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Clos Malverne unveils arresting A Void in the Landscape exhibition

Top SA artists transform Stellenbosch wine estate with Pop Up gallery Clos Malverne, a family-owned wine estate nestled in the heart of the Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch, sets the stage for a unique art meander in the Winelands with the unveiling of an exclusive A Void in the Landscape exhibition by esteem South African artists which will beguile the senses from 5 October until the end of January 2014. Hosted in conjunction with the North-West University Gallery in Potchefstroom, Clos Malverne will be transformed into a one-stop wonder of artistic expressions.

Seven internationally famed artists will convey their expressions through paintings and sculptures which will take pride of place in and around the vineyards and the resident restaurant on the farm. “Society draws its ideas about how to view and experience nature from the conventions of visual culture, while at the same time artists reflect and react to current societal attitudes to the environment. The title of this exhibition, A Void in the Landscape, is inspired by social perceptions of nature and how these perceptions stand in contrast to artistic representations of the natural environment,” explains Christina Naurattel, curator of the North-West University Gallery.

This unique group exposé consists of paintings and small sculptures inside Clos Malverne’s magnificently appointed restaurant with its wraparound glass balcony as well as unique sculpture pieces rooted in the flanking garden. World renowned land artist Strijdom van der Merwe, best known for his signature style of symmetrical lines and geometrical forms that participate with their environment, will erect an impressive installation in the vineyards. Strijdom is a recipient of the esteemed Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in the USA and Medal of Honour from the South African Academy of Arts and Science and is celebrated for his unique landscape installations all across the globe including South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, Australia, Germany and Italy.

Joining him at Clos Malverne will be sculptors Wilma Cruise, Marco Cianfanelli and Gordon Froud who will add aesthetic appeal and conversation pieces to the exhibition. Working mainly with fired clay, Wilma’s sculptures are typically rendered in expressive life-size figures and she is renowned for a number of public works across the country including the award-winning Women’s Monument at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Marco’s awe-inspiring figures and forms allude ambiguously to landscape, the human body and micro-organisms. Recent works include his monumental portrait sculpture, Capture, located in Howick, KwaZulu Natal, which symbolically marks the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s capture at the site by the apartheid police in 1962. Gordon Froud, who has participated in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions throughout South Africa, has been actively involved in the South African and international art world as artist, educator, curator and gallerist during a career spanning twenty five years.

Art lovers will also adore the transformed interior of Clos Malverne’s restaurant, with paintings by internationally renowned artists Rina Stutzer, Retha Buitendach and Pauline Gutter adding colour to this serene setting. Rina whose work is centred around the ‘nomadic’ as theme, explores painting with acid on copper plate which ultimately results in an ever-changing image continuously altered through oxidation after the time of ‘completion’, making her one of the innovative artists of her generation. Retha finds her inspiration in the natural world and implicit in all her paintings is the heartfelt importance of conserving nature. Pauline, who is also the prestigious winner of this year’s ABSA L’atelier competition, works through a visual attack of marks and colour and the purposeful application and interweaving of layers that gives the identity of continuous change.

A Void in the Landscape will be unveiled on the 5th of October at Clos Malverne and enthusiasts can visit the estate and its popular restaurant for a superb grape, gourmet and gallery experience until the end of January 2014. With its stunning setting amidst the vineyards and breathtaking views of the picturesque Devon Valley, The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne is the perfect retreat to spend a soul-quenching afternoon under the trees, linger over lunch on the wraparound glass balcony or simply to pamper the senses.

Chef Nadia Louw Smith, who describes her own cuisine as ‘world food with an earthy sophistication, cooked from the heart and presented with perfection’ eschews the elaborate and creates sumptuous yet unpretentious food, simple in structure yet complex in flavour, texture and colour. Clos Malverne’s time-honoured, handcrafted wines can only be bought directly from the estate or via its newly improved online wine sales facility which delivers your wine to your doorstep in no time. For reservations contact Clos Malverne at Tel: 021 865 2022; email [email protected], or visit The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne is open daily for lunch except on Mondays and bookings are essential.

land Art by Strijdom van der Merwe LRFor more information on the participating artists contact NWU Gallery curator Christina Naurattel at Tel: 018 299 4341 or send an email to [email protected].

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