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Morland, Gaigher & Botha

Kyle Morland's new exhibition Assemble at Blank Projects did not disappoint. He hinted that he had been experimenting and indeed he is; the exhibition presented a few works in different materials and revealed a different kind of visual language at play. As with Glitch (pictured above) there are a number of sculptures that appear like they are covers, boxes, packaging for work concealed beneath. In this way the thing we want see is being withheld, though the 'covers' are compelling. As such Morland allows us the space to dream beyond the 'sculpture' and imagine what could lie 'beneath it' so to speak. The only unfortunate thing about this show is the gallery itself - too small for all this new work. Either Morland ought to get signed up to a gallery with bigger spaces - more clout too - or Blank Projects needs to move - is it really a project space? It is a commercial gallery with a strong stable of artists, probably some of the best in Cape Town and perhaps it needs to own that identity spatially.

Another Morland, this one is called Nude

Morland's Bind. Could be a favourite too...

Jeanne Gaigher's exhibition Weig at Smith, was another highlight of my #artcrawl this week. Since I first encountered her work at the Joburg Art Fair last year - Smith dedicated their stand to her - I have been addicted to her aesthetic. This, her second exhibition at the gallery, substantiates and further establishes her mode; the colour palette and her process - using photographs or existing images as the basis for what largely turns out to be abstract work. Like Morland the image, the absent tangible thing, we want to see is being withheld. I will be writing more on this in coming days and look forward to it.

Gaigher puts the image at a remove by placing a screen in front of the painting.

I always breathe a little faster when I hear there is another Wim Botha exhibition. He is an exceptional artist. Some of his exhibitions have made me feel like it is fortunate to be an art critic in these testing times as I get to step inside what he does. This new exhibition of Botha's at Stevenson Gallery is not one of those - let's call it an in-between thing; he is not really driving anything new here (growing crystals could go somewhere but it is kitsch), though he is pushing towards something else. The installation (pictured above) is the only interesting work really and it is not resolved or pushed far enough, physically, visually or ideologically. Perhaps it should have been contained in a single room and allowed to kind of melt beyond the borders of it. I feel like he is occupying a very interesting space now between painting and sculpture in ways that he has not done before - he is painting with sculpture if that makes sense. Certainly, we can rely on him to take it somewhere compelling in the next exhibition. I look forward to that.


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