rosenclaire / Colour Theory / 2014
Goodman Gallery Cape Town is pleased to present, for our first show of 2014, an exhibition of new works by rosenclaire titled Colour Theory. The exhibition will feature a characteristic mix of collaborative and individual works by Claire Gavronsky and Rose Shakinovsky, presented in conversation.
The exhibition takes its title from a desire on the part of the artists to open up a discursive space between theoretical engagement and visceral response, between contemplation and surprise. Colour Theory can be understood in a social and political context, referring to racial categorisation and discrimination, as well as the ways in which we have been trained to “read” colour culturally. But colour, and our relationship with it, also exists in a place outside of these linguistic and cultural constructs. As the artists write: “Colour… has a voice and impact of its own, directly on the senses and emotions. It resonates in the silence when language reaches its limits, when words fail in the face of overwhelming joy, great suffering and pure aesthetic pleasure”.
Shakinovsky and Gavronsky work together and separately, but their artistic practice is symbiotic – the work, whether solo or collaborative, comes out of individual responses to the same stimuli, individual answers to the same questions. Often emerging from a pictorial dialogue, the content – or the question – dictates the shape and medium of the work, which ranges from unapologetically humble ready-made images to site specific installations. The ambivalent authorship of the works resulting from this dialogue – and their conversation, in turn, with the canon of art history – acts as a challenge to the notion of uniqueness and identifiable style as a signifier of artistic integrity.
Children feature prominently in many of Gavronsky’s paintings and drawings, acting alternately as a pair of naive and truthful eyes for the viewer to look through, and a source of mischief and daring, unhappy with the status quo and prepared to attempt the impossible. In Shakinovsky’s small abstract oils fashioned out of cut and bent canvas and paper, and other mixed media works, she is interested in shifting the viewer’s perspective – whether it be visually or conceptually – to notice or think something not thought a moment before. She often uses found quotidian objects and ready-made images, stripped of their original context and placed in unexpected relationships and combinations.
Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky, collectively known as rosenclaire, were born in South Africa and now live and work between Florence, and Cape Town. They have exhibited extensively both in South Africa and abroad. Together they established and run a prestigious art residency program in Tuscany, and they regularly conduct artist workshops in the United States, Italy and South Africa. Colour Theory is their third solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery.