxes, which are habitually used by homeless people as shelter and sleeping material. Kohler’s cardboard seems to be just that – cardboard – but closer examination reveals that it is actually the product of highly articulated combinations of painting and print and an artistically sophisticated response to the issues he is dealing with ‘At the still point of the turning world.’
In terms of relevance, social responsiveness and innovatory artistic practice, this exhibition is a must-see.
About the Curator:
Andrew Lamprecht is a senior lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. Having curated over twenty exhibitions, he is known as a writer, art historian and theorist with a special interest in contemporary African art. He serves on numerous South African advisory and consultancy boards and committees, including being a member of the acquisitions committee for the Iziko South African National Gallery, an expert advisor to the South African Heritage Resources Agency and is a long-standing member of and former office bearer for the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
Details of Venue:
Address: 51 Surrey Row, Unit 2 La Gare, London SE1 0BZ
Telephone: +44 203 268 2101
Email: [email protected]
Duration: Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 18:30 – Friday 30 November 2018.
Gallery hours during exhibitions: Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 18:00. Weekends or other times by appointment only.
About Sulger-Buel Lovell:
Sulger-Buel Lovell is positioned as part of a new approach in understanding the trajectories of contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora. In the process of social and cultural change in Africa, Sulger-Buel Lovell is determined to highlight the increasing interconnection of artists through the process of globalisation, and to exhibit significant established and emerging talents.
Our belief is that the socio-cultural and economic transformations of Africa can be better understood through the analysis and interpretation of cutting-edge art. Furthermore, contemporary art in Africa is relevant in understanding the broader socio-political context of the continent.
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