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 Origin Art: Realities and Representations 

Origin Art presents a new exhibition by two innovative mid-career artists, Alex Coetzee and Olaf Bischoff. Working in different mediums, the art is filled with creative ideas about abstraction.

The exhibition presents an interplay between form, composition, colour and material within each artist’s body of work. But more than this, it offers a view between each body of work in the gallery as two- and three-dimensional reflections on abstraction and its propensity to foreground and recontextualise materiality, object choices, colour and the relationship to representation itself. 

Cape Town-based Alex Coetzee is trained as both an artist and an architect, from which diverse training he has grown an interest in formalism. He presents this in the current body of playful sculptural work as relationships between geometric form, colour, and figurative association in ways that are both playful and precise. 

Bischoff has exhibited locally with much success for over a decade. He attributes the inspiration for this series of abstracted geometric landscapes to an hallucinogenic response to a childhood fever, where he perceived shape and colour in Escher-like abstracted forms. Bischoff appropriates and plays with work and ideas in the history of European mid-century abstract painting, making intertextuality or at least post-modern referencing a part of the current body of work. 

What both artists have in common is a commitment to playfulness and experimentation in their use of abstraction as an approach – whether in the use of colour, composition, self-referentiality or form itself. The interplay between the sculptural work and the paintings is thus important in the staging of the show – not necessarily in terms of a weighty reflection on abstraction as an artistic mode or in negative opposition to figuration, but in the mode of possibility, permutation and as a set of formal or geometrically meditative objects. 

Discover more at Origin Art.

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