Goodman Gallery presents Landscape Echoes, an exhibition that delves into the evocative artistic practice of Clive van den Berg whose work deftly weaves together themes of landscape, absence, and echoes. In this show the artist offers a gestural and intuitive application of paint to these thematic explorations, letting the paint have greater direction in the visual composition and emotive capabilities of each work.
Van den Berg continues to reflect on his own complex relationship to landscape with this show providing a body of work that communicates a more visceral articulation of this engagement.
This is embedded in the quality of the paint as much as the construction of the paintings and the abstract imagery that emerges on the canvas.
Drawing upon his distinctive visual language of gestural brushstrokes, Van den Berg's paintings explore the porous nature of land as a receptacle for lived experience, unearthing what lies unresolved beneath its surface. In this exhibition, the landscapes serve as a departure point, transcending their physicality to evoke a haunting absence that resonates within the viewer's consciousness. In this way, the works, with multiple modes of painting present, operate as a series of maps that guide viewers through imagined topographies and merged temporalities.
Clive van den Berg (b. 1956, Zambia) is a Johannesburg-based artist, curator and designer. Working across various mediums throughout the course of his prolific career, which has focused on pioneering the insertion of queer perspectives into the larger rewrite of South African history, Van den Berg has produced a range of works unified by his enduring focus on five interrelated themes: memory, light, landscape, desire and body.
Solo exhibitions include Fugitive Marks, Goodman Gallery, London (2022); Underscape, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2021); Remembering, a survey exhibition of paintings, prints and sculptures at the Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Art Gallery, Durban (2021); Coming to the City, London (2012); and Personal Affects, Museum of African Art, New York (2005).
Group exhibitions include If You Look Hard Enough, You Can See Our Future: Selections of Contemporary South African Art from the Nando’s Art Collection, The African American Museum of Dallas, Dallas (2023); Breaking Down the Walls: 150 years of Art Collecting, Iziko SANG, Cape Town (2023); 25 Years of ArtThrob, Under Projects, Cape Town (2022); Screening of Memorials Without Facts: Men Loving, São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo (2018); Silence calling from one continent to another, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2021); Earth Matters: Lands as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. (2013-2014); and Sculptures in the Landscape, Nirox Foundation, Johannesburg (2009).
Much of van den Berg’s practice is activated in public space where he has been the exhibition designer for the Holocaust and Genocide Centre, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Workers Museum, The Womens Jail, all in Johannesburg, as well as Freedom Park in Tshwane, amongst others.
Van den Berg’s retrospective, titled Porous, will take place at the Wits Art Museum in late 2024.