25 May – 30 June 2018
Featuring artists: Christo Coetzee, Haidee Nel, Carl Buchner, Bastiaan van Stenis, Sam Nhlengethwa, Marlene Dumas, Leandri Erlank, Adele van Heerden, Michal Kruger, Robert Hodgins, Colijn Strydom, William Kentridge, Adriaan Diedericks, San-Mare Raubenheimer & David Tsoka
Walk into any building and you are bound to find at least one portrait. This art form aims to showcase the individual, whether real or imaginary. A well-crafted work is said to portray both appearance and character. Whether realistic or not, a painting or photograph the aim is to represent the feature, personality and traits of the individual. In the words of a well-known Greek philosopher, “The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality.”
The history of portraiture stretches back thousands of years to ancient times, images of Egyptian rulers signalling the start of this genre. Throughout the course of history it was only the rich and famous who were worthy of having their image reflected in a work of art. Among the most well known artist in this genre you are likely to hear the names Velazquez, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh, etc..
More recently the band of Dutch artists from the 17th, English and American artists from the 18th and 19th century and the well known figures from the modern portraiture movement have defined our understanding of the genre. From the latter, names like van Gogh, Manet, and Ganguin come up while the revival of the 70s is associated with name like Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney.
Portrait art can take on many forms, from a painting to a sculpture to a photograph. The essence of art is to give expression to that which is unseen, the same goes for this genre. Many well-known voices from the art world has offered their opinions in this regard, mostly highlighting the role of expression, features and mood in pre-empting interpretation for the connoisseur.