This year, 10% of all sales will go towards the Peninsula School Feeding Association and the many children they support.
Hungry children struggle to concentrate and the deficits of under-nutrition becomes irreversible if not addressed. The Peninsula School Feeding Association provides breakfasts and lunches to 27 270 hungry learners at a total of 160 educational institutions across the Western Cape. These meals provide regular balanced nutrition across all food groups as well as incentive to attend school and to help children focus on their studies. For more information, please visit their website.
For any enquiries, please contact the gallery on 021-424-6930
Mieke Van Der Merwe
AO is an abstract exploration into the Japanese colour word by the same name, which signifies what English-speakers would call Blue and Green. Using traditional and nontraditional mediums, drawing inspiration from the natural environment and the mutable character of the sea, the Artists investigate beyond the surface and into the great depths of AO.
For her second solo exhibition Guise of Reality, Zarah Cassim has been reading Dostoevky’s 1864 novella Notes from Underground. This Russian set 1800s rambling memoir of a fictional narrator is a thinly veiled attack on Western Philosophy and proposes an alternative consciousness constituted by the anti-hero archetype. It is essentially a modern dystopian text heralding an “existential attitude” – disorientation in the face of a confusing and meaningless world. 
It is perhaps curious that a young, contemporary South African painter is reading such a text into the fabric of her paintings, but the act reflects a gesture related to more recent ideas about post-postmodernism, what American author David Foster Wallace (1993) has popularised as “new sincerity.” In line with Dostoevky’s criticism of nihilist in 1860s Russia, “new sincerity” challenges the cynical postmodern view, characterised by irony. 
Cassim’s interest in all of this relates to two distinct notions that Dostoevky’s text and Wallace’s critique describe: rebellion and disorientation. Counter to nihilist despair, Cassim sees this rebellion and disorientation as a process of unveiling. She uses the metaphorical forms of natural landscape as the subject for her investigative painting process that is centred on notions of perception. She seeks to evoke a space of sensitivity and reflection for the viewer in her works: the longing of a place just beyond reach or the mute encounter with a blurred horizon. The traditionally held cultural belief in nature and landscape as ‘truth’ (the real or untouched) is relied upon here. She appropriates allusions to the natural as ‘free,’ knowing that the true dynamic of the relationship between human and nature is more complexly related to issues of power, wealth, security and identity. In the tension between these two visions she exposes how reality is constructed through a veil of illusions:
The dynamic of the relationship between human and nature is a space where the illusion we perceive as reality is exposed. 
Like Dostoevsky’s use of a fictional narrator, Cassim uses her painting surface to explore an alternative consciousness, rooted in disorientation and fashioned in a rebellion against solely representational marks upon canvas, against inherited modes of constructing order, against the security of seeing: in short, in rebellion with the guise of reality itself.
The artifice of painted spaces is made evident in her dissolving treatment of the medium. Oil paint is applied, sponged away, wiped and diluted with solvent such that the forms she attempts to describe become ever more dreamlike and inaccessible. Layer by layer she peels away the play of illusion to quarry the question of reality itself. Her colour palette is moody, dominated by mysterious dark, inky blues and magenta. Hers is not a utopian project but a darkly imagined space where moments of lightness and darkness hold sway.
Cassim’s interest in the human relationship to nature is grounded in the perceptual practice of painting itself. Her natural landscapes are abstracted to the point that one perceives only what one wishes to see, thus identifying the perceptual play of real and imagined. Cassim’s titling of works also points to this perceptual quandary, being at times ambiguous: Amount of Something, Floating Points and other times specific, yet abstract: Dusk, In the Water, Shadows.
Our postmodernist discourses have successfully exposed how the acts of ordering that we do engender – the genealogical categorisation of plants or the colour coding of our books – these things are only illusions of order and stability, futile gestures that appease us momentarily in the face of a constantly shifting world. Cassim, in line with the contemporary turn, is a sincere analyst of the shifting surface – the place where as an artist she can engage the illusionary nature of perception in order to challenge philosophical notions about reality.
Text: Shifting Surface by Natasha Norman
 For further reading see Kaufmann, Walter (1956). Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre. New York: Meridian Books.  For a pithy look at this cultural idea see Fitzgerald, Jonathan D. (November 20, 2012). “Sincerity, Not Irony, Is Our Age’s Ethos.” The Atlantic. Retrieved 27.07.17 available here
The FNB Joburg Art Fair, the first international fair of its kind to be presented in Africa, has established itself as one of the most significant events on the SA Arts Calendar, presenting works by local and international galleries alike. This year marks the tenth edition of this major contemporary art fair.
Since its inception in 2008, Salon Ninety One has served as a platform for both emerging and established South African artists of all disciplines to gain exposure through sharing their creativity and vision. The Artists exhibiting with Salon Ninety One have all excelled in their respective fields, with their names quickly gaining recognition across South Africa and Internationally.
Salon Ninety One will be exhibiting at the FNB Joburg Art Fair, for the second consecutive year bringing accessible, affordable contemporary art from Cape Town to both seasoned collectors and first-time buyers in Johannesburg. This year we are proud to be representing Cathy Layzell, Heidi Fourie, Kirsten Beets, Kirsten Sims, Linsey Levendall, and Paul Senyol. These Artists embody the gallery’s signature style and reflect the astounding growth and promise of local talent.
Visit us at Booth C15 from the 8th to the 10th of September 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. Please visit www.salon91.co.za or call 021-424-6930 for further information.
Kirsten Sims’s solo shows are an expression of where she is in her life. At the time of her first solo show, Middle of Nowhere, she had graduated from her Honours degree and left Stellenbosch to move to Cape Town. With her first solo show behind her, You Are Here marked a period of making a home in Cape Town and becoming more established in her career. Like every four years in our calendar, Leap Year was a deviation from the norm existing as an online exhibition at a time she felt an urge to experiment with exhibition formats. In the year she turns 30, Kirsten presents Saturn Return.
The planet Saturn takes 29,5 years to orbit the sun and return to the place in the sky that it occupied at the time of one’s birth. The Saturn Return is the astrological period that occurs in a person’s late twenties as they move into full adulthood in their thirties. It’s known to be a time of tumultuous transition and self-reflection. The show Saturn Return is inspired by this phenomenon and characterises a progression in Kirsten’s art and process. The body of work stems from a place of self-knowing, and materialises with a confidence to test new techniques and colours; to make marks boldy. As a whole the works are bigger. Kirsten plays with scale both in terms of canvas size and the subjects within the frame: a giant rug is hung from a wall looming over a string of tiny people that walk beneath it; people at an art exhibition are engulfed in flecks of abstract red paint that have left the frame.
As ever in Kirsten’s paintings, place is significant in Saturn Return: both recognisable (a European cafe scene, a public swimming pool in Sea Point) and imagined. In some works natural landscapes show an absence or hint of human activity and in other works her signature characters fill the scene in a flurry of interaction and fashion at a soiree or garden party. Each gives the distinct feeling that you have been here, or felt this, before.
The Turbine Art Fair has established itself as a significant event on the SA Arts Calendar, presenting rare and crucial opportunities to Collectors and Artists alike. This Fair has won us over through its fantastic electric atmosphere, its high level of organization, and most notably in remaining absolutely committed to its intention to promote emerging talent and to nurture a new collectors base, ideas which resonate greatly with the core philosophy of our gallery.
Since its inception in 2008, Salon Ninety One has served as a platform for both emerging and established South African artists of all disciplines to gain exposure through sharing their creativity and vision. The Artists exhibiting with Salon Ninety One have all excelled in their respective fields, with their names quickly gaining recognition across South Africa and abroad. This year we are proud to be representing Andrew Sutherland, Black Koki, Cathy Layzell, Heidi Fourie, Jordan Sweke, Kirsten Beets, Kirsten Sims, Linsey Levendall, Paul Senyol and Zarah Cassim. These Artists embody the gallery’s signature style and reflect the astounding growth and promise of local talent.
Salon Ninety One will be exhibiting at the Turbine Art Fair, for the fourth consecutive year bringing accessible, affordable contemporary art from Cape Town to both seasoned collectors and first-time buyers in Johannesburg. Visit us at Booth GH14, Turbine Hall from the 13th to the 16th of July 2017. Please call 021-424-6930 for further information.
A two-person exhibition by Paul Senyol & Linsey Levendall
EXHIBITION INSTALLATION VIEWS:
MURAL AT GARLANDALE PRIMARY
Paul Senyol and Linsey Levendall recently collaborated on an exhibition called FATHOMS. They also managed to find the time to complete a colourful and inspiring mural for the children at Garlandale Primary.
Salon Ninety One and The Bookery have joined forces to support this school and its library. Ten percent of all sales made during the Stellar group exhibition was donated to this project. We would like to thank the artists, Paul, Linsey, and everyone who was part of the Stellar show, as well as Bryan Viljoen Photography for their generosity and kindness.
Kirsten Beet’s latest exhibition embodies the fragmentary illustrations of a shifting memory, somewhere between the feeling of a hot, dry Cape Town without water and the preserved green kingdoms of the suburban and botanical garden. Throughout the exhibition her world is at constant play with the idea of illusion. She exposes the illusionary space of the picture plane and the illusionary ‘natural’ spaces of leisure that humans construct. This play with illusion comments on the larger interaction between humans and their environment.
The exhibition title, Mirage, keys us into this perspective. It refers to the appearance of water on a hot surface caused from the refraction of light by heated air. Hot and cool, dry and lush: water emerges as the defining apparition of the transfer between these states of experience. Water is a commodity, a human right, strikingly under threat with the current drought that has scorched the Western Cape. During a summer usually associated with leisure and pleasure, the preservation of this resource has been a constant reminder of the human need to become caretakers of our natural world.
The Artist has exhibited both locally and internationally. Her exhibitions include the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Scuola Internationale di Grafi in Venice, Italy and the Cape Town and Johannesburg Art Fairs amongst others. Kirsten lives and works in Cape Town and completed her bachelor in Fine Arts and BPhil in illustration at the University of Stellenbosch. This is her third solo exhibition at Salon Ninety One.
CRITICS’ PICKS | KIRSTEN BEETS
We are pleased to announce that Kirsten Beets at Salon Ninety One is currently featured in artforum.com‘s “Critics’ Picks” section, a select review of shows worldwide.
We hope you will read the review, written by Sean O’Toole, online:
Working in a gestural and abstract style, Cathy Layzell investigates humankind’s complex evolving relationship to nature, where an impulse to shape, tame and control the natural world lives alongside a desire to yield to its wildness and its danger.
At close range, these paintings constructed from the textures of nature – rock, foliage, air, and water, appear nearly abstract – a dancing network of innumerable brushstrokes, some parallel, others looser and more rapidly applied. Stepping back, these varied marks coalesce into the shimmering effects of an illusionary light. The paintings explore the blurred boundaries between Nature and artifice and how visual-processing systems shape our feelings about what we see.
With the disappearance of most of our primeval forests we have left only what are called, oxymoronically, wilderness ‘parks’ or ‘reserves’. Reserves are intended to conserve nature in a representative way and to sustain biodiversity. But the reality is that they are increasingly relics of how ecosystems looked before humans became dominant. This body of work explores the vestigial primal link we still feel towards a wilderness that hardly exists anymore.