rosenclaire / Colour Theory / 2014

rosenclaire 13 February - 15 March 2014 Goodman Gallery, Cape Town

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.




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.