Majak Bredell THE NEW YORK YEARS 1981 - 2003 | | Art in South Africa
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THE NEW YORK YEARS 1981 - 2003


The period 1981 to 2003 represents 22 years of work while I lived in New York. Running through these years are two major themes: confronting patriarchy and questioning the gender of god.

Through art-making I quarreled with the legacy and unyielding demands of the patriarchal Calvinism that shaped my childhood in the 1950s. My ongoing confrontations with "the man" in graphite on paper willed a relationship to masculinity that transformed my inner landscape. I lined the avenue through this changed landscape with images of rock-steady benevolent protectors — sentinels guarding the psychological odyssey of individuation. This journey, accompanied by Jungian therapy and much reading, eventually led me to a gender shift in the image of the sacred, culminating in my resurrection of ancient notions of the great mother, goddess, the sacred female. In this process, I imagined an embodied reflection of those parts of being that had been marginalized or rejected by western monotheism's misogyny and its casting of the sexual female body into the abyss of so-called original sin. A third overarching theme that intersects with both the transformed patriarch and my path to goddess is an ongoing dialogue with issues of identity and (in)visibility.

Two exhibitions: A curated collaboration between the Association of Arts Pretoria and the Pretoria Art Museum. The two part retrospective overview is accompanied by a full-colour catalogue that includes an essay by the curator, Prof. Elfriede Dreyer

The Association of Arts Pretoria: March 6 — 25, 2020

The Pretoria Art Museum: March 14 — June 14, 2020

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