Uwe Pfaff has been creating stories and metaphors through art for more than 40 years. During this time, he has worked in various mediums, ranging from painting, printmaking to sculpture in wood, ceramics and metal.
Over the past two decades, he has created his signature cut-out metal sculpture in bright colours, copper, rusted metal, nickel-plated steel and stainless steel. The Cape Town-based artist has participated in more than 30 exhibitions; his works can be seen in a number of prominent collections both locally and internationally and he has told many a joke through his thought-provoking work. In August, Pfaff presents a new body of work titled Madness
and creativity spring from the same well at Lizamore & Associates Gallery in Johannesburg.
This exhibition consists of life-size, medium and small sculptures, wall works, paintings on aluminium and rust pictures. These works act as musings on Pfaff’s thoughts & ideas, that unfold in humorous stories. “Each work is like a pearl in a necklace, and the string is my wicked sense of humour that keeps them together,” he says. Pfaff presents the viewer with narrative-inspired artworks with the hope that the viewer will ‘read’ each work and search for and interpret the meaning. The titles of the exhibition and the artworks offer clues to the stories the artist playfully tells. His titles are puns or word-play on recognizable and ironic phrases, like Running on Empty.
Pfaff’s new body of work explores bodies of work (pun intended). Centred around the human figure, Pfaff explores the notion of life, death, mortality and time through his unique sense of humour. The artist is intrigued by the fact that time has the ability to be in front of us and behind us, or flow right through us with abundance. Through his work, he attempts to unravel and portray the mystery of time and the inevitable cycle of life and death. Pfaff masterfully explores these cynical concepts with a light and humorous tone. “As an artist and/or philosopher, I cannot grapple with everything at the same time (although a Grappa would surely help). So, I amuse myself observing the oddities and contradiction in life as we know or don’t know it” he says lightheartedly. The artist uses visual metaphors to convey his ideas and tell his narratives: fishes become metaphors for the evolution of humankind and spirals often symbolise the never ending cycle of life and death.
Madness and creativity spring from the same well by Uwe Pfaff will be on exhibition from 2 August 2018 to 25 August 2018 at Lizamore & Associates Gallery, 155 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg.