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Indepth Arts News:

"Two Exhibitions of Painting to Open: Heike Davies and Claude Bouscharain"
2002-05-06 until 2002-05-25
Association for Visual Arts
Cape Town, , ZA South Africa

The Association For Visual Arts (AVA) at the Metropolitan Gallery, 35 Church Street, Cape Town, is hosting two solo exhibitions. In the main and upstairs galleries, established artist, Claude Bouscharain, will hold her first solo exhibition since 1995, while in the long gallery, newcomer Heike Davies will hold her first time one-person show. Both artists will exhibit figurative oil paintings in colour, but executed in very different styles.

Claude Bouscharain, born in Foecy (Cher), France, studied Child Psychology at the Institute of Educational Sciences in Geneva in 1941. Thereafter, in 1946, she went on to study Art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and, from 1947 to 1949, at the Art Students’ League in New York. From 1950 to 1951 she studied at the Academie Montmartre in Paris under Fernand Leger. After marrying Erik Laubscher (now a renowned South African artist) she moved, in 1951, to South Africa, where she has lived ever since.

Bouscharain began exhibiting in 1950 on the Art Students’ League Tercentenary in New York. Thereafter, from 1959, she participated in numerous group exhibitions in Cape Town and around South Africa, in venues such as: the SA Association of Arts, WC (SAAA,WC), the SA National Gallery (SANG), the Arts Associations of Bellville and of Pretoria, the Universities of Stellenbosch and of the Free State, Rand Afrikaans University, Lidchi Gallery, Sanlam Gallery, ABSA, Durban Art Museum, the Guild and Artists Galleries, Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg, Kunsoveral, Oliewenhuis Museum, Jean Welz Gallery, Dorp Street Gallery, the KKNK, and the AVA, amongst others. She has also exhibited abroad in Belgium, Zimbabwe, Australia, Namibia, and in 2002 at the Cite International des Arts in Paris. Bouscharain has held a variety of solo exhibitions since her first in October 1959 (mainly at the SAAA, WC, the Artists and the Guild Galleries, Stellenbosch University, Gowlett Gallery and at Sanlam). Over the years, she has participated in several invited exhibitions, often jointly with Erik Laubscher.

Bouscharain and her art form the subject of a monograph by Bruce Arnott, published by Struik, and she features in a selection of eminent books, dictionaries and articles on South African art of the Twentieth Century.

Her work is represented in the public and corporate art collections of: SANG, Pretoria Art Museum, Sanlam, Sandton Municipal Art Gallery, the Department of National Education, the University of the Free State, CSIR, Hester Rupert Museum, the Peninsula Technikon, Cape of Good Hope Bank, and BMD Knitting Mills, inter alia, as well as in scores of private collections, both locally and overseas.

Heike Davies, in the long gallery, was born in 1976. After studying Art and Graphic Design for one year at the East London Technikon where she gained the Student of the Year prize in 1996, she went on to obtain her BA degree in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2000. During her studies she was awarded the Maciver Scholarship (1999 and 2000) and was placed on the Dean’s Merit List (1999 and 2000). She served on the Michaelis Student Catalogue Committee in 2000 and became a Member of the Golden Key National Honour Society. She is currently studying Psychology through UNISA.

Davies works as a partner at the Michaelis Art Shop, UCT, which she helped to set up and now manages. She also runs children’s art workshops and works as a painter from her own studio at the Michaelis Art Shop.

Davies has exhibited on several group exhibitions at venues in Cape Town, including: Peter Visser Gallery, Infin Art and Bang the Gallery. In 2000 she won the J&B Met painting competition for Orange Advertising, and has since completed various commissions for private collectors. She was recently featured on the arts programme "Kuns Kafee" on DSTV.

Of her first solo exhibition, "Perfect – Imperfection", she says: "This corpus of work stems from a yearning and an infatuation with deconstructing a man I hardly knew, but who keeps having a profound and intimate effect on my identity.

These paintings attempt to explore the ephemerality of memories that exist in the continuously shifting, intangible space of recollection. These interpretations manifest themselves in a series of landscapes of fatty, concrete constructions which cling to, lean against and, sometimes, float above the visceral raw-red ground.

A perfect blue vacuum, an absence, exists quietly, enticingly, alongside the boundaries, foraging for clarity within this infatuation with creating an expression of reverence for this man.

The found images of my late grandfather became the point of departure for these paintings, and, through the deliberate choice and application of colour and surface, I have tried to avoid the literal sentimentality generally associated with the family photograph."

Claude Bouscharain
The Game of Statues Oil on Canvas
128cm (51.2") h x 106cm (42.4") w

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