Covid-19, it would seem, has heightened the global awareness of our human identity and interaction.
This is illustrated by two new group shows and a solo exhibition hosted by Rust-en-Vrede Gallery during the month of August.

The first group show, an all-female exhibition is titled “Women who Read are Dangerous” and the second, an all-male show “Boys Don’t Cry”. André Serfontein’s solo exhibition is titled “Flux”.

The human form and its ability to convey a mood or sense of being is André’s main interest as an artist, one that he explores primarily through the medium of oil painting.
There is a general sense of nostalgia and melancholy that pervades his paintings. Although this series was started long before Covid-19 arrived on the scene and started shifting realities and transforming human relations, the individuals he depicts seem to be in a state of isolation, uncertainty and waiting.
In addition to ‘anything happening in the moment’; longing, introspection and erotic male beauty are enduring themes: they provide the background, with colour and composition as the vehicle of exploration.

Andre Serfontein, Green room, 300×400 mm, Oil on Canvas,2020

The theme of Female literacy is explored by a group of sixteen female artists and one male artist in the group show “Women who Read are Dangerous.”
“There was a time, when female literacy was a controversial idea, and it took many centuries before women were entirely free to choose what they read, whether for instruction or for pleasure. It was only when reading behaviour changed, with reading becoming a silent, solitary pursuit rather than a social activity, performed aloud, that women were able to escape the narrow confines of domestic life and male-dominated society for a world of unlimited thought and imagination. They acquired knowledge and aspirations that had previously lain beyond their reach” –from the book “Women who Read are Dangerous” by Stefan Bollmann.

This is just one example of how the ways we behave and express ourselves are shaped by the cultures in which we participate. Since the mid-twentieth century, philosophers, social scientists, and historians have theorized that gender – the roles, characteristics, and activities that distinguish men from women – are not innate but socially constructed. Notions on gender, especially that of masculinity, have changed profusely in the 21st Century. The generational shift in how masculinity is perceived is explored by eighteen male artists and one female artist in a group show titled “Boys Don’t Cry”. Many men are in fact unhappy with the way they are depicted in the world and frustrated with old school ideas of masculinity. The thought that men need to have certain traits to be considered manly are questionable.

Today, it is crucial to look past feeble and outdated understandings of masculinity and femininity and explore the potential of human beings untethered by societal expectations and gender norms.

Diana Hyslop,Sharing Notes, print size 30 x 30cm paper size 35cm,digital drawing series 1 of 9,2020

All three exhibitions will open on Tuesday 18 August 2020 @ Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville and will run until 23 September 2020.
Viewing can be arranged by appointment and digital catalogues will be available online.
Contact: 021 976 4691 / /