Kate Gottgens

Kate Gottgens will present an exhibition of new paintings following on from her recent solo exhibitions, Tired from Smiling at SMAC Gallery and The Meek at The Silo District, both in Cape Town. Gottgens is among Southern Africa’s most accomplished painters; her ability to mystify the ‘normal’ and depict the uncanny in her laconic paint application is widely recognised. In the foreword to Gottgens’ second publication, Kate Gottgens // Paintings 2015 – 2017, award-winning writer and critic, Sean O’Toole, describes the artist as “a kind of flâneur” – traipsing through the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town in search of imagery. Portraying white middleclass life against a backdrop of a colonial past, her images revolve around the home, garden, backyards, highways and swimming pools. But the images of this vacuous culture ache with suburban malaise, ennui and an impending sense of doom. Her paintings undulate between withholding and revealing, offering glimpses of clarity that seem to drift in through a haze of memory. Exploiting the familiar vernacular of faded photographic printing and the saccharine feeling of a Technicolour film, she presents this imagery with irony, humour and a luminous sense of the marvellous.

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