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Indepth Arts News:

"Andre Otto: Solo Exhibition of Sculpture"
2002-02-14 until 2002-02-28
Absa Gallery
Johannesburg, , ZA South Africa

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 following.

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 awards.

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.

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