'Object' by Vivian van der Merwe - 2016 - Oil, Wax Encaustic and Carved Gesso on Board.
A beautiful still-life by one of South Africa’s greatest living painters – Vivian van der Merwe. It is a recent work (2016) and typical of his abstract style. Van der Merwe is seen as a master of the still-life.
Prof. Bert Olivier, philosopher and art-theorist, said of him: “…Vivian eschews politically engaged or "narrative" art in favour of the genre which allows him the greatest freedom and experimental range with regard to formal or structural possibilities, namely the still-life. [ ] … his works are a powerful reminder that art opens up a fissure in the obviousness of the everyday - an opening within which new possibilities dislodge what is merely given.”
On his abstract style, Van der Merwe comments as follows: “My compositions often begin with a highly figurative study of a still-life object or objects. My work then progresses through a process of abstraction, to a point where I feel it achieves visual autonomy beyond the restrictions of language and conceptual meaning.”