31 January – 9 March 2019
An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Ransome Stanley, Rael Jero Salley, Jonathan Freemantle and Kimathi Donkor.
Ransome Stanley (b. 1953, United Kingdom) engages with images from bourgeois culture of the nineteenth century, Western images of Africa, and colonial clichés of exoticism to raise questions about race and identity. His paintings are often populated with photo-realistic portraits in dialogue with jazz, movies, drawings, advertising and typography, newspapers articles, icons, photographs; rearranging and articulating them in his own way. He belongs to a new artistic movement, which since the mid-1990s has articulated a new African art speech, wherein “blackness” is transformed into “afropolitanism,” and thus turns away from the outdated authenticity of an African “essence.”
Rael Jero Salley
Raél Jero Salley (b. 1978, USA) struggles through issues of representation, broadly. His practice is grounded in the history and tradition of painting, but with subjects who are addressed in non-linear ways. Often, Salley’s paintings appear out of context: they resemble photographs, film stills, commemorative portraits, but they lack definitive names, periods, or narratives. The result is a constellation of images that engages with the viewer’s imagination. Generally, Salley’s work is interested in how we look at things and expect them to be meaningful. He wants his images to generate more questions than answers, to open and expand dialogue.
Jonathan Freemantle (b. 1978, South Africa) explores the intricate relationship between his body, time and the earth. His painting is composed through alchemic processes: ochre and mountain rock are ground and mixed with paint, creating organic landscapes that maintain the connection between subject and material. This is a painting process that sees a confluence of Freemantle’s own time with that of the earth’s, a paradox through which the artist engages with the essence of this ancient place in our fleeting presence.