FACE VALUE Exhibition (This event has passed)



View etchings by award-winning SA artist in the City of Roses

FACE VALUE, an etching series by Malcolm Payne can currently be seen as part of the Permanent Collection on the first floor of Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The series of 14 copper plate etchings was originally created by contemporary artist Malcolm Payne as part of a solo exhibition titled FACE VALUE old heads in modern masks that opened at the National Gallery, Cape Town in 1993.

The exhibition was inspired by the Lydenburg Heads and was described in the Cape Times as ‘a visual, archaeological and historical reading of the Lydenburg Heads’. These masks are the earliest known three-dimensional art forms to have emerged in South Africa and carbon dating revealed that they date to 490 AD and were made by Early Iron Age people. The exhibition included the original Lydenburg Heads, seven sculptures known as the Mafikeng Heads, the FACE VALUE series of etchings of which seven are of the Lydenburg Heads, seven supermarket trolleys, seven aluminium structures as containers of information and a book.

The FACE VALUE etchings from the Permanent Collection of Oliewenhuis Art Museum are a combination of beautifully drawn images from many different sources, and symbols, patterns and a variety of marks that stimulate the viewer to find meaning in these artworks. As Payne explores and questions South African cultural histories in these works, time plays a significant role and imagery and references from the ancient past (including images of the Lydenburg Heads in seven of the etchings) are used together with contemporary symbols such as the bar code in Keeping Time. This rich mixture of imagery challenges the viewer to trace and identify diverse references from a vast reference field that reflects Malcolm Payne’s interest in ‘utilising images and codes that relate to the experience of living in South Africa today’.

Malcolm Payne majored in printing and printmaking at the Tshwane University of Technology and then studied sculpture and mixed media at St Martins School of Art in London, and painting at the University of Cape Town. He has attained status as an influential South African artist, and has won several awards including the Sasol New Signatures Competition in 1968 and the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award in 1984. In 1995 he held a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale and in 1999, the work Payne did in the 1970s was chosen for the exhibition Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s-1980s at the Queens Museum in New York. Malcolm Payne is currently Professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.

The FACE VALUE series will be on show from 2 December until the end of April 2012. For more information, please contact Oliewenhuis Art Museum on 051 447 9609 or oliewen@nasmus.co.za, or visit www.nasmus.co.za.

FACE VALUE Exhibition & Surrounds

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