STEVENSON is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Claudette Schreuders. This is the first time in almost a decade that the artist has shown a complete group of new figures in South Africa.
Schreuders creates tableaus of figurative sculptures that combine to reveal the richness and complexity that characterise interpersonal relationships. Where her previous group, Close, Close (2011), explored the impact and dynamics of the arrival of children, here Schreuders observes those children as they grow up and, more specifically, looks at their ambitions to be 'grown-up'. At the core of this narrative is the fraught and magical realm of love, seen from the perspective of anticipation. The artist explains: 'As a small girl I imagined being grown-up would only be about love and being in love. This group is a tribute to that imagined life.'
The figure of a white horse embodies the fantasy of romance, locating the cast of characters within the space of fiction. It is here that children's projections of their adult selves play out their imaginary lives - in 'the realms of the unreal', as the outsider artist Henry Darger termed it. In the sculpture that lends its title to the group, a girl lies on her bed, daydreaming; another gathers up her long hair, echoing the self-absorbed reverie of Balthus' 1955 Nude before a Mirror. Other characters include Loved Ones, a girl with bare breasts; a pair of best friends/rivals; the bust of a young boy; Song; and a lovebird on its perch.
Also on view are a new series of nine lithographs depicting Schreuders' previous group of sculptures, Close, Close.
Born in 1973 in Pretoria, Schreuders lives and works in Cape Town, where she graduated with a master's degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art. In 2004/5 her first solo museum exhibition toured the United States. She has shown extensively on group exhibitions, including Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); Peekaboo: Current South Africa at the Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki (2010); and Mami Wata: Arts for water spirits in Africa and its diasporas at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, among other venues (2009-2011). A sculpture from her Close, Close series was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum in New York. A major monograph on her work was published by Prestel in 2011, and is available from the gallery - see Publications.
Schreuders will give a walkabout of her exhibition in support of the Friends of the South African National Gallery on Friday 1 March at 11am. Entrance is R20 (members and non-members); all are welcome.
Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.