Giovanna Biallo Stone-Tiny Painting 1

Tiny Painting 1

Philip Steele-Mr Groovy

Mr Groovy

Desmond Mnyila

House #1

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R 700.00 ex. vat
More Information
Medium Acrylic on canvas
Height 7.00 cm
Width 7.00 cm
Artist Desmond Mnyila
Year 2020

Desmond Mnyila is a landscape painter who works primarily in acrylic and oils. His works are attempts to position himself as a landscape painter in South African Contemporary Art - a much contested terrain. He interrogates, through his practice, issues of landscape representation and power relations in South African contemporary painting. He challenges notions of racialised identities and especially predominance of one identity over this genre that has characterized past traditions. He views himself as a Post Africanist painter and refuses to be drawn back to an anti-modern escape into his native past. He exercises dominion over his past historical circumstances of dispossession seeking newer, fresher and more perfomative intellectual engagement with Africa, modernity and the West. Through the gaze, the painting process itself and his own translation of the environment around him, he challenges notions and stereotypes of dominance of one race by another and of the South African landscape in particular especially with regards to land and its ownership. His works have been put through the filter of his mind to become statements rather than topographical representations of the landscape.  This is where factors of South African land ownership issues, the history and legacy of Apartheid come into play positioning the work in South African art and historical discourse. He doesn’t leave us there, but his works take us beyond the mere physical to the sublime and betray the romantic influences that characterized the landscape painting tradition of the Eastern Cape Province that he loves and especially the old tradition of the small town that he lives in, Grahamstown.      

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