Press Articles

Naudé se werk 'n besinging van verf

deur Johan Myburg
Extract from Beeld, Monday, 22 April 2013

Circumspect I het André Naudé einde verlede jaar in Hermanus in die Wes-Kaap gewys. Nou kry Gautengers geleentheid om dié Pretoriase kunstenaar se jongste skilderye, byeen onder die titel "omsigtig", te betrag.

'n Mens kan nie help om die woord dalk meer letterlik op te neem nie: rondom kyk. Asof Naudé 'n vaste punt (en waarom voel die uitstalling onmiddellik so onmiskenbaar Frans?) inneem en van daar rondom, terug-, vorentoe, maar ook inkyk.

Met dié kom Picasso, Braque, Monet en die Brit Hodgkin in sig. Iets van dieselfde gevoeligheid van kleur en lyn en komposisie en oog wat 'n mens by dié meesters kry, val op: soms onpeilbaar, soms duideliker soos in Joy waarin Naudé se verkenning van lynwerk herinner aan Monet se verbeelding van water waarin lelies dryf.

Jare lank al 'n kunstenaar wat skilderkuns ernstig neem en vir wie verf op doek eindelose bekoring bied, gee Naudé hom as't ware oor aan die kwaliteite van die medium: vir die deugde van akriel, maar eweneens die opwinding van olie. En daarmee saam gebruik hy ruimskoots goud en silwer.

Die werke in Circumspect II is, benewens 'n portret-monotipe of twee, abstrak. Of eerder geabstraheerd. Ekstrakte wat steun op vorm eerder as betekenis. Daarom is Naudé se poëtiese titels dikwels misleidend. Titels, die verbale en nie-visuele sleutels tot werke, sluit in Naudé se werk soms meer toe as oop. Asof hy sy kyker wil noop om verby die serebrale interpretasie van kuns te kyk en om hulle oor te gee aan die vreugde van verf op doek, aan pigment, aan tekstuur en balans, aan kleur en komposisie. Aan dit wat "gebeur" in die skildery.

Dikwels "verstoor" Naudé juis die doek deur die inbring van 'n element of voorwerp om te kyk hoe dié inbreuk opgelos word (vergelyk byvoorbeeld die skuins lyne in Urban Fencing, die kobaltblou staaf in Sage, die Arp-agtige element in Hollywood Hats).

Naudé kyk terug op sy loopbaan as kunstenaar – die insluiting van palet-vorms sou daarop kon dui – maar hy is ook introspektief doenig.

Die patrone wat rame om werke vorm, laat die oog meer na binne neig, in na die binnewêreld (Intestinal Secret) of 'n landingstrook (Landing Strip). Of 'n blerts goud wat lyk asof dit van die doek wil wegkom.

Maar Naudé maak in dié versameling werk ook nuwe deure oop in die sin dat hy vorentoe kyk: omsigtig maar ongebonde (vergelyk die heerlike werk Pattern).

In 'n tyd wat oorheers word deur figuratiewe kuns is Naudé se doeke 'n kleinood, 'n besinging van verf.

Painting in Peace Palace

The Universal Peace Foundation South Africa presented a painting by Andre Naude as gift in Korea and is now in a special museum, at the Cheon Jeong Goog (Peace Palace), 2 hours from Seoul, South Korea.

Extract from University of Johannesburg Art Gallery Newsletter 6-27 July 2005

André Naudé returns with his new exhibiton entitled, "Fresh Toys to the List", to be hosted by the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, to previously investigated territories. He draws on neo-colonial context to critically survey the painterly in art making. New imagery is interwoven to enhance an existing eclectic style. As he did in the 80's Naudé manipulates the concept of pseudo-political superficiality by means of dissecting cultural wallpaper, then and now.

He dabbles (and flirts) with nostalgic themes of exoticism and tea dances employing 3D-cut out mutations as incidental vehicles in this discourse. The work reveals a static impression reminding the viewer of anthropological remnants in forgotten display cabinets.

This artist concerns himself first and foremost with the process of painting. He is a colourist and over the years his subject matte has been concerned with human condition as well as with his immediate environment implementing the traditional tablescape as main vehicle of comment. His works reflect an incisive discourse with cross-cultural appropriation, capturing the transitional visual fusion of South African multicultural pluralism.

The works executed during 2003/2004 bear testimony to a process of visible brownuction in contextual content. The dialogue between surface colour and textural surface continues. The text becomes a sensual interpretation of obscubrown visual clues and layers of several planar obstacles. Certain icons remain as Leitmotif, but are minimalized to a silent sensual presence.

Naudé has been a practising artist since 1974 and has been involved in art education since graduating. His solo exhibitions number approximately 30 shows and 50 group shows in South Africa as well as New York, Washington, Toronto, Paris, Hamburg, Leverkusen, Riberac, Barcelona, Budapest and Beijing. In 2001 Naudé was invited to present a solo exhibiton at the Pretoria Art Museum. In 2002 he presented two solo exhibitions: one at the ABS gallery in Johannesburg and the other at Galeria Blau, Palma, Mollorca.

In February 2002 the artist completed four large works for the new Meropa Sun casino in Polekwane (Pietersburg). In February 2003 Naudé co-curated "Love in a time of ambivalence" at the Association of the Arts Pretoria. January 2004 saw a collaborative show with Chris Diedericks at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town.

ART: Andre Naude By Ashley Johnson

Extract from Business Day, Tuesday, 12 July 2005

FRESH TOYS TO THE LIST adds more works to the oeuvre of Andre Naude who must rank as one of our better painters. The exhibition has several different strands of thought running through it that engage with art history and reference African experience.

Naude is primarily a colourist who produces intricate compositions that scintillate with the unexpected. He is known for tablescapes, which allow him to use the serpentine forms vases offer as compositional devices within rectangular structures.

There is a surreal element lurking beneath the surface in the objects he chooses, which often have hints of other life forms.

For instance, a schematic log will also have animal properties, threatening to stand up at any moment.

Using colour effectively is quite an art and painters have to be aware of the expressive qualities evoked by different combinations. Naude often works in tones that are high key and close to one another in value.

When one contrasts complementary colours like this, the effect is an optical dazzle.

He manipulates these visual properties, which rely on instability and uncertainty, within structural compositions that also express a fleeting objecthood.

Thus there is a sense of aesthetic movement in his work as identity relaxes it grip. To do this he uses a cursory line that wafts over form, indicating the object but not embalming it.

There is a strong aura of Henri Matisse, on of the seminal early 20th century artists who headed the Fauvist group, or wild men.

He is famous for saying that art should be like a good armchair, which allowed him to concentrate on purely aesthetic issues of colour and form.

Similarly, Naude expresses a joy of life within his works, which although they contain references to African culture or neo-colonialism, never take a political stance. Indeed, many paintings seem light-hearted and take a dig at issues such as feminism almost in passing. They are primarily sensual evocations.

Unfortunately the current art discourse often demands a critical response from painters who risk being disregarded if they ignore these. In this exhibition, Naude is aware of texts within texts and produces a series called Investigated Territories Revisited.

These small paintings sometimes place a photograph of a previous work at the centre, which is then "framed" by a copious quantity of paint, initiating questions about how we create reality. The Deconstructionist philosophies of Jacques Derrida would seem to apply. Somehow these works are contrived and Naude is at his best when following his instincts.

Naude's prices are quite modest considering his depth of experience in painting. The show comes down on July 27 and the gallery moves to exciting new custom-designed premises for the next exhibition.