Nov 12 – Dec 3, 2015
From formal materiality through to unpredictable and temporary languages each artist presented in @play places experimentation, and the processes of physical mark making at the core of their practice. Allerton, Bester, Kunneke, van Reenen and Wozniak each feature with their own unique voices and set of concerns. There is however a consistent thread in their five emotive discourses - to explore the notions and the qualities of the languages of ‘contemporary sculpture’, often with an apparently playful approach, gently poking at our most tender , fragile depths. This is not to say that any of them are not deadly serious about what they do, just as comedians often confront the most complex and poignant of our human foibles.
From bronze and resin casting, to woodworking, ‘painting’ and 3D PLA printing – the more ‘traditional’ forms of materiality stand shoulder to shoulder with animation, music, temporary visceral installations and delicate perishable media.
Highlighting a set of fresh voices, @play serves to introduce a vibrant and lively conversation between these artists, an intermingling of a fresh and playfully exuberant body of works.
Florian Wozniak’s view of the world around him’ shows the spirit of an experienced and earnest sculptor with determined and unselfconscious imagination.’ Having spent his childhood in Germany, India and then in South Africa, his movement based fluid bronzes often cite moments of anticipation and physical action of contemporary life as it unfolds around him. Increasingly Wozniak pokes fun at himself and us, from the furiously careening “Hard Drive”, to the self-appointed “King”. Wozniak studied sculpture, printmaking, drawing, painting, history of art, art criticism, German and religious studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, graduating with a BA in Fine Art in sculpture. With solo and group exhibitions in Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States, he is represented in public and private collections both here and abroad.
Frank van Reenen‘s sculptural personas, animations and painting contain a sense of ‘candy floss’ wit and irony. Beneath this façade lies a commentary and critique often of clichés and political correctness. Nostalgic childhood references, coupled with distilled current cultural trends, enables Van Reenen not only to tease and inspire his audience, but in turn challenge and unsettle their comfort zones with his probing investigations . Van Reenen completed his fine art degree at the University of Stellenbosch. He has exhibited extensively both locally and internationally, and has received a Loerie award for his bi-monthly publication. He has been nominated for a Kyknet Fiesta award, and twice has been a finalist in the Absa Atelier competition. Van Reenen’s work can be found in a number of private and public collections, both in South Africa and abroad.
Jop Kunneke’s satirical observations cast a critical urbanized eye on ‘our collective narcissistic greed and the driving forces behind it ’. His starting points in @play reference contemporary popular culture and ancient Classical monumental sculpture. By moving from bronze sculpture, to delicate digitally manipulated 3D PLA printed plastic and brass plates tagged with various lacquers and paints Kunneke pushes the notions of what can be described as a ‘sculptural form’ and its ‘formal surface’ identity. Kunneke’s work forms part of private collections in South Africa as well as London, Amsterdam, Rome and New York City. He has exhibited extensively locally and abroad and holds a National Higher Diploma (Fine Art) from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa.
Concerned with the processes of un-making and re-making, Lynette Bester’s formal investigations de-contextualize the everyday ‘object’ around us. From one stand pianos, to workman’s stepladders and car guard’s chairs – Bester’s journey is an exploration of ‘materiality and meaning’ and the ritualised processes of making through which ‘the chosen objects’ can be taken apart and put back together . The conclusion for Bester is ‘the creation of a new object’, where the original object is still recognizable but somehow shifted - ‘it is laden with an imbued association and potential’. Living and working in Cape Town, Bester graduated with a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University where she majored in sculpture. Selected as a finalist in Sasol New Signatures and as a Top Ten finalist for the ABSA L'Atelier Art Competition she has had solo gallery and museum exhibitions in South Africa and a number of group exhibitions locally and internationally. Bester has travelled to Brazil, Egypt and United Kingdom to name but a few, and is presented in various local and international collections.
With a focus on the ‘unconscious rawness and total absence of a contrived control’, Samuel Allerton strives to capture the spontaneous, uninhibited in his approach to mark- making and the total enjoyment of the ‘simpler act of expression’. Often associated with quite minimal, contemplative forms or monumental sculptures, Allerton’s narratives reference nature directly, attempting to ‘look beyond our fears and ignorance and at our role in the destruction of the world around us’. Allerton is a Cape Town based sculptor working mainly in bronze and resin. Graduating from the University of Cape Town's Michaelis School of Art with distinction, Allerton’s work is in various public and private collections both here and abroad and has received many awards, including the Gauloise Painting Competition at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.