If contemporary art renders the boundaries between art forms more porous, then Jean Dreyer’s upcoming solo exhibition is  a conceptual poem through which visual images structure I am. The title of the exhibition is the poem itself:

am that
I (

The poem refers to the well-known I am that I am, but offers broken brackets that open onto an empty line, only to un-open again. There is a migration of perceptions: from I, into I am, into I am that – into I. It is a cycle from I into I.

The paintings, sketches and collages are spaces in which some figures are standing up and others are lying afloat – they reference the classic icon renditions of the dormition of Mary lying on a bier.

In the painting figuration II , vertical figures interact with a horizontal figure. There is a motion through the poem which infuses them with meaning.

figuration II, 2022 – oil on wood panel, 750mm x 750mm


In poet, the hand of a poet is creating text. The writing is on the untreated wood itself and there is a floating figure co-incident with the head. Maybe it is a meditation on the I of the poem.

poet, 2022 – oil on wood panel, 750mm x 750mm


In migrating beyond, into belonging there – two, figures are set against an infinite landscape where a multiplicity of feet suggests migration.

migrating beyond, into belonging there – two, 2022 – oil on wood panel, 1220mm x 750mm

The I tries to reach itself, a realization that is voiced by an emergent language of vertical and horizontal lines.

View the exhibition at GalleryOne11 Cape Town, 10 October until 19 November.
Opening event 13 October at 18h00.


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!