Nicolaas Maritz exhibits works done in 2018 and 2019, inspired by a road trip through the Northern Cape and southern part of Namibia. Landskip is the title of these landscapes on exhibition at the UCT Irma Stern Museum.
Nicolaas Maritz will do a walkabout of Landskip on Saturday 18 May at 11am.
The work displays the artist’s unique control of enamel paint as his preferred medium. Distinctively Nicolaas, you are still in for a few delightful surprises!
‘Most of the landscape works on this exhibition were inspired by a road trip through the Northern Cape and southern part of Namibia during December 2018. Flat and barren wastes, now and then interspersed with sudden crusty rock formations with deep shadows, such personable geological events in an otherwise seemingly endless wasteland, glided by as the tar road stretched straight ahead like a pencil line over brown paper.
No rain has fallen here since I don’t know when. But it’s beautiful in its own repulsive way.
There were few people about, and the one’s I noticed, seemed to appear out of nowhere, and to be living very far apart. The sheep looked tired, in the nicest way possible. The inhospitable aspect of the landscape was exacerbated by extremely hot weather during the day. And a blistering sun. But towards evening a surprisingly cool wind came up. At night the moon and the stars were so much more brilliant than I could recall. The fresh morning landscape was deliciously bathed in a soft and surreal violet light, which I found didn’t photograph well at all. But the purples have always been such difficult colours, especially when it comes to painting; so often too telling, too prosaic…
Crossing the national border between South Africa and Namibia held its own grim fascination; the stern officialese; the strictly formalised process of leaving and entering; the anxious faces of tourists, uncertain in this sudden existential moment, alarmed by loud stamping noises from behind a bullet-proof glass partition. It is a venerable rite of passage, approaching a nightmare, but stoically borne.
Back home, I have to trust my memory to create a painted version of my journey. In doing this, I like afresh the problematic dimensionality of layered paint, the ambiguous order of a chaotic mess, and the ironic coolth of emotionally charged colour. I feel I have succeeded if a successful photograph cannot be taken of the work; that something is left to the intimacy of a primary encounter.’
WHERE: UCT Irma Stern Museum, 21 Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700
WHEN: 11 May to 1 June 2019
Walkabout on Saturday 18 May at 11am
PHOTO: Brown Bush Moon, 2018, enamel paint on board
Flowering Thorn Trees near Windhoek, 2019, enamel paint on board