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blank projects: JAN-HENRI BOOYENS - Some Kind of Nature - 15 May 2014 to 21 June 2014

Current Exhibition


15 May 2014 to 21 June 2014

blank projects
113-115 Sir Lowry Road
Woodstock
Cape Town
South Africa
Africa
T: +27 21 462 4276
F:
M: +27 72 1989 221
W: www.blankprojects.com











Jan-Henri Booyens, Die teorie van weerstand in die gas kamer (2014)
Oil on canvas
170 x 200 cm
123


Artists in this exhibition: JAN-HENRI BOOYENS


JAN-HENRI BOOYENS
 
Some Kind of Nature
 
 Opening Thursday 15 May 2014, 18:00
 (exhibition closes 21 June)
 
blank projects is pleased to present Some Kind of Nature, a solo exhibition of new work by Jan-Henri Booyens. These paintings are the realisation of a process of automatic drawing performed by Booyens during a recent five month retreat.
 
Similar to the Dadaist technique of automatism which relied on the improvised free-flow of thoughts and expressions, Booyens would carry on drawing as he slipped into sleep, only to discover the results of the process the following day. In describing his reasoning for this method, Booyens says that he came about it in order to try and break away from the premeditated conditioning of his compositions. Easily dismissed as insignificant marks and doodles, these drawings have however been brought to life as they are boldly reinterpreted as large-scale oil paintings, demonstrating Booyens' inimitable approach to his medium. Energetic and occasionally violent, the works reveal a physical confrontation with the canvas as Booyens ventures into a wilderness of abstract exploration.
 
Booyens' pictorial vocabulary is complex; throwing together aspects of abstract expressionism and three-chord punk rock, it juxtaposes pared-down, frenetic linear work with backgrounds of densely textured planes of soft monochromes, dominated by melancholic blues. These paintings reveal a search for a new language of painterly abstraction that is uncompromising in its urgency. Through the chaos of these compositions there comes a considered meditation on the productivity of his automatic method that brings a visual order to what might be otherwise seen as random. The works on Some Kind of Nature are simultaneously fearless and defiant, and vulnerable.
 
 
Jan-Henri Booyens’ work is often described in terms of a struggle between the representational and abstract, the rational and chaotic. An affinity and critical engagement with Modernism is coupled with his relationship to the South African landscape, both physical and social. He has been described as a “forerunner of a new kind of formalism" in South African art”*.
 
Recently, Booyens has affected a subtle shift in his work from concerns with graphic pattern and repetition to experiments in texture and line. His most recent paintings signal a swivel in the artist’s gaze, from the external to the internal, with the artist destroying and resurrecting his paintings, mixing his media and introducing new source material.
 
*Mary Corrigall, 2012, ‘Pulling Things Apart: Jan-Henri Booyens’.
 
Born in Johannesburg in 1980, Booyens lives and works between Cape Town and Pretoria. He studied at the Durban Institute of Technology and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, and has taught in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Stellenboosch. Booyens was one-third of the infamous artist collective Avant Car Guard and his work is part of numerous collections, including the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris and the Iziko South African National Gallery. Solo exhibitions to date are The Matt Sparkle (Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, 2008), People Used To Dream About The Future (artSPACE Berlin, 2009), Tectonic (Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, 2010), Strange Days (blank projects, 2012) and Save It Till The Morning After (blank projects, 2013).


www.blankprojects.com






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