Penny Siopis: Still and Moving

STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa
23 Jul 2015 - 29 Aug 2015

Penny Siopis: Still and Moving

Late and Soon (work in progress) Siopis in her studio at Michaelis School of Fine Art Cape Town, 2013

STEVENSON present Penny Siopis’ solo exhibition, Still and Moving, her first following her critically acclaimed retrospective exhibition Time and Again.

This exhibition continues Siopis’ longstanding interest in what she calls ‘the poetics of vulnerability’ and extends her particular use of chance-driven processes to generate images and surfaces that prompt associations. In Still and Moving the trigger for those associations is grief, both individual and collective.

As the artist says:

Grief has no face. It is life that exceeds our grasp. Yet we search the world for images that look like what we feel. What we find often appear overused, stories over-told. But they touch us because of the state we are in. They give us a script to fill, one that might connect us to others in the world. Grief is relational. Some say it is a gift.

One of the images the artist draws on with this new body of work is Niobe of Greek mythology, a symbol of grief in western literature and philosophy.

Alongside the monumental triptych Late and Soon, where Siopis marks the grief of the individual alongside the collective body politic, is her new film Lay Bare Beside, in which we see the artist burying two unidentified human skulls that have been present in her private world for many years. She will also show works from her Notes series of works on paper that are akin to a diary, capturing the artist’s thoughts and emotions alongside the process of their making.


Still and Moving is Siopis’ fifth solo exhibition at Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Her retrospective exhibition Time and Again, spanning 35 years of work and accompanied by a monograph, opened at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, in 2014 and travelled to the Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg, where it is on view until 19 July 2015. Oher solo shows include Red: The iconography of colour in the work of Penny Siopis at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban (2009), and Three Essays on Shame at the Freud Museum, London (2005). She has taken part in the biennales of Venice (South African Pavilion, 2013, and 1993), Sydney (2010), Johannesburg (1995 and 1997), Gwangju (1997) and Havana (1995). Recent group exhibitions include The Unfinished Conversation, Beirut Art Centre, Beirut (2015) and Public Intimacy: Art and Social Life in South Africa, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); she is included in The Film Will Always Be With You: South African Artists On Screen at Tate Modern, London (July 2015) and Boundary Objects at Kunsthaus Dresden (20 June to 20 September 2015).


The exhibition opens on Thursday 23 July, from 6 to 8pm.


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