5 - 26 September 2015
Opening Saturday 5 September at 14:00
Preview by appointment
Column is Jonah Sack's third solo show at Gallery AOP, and his first exhibition of paintings.
The exhibition presents an array of images: intimate scenes of figures and couples are set against pictures of iconoclastic violence; abstract fields are juxtaposed with swirling, expressionistic landscapes; references to early Modernist art sit alongside grids derived from the panels of a comic book.
Many of the pictures are painted on free-standing blocks of wood. They utilize the existing grain and texture of the material, along with the notations, marks and colours left on the edges of the blocks in the lumberyard. The blocks have a sculptural presence, standing in groups or propped at an angle against one another. Similarly, kite-like constructions in wood and paper lean out from the walls, but are clearly too heavy to fly.
Jonah draws a connection between these embodied images and our own bodies, and between various types of dependence and collapse, failure and transcendence. He says:
The idea of the column is of something which is improbable: there are so many more ways for it to fall than there are ways for it to stand. Falling is what the column really wants to do. In the images that we see on the internet of Isis pushing over sculptures, there's a way in which they're just helping the sculptures do what comes naturally to them. This also connects to Brancusi's Endless Column, and to early abstraction or suprematism. I've always loved that assertion in his title – that the column is endless because he says it is. There's a confidence that somehow these physical objects – paintings or sculptures – are capable of pointing to a world which isn't physical. I'm interested in that paradox – physical objects as a kind of scaffolding for launching transcendent experience. The ladder that has to be kicked away after using it. Sometimes the apparatus succeeds, and sometimes it fails – I'm interested in both.
Jonah Sack (born 1978) lives and works in Cape Town. His work will be featured as one of the Solo Projects at the Johannesburg Art Fair 2015, and in the group exhibition Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video at the Jewish Museum in New York in October. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and received his MFA from the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland.