CAPE TOWN ART FAIR 2014
FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 2, 2014
From February 28 to March 2, 2014, the Omenka Gallery will present an exhibition of recent work by one of the fast-rising names on the continent, American artist, Gary Stephens based in Johannesburg at the Cape Town Art Fair, holding at the BMW Pavilion at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The works are presented in charcoal on paper and acrylic on ankara fabric (Nigerian wax) and wood and examine the influence of modernity and the spread of global capitalism on post-colonial Africa. Stephens raises questions of hybridity and identity by exploiting the ankara patterns as he paints his figures over these vibrant patterns. This technique allows for the colours to break through, imbuing his work with a sense of dynamism, especially when viewed from several angles. Stephens is also successful in his fusion of the comparatively more traditional media of drawing and printmaking with meticulously crafted string systems. Combining long, vertical, repetitive folds and pleats as seen here in his large-scale braid drawings, these changing optical illusions are heightened when viewed while moving across the picture plane.
Overall, the exhibition addresses issues of personal identity, self-discovery, and history while offering viewers glimpses into how they define themselves in an increasingly globalized world.
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High-resolution images and more information on the artists are available on request.