Solitude of Space 2011

Solo Exhibition at Arts Association Pretoria

Opening of Willie van Rensburg's exhibition Solitude of Space, by Pieter J Mathews, on 19 August 2011 at The Association of Arts, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria

Goeie naand en dankie vir die voorreg om Willie se uitstalling te kan open. Ek dink op die vooraand van die lente is hierdie uitstalling baie gepas. Vreugdes van kleur, vorm, tekstuur, ritme en repetisie in die werk is alles belangrike bestandele van hierdie versameling. The most important aspect of this exhibition is that anyone can see that the artist enjoyed the process. And I believe that joy in the act of creation forms an integral part of the artwork itself. Hierdie uitstalling verskaf vreugde, die natuur in sy geïdialiseerde vorm, soos die kunstenaar self se 'manna vir die siel'.

Met my besoek aan Willie se studio was een van my eerste vrae of die nuwe rigting 'n afdraaipad of 'n eksperiment is. "Afdraaipad," het hy bygevoeg en dit is juis dit wat ek vreeslik geniet het. Miskien is die landskap tema gepas om te dui op die oneindige hoeveelheid landskappe in ons pragtige land. Miskien moet ons by Willie leer en ook meer waag om afdraaipaaie te neem. Miskien ontdek ons dan nuwe plekke, ruimtes, geheime of dalk iets van onsself. Doen iets wat jy nie gewoonlik sou waag nie en miskien verras jy jouself.

Tydens my onderhoud met Willie het hy gesê dat die onderbou van die werke in hierdie versameling terugkeer na die basiese beginsels van kleur, tekstuur, repetisie en tegniek. Ek gaan vinnig by elk van hierdie konsepte stilstaan, asook ruimte, en 'n paar van my gunsteling aanhalings met julle deel wat in sinergie met die uitstalling is.

On the use of colour

I love Winston Churchill's points of view and always try to include a quotation of his in my speeches. Regarding the mood or emotions in colour he says the following: "I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." Similarly, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin stated the following question and answer: "Who told you that one paints with colours? One makes use of colours, but one paints with emotions."

Igor Babailov, on the other hand, stated that "painting is a mosaic of colours weaved into a seamless whole." Maybe landscapes are just mosaics on a larger scale; when flying, one can appreciate this aspect.

On the use of texture and brush strokes

Those of you who have bought my first book, Architexture, would know that I have a passion for texture, not only in architecture, but also in art. The emotion that the texture brings out in an object or painting can be clearly seen in Willie's work.

Van Gogh, the master of the brush stroke and energetic colour, was an inspiration to the artist. Expressionism and pointillism are all exploited to achieve the outcomes of this comprehensive exhibition. Lynda Lehman puts it even better: "Texture is the most enduring and ubiquitous underpinning of form... certainly a calming, meditative and appealing world for both the eye and mind."

Rhythm and repetition

Rhythm and repetition is the ingredient that creates the hypnotic effect in the paintings as well as in landscapes. Our landscapes are, in essence, rhythm and repetition, especially those in the North West or old Western Transvaal with all the maize fields. Hierdie mielielande met hul oneindige repetisie het 'n hipnotiese effek op my as kind gehad en selfs nou nog, veral as mens in 'n motor ry deur die landskap tydens verskeie seisoene. Dit is soos Daniel Coyle gesê het: "There is no substitute for attentive repetition."

On Space and Form

Space, form and composition are not only restricted to the discipline of art but also to architecture and all other design related matters. As Max Beckmann put it: "Space, and space again, is the infinite deity which surrounds us and in which we are ourselves contained." Frank Gehry, the starchitect of the Guggenheim in Bilboa, states that: "For me there is a moment in truth in deciding on form, colour, space and composition." Where the artist had to decide on each colour we are almost witnesses of the decisions he made and also of his reaching the moment of truth, the "Aha!" moment.

Although Willie deviated from his very disciplined and ordered works, he is still known for a strong graphic quality in his work. Walter Battis and Bettie Cilliers Barnard both had a great influence on his work and his organisation of form. Nancy Chen comes to mind: "Chinese brush painting emphasizes space, not busy-ness. Rather it's about simplicity."

Conclusion

Ek sluit af met 'n stukkie wat deur die kunstenaar self geskryf en aan my gestuur is. Ek het besluit ek kan dit nie beter opsom nie, dus lees ek vir u:

Landscapes are nature's way of providing manna for the soul. They reflect solitude and evoke a personal mood, the effect of peace and tranquillity with a touch of the dramatic. Stark or lush the vista adds a new perspective to life and early wisdom. Light, shadow and different textures summon a unique frame of mind with the forms appearing and fading away. Yet the panorama has a quality of constancy.

In twee weke se tyd open my eerste eie uitstalling en Willie se werk is die perfekte pasmaat as teenstelling of juxtaposisie vir my beelde van weggooi materiaal, gestroop van kleur, met die krapmerke en Wabi Sabi van tyd, maar wat tog die sinergie van ruimte en vorm deel. Ek weet nie of Pieter en Nandi dit aspris so beplan het nie. Ek is geëerd om die ruimte met Willie te deel.

Baie geluk Willie. Welgedaan en hiermee ek verklaar hierdie uitstalling Alleenheid van Ruimte of Solitude of Space oop.