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Indepth Arts News:

"Icons of Transfiguration by James Olmesdahl "
2001-05-08 until 2001-05-26
NSA Gallery
Durban, , ZA South Africa

James Olmesdahl have produced a series of oil paintings on canvas for the past five years, all executed in blacks, grays and whites. The work deals with seemingly innocent subject matter: for the main part flowers, and then some jugs, vases and shells. However, these mostly fragile components are set into robust and stark surroundings, which 'eats' into it.

Olmesdahl states “there was part of me (when making these works) that intuitively sought to explore the kinds of meaningfulness that could be generated by the unusual and unfamiliar sonorities of black and white. I became engrossed in seeking out the boundaries of this self-imposed limitation and in so doing created works that, paradoxically, are highly colorful. On a spiritual level what these works reflect I think is a persistent and uncompromising search for truth.”

Each canvas has been reworked numerous times – thus developing and assuming its ‘character’ over a period of time. This reworking included numerous applications of paint, the removal and scraping of other layers and incisions into the paint surface. The result is an intense and ‘painful’ body of work.


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