Cape Town artist John Kramer is holding his first solo exhibition in 25 years at the UCT Irma Stern Museum in Rosebank from 6 - 27 September 2014. His book, John Kramer, published by the Penny Dobbie Gallery, will also be launched at the exhibition.
John is well-known for his realistic paintings of small town shops and algemene handelaars – a project which he has been pursuing relentlessly since the early 1970s, when he first realised that these “ordinary” buildings were disappearing – “the supermarket was coming to town”. John has travelled extensively looking for subject matter, visiting many small towns and dorps to photograph the buildings he loves to paint. He has built up a huge archive of source material in the process, much of it reflecting small town South Africa.
As he explains in his book: “My paintings are not about architecture as such, about structures that have been designed; instead they have to do with buildings that have grown and matured over time, that show the ravages of alteration, that reveal their amusing quirks and peculiarities, with all the eccentric bits and pieces added by their owners.” As he says: “Ultimately my aim is to create a painting that makes a statement about a specific place that existed at a specific moment in time.”
Concentrating on light and shadow, tonal values, verticals and horizontals and by eliminating any presence of living beings from his paintings, he has created a body of works that is uniquely South African.
John’s paintings can now be found all over the world, but there has seldom been an opportunity to see a collection of his new paintings all together under one roof. The exhibition, John Kramer – New Work, is curated by Penny Dobbie. The artist will lead a walkabout of his paintings on Saturday 13 September at 11a.m.
The book, featuring full colour photographs of John’s favourite paintings over the years, will be available at the gallery for R120.
To order a copy of the book John Kramer online (R120 plus postage): firstname.lastname@example.org