About Johan Conradie | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

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Johan Conradie Art Academy and International Art Tours

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Artist Statement

Working in various media ranging from oil painting, digital photography to embroidery, Johan Conradie's highly complex visual surfaces of mostly Flamboyant Gothic architectural elements and 'baroque' sensibilities, merge the three dimensional-space of digital photography with that of hand-stitched embroidery. His digital-generated prints on paper meet direct traces of the artist's hand through his meticulously hand-stitched embroidery. In the age of digital revolution the artist questions the concept of reality and what is it worth on its own. This is reflected in both his painting and his digitally engendered worlds.

Executed with doubts - fuelled by the modern experience of reality, these works gleam with a 'baroque' intensity that occupies a liminal zone, somewhere between digital space and that of material surface splendour. The works engage masculinity and femininity, the ornamental and the conceptual, tradition and technology, mimicry and invention, and abstraction and representation. Ultimately, his work fuses two conceptually gendered worlds, exploiting the tensions between the digital print on paper and that of actual stitching through the photographic print. The ambiguity of passageways and transitional spaces are used to construct an aesthetic of anticipation. The immaterial, allusive details offer only a framework of associations, signifying states of change and loss.

In the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, humankind’s memories have become essentially photographic. Seldom can clear distinctions be made between those memories based on direct experience and those that are mechanically mediated. Our recollections are increasingly supplemented, shaped, structured and recomposed by the internet, photography and film. The desire to suspend a moment in time is, for the artist, really about guarding against loss.

The works documented share issues of beauty, nostalgia, loss and absence. Images of a ghostly dark counter-world, eerily silent and strangely empty, predominate. In these images, beauty, ruin and spirituality freely overlap.

Artist CV

Education:

  • 2006 - MA(VA), University of Pretoria
  • 2000 – BA (FA) (cum laude), UNISA (University of South Africa)

Career:

  • Advanced tutoring for private students (2002-2008)
  • Lecturer at University of Pretoria (2005-2008)
  • External examiner at Tswane University of Technology for B-Tech thesis in Jewellery design (2005-2007)
  • Lecturer at FRIED Contemporary (2005-2007)
  • Lecturer at University of South Africa (2002-2005)
  • Advanced short courses in drawing and Painting
  • Short courses in painting and drawing

    Solo exhibitions:

  • August - September 2005, (Johannesburg), Obert Contemporary, Stone and silence

    Group exhibitions:

  • October - November 2013, (Pretoria), Fried Contemporary Gallery, Neo-Baroque
  • June 2013, (Paris, France), Orangerie exhibition Center of the French Senate, Dialogues 2013
  • May 2013, (Pretoria), Tina Skukan Gallery, Ricochet: the space between
  • April 2013, (Pretoria), Association of Arts, Engage II
  • June - July 2010, (Pretoria), Fried Contemporary Gallery, Games people play
  • May 2010, (Pretoria), Association of Arts, Baroque: historical incarnations
  • June 2008, (Pretoria), Fried Contemporary Gallery, with Diane Victor and Francois van Reenen, Angels & demons
  • June 2008, (Pretoria), Aspire Art Gallery
  • May 2008, (Pretoria), University of Pretoria – centenary exhibition, 100 years of knowledge
  • June 2007, (Pretoria), FRIED-Contemporary, with Willem Boshoff and Jan van der Merwe, Lost
  • March 2005, Arts and reconciliation, University of Pretoria
  • 2004, International art congress, University of Pretoria
  • October 2001, (Upington), Kalahari Kuierfees (Guest artist)
  • August 2000, (Potchefstroom), Aardklop Art Festival
  • August - September 2000, (Pretoria), Tina Skukan Gallery, with Philip Badenhorst, Albert Redelinghuys, Hanneke Benade and Diek Grobler
  • September 1999, (Potchefstroom), Aardklop Art Festival
  • August - September 1999, (Potchefstroom), Art Museum, Draadhekke en Vleesgleuwe
  • June 1999, (Pretoria), African Window Museum, UNISA student exhibition
  • November 1998, (Potchefstroom), Art Museum
  • July - August 1998, (Pretoria), Tina Skukan Gallery, with Philip Badenhorst, Nico Roos, Gunther van der Reis, etc
  • January 1998. (Graskop), Sunlight Art Gallery
  • July - August 1997, (Pretoria), African Window Museum, UNISA student exhibition
  • June 1996, (Kempton Park), The Law Gallery
  • 1995, Travelling UNISA student exhibition, Works on paper
  • December 1994, (Magaliesburg), with Charles Gotthard and Hennie Kruger

    Curated exhibitions:

  • May 2010, (Pretoria), Association of Arts, Baroque: historical incarnations
  • May 2013, (Pretoria), Tina Skukan Gallery, Ricochet: the space between

    Competitions:

  • August 1997, SASOL New Signatures
  • August 1998, SASOL New Signatures
  • July - August 1999, ABSA-Atelier
  • July - August 2000, ABSA-Atelier
  • July - August 2000, SASOL New Signatures
  • August 2001, SASOL New Signatures
  • July - August 2006, ABSA-Atelier
  • July - August 2008, ABSA-Atelier

    Public Commissions:

  • April 1996, (Randfontein), Sculpture commission for Greenhills Medical Centre
  • August 1999, (Potchefstroom), Paintings commissioned by the Laser Concept
  • December 2000, (Pretoria), paintings commissioned by Credifin South Africa
  • November 2001, (Bonn, Germany), Paintings commissioned by Media Tenor International