Uwe Pfaff is Cutting Edges at ArtspaceArt Source South Africa
Visual artist Uwe Pfaff lets us play inside his mind during the journey of creating his latest, surrealist inspired works on show at Artspace Gallery from 14 July.
Artist Uwe Pfaff is back at Artspace, Johannesburg, with a new body of multi-layered work, entitled Cutting Edges 2012. The Cape Town artist last showed with the gallery in 2007. This body of work explores surfaces created using copper, brass and nickel-plating.
Explaining Cutting Edges 2012 Pfaff says, “In the past two years some of my shiny surfaces have acquired what looks like ancient skins. Surfaces change in life, from the shiny naked to the flaky rugged old. We shed our skins many times. We never really own in, inside of it there is an ancient pattern”.
Trying to understand Pfaff’s inspiration is a study in paradoxes, and dualism. In conversation one often feels that a deeper meaning has been uncovered only to be thrown in a different direction. This is not surprising from an artist who sites surrealists such as Escher and Magritte as influences on his work.
“I can relate to their hard edged dream world” he comments. “That world in itself is a contradiction”.
“When I produce my work, my aim is not to analyse the human conditions or to find answers to the question of life, but perhaps reflecting on a paradox why it is that humans feel loneliest in a crowd.”
Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist, who became well known for a number of witty and thought provoking images that fell under the umbrella of surrealism. His work challenges observers who have preconditioned perceptions of reality and frequently displays a collection of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things.
Escher was a Dutch graphic artist, most recognised for spatial illusions, impossible buildings, repeating geometric patterns and his incredible techniques in woodcutting and lithography.
Pfaff’s creativity is a phenomenon that he cannot, or prefers not to try to explain. He listens to the voice in his head, which interesting he does not identify as his own. While this admission would usually elicit a myriad of questions by anyone outside of the art world, Pfaff, a German born artist, is more concerned to make the point it does not have a German accent! He is perfectly sane.
“I hear all voices I have never heard all at once, amongst others, a particular good imitation of Sigmund Freud. This voice is saying to me: Uwe, there is somebody else inside all of us and another saying, when we leave this plane. It somehow does not have a permanent feel about it, like we will catch another one. I will continue to listen to that voice and free whoever is inside me”, he says.
Uwe Pfaff was born in 1947 in Rye, Denmark and grew up in Germany, and arrived in South Africa in 1970. In 1975 he took painting and sculpture classes at the Cape Town Art Centre, a year later holding his first solo exhibition. Uwe then took sculpture and etching classes at the Ruth Prowse School of Art and Design. In 1979 he presented his work, in the forms of sculpture and etchings at the Cape Town Biennale. “From there on, over the years, I explored a range of different mediums settling in the year 2000”. Uwe has achieved recognition for his iconic cut out images locally and abroad.
Cutting Edges 2012 opens at Artspace Gallery, 1 Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood on 14 July 2012 at 11h00. The exhibition ends 04 August 2012. Please join us at the opening for a glass of wine and to meet the artist. Breaking with tradition of outside speakers, the artist himself will open the exhibition which will offer some fascinating insights (or cause further musings and confusings) about his work and process.
Tuesday – Friday 10h00-17h30
For more information about the exhibition:
011 880 8802
For media enquiries:
011 447 2855
Art Source South Africa
011 447 2855
083 671 5139
Artspace Gallery, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue Parkwood Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa