Live Virtual Auction, 10 - 11 May 2020
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About this Item
“In conversations over a long career, Skotnes has responded freely to questions relating to the origins of his landscapes – a trip, an art historical influence, a commission – but he seems always to have preferred to discuss his work in the formalist terms of international Modernism. Thus, typically, as I take it, in conversations with me about two major landscape series, the twelve panels of the KWV Calendar series (1981) and the twelve Brandberg Wall paintings (1988-92), Skotnes has tended to position himself with his back to the paintings and, passing the back of his hand repeatedly across the surface of the work, he has emphasized the primary importance of the picture plane. On one register, the gesture demonstrates the means by which horizontal forms are rendered in the vertical plane but, on another, it evokes the image of the guard strenuously denying entry into the space of the landscape in either fictive or figurative terms. The gesture seems to confirm the abstract nature of Skontes’ landscapes. These paintings, therefore, do not suggest the intention of representing either the physical or the metaphysical properties of geography. The pictorial language is evidently self-referential and its meaning should be sought not in any external reality but rather withing the framework of the artist’s experience.”1
1. Michael Godby in Frieda Harmsen (ed.) (1996) Cecil Skotnes, Cape Town: South African National Gallery, pages 99 and 100.
Die Kunskamer, Cape Town.
Frieda Harmsen (ed.) (1996) Cecil Skotnes, Cape Town: South African National Gallery, illustrated on page 98.