Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 20 May 2019

Day Sale
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
  • Susan Woolf; Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)


Lot Estimate
ZAR 20 000 - 30 000

About this Item

South African 20th/21st Century
Short Hands White (from the Taxi Hand Signs series)
signed, dated 2015, numbered 1/20 in pencil and embossed with the Artist Proof Studio chopmark in the margin
blind embossing on paper
54 by 49,5cm excluding frame

Notes

When a gestural or spoken language is coded as image or text, it becomes increasingly succinct and readable to a person who is blind. This all white relief artwork relies on the subtle nuances of shadow to show sighted people how 14 simple shapes combine for the taxi shape system to be read. All white represents light, which in excess is also blinding.

The largest taxi gesture seen here is a taxi commuter body sign. The person wriggles his or her bottom when the taxi approaches. Broadly objectional, it appears to be used in humour by some commuters to hail a taxi going to Duduza, an apparently cool place to party.

A second coded text, which is playful and experimental rather than practical, forms part of the bottom of the artwork. The symbols/codes are written descriptions of gestures. The codes do not replace the visual image of the hand sign, they describe the components of a sign and include the direction the hand might be moving.

Sculptural works, which project shadows for the artwork to become fully readable, have been a large part of a Woolf’s art over the past twelve years. This work was produced by means of a lazer technique, individually hand printed on wet Hahnemühle paper at Artist Proof Studio.

Susan Woolf

Literature

Susan Woolf (2016) Taxi Hand Signs, Johannesburg: ada enup. Illustrated on page 33.

 

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