PAST EXHIBITIONS

ASHA ZERO – MICRO CLUSTER PICNIC
FRANK MARSHALL – RENEGADES
STEFAN KRYNAUW – PORTRAIT OF A PAINTER
GARTH MEYER – STUDY OF TREES
ROGER BALLEN & MARK KANNEMEYER
THE UNSEEN WORKS

ZANDER BLOM – THE TRAVELS OF BAD
LIAM LYNCH – A CLAUDE GLASS
OLAF BISSCHOFF – TERRA INCOGNITA
ZANDER BLOM – THE DRAIN OF PROGRESS
LIAM LYNCH – OPEN TO MISINTERPRETATION
SOCIETY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS - 6X6






















ASHA ZERO
MICRO CLUSTER PICNIC


Asha Zero is an artist known for a unique collagist approach to painting, blending Pop art parody with Dada conceptualism and pictorial illusionism. Zero effectively renders the heterogeneity of post-industrial urban life, fettered by the omnipresence of mass media, which is readily borrowed from to construct detailed compositions, utilizing an immixture trompe l'oeil and objet trouvé as conceptual mechanisms. Zero's stance suggests that popular ideologies are agents of consumerism; presenting the bricolage as it stands, inspired by newspaper headlines, street art, billboards, posters, album covers, fashion spreads, and print ads.

From this basis, Zero's work is as deceptive as it is honest, at first glance bearing the appearance of paper collage, but on closer inspection revealing careful and considered surface juxtapositions executed in acrylic paint. By transitioning from the prosaic to the uncanny using anything from hijacked Typographical topologies to dirty grunge-inspired textures, Zero puts a new spin on things. When viewed from a distance each painting appears to be hyper-realistic visions pieced together from found media blips. When each blip is appreciated for its individual, segmented surface qualities they display abstract expressionist tendencies, marking a seminal tabula rasa in the context of Modern painting, also evinced by Zero's contemporaries, including Gajin Fujita, Takashi Murakami and Barry McGee.

Dazed in the media haze of cosmopolitanism, Zero finds subject matter by measure of happy accidents and readymade circumstances, illustrating the neurosis of late capitalism. Zero pieces together fragmented visions of the counterfeit, transmitted truths that erase any distinction between the authentic and inauthentic; where dominant values no longer teeter on the opposition between good and evil, but tinker on the pitting of evil against ‘evil'. More so, Zero attempts to make such polarizations null and void, suggesting an existence emancipated from binary opposites, where chaos, schizophrenia, and anarchy become supremely normal and completely sophisticated.

In particular, Zero's perspective towards the media, comes an almost satirical, ultra-political, super-mediated package, which differs from previous exhibitions, say for me (2008) and macro soda text hits (2009), often including Zero's own self-made content, such as custom designed stickers and propaganda-style graphics, and not only found material.

Ultimately, Zero is neutral, merely delivering facsimile captions from ground zero, stumbling upon the ubiquitous and moribund relationship between the original and the representation. Zero's latest body of work progresses past such Manichean binaries, in a post-hyper-realist realm that is inadvertent towards humanist or capitalist polemics and politics.



FRANK MARSHALL
RENEGADES


Renegades is a landmark exhibition by Frank Marshall, representing a decisive outcropping of a Heavy Metal subculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To view all works click here
To download the catalogue click here

Marshall's portraits offer a tentative and considered vision of this subculture in Botswana; historically adverse in reaction to the occidental genre, making Marshall's subjects somewhat of an anomaly. In this way, Marshall aptly dubs his subjects renegades, tentatively situating himself as a mediator chronicling "visions" of rebellious individuals who form part of an ulterior, emergent rootedness where traditional identities and political histories in Botswana are subverted.

Heavy Metal audiences have traditionally been Caucasian, Patriarchal, and Eurocentric, making Marshall's portraits parodies of heavy metal lore envisaging the multiple polarities of the subculture's social strata.

Renegades is thus a sociological case study of an underground minority rebelling against the status quo, redrawing the borders of both Heavy Metal and orthodox culture in Botswana.

Frank Marshall: "Dead Demon Rider" 2010
"Dead Demon Rider" 2010

Resultantly, Marshall creates a sense of affirmation for his renegades, specifically exploring impressions of performativity, authenticity and mythology. Marshall decodes the visual rhetoric of his renegades by making apparent the modification and hybridization of a predominantly western subculture in Botswana. The unique topology and physiognomy of each character effectively communicates the spirit imbued by the appearance of Botswana's often-uninviting Heavy Metal subculture.

Marshall's portraits break down established archetypes surrounding ethnicity, cultural identity, and ideology. The individuals in Marshall's photographs are on the fringe of a society already situated within the geographical and ideological space of the Other, concretizing his work in the fields of anthropology and post-colonialism.

"Morgue Boss" 2010
"Morgue Boss" 2010

Tribe-like, Heavy Metal possesses an unconscious sense of brotherhood that transcends race and nationality in the context of Renegades. So too, Marshall's renegades unpack popular stereotypes, transcending traditions, blurring the boundaries between liberty and fraternity, helping to delineate the power structures inherent to Heavy Metal, which may be misinterpreted as a trace of an oppressive past. This is in keeping with the extremism of Heavy Metal ideology, embracing anything that popular culture finds unacceptable.

"Death" 2010
"Death" 2010

A limited edition, signed artist book comprising 60 portraits is available on order only for R1,550 ex Vat.
Sales enquiries to inside@rookegallery.com

Renegades artist book
Renegades artist book
















STEFAN KRYNAUW
PORTRAIT OF A PAINTER
5 May – 24 June 2011

Click here to download Stefan Kruynauw's Catalogue

Krynauw, a young artist at the inception of his career is joined by Roelof Van Wyk (acting patron and photographer) who has included Krynauw in his "Young Afrikaner" series currently on show at the V&A in London.


It is not often the case that the portrait is inverted, becoming self-reflexive, allowing one to see the burgeoning artist as a portrait. In finding a technique and inventing a style Krynauw transfers a range of mediated sources onto the canvas.


His approach is that of galvanizing the source material onto large-scale canvases, blazoning them as intensely gestural abstracts, imbuing dark hues against bold and littered brushstrokes. Krynauw's source material populates his studio like debris after a natural catastrophe; paint is everywhere.


This residue is exploited by Krynauw, taking the violence of his mediated material and translating that into a source of original meaning; a portrait.




















28 OCTOBER - 17 DECEMBER 2010

Click here to receive the digital sales catalogue

Installation view. Garth Meyer : Study of Trees. Rooke Gallery October 2010
Installation view. Garth Meyer : Study of Trees. Rooke Gallery October 2010

The Study of Trees is a collection of photographs by Garth Meyer taken from his ongoing, long-term documentation of the diminishing primary forests of Central and West Africa. Throughout his travels Meyer has photographically archived trees from critically deforested geographies, saving these rapidly disappearing scenes for posterity on film. The Study of Trees is a commentary, creating awareness about the ever-present human element that has lead to the depletion of indigenous and endangered trees.

Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


His interest in nature photography started in the mid-1990s where he began to experiment with the near-defunct medium of large-format photography, which has historically been canonized by the oeuvres of Ansel Adams and Stephen Shore.

Meyer compliments his skills and knowledge about the craft of large-format photography with a quiet socio-political commentary surrounding over-population and deforestation. Alongside his travels to remote, sometimes tumultuous borders, Meyer has a special ability to cross the borders that usually separate the responsibilities of the journalist, scientist and artist, thereby amplifying his message in the subtlest manner. His Journalist-like documentation and near scientific observation also gives his work the ability to avoid commonly used stereotypes about environmental awareness and nature photography. From this foundation, Meyer balances the craft of 11X14 inch photography with a conceptual awareness about the subject matter in his art, making him a relevant artistic figure within contemporary art practices. There is something Baroque about Meyer's work, specifically regarding the counterpoise of his anthropological enquiry through the study of trees. Meyer constructs counter-realizations that communicate a sense of consequence relating to the often-narcissistic acts of man. Essentially, by suggesting a fleeting moment where once trees existed and only desert remains, Meyer comments on the bankrupt bond between man and nature, centered upon an examination of the human condition through the study of trees, elevating normal, ignored scenes to the level of high art and political protest.

Meyer's emphasis is also on the craft of large-format photography, bringing his political and conceptual undertones to more practical terms. Using a rarely used, custom-made 11X14 inch camera, known for its high-resolution, Meyer takes photographs of immense detail that allow him to capture often-imperceptible visual information about trees. Thus, Meyer not only documents trees, he studies them, becoming more like a journalist or scientist than an artist. Imbued with a sense of nostalgia and possible loss, depicted through hyper-realistic, black and white images, Meyer's work becomes abstract through an overload of sensory information.

Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


This variety of realism-turned-abstraction communicates the disparate story of these virgin, untainted trees plagued by deforestation and the demands of the ever-growing, equally desperate yet indifferent human population. Meyer immortalizes these disappearing natural landscapes, palimpsests for a foreboding future, where the landscape, without trees, would be nothing more than desert.

Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm


Garth Meyer
Garth Meyer
Silver Bromide Fiber-based hand print
406mm x 510mm














"THE UNSEEN WORKS"
17 SEPTEMBER – 1 DECEMBER 2009

A RARE COLLECTION OF UNSEEN WORKS BY TWO RESPECTIVE ICONIC ARTISTS

MARK KANNEMEYER : THE BERLIN PAINTINGS
ROGER BALLEN : THE VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS

MORE ABOUT MARK KANNEMEYERS BERLIN PAINTINGS

Whilst Mark was completing his Meistersch�ler (Cum Laude) in Berlin (1986-1992) he produced a number of large-scale paintings. The works returned to South Africa upon Mark's return from exile in 1996 and have been stored ever since. He has refused to paint any new works. Whilst Mark is renowned for his acclaimed illustration under the name of Lorcan White and his role in the legendary Bitterkomix series, his paintings have largely remained a secret. Rooke Gallery acquired the full collection of paintings and requested Mark's permission to exhibit the works along with twelve unseen illustrations completed by Mark over the same period in Berlin.

MORE ABOUT ROGER BALLEN�S UNSEEN AND VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS

Roger Ballen will present a collection of his vintage photographs that stretch back to the early 1970�s. This exclusive collection provides a rare glimpse into Roger's world that to date has remained hidden. It further provides context to the trajectory of Ballen's career over the last 30 years.

Click here to view Roger Ballen's unseen and vintage works.










ZANDER BLOM
�THE TRAVELS OF BAD�

5 MARCH – 1 MAY 2009


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Read the critical reviews

"The Travels of Bad" documents the travels of an idealist Machiavellian hero, guitar in hand, on a crusade to revitalise the arts of the culture capital of the world. Fuelled by equal measures of blind optimism and hedonism, the search for new ideas and exotic flavours takes our hero to a fictional paradise setting where this bizarre satirical action tragedy literally starts to unravel.

The Travels of Bad comprises a 48-page mini-novella with 17 photographic works and a 17-track album soundtrack. The exhibition includes a selection of sculptures and merchandise.

The works will also feature prominently at the JoBurg Art Fair from 3-5 April 2009 at the Rooke Gallery stand and the exhibition will travel to WhatIfTheWorld/Gallery in Cape Town to open on 27 May 2009 and close on 27 June 2009.

Artist�s statement

The Travels of bad is essentially a satire that looks critically at the influence that exotic cultures and their artefacts have had on the avant-garde system of European visual art from the end of the 19th century onwards. The critique comes in the shape of mini-novella that is illustrated by a series of photographic works and accompanied by a pseudo rock-opera type symphonic drone thrash metal rock album.

About the book

Zander Blom�s second book �The Travels of Bad� (ISBN 978-0-620-43190-3) is published by the Rooke Gallery and will be launched at the exhibition opening on 5 March.

The book will be available from the gallery and from select bookstores including Boekehuis in Melville, Johannesburg and Biblioteq in Long Street, Cape Town.

Prologue to �The Travels of Bad�

Violently passionate heroism and epic struggles. Terribly tormenting hurdle burdens and deadly back-drops. The imperious forces of nature� apathetic savages, vicious beasts. The underbelly of the unknown. A killer island retreat. One Man� one Goal� one Chance... a quest to restore the culture capital of planet Earth and save the universe.

A massive slime void has appeared in the sky above the earth�s civilized centre as a result of outdated aesthetics, stale, tired, worn-out ideas and pervading mediocre insipid vacuity. The slime entity feeds off the silence of the tons of bland, academic, crap in art museums. The void grows bigger year by year, and if not stopped, will annihilate the universe and all of mankind. Doom is imminent. Brooding and looming. Human survival hangs in the balance. Our hero protagonist genius hard-bastard motherfucker artist, pale vampire, the machismo Machiavellian, the god from the machine, the magical universe exorcist needs to journey to the ends of the known world, back to the savage, the primitive, the na�ve, the origin of man, and find new strange exotic weird shit, deliver it from the colourful world of indifference, use it to revitalise the creative spirit of the pale world of intelligence, and have enough pompous misadventures along the way to make cult status.

Adventure, alienation, tragedy, stupidity, high amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, and machinegun measures. A journey, a coma, a rollercoaster-ride, a damn endurance test! A certified party-bus escapade.

Somewhere a guitar solo is vaguely audible over the sound of amazingness� Somewhere a lizard�s purr echoes in a deathcave, and somewhere on the filth ridden backstreets of the over-developed metropolis Earth universe, our disgruntled idealist hero bursts onto the scene. At the exact moment that our death-sex, drone-thrash, action-tragedy breaks into a thick riff.

Hard... fast... bad!!! No illusion-destroying interruptions!!! Go forth! Find the cure of primitive juice!!! The damn exotic art elixir!!! Save the rotting core of the universe... AWESOME!!!


Read the critical reviews
































LIAM LYNCH
�A CLAUDE GLASS�
A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION

9 OCTOBER – 30 NOVEMBER 2008

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"It seems that Gray walked about everywhere with that pretty toy, the Claude-Lorraine glass, in his hand, making the beautiful forms of the landscape compose in it�s luscious chiaroscuro." – Gosse, 1882.

Named for Claude Lorraine, a 17th-century landscape painter, the Claude Glass is a painter�s tool, a somewhat convex dark or coloured hand-mirror, used to concentrate the features of the landscape in subdued tones.

A Claude Glass represents, for some, a radical departure from Liam�s usual approach and aesthetic. Avoiding the traditional structure of narratives or photo stories, and presented only in colour, the work aims to reflect an autobiographical approach, always lyrical, more often than not with a sense of mystery.

Prior to the opening a weblog, podcast and videocast will be made available to those subscribed to the mailing list.

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OLAF BISSCHOFF
"TERRA INCOGNITA"

29 May – 1 August 2008

Click here to see images of the exhibition
Click here to view the animated projection
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Click here to download the digital catalogue

Working mainly in oils and often incorporating projection and as-found objects, Olaf's contemporary approach to a classic medium will take the form of a major solo exhibition at the Rooke Gallery in May 2008.

Terra incognita ("unknown land") is the Latin term used in early cartography for regions that had not been mapped or documented. Legend claims that cartographers labelled such regions with "Here be Dragons" and depicted such as decoration on their maps (as evidenced on the one known surviving map, the Lenox Globe, in the collection of the New York Public Library). During the 19th century terra incognita disappeared from maps, since both the coastlines and the inner parts of the continents had been fully explored.

By painting and exploring these scenes/spaces the artist is subjectively busy with personal map-making. The illusion of an invented landscape can however lead to delusion. An It can evoke a certain feeling (melancholy, longing, recognition) or memory of a scientifically mapped and known place/space. This is the fine artist as con-artist.

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ZANDER BLOM
THE DRAIN OF PROGRESS
EXHIBITION AND BOOK LAUNCH
20 SEPTEMBER TO 8 DECEMBER

Download the digital version of the Catalogue Raisonn�
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Press Coverage

The exhibition comprises a set of one off photographs, drawings, paintings and prints and includes the launch of Zander's first book/Catalogue Raisonn� (The Drain of Progress) that provides a unique view of a stage set upon which Zander's ongoing modernist experiment occurs.

With the highest degree of sincerity Zander Blom questions the personal relevance and motives of the modernist visual artists before him.

How did it feel to be the true "avant-garde"? Moreover, of what personal relevance is Modernism when viewed as a series of cultural movements that stretch back as far as the 1890's? His investigation of modernism is much like a child being presented with a watch, and in order to understand it - he immediately takes it apart. The exhibition includes the launch of Zander's first book/Catalogue Raisonn� (The Drain of Progress) that provides a unique view of a stage set upon which Zander's ongoing modernist experiment occurs.

The exhibition will comprise a set of one off photographs, drawings, paintings and prints. The exhibition will be open to the public on specific days. Please click here to see the gallery viewing schedule.

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LIAM LYNCH

"OPEN TO MISINTERPRETATION"

A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION FEATURING FOKOFPOLISIEKAR.

28 JUNE TO 31 JULY 2007

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Posters on bedroom walls feature images that serve as veritable snapshots of popular youth culture. Larger-than-life images feature individuals admired and aspired to by an impressionable audience. Often held in place with no more than tacky adhesive, these influential images form an enduring part of one's appreciation for visual art from an early age.

Music photography lies at the very heart of this phenomenon as it captures, in a tangible format, the single most powerful force that shapes youth culture. Music.

"Open to Misinterpretation" is an exhibition that focuses on this force.

Who sets out to shape youth culture? Liam Lynch's deeply personal images of Fokofpolisiekar raise the question of who the most influential players really are. The band? The moral majority? Or the fans themselves?

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SOCIETY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS
"6X6"
PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION AND BOOK LAUNCH
31 JANUARY TO 20 MARCH 2008

The Society of Photographers comprises a collection contemporary photographers based across the globe. The Society operates on a unique system of anonymity and invitation-only membership to ensure that only the best work is revealed to the general public.

Each year the Society publishes a book and hosts physical exhibitions comprising the best of the work produced by a select set of its members. The 2007/8 project was titled "6x6" and featured Erika Larsen, Ian Wolstenholme, Paula McCartney, Dave Jordano, Sasha Rudensky and Shawn Records.

Guest Judges for 6x6 included :

ROGER BALLEN
SHEYI ANTONY BANKALE (Next Level UK)
DANA FACONTI (BlindSpot Mag NY)
MICHAEL FOLEY (Foley Gallery NY)
JASON FULFORD
CLARE GRAFIK (Photographers Gallery London)
MATTHIAS HARDER (Helmut Newton Foundation Germany).
DARIUS HIMES (Radius Books)
KRISTEN LUBBEN (UCP NY)
STEPHEN SHORE

To see the work please visit www.societyofphotographers.com