The Absa Gallery in downtown Johannesburg is hosting an exhibition of bronze
sculptures by South African artist, Andre Otto. The exhibition will be open
to the public for two weeks until 28 February 2002.
Until now, Otto has sharpened his talent creating commissioned works for
corporate and private art collectors. Now, with the help of Absa, the
ex-university lecturer has realized his dream to hold his first solo
exhibition featuring his personal designs.
Commissioned work does not always allow me freedom of design. This
collection is my indulgence, says Otto.
Reminiscent of primitive implements, Otto's works reflect his interest in
archaeology and abstract form. He uses the traditional 'Lost Wax' method of
casting to achieve distinctive textured surfaces. Despite being small in
scale, each sculpture gives the illusion of monumental stature.
The works are affordable and judging by the number of sales on opening night
last week, those with what Otto describes as tongue-in-cheek titles such
as Village Idiot, Philospher's Stone and Green Knight, have attracted a
Otto's impressive portfolio of commissioned works include: a 1.2m bronze
sculpture for the Music Department at Pretoria University; a 2.5m steel
cross and 14 bronze panels (Stations of the Cross) for the Bryanston
Catholic Church; trophies awarded to luminaries such as former foreign
minister Pik Botha, Professor Danie Joubert, artist Bettie Cilliers-Barnard
as well as statues for various competitions including the Absa Atelier Art
The Absa Gallery is situated on the ground floor of Absa Towers North, 161
Main Street, Johannesburg. Gallery hours are from 9 am to 3.30 pm on
weekdays. School and tour groups are welcome.
The Absa Gallery hosts exhibitions every year in order to showcase the
talent of emerging and established South African artists. The exhibitions
and opening nights are sponsored by Absa so that the artists receive the
full benefit from the sale of their works.
Absa has the largest corporate art collection in South Africa, with more
than 15 000 works dating back from the 1900s to the present day.
Absa is also the sponsor of the longest running national arts competition,
the Absa Atelier, for young artists between the ages of 21 and 35 years.