'Thinking, Feeling, Head, Heart'Group Show at The New Church
In November 2012 The New Church Museum, South Africa’s first contemporary art museum, opened its doors to the public with an exhibition from its permanent collection, ‘Subject as Matter’ curated by Penny Siopis. Two years on, the museum is delighted to welcome you to the opening of its fifth exhibition, ‘Thinking, Feeling Head, Heart’ curated by Marilyn Martin.
This exhibition about abstraction maps affinities and connections that emerge between and among particular works and artists held in the museum's collection. The collection is young, yet it has chronological depth and the acquisition of works by the same artist over a period of time adds to its richness and importance.
It is fascinating to view and consider the work of the precursors of modernism in the company of full-blown modernists and the ‘re-modernism’ (to use Terry Smith’s term) of some members of the new generation. The juxtaposition of works by, for example, Ernest Mancoba and Nicholas Hlobo, Kevin Atkinson and Jan-Henri Booyens, Christo Coetzee and Penny Siopis, Patricia Pierce-Atkinson and Georgina Gratrix, and Walter Battiss and Zander Blom reminds us of the power of historical abstraction and reveals new trajectories for the present generation.
The title, ‘Thinking, Feeling, Head, Heart’, taken from Kevin Atkinson’s c. 1976 painting, sums up the broad directions and possibilities of abstract art, past and present. It is cerebral, rigorous and calculated, also visceral and expressionistic; at the same time, abstract art strives for the cosmic and metaphysical through archetypal form; it abstracts from nature and invents new and vital forms; abstract art is suffused with its own poetry or polemics.
Rethinking abstraction is timely. We are witnessing a profound artistic paradigm shift towards abstract art, both in South Africa and abroad. What might this mean in and for art in South Africa? This is one of a number of questions posed by the exhibition.
ILL AINSLIE | KEVIN ATKINSON | AVANT CAR GUARD | WALTER BATTISS | ZANDER BLOM
JAN-HENRI BOOYENS | DINEO SESHEE BOPAPE | WILLEM BOSHOFF | WIM BOTHA
CHRISTO COETZEE | BAREND DE WET | PAUL EDMUNDS | NEL ERASMUS | KENDELL GEERS
JARED GINSBURG | GEORGINA GRATRIX | IAN GROSE | DAN HALTER | NICHOLAS HLOBO
WOPKO JENSMA | ERNEST MANCOBA | MAJA MARX | LOUIS MAQHUBELA | KYLE MORLAND
CHRISTIAN NERF | SERGE ALAIN NITEGEKA | STANLEY PINKER | CAMERON PLATTER
GERDA SCHEEPERS | ROSENCLAIRE | ROSE SHAKINOVSKY | PENNY SIOPIS | MARY WAFER
02 December - 25 April