A Selection of Current Works on Display
Monumental in scale, Gary Stephens portraits pay homage to the African traditions of hair-braiding, hats, headscarves and contemporary urban style. The drawings focus on the iconic power of a subject’s hair or hat instead of their specific facial features. Stephens documents the sense of style and attention people put into how present themselves in a contemporary African setting. From a visual perspective, he is constantly drawn to patterns and visual rhythms, such as geometric repetitions, textile patterns, or botanical shapes.
Mixed media drawing on folded paper – 170cm x 130cm
James captures the beauty in everyday objects- scenes from domestic life. He emphasizes the gift of fresh produce in a super-realistic style.
Oil on Wood
The use of light and shadow, of ‘painting with light’ with non-traditional photographic lighting sources is a key signature of my stylistic approach. And as before, I believe each model I photograph remains an active collaborator to the process. We work together to find that moment of truth in the image.
Gicleé print on cotton paper 100cm x 120cm
“I am interested on one level in exploring the beauty of how our humanity expresses itself through form, stance and subtle gesture; from a bent old woman, with her life experience speaking through the angles of her neck and back, to the gentle, soft, deep caring of a mother for her baby, shown in the shadows of her face, or the embracing gesture of her body and arms.
On another level, I am interested in exploring how shapes, volumes and masses relate to each other and how lines flow through a piece.
The mountainous terrain in which I live is still, quiet, tranquil, sometimes soulful, with a solid three-dimensional honesty and integrity. Shaping clay with simple, rough, wooden batons,
I strive to embody something of these qualities in my work. If at all successful, my pieces create quiet nodes in a rather busy world.”
Resin to be cast in bronze – 100cm
“These unlived aspects of my personality have found expression in my sculptures. There is no clear and succinct concept leading to the creation of a sculpture. I would intuitively model for example a sensual, quiet or confident figure without planning in advance (in Jungian psychoanalyses we would say that a part of my self was projected into the work). I just ‘let it happen’ and the meaning of the work would reveal itself through analyses in the aftermath of creation.“
Bronze – 81cm
More About Knysna Fine Art
Knysna Fine Art is one of South Africa’s finest galleries. We specialise in contemporary South African art in a variety of media, although a number of international fine artists are exhibited. Our gallery also handles the work of the South African masters and works closely with vendors and collectors. Recent sales include major works by Gerard Sekoto, J.H Pierneef, Lucas Sithole and Robert Hodgins.
Knysna Fine Art is owned by Trent Read, the elder son of the late Everard Read, who was the doyen of South African art dealers and Trent is the fifth generation of his family to be a dealer. He worked at Christie’s in London for several years and also worked in the USA but most of his career has been spent as a director of Everard Read in Johannesburg. Trent moved to Knysna in 1994 and opened the gallery in 1997. He is considered an expert in contemporary South African art but his knowledge of the fine and applied arts in general is broad. Clients of the gallery have access to a wide spectrum of expertise from his international links.
The gallery moved to Thesen House in Knysana in 2010 and there are very few galleries anywhere to have such beautiful space in which to operate. We have recently opened a new venue in the same building – A Different Drummer handles ceramics, objets de vertu, photographs and fine tribal artefacts, and has rapidly established a reputation for excellence with collectors, architects & interior designers. We have a regular program of exhibitions in Knysna but also regularly mount shows elsewhere in South Africa, in Europe and the USA. We consult to museums, corporate and private collectors both here and internationally and offer expert advice on the care and maintenance of collections. Our expertise in the design of environments to show art at its finest is used extensively by architects and designers.