Past Exhibitions

Johannes du Plessis, ‘Figuration’, 02 November 2013 – 16 November 2013

Johannes du Plessis

Johannes du Plessis is a well-known and respected South African artist who has been exhibiting since 1982 in South Africa and internationally and his works are represented in public and private collections all over the world.


Apart from the immediate idea of space, emphasized by the “endlessness” that borderlines each work, the artist’s spontaneous approach in creating disguised objects and figures in an expressionistic style successfully facilitates the expression of a much bigger idea. Du Plessis’ work does not fit any specific category as his style is not a label, but much rather an effective tool. His work represents a vast playground of fulfilment with several stimuli as artistic references, all eventually recognizable and available to the viewer as if his/her own.

Playful but serious, and always in search for the ultimate challenge, Du Plessis’ “Figuration” can be best described as “Infinite”.

Johannes du Plessis, ‘Provinance’, 27 October 2012 – 27 November 2012

Johannes du Plessis

Johannes du Plessis is a well-known and respected South African artist who has been exhibiting since 1982 in South Africa and internationally and his works are represented in public and private collections all over the world.

Comments about Du Plessis’ work:

Hannes Loots, ‘Ghôba’, 15 – 29 September 2012

Hannes Loots

Hannes Loots studied sculpturing techniques by attending the Art School of Port Elizabeth Technicon’s Faculty of Art and Design under the guidance of David Jones and Andriette Wentzel. From 1992 to 1995 Loots completed advanced courses in sculpting techniques, moulds and design using different media. In 2012 Loots did marble sculpturing in the studio and under the guidance of the master sculptor, Severino Braccialarghe in Croce/Caldarola, Italy.

Loots was awarded the Dave MacGregor sculpture trophy by the Eastern Province Society of Fine Arts in 1993 and has since 1996 taken part in many combined exhibitions in South Africa and Dubai.

Although working in different media, Loots prefer indigenous wood, bronze, stone and soft metals.

Loots is a medical doctor, executive consultant, student in philosophy, traveller and sculptor living in Stellenbosch.

About his creations, Loots says: ‘My sculptures are uncomplicated and somewhat impulsive, but I do not reduce art to simplicity. The texture, colour and form are often dictated by the medium used. I do find ideas, inspiration and motivation in what I read, touch and observe about things in the world around me. Art is for me to see and to imagine.’

This exhibition is titled Ghôba, after ‘Ghôba’s place’, which is the ruins of an old shepherd’s stand on a family farm in the Karoo where ancient stone artefacts present itself from time to time. The origin of the name Ghôba is, however, unknown.

Thijs Nel, ‘Vintage’, 14 – 17 June 2012

Thijs Nel – Homage to Henri Matisse

In 1968 het twee belangrike dinge in my lewe plaasgevind. Dit was my eerste besoek aan Europa (‘n periode van 6 maande – twee kruis en dwars oor Europa en ‘n verblyf van vier maande in Londen) en dit was die eerste oorsig tentoonstelling van die werk van Henri Matisse by die Hayward Gallery in Londen.

Ek het ‘n vrypas vir die Matisse uitstalling gekoop en oor ‘n periode van drie maande bykans elke dag ‘n pelgrimstog onderneem en dan vir ‘n paar ure lank een of twee meesterstukke ingedrink. Op 25 – ek het my verjaarsdag in Rome gevier – was die lewe oop, opwindend en vol belofte en die Matisse-skou, het ‘n meer blywende indruk gelaat as wat ek van bewus was.

Ware kuns, kan net deur direkte persepsie ervaar word op ‘n vlak wat hoër is as die intellek en dit is onmoontlik om dit deur middel van die semantiek te probeer verklaar want kuns bly in die kunstenaar en met sy kennis, vernuf en vaardigheid, word ‘n kunswerk of artefak vergestalt. Die toeskouer moet op sy beurt, met sy kennis, vernuf en vaardigheid, die kunswerk vir homself voltooi – dit vul met waarde…en sonder kennis, kan daar geen waardering wees nie. Hierdie waardering sal uniek van individu tot individu verskil.

Henri Matisse word alom beskou as die vader van ‘moderne kuns’ en sy leermeester/mentor, Gustave Moreau het met reg voorspel

dat Matisse die skilderkuns van die moordende juk van die akademiese skoling toentertyd sou bevry.

Min mense is daarvan bewus dat ontwerp, en op sy wydste geneem alle internasionale padtekens en selfs winkel uitstal vernuf te danke is aan Matisse…veral die eenvoud van sy grafika en papier knipkuns van sy laaste jare.

Die helder kleur aanwending in Matisse se werk het eers inslag gegry na ‘n eerste besoek aan Maroco waar die helder lig van Afrika die absolute teenstelling is van die sagte noordelig van Europa.

Ever since I started exhibiting, the critics commented on the Matisse influence in my work. For me that influence was and still is, ‘colour pitch’ in the sense that some people have ‘perfect pitch’ in music, some artists have the gift of perfect colour pitch. As far as content and composition goes, I have very little in common with Monsieur Matisse. He painted lots of interiors filled with the human form, mostly beautiful women – something I do not do. My work was traditional in the beginning – still life, interiors, gardens and landscapes, as observed through my outer and inner ‘window’. Some still life objects and organic forms have stayed with me and will always be part of my visual vocabulary.

My ‘Homage to Matisse’ was and still remains in gratitude for the flame that Henri Matisse helped to kindle. He stimulated the awareness that a painting must have some decorative soul, that a painting should give beauty and tranquility in a world of chaos, destruction and often utter ugliness.

When I was invited to be guest artist at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, in 1986, ‘Homage to Matisse’ was the centre piece and also chosen for the poster…a first of its kind in South Africa at the time. It was not for sale as the Guest Artist project was an incentive to introduce deserving artists, living and working in Johannesburg, to the public. But several offers to buy it, were made, one from the Durban Art Museum as well as visitors from overseas.

Somehow I could not part with it: it was and probably still is an umbilical cord that binds me not only to Matisse, but in a sense to the creative impulse that directs every human being.

At a very young age I decided that life is not particularly beautiful or fair and made a promise that I would endeavour to make everything I do, beautiful – beautiful for me and hopefully in that sense also meaningful to some other people.

Now that I find myself in the last quarter of my life, I can let go of Matisse and all my wonderful mentors as I slowly realize that all of that meaning and beauty has been internalised and that my paintings can be released to have a free life of their own.

David Myers, ‘A New Signature’, 17 – 20 November 2011

David’s Story

David didn’t come to painting by any conventional route. There was no lifetime interest in art. There was no family art background. There was no burning desire to capture nature on canvas. There was no art education or training. In fact, by the time he reached retirement age, he had never so much as lifted a brush.

His journey began on Monday the 29th of October 2007. It started off like any orher day. He arranged a meeting with a potential new client at his creative marketing company. There’s nothing unusual about that. In the middle of the meeting, the stranger (are they called so because they are odder than other people we know?) blurted out:

‘Do you paint?’

He replied in the negative.

‘But you SHOULD paint’, she responded rather forcefully.

‘No, I shouldn’t, I have no interest in art’, he said, equally forcefully.

They reached an impasse and she reluctantly agreed to drop the subject. But she’d invaded his headspace and over the next few days he found himself thinking that maybe there was a message

in there somewhere. The more he tried to dispel the thought, the stronger it became.

As a direct result of that rather surreal meeting he began dabbling in art. His first few efforts were, to say the least, inauspicious. But he persisted. Although he had no idea what to do, he steadfastly refused to go for lessons. Men don’t ask directions, you see. His dabbling soon became prolific. He became more passionate. But he remained adamant there would be no lessons. His refusal to be taught was born of ignorance and fear rather than arrogance.

He decided early on that he would not copy anyone and would only paint the images that formed in his head. He believed that a teacher would want him to do things ‘the proper way’ and force him to conform to the way conventional artists did things. Mavericks hate being told what to do.Today, on the eve of his first exhibition, he has still not had a lesson. He has made countless mistakes and spoiled many canvasses. Mistakes are expensive and make you learn fast.David has never wanted to paint for art connoisseurs nor has he ever sought the approval of the art establishment. Instead he strives to create work that is unique and original and reflects his personality. He wants to produce work that is different and that people want to have hanging on their walls.You may like his work or you may not. But you will never say ‘I’ve seen that before’.He has dedicated his first exhibition to that irritating stranger he met four years ago. And whom he has never seen again.

Johannes du Plessis, ‘Provocative’, 27 October 2011

Johannes du Plessis

Johannes du Plessis is a well-known and respected South African artist who has been exhibiting since 1982 in South Africa and internationally and his works are represented in public and private collections all over the world.

Comments about Du Plessis’ work:

About the Artist:

‘Du Plessis is a wizard of form and colour. He casts spells on canvas, conjuring new and greater order out of whirls of chaos. His magic lies in his spontaneity and intuition. He throws calculation to the wind, trusting that the viewer will meet him halfway in the creation of each work and believes that an artist must possess nature – he must identify with ‘her’ rhythms and look to her mastery to inspire his own language. His contemporary expressionist approach appeals to the imagination and encourages communication’. Lara Potgieter, Premier Magazine, 2011.

‘Spontaneity – Immediacy – Directness. These are the words that constantly crop up when describing Du Plessis’ paintings. His pictures are on the canvas waiting for him to reveal them. This he does by covering the canvas with random swirls of paint and by a process of removing and adding paint the images gradually develop. These are not paintings to be passed over in a rush – Du Plessis is a wizard casting a spell, look into his paintings you will become trapped, the more you look at them the more there is to see’. – Ann Palmer, Sotheby’s

What inspires the artist?