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Giverny of the Midwest: Nathaniel Stern @ GALLERY AOP in Johannesburg, South Africa

Giverny of the Midwest (detail), 2011, 2 x 12 meters
Nathaniel Stern scanning lilies in South Bend, IndianaGiverny of the Midwest

Johannesburg, South Africa
Nathaniel Stern at GALLERY AOP

44 Stanley Avenue
Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), Johannesburg
Saturday 30 July – Saturday 13 August 2011
Opening talk by Jeremy Wafer, 30 July 14h00
Artist talks, 4 – 5 August, Joburg and Pretoria
Artist walkabout at AOP, 4 August 18h00

For Nathaniel Stern’s ongoing series of performative prints, he straps a desktop scanner, laptop and custom-made battery pack to his body, and performs images into existence. He might scan in straight, long lines across tables, tie the scanner around his neck and swing over flowers, do pogo-like gestures over bricks, or just follow the wind over water lilies in a pond. The dynamism between his body, technology and the landscape is transformed into beautiful and quirky renderings, which are then produced as archival art objects.

Giverny of the Midwest is a panoramic installation of nearly 100 such prints, rendering water, lilies, leaves and other organic forms into lush and rippling images. The source materials were scanned during a week-long camping trip next to a lily pond in South Bend, Indiana, and edited together over the course of nearly 2 years. The piece explicitly cites Monet’s large-scale painting and installation, Water Lilies (1914-1926), at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is similarly an immersive triptych of over 250 square feet (totaling 2 x 12 meters), and follows the patterns of light and color in Monet’s panorama. But Giverny of the Midwest’s three large panels move between proximity and distance, and are broken down into differently-sized and -shaped prints on watercolor paper, each evenly spaced apart. The tensions between flow and geometry, life and modularity, place it in further dialogue with other trajectories of modern and contemporary art, and simultaneously activate the possibilities of working across digital and traditional forms.

Giverny of the Midwest (detail), middle wall, 30 prints @ 2 x 4 meters

Giverny of the Midwest (detail, 2 x 4 meters; total size 2 x 12 meters)

Also part of the exhibition: The Giverny Series, 8 individual prints (edition 10, 2011) and In the fold, an artist book (forthcoming) - both produced using imagery from the aforementioned “art camping trip” in South Bend, Indiana.

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Artist presentations

At both artist talks, Nathaniel will talk about his trajectory of thinking and making, which centers around curiosity, generosity and dialogue. He’ll present his work as a series of questions that often lead to interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and the combination of new and traditional media. The walkabout will see an open discussion about Giverny of the Midwest more specifically – the prints, the process, and the in-betweens.

Artist talk: Thursday 4 August, 12h30
Digital Convent, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Co-hosted by Wits Digital Arts and the Division of Visual Arts
details: tegan.bristow@wits.ac.za

Artist walkabout: Thursday 4 August, 18h00
GALLERY AOP
44 Stanley Avenue, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), Johannesburg
details: info@artonpaper.co.za

Artist talk: Friday 5 August, 9h00
Sunnyside Campus, University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria
Hosted by the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology
details: colleen.alborough@gmail.com

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GALLERY AOP details

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday 10h00-17h00, Saturday 10h00-15h00