STEVENSON JOHANNESBURG presents Deborah Poynton’s seventh solo show with the gallery. Titled Scenes of a Romantic Nature, it comprises 15 large-scale landscape and figurative paintings, continuing her ongoing contemplation of the construct of a pictorial reality.
The artist is intrigued by the fictions implicit in image-making that seduce the mind and eye into believing in its imaginary reality. Using many of the idioms and devices of the painters in the Romantic tradition of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Poynton provokes us with images of our time that quietly disrupt perceptions of beauty and representation in the illusions of painting and art. As she writes:
In life, as in pictures, there is only the Romantic. Behind the scenes of our lives, there is everything unspoken, unseen, unknown – and nothing. Art is an offering, a show that mirrors the show we form around ourselves as we move through our scenery. Art is always artful, a ruse, a trick. It is a court fool, jumping up and down, aping its masters. Art is part of the dream that we inhabit.
These paintings are scenes of a Romantic nature. They are sweet promises, offering seeming truths about beauty and perfection. They make me think of balloons with cut strings, rising higher and higher in the sky. You stand and watch, filled with longing for something outside yourself, as they disappear into the blue distance.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 12 February 2015, 6-8pm.
Poynton was born in 1970 in Durban, and lives and works in Cape Town. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1987 to 1989. A survey of 25 years of her painting, titled Model for a World, showed at The New Church Museum, Cape Town, in mid-2014. She had a solo exhibition at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban, in 2010, and held her first US solo exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s galleries in Savannah and Atlanta in 2009. A monograph on her paintings of the past five years, titled Pictures, was published by Stevenson in 2013, on the occasion of her sixth solo show with the gallery.