Port Elizabeth artist, Anthony Harris‘s ART Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of work by two highly accomplished fine artists that have made their mark on a national level.
MJ Lourens was born (1973) in Pretoria and now lives in Cape Town. Lourens has exhibited extensively in South Africa and this will be his first exhibition in Port Elizabeth. Lourens’s evocative paintings of the Bay and Port Elizabeth are at once familiar and strangely foreboding. Suffused with the quality of light at dusk, the landscapes are permeated by stillness, devoid of human drama.
They speak of absence and emptiness, of isolation and alienation. Yet the distance affected by the panoramic viewpoints and the fading light is simultaneously disrupted by evidence of human intervention – festive lights on Marine Drive that cut across the view towards PE harbour.
Jaco Benade was born (1964) in Olifantshoek. Benade studied architecture at the University of the Orange Free State (1983-1985) as well as Graphic Design (1988-1991) and Fine Arts (1992-1994) at the Technikon Pretoria. Benade now lives and works in Port Elizabeth. His three genres of oil painting: portraiture, still life and landscape are monochromatic and hint at nostalgia and romanticism – a feeling that reflects a bygone era.
Both artists have won the SASOL New Signatures Art Competition (Benade 1994 and Lourens 1995) and are represented in numerous corporate collections such as Telkom SA, Unisa, Sanlam, RMB and ABSA group.
The opening of “PE – Portraits and Environment” takes place on 20 November @ 5:30 for 6:00 pm and the exhibition runs daily until Saturday 15 December 2012 at the Art Gallery in Central.
I found the images by Lourens fascinating and quite a comment on our present place in history – a sleeping giant in the shadows, waiting to be injected with that essential sparkle of life.
Has MJ Lourens captured today’s soul of Port Elizabeth?