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Abstraction blazes ahead

Paul Senyol's Terminology

What preoccupies young artists? What kind of art is being produced now? It is tricky coming up with clean answers to these perennial questions. Movements and ‘isms’ continue to exist in the realm of the visual arts, however, as in the world of fashion, there are many shaping art concurrently and they morph, rise and implode at a rate of knots. Ideas spread quickly and we tire of them just as fast in this digital information age. Yet retrospectively you can detect patterns emerging.

35 years: Trailblazers exhibition at the Lizamore & Associates gallery

features art that has (mostly) been recently produced, yet it is a sort of retrospective. It brings the art produced by a group of young and newcomer artists who have been associated with this gallery.

Lizmore & Associates and its owner, founder Teresa Lizamore, who is celebrating 35 years as a curator, mentor and facilitator, has always sought out overlooked, unknown artists and provided a platform to exhibit. Some have been channeled through mentorship programmes. In a way she has been catching those artists that have for one reason or another fallen through the cracks, haven’t arrived fully formed in the art world or have avoided committing to one gallery, preferring to take control of their own careers.

As such the exhibition opens up a window onto the main movements - discretely hinted at through groupings - that have gripped a generation of artists looking to define themselves and find a foothold in the art world.

Abstraction predictably emerges as the most popular mode with artists such as Bev Butkow, Sofia van Wyk, Lizette Chirrme, Lorenzo Nassimbeni, MJ Turpin, Paul Senyol, Bevan de Wet and to some degree Banele Khoza all embracing this style of visual expression. Nevertheless the art they produce is diverse. Van Wyk’s art appears form driven and is the result of a dialogue between sculpture and drawing. Nassimbeni who hails from the realm of architecture presumably arrives at his marks and lines through mapping or imagining a built environment and a subversion of that vocabulary. He invests a lot in a line – it sets the scale, tone, from a structure is birthed.