A Study in Curvature, 2023. 3mm bended plywood, by Strijdom van der Merwe (b1961) with Whirl, 1965, acrylic on canvas, by Paul du Toit (1922-1986).

From the soil to the sky, nature has always been the inspiration for many artists over time and still is today. The Rupert Museum is proud to invite artists to take inspiration from the exhibition AbstRacT – the hidden synchrony, from the collections of the Huberte Goote Art Foundation and Rupert Art Foundation, which celebrates the harmony or reciprocal synergy. As the first interventions to this concept acclaimed Land artist Strijdom van der Merwe conceptualized A Study in Curvature, relooking the close-up and rescale of shapes found in nature, all constructed from 3mm plywood. Multi-disciplinary artist Karla Nixon did a three-piece installation from paper to Plexiglass in hues and tones taking on a transformative experience for the visitor.

This is the Rupert Museum’s third Open Call, following the first instalment during 2020. The Open Call’s aim is to inspire and activate engagement with the permanent collections managed by the Rupert Museum. It also presents upcoming artists and creatives with the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work during a group exhibition in the Jan Rupert Art Centre from February to September 2025.


Composition II, 1964. Acrylic on board, by Gunther van der Reis (b1927).


1961. Bark of an old palm-tree – Jamaica, by Oscar Forel (1891-1982).


1961. Clinostigma ponapense – Honolulu, Hawaii, by Oscar Forel (1891-1982).

About AbstRacT – the hidden synchrony
This exhibition takes a closer look at the synchrony in the complete Synchromies series by Swiss psychiatrist, psychotherapist and later turned photographer Oscar Forel (1891-1982), published in 1961. The study of trees, their growth, their bark and identifying signs of events the tree had witnessed were the crucial aspects in this series – that are truly fragments of a larger whole.

The selection of Abstract works in this exhibition have been paired up with Synchromies, to find harmony or reciprocal synergy. These pairings enhance the ‘synchromy’ – which Forel termed – derived from “symphony” with ‘phonos’ (sound) being replaced by ‘chromos’ (colour). Modern South African abstract paintings and contemporary installations that enhance the variety of marks, dynamic colour combinations and encrusted surfaces include the works of Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Christo Coetzee, Dirk Meerkotter, Georgina Ormiston, Erik Laubscher, Strijdom van der Merwe and Karla Nixon to mention a few.

More about the Jan Rupert Art Centre
Erected around c1870 by the London Missionary Society as a place of worship for a refugee Sotho Tribe, the Neo-Gothic building was later restored on the initiative of Dr Anton Rupert and named in honour of his brother, Jan. Today, it is a sister gallery to the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, with efforts made to share art with the Graaff-Reinet community.

Open Call Submission Details
More details about the requirements, judging process and submission guidelines are available at rupertmuseum.org. The closing date for electronic submissions is Friday, 3 January 2025. Please note that this open call is not a competition and that there is no prize money or award to be won.

Any enquiries can be directed to opencall@rupertmuseum.org or 021 888 3261. Can’t view the exhibition in person? Not to worry, visit rupertmuseum.org for the catalogue to all the pieces featured.

1961. Phoenix reclinata – Fairchild Garden, Miami, by Oscar Forel (1891-1982).


Synchromies, 1961. Palm tree – Koloa-Kauai, Hawaii, by Oscar Forel (1891-1982).

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