James de Villiers

James de Villiers

South Africa | 12 artworks for sale

My art is concerned with change, decay and humanity's position in the natural world. The ongoing struggle to establish order and stability in an environment of constant flux, integration and disintegration, environmental degradation and rehabilitation, a world of paradox and tension. I use both abstraction and realism to express this.
Selected Exhibitions:

· 1985 One person exhibition at the Market Gallery, Johannesburg

· 1991 Kempton Park Art Competition, overall and category winner

· 1992 "Made in August" exhibition at the Newtown Galleries, Johannesburg

· 1993 Group Show, Anti-Gravity Gallery, Rosebank, Johannesburg

· 1993 "Drawing with light", group show, ICA, Johannesburg

· 1993 Johannesburg Corporate Art, a group show at the Artists Co-Operative, Midrand

· 1993 One-person exhibition at the Long Gallery, S A Association of Art Gallery, Cape Town

· 1994 "Biting The Ballot", Rembrandt Gallery, Johannesburg

· 1995 Curators Choice Exhibition, Rembrandt Gallery, Johannesburg

· 1996 "Landscapes", two man show at Gallery Palette, Pretoria Art Gallery with Pieter Swanepoel

· 1998 Participated in group show, " Buttons" at the Civic Gallery, Johannesburg

· 1999 Participated in group exhibition touring Mexico and the US, "Transmigrations 1999" with installation "Architecture of Air" and accompanying soundscape by Andi Spicer.

· 2004 Exhibited on group shows at Gordart Gallery, Melville "For the Record/Off the Record". Organised and performed in "Mayday Experimental music evening" at Gordart. Exhibited in Christmas Miniature show.

· 2005 January 16 - February 9: Exhibition "Forty Hand painted Pictures" at Gordart Gallery

· 2006 "Nature Morte" a solo exhibition at the Gordart gallery in Melville, Johannesburg

· 2009 Participated in GTZ International Photographic workshop and exhibition, "Diversity, the impulse for development".

· 2010 March: Exhibited "Earth & Sky" at Right on the Rim at Arts on Main in Johannesburg.

· 2011 Participated in the  Leonard Cohen exhibition, “Altered Pieces” curated by Gordon Froud

What is your favourite film of all time?
Wings of Desire directed by Wim Wenders

What music are you currently listening to and why?
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. An incredibly rich and emotional composition, which to me, contains all the genius and inventiveness of the composer

Which living artists do you most admire and why?
Christian Boltanski for his sense of history, incisive vision and economy of means in expressing his art. Claudio Bravo for his meticulous observation of his subject matter and his impeccable painting technique. Gerhard Richter for his experimentation with paint techiques and subversion of the German Romantic tradition. Anselm Kiefer for his use of materials and evocation of  sensitive historical events. Odd Nerdrum for his connection with the Old Masters and his masterful use of light effects.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?
William Turner. He represents the turning point where emotion in paint started coming to the fore and his ability to evoke the qualities of light and space. His ability to place the observer in the painting.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
An exhibition of German Expressionist prints at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg about 1974. I was impressed by the stark, harsh qualities of the prints and the depiction of the extremes of human suffering in a small physical area of art medium.

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?
Am I influenced by the Old Masters? To which I reply, yes.

What/ who inspired you to be an artist?
My mother, Rembrandt and Susan Pontin, an artist from Pietermaritzburg.

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any, the significance of this location is
I make my art mainly in my studio which is inside my house where the lounge is intended to be. Large paintings are done in the garage which is also a studio. Where I paint my work has no significance, I can work anywhere, but I would prefer to work in a large spacious studio at some stage soon.

What do you like most about being an artist?
I like creating and exploring all the facets of what I am doing. One thought leads to another and there is constant research involving all of my interests which cover a wide spectrum ranging from science to philosophy and music.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Being able to exhibit my work and selling some work to people who really appreciate it

What are your plans for the coming year?
To do as much painting as possible and more specifically to have an exhibition in June this year and prepare works for the Brighton Fringe in England in 2012. I will be painting more sky paintings and possibly going more abstract.