5 September - 12 October 2013

Deborah Poynton


STEVENSON is pleased to present Deborah Poynton's sixth solo show with the gallery. Titled Pictures, it comprises 12 large-scale figurative and landscape paintings, continuing her ongoing contemplation of the interplay between our perceptions of reality and of the painted surface.

Poynton purposefully describes these new works as pictures rather than paintings to emphasise the constructs of perception and imagery. In so doing, she reminds us of the act of seeing, and the devices and pictorial references which have invariably been consciously assembled within the image to create a desired meaning and effect.

Rather than the narratives and expressive emotions that are often emphasised when looking at figurative and landscape paintings, Poynton prompts us to look at the fiction of an image that resembles realism. She writes:

The paintings I've done for this exhibition remind me of my favourite paintings and favourite tales. They are mannered. I have used a few well-worn formulas, a little romanticism, some classical poses, the drama of light and colour.
In spite of this mildly distasteful posturing, I believe completely and passionately in my fictions, my pictures, and wish to touch and entrance you with them. I hope they are beautiful in spite of their beauty, so to speak.

Poynton was born in 1970 in Durban, and lives and works in Cape Town. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1987 to 1989. She has previously held five solo exhibitions at Stevenson, most recently Land of Cockaigne in Johannesburg (2012). She showed at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban, in 2010, and held her first US solo exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design's galleries in Savannah and Atlanta in 2009. Group exhibitions include A Conversation with Bolus at the Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (2011); Von Liebeslust und Lebenslast - der inszenierte Alltagat, Corvey Castle, near Höxter, Germany (2009); and New Painting at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, Unisa Art Gallery in Pretoria and Johannesburg Art Gallery (2006).

Poynton will exhibit concurrently with Peter Clarke.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 5 September, 6-8pm.

Poynton will give a walkabout of her exhibition in support of the Friends of the National Gallery on Friday 13 September at 11am. Cost is R20 (members and non-members); all are welcome.

An accompanying monograph on Poynton's paintings from 2008-2013 can be read and/or ordered online - see Publications.