ÆSTHESIA Exhibition – Media Release

Synoptic

In the exhibition ‘Æsthesia’ the artist André Clements creates a progression from the realism of photography, to almost painterly-abstract computationally produced portraits, and landscapes.

Many pieces are composed of multiple photographic layers – in some cases literally more than a thousand. The ‘Composer Series’ gives us a distinctive composite portrait of the ‘average’ composer from each era of Western Classical Music while ‘State of Head’ combines the faces of South Africa’s last 6 presidents into a haunting portrait of the presidency, capturing some of the transformation from PW Botha to Jacob Zuma.

According to Clements: ‘Æsthesia’ is about perception and sensation, literally sense-ability. ‘Æsthesia’, in contrast to anaesthesia and numbness, is like an essence of aesthetics and the sublime that we all we crave in culture and life.

‘Æsthesia’ will be opened by Millard Arnold at 12:30 on 27 October 2012 at the Res Gallery, 4 Chester Court, 140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood; and run until Febraury2013.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9h30 / 5h30, Saturday 9h30 / 2h30

Enquiries: Aaron on 011 880 4054, info@resgallery.com / André on 082 812 0549, andresclements@gmail.com ∎

Medium

The progression of art works displayed under the title ‘Æsthesia’, create a passage from the realism of fine-art photographs, to almost painterly-abstract computationally produced portraits, and landscapes.

The more abstract artworks are composed like multiple-exposure photographs, from averages of many layered images – sometimes literally thousands. Layers are individually super-imposed and reduced to a single final image. This process creates an almost holographic quality. Subtleties emerge from the interplay of differences and similarities between the images, and create the appearance of brush-strokes and textures that conceptually express aspects of the underlying realities.

The ‘Composer Series’ gives us a distinctive composite portrait of the ‘average’ composer from each era of Western Classical Music. ‘State of Head’ combines the faces of South Africa’s last 6 presidents into a haunting portrait of the presidency, capturing some of the transformation from PW Botha to Jacob Zuma.

According to Clements: ‘Æsthesia’ is about perception and sensation, literally sense-ability. ‘Æsthesia’, in contrast to anaesthesia and numbness, is like an essence of aesthetics and the sublime that we all crave in culture and life.

‘Æsthesia’ will be opened by Millard Arnold at 12:30 on 27 October 2012 at the Res Gallery, 4 Chester Court, 140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood; and run until Febraury2013.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9h30 / 5h30, Saturday 9h30 / 2h30

Enquiries: Aaron on 011 880 4054, info@resgallery.com / André on 082 812 0549, andresclements@gmail.com ∎

Comprehensive

The debut solo exhibition from Andre Clements presents a bold progression from single-exposure fine-art portraiture, to more complex and abstract works formed by meticulous multi-layering and selective alignments facilitated by computational technology.

Starting with single layers, Clements presents an insider’s glimpse of the aesthetic process-experience of several of his peers, featuring the artists Minette Vari, Wayne Barker, Alexandra Ross, Dianne Victor and Frikkie Eksteen. Then comes the multiple-layer work, including both individual and composite ‘portraits’, and landscapes.

The earliest work is the ‘Untitled Kentridge’, created in 2006 from a composite of 192 of the renowned artist’s etchings. The last work prepared for the show brings that gesture full-circle with ‘Unsigned David Krut’, a squeeze-of-essence of 250 of the top works from the David Krut Print Workshop studio’s catalogue.

Moving beyond the self-reflexive focus on the art world and its processes, ‘State of Head’ is a composite portrait of South African Premiers from PW Botha through to Jacob Zuma, created from a total of 12 images. The artist’s portrayal of screen writer Thandi Brewer as Muse-mother Mnemosyne comprises 26 nude photographs, while the final piece in ‘The Composers’ series shows us the face of the ‘average’ modern classical composer, an epic work that interweaves no less than 1280 layers.

The technique that Clements uses results in an effect that could be described as holographic; an eerie creation of a new individual ‘identity’ that emerges from the characteristics common to a particular collective, or, where there is a single model, a collection of moments and moods. The composite portrait of the Baroque composers is visually distinct and has a completely different ‘personality’ from that of the composers from the Romantic era, for example; while the single image of the 100 bridges from the West Rand to the East Rand and back evokes a typical (to the point of becoming archetypal) Gauteng experience.

The collection as a whole catalyses a re-investigation of the ordinary, a re-awakening of perception.

According to Clements: ‘Æsthesia’ is about perception and sensation, literally sense-ability. ‘Æsthesia’, in contrast to anaesthesia and numbness, is like an essence of aesthetics and the sublime that we all crave in culture and life.’

‘Æsthesia’ will be opened by Millard Arnold at 12:30 on 27 October 2012 at the Res Gallery, 4 Chester Court, 140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood; and run until Febraury2013.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9h30 / 5h30, Saturday 9h30 / 2h30

Enquiries: Aaron on 011 880 4054, info@resgallery.com / André on 082 812 0549, andresclements@gmail.com ∎

Sample Artwork

A State Of Head [23cm 300dpi for Press]

Caption:  ‘A State of Head’ by André S Clements,
100 x 100 cm Pigment Print on 110 x 110 cm Cotton Archival Paper

Please download the print-quality A State Of Head [23cm 300dpi for Press].tif here,  request alternative file resolution or different images from andresclements@gmail.com.