original oil paintings by south african artist

South African Art Exhibition at The Everard Read Gallery

Brait - Everard Read Art Award
Winner: Alexandra Ross
5th-22nd July 2007
Everard Read, Johannesburg

The Everard Read Gallery in collaboration with Wits University and Brait is pleased to present the Brait - Everard Read Art Award 2007.

For the first time in the three years since the inception of this competition, the panel has selected just one winner, without a merit award winner or special condition of sharing the prize.
We congratulate this year’s winner, Alexandra Ross, a Wits University MAFA student for her professional submission, and look forward to an equally impressive exhibition on the fifth of July 2007 at Everard Read, Johannesburg.

Ross’s exhibition, “VIEWPOINT” uses only one of the gallery’s five exhibition spaces. It comprises seven large-scale (74cm x 2.4m), full-colour digital photographs. Each of the seven photographs mimics the size of the tall, glass, gallery doors and, like all the other doors and windows in the gallery, is framed in aluminum. The photographs are all images of the gallery itself - the other rooms and courtyards adjacent to the exhibition space. So, what at first glance appears to be simply an exhibition of large but sparse, understated photographs, on closer inspection turns out to be an illusionistic architectural installation of ‘windows’ that show us what we might see if they were real.

“In this way, VIEWPOINT is something of a paradox. It is both playful and profound. It is a series of ‘fakes’ that pretend to offer us a view through the gallery walls. But it also does offer a real conceptual view through the boundaries between photography, architecture and even painting. VIEWPOINT is both an architectural intervention and a photographic installation but it’s also an example of classical trompe l’oeil in it’s 3-dimensional illusionism.
The paradoxical and unpredictable nature of VIEWPOINT is designed to raise questions, provoke reflection and stimulate fresh ways of seeing.”
These seven magnified views of the gallery enable us to scrutinize the space that is commonly taken for granted - the gallery. Perhaps also, it encourages us to see beyond the banal to the beauty within it. VIEWPOINT might not give us the spectacular views we’d expect from the usual roadside Viewpoint, but it gives us instead a number of unique and fresh points of view. It shifts our awareness from what usually hangs on the walls, the art, to the walls or spaces themselves. What was in the background is foregrounded. What was on the margins becomes central. The images that appear to be art are in fact ‘windows’, not really there at all.
Or are they? Nothing is quite what it seems from Ross’s VIEWPOINT. Everything is mutable, unfixed and shifting. The exhibition is both contemporary and traditional
VIEWPOINT breaks down boundaries and walls both conceptually and metaphorically allowing the free flow of ideas, thoughts and points of view.
Finally, it allows the impossible to be possible...
but only for as long as we believe it to be true.”

Alexandra Ross.

Everard Read is honored to have been joined by Brait for the first time, in the sponsorship of this annual event and is delighted to announce their sponsorship of a bursary. We salute them for their support and investment in contemporary talent of today, South Africa’s talent of tomorrow.

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