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Proximity by Proxy at Barnard Gallery

by | May 9, 2016 | News | 0 comments

Barnard Gallery presents Proximity by Proxy, a solo exhibition of work by MJ Lourens.

Despite their initial, almost photorealistic appearance, it would be a mistake to assume that the brooding landscapes of MJ Lourens are simply exercises in exactitude.

Their apparent realism contains within it a consistent surrealism, a continuous exploration of the liminal and peripheral, a permeating stillness that disrupts the familiarity of the distant cityscapes. While certainly standing testament to Lourens’ exceptional skills as a painter, these images also, and perhaps more importantly, record the artist’s ongoing meditations on the relationship between place and subjectivity, and the ways in which the two continuously determine each other.

Within this meditation the lines between internal and external are blurred, and the notion of the “in between” reoccurs time and time again – in between night and day, here and there, urban and suburban, presence and absence.

This collection of work also in turn signifies a shift in the artist’s approach as he extends the notion of the “in between” to the actual painted surface, pushing further and further into the space between figuration and abstraction, control and intuition. The result is a striking collection of works, as evocative as they are virtuosic.

MJ Lourens studied Fine Art at the University of Pretoria from 1992 to 1996 and was the winner of the Sasol New Signatures Award presented by the Pretoria Art Museum in 1995. Since then he has established a career as a painter, sculptor and filmmaker presenting a number of successful solo exhibitions at significant galleries in South Africa while his films have been screened at the likes of the Commonwealth Film Festival and the African International Film Festival in Spain. The artist’s work can be found in a number of academic and corporate collections including amongst others UNISA, South African Reserve Bank and British Airways.

WHAT: Proximity by Proxy – MJ Lourens

WHERE: Barnard Gallery, 55 Main St Newlands, Cape Town 7700

WHEN: until May 31, 2016

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