Immaterial Matters at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg will be rosenclaire’s first exhibition in the city since they left for Italy in 1985. The show is a remix of work from their re.collections show at Goodman Gallery Cape in 2010, work shown recently in Europe and new works created for this exhibition.
In 2010 rosenclaire’s neon sign Invest in the Immaterial illuminated Cape Town, Johannesburg and Dakar calling for action that was not an obsessive amassing of material gain and visibility, but rather a virtual rebalancing of the scales.
Immaterial Matters takes up from there referring to works that range from the irreverent to the transcendent. The title and the work proffer two ideas: one, that the immaterial is what matters and two it asks a question about relevancy.
The medium matters only as a transient messenger of meaning whether it be oil paint, bronze, found objects, games, video or scraps of paper. The work explicitly defies categorisation and sites itself neither on the page nor in the margins but rather questions the materiality of the paper itself. That which is material, the visual plane, is proportionately relevant to that which resonates from it. Thoughts and responses that in their own diverse trajectory move from the political, to tongue in cheek play and repartee with art history to places of quietness and contemplation.
The show features works that address the current economic meltdown and sideswipe at the contemporary art world and it’s stock market mentality. In their respective oil paintings and bronzes rosenclaire re-present canons of figurative and abstract modernist work in the context of providing a lintel over the Posts and a lookout point to the great beyond. Art addresses and undresses itself in both form and substance. Matter shifts, changes, mutates as time, desire and fashion dictate.
Antimatter is a dualistic hypothesis as is Anti-art that struggles to maintain a position of dissensus in the face of the rampant commodification of art. rosenclaire’s work presents an intimate interlocution between themselves and a viewer where stereotypes are challenged and new perspectives offered.
Artistic duo Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky – collectively know as rosenclaire – were both born in South Africa and now live and work between Florence, Johannesburg and Cape Town. They left South Africa in 1985 for Italy, where they established a prestigious art residency programme in Tuscany. They have exhibited extensively both locally and internationally, and their work has featured at major events such as the Dakar Biennale and Spheres in France. Prominent public sculpture commissions include their Soap Boxes at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. As well as conducting artist workshops in Italy and the United States, rosenclaire have returned regularly to South Africa to conduct workshops in Venda and Cape Town.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Live and work in Florence, Italy
rosenclaire’s collaborative work began in the mid 1980’s when they translocated from South Africa to Italy. Their artwork and teaching has always involved some form of political activism. Though very different in stylistic approach, their work shares the same concepts and common concerns. The collaborative work is generally context-specific.
rosenclaire exhibitions are therefore works in themselves where they both respond to a central concern and the show as a whole is designed as a cohesive installation.
They join forces in order to creatively facilitate a discourse pertaining to a specific theme, place or situation that they are invited to participate in. This may be a curated show, a public sculpture or a pedagogic intervention. Exhibitions often contain a live feed that both references surveillance but at the same time renders the audience as subject and content of the work. The work is done specifically for the conceptual task at hand where, as artists, they regain control and responsibility for generating a specific dialogue with both the art world and general public. An important permanent interactive installation called ‘Soapboxes’ of theirs, sits outside the South African National Gallery/IZIKO (SANG). They collaborate as wives and as dedicated mentors who have run a renowned artists residency program in Tuscany for the past 30 years. Each of them are artists in their own right and make work individually as well.
Gavronsky works in a variety of mediums, most notably in painting and sculpture. Her work often uses visual reference’s to historical paintings, and cues are sometimes taken from events from everyday life. Memory, racism, violence against women and children are some of the theme’s which run through her oeuvre. Her work also bridge’s sometimes complex narratives through overlaid images, and stories which link the past to the present.
In 1981 Gavronsky received a Master of Fine Art in painting, and she moved to Italy in 1985 and has since lived between Cape Town and Tuscany.
Shakinovsky’s work defies any stylistic category as it consists of work that ranges from the re-presentation and decontextualization of found objects, found images and found situations, to delicately painted abstractions and ironic bronzes. The work concerns itself with current political and social discourses while simultaneously referencing and reconstructing art historical edifices. Shakinovsky is interested in the structure as well as the morphology of all seemingly coherent visual and nonvisual languages from the prelinguistic to the post-linquistic and the digital. Her present research is concerned with discourses pertaining to the Posthuman, Postanthropos, Transhuman, Migration and the consequences of Climate Change.
Shakinovsky has over the past decade given contemporary art history courses to collectors, philanthropists and business leaders hoping to inspire them to contribute to fostering the arts in their respective countries.