Review: FOLKLORE FANTASY Bushman/San Art & Books on SA Artist’s Exhibition

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An afternoon well spent in the company of informed art lovers and the enchanting paintings and publications of Sas Kloppers. I am referring to the FOLKLORE FANTASY Bushman/San Art & Books on SA Artist’s exhibition at the Elno Art Gallery, Centurion. This excellent exhibition presented by Future Art Era is structured around the Bushman/ San art inspired paintings of Sas Kloppers and his publications on South African and Namibian Art and Artists. Both the paintings and publications reflect over the long and dedicated career of Sas Kloppers the artist and publicist. Works of guest artists, Anton DK, Daniel Mosako and Gert Potgieter, furthermore support this well rehearsed and tastefully presented exhibition. Well done to Louise Boshoff whose endeavor made this possible. It was truly refreshing, on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Kloppers paintings include own work as well as a body of work of contemporary Bushman/San artists that is part of his personal collection. The paintings are well supported by photo documentation and written discussions. The viewer is hereby assisted to understand the mythological complexities, yet simplistic beauty of Bushman/San art that so often lacking full comprehension by the western mind and its contemporary thinking.

Inspiration by Bushman/San art is one thing, but interpreting that inspiration into one’s work is another. It is no easy task. The danger of literal interpretation is always a threatening companion. The naivety of form constantly luring the artist to conveniently disregard what their art is all about – its content embedded in the mystery of the minds of the oldest inhabitants of this planet. This is what makes the work of Kloppers so remarkable. His work does not reflect mere imitation of Busman/San art but rather using elements of the San visual language to tell us about his own life. In particular, his close relationship and passionate interaction he has had with them and their art.

The publications of which a copy of most that Kloppers has had involvement with as publisher, researcher and writer are on display and forms an integral part of the exhibition. It indeed completes a full library of a lifetime of work. The publications include books on WH Coetzer. Coert Steynberg, Ann Vorster, JH. Pierneef, Tienie Pritchard, Namibian Artists, Adriaan Boshoff, Andre de Beer, Artists of the Waterberg, and his latest publications, Ode to the Miner and Hennie Niemann.

These books are indeed an attribute to any art book collection. Well written, well researched and excellent quality. Falls good on the eye feels even better in hand. Information in abundance for connoisseur and student.

Good news for those who were unfortunate not to attend the opening. The exhibition has been extended to run until 28 February 2016.

 

By: The Critic