• Grace Kotze

    South Africa

    Grace Kotze
    • Artist Statement
      • Making art is the way in which I make sense of my environment and navigate my way through life. It’s all part of a visual puzzle, where I search for images, tones, colours, and methods of paint application looking for appropriate visuals to describe emotions that I am feeling at the time. These emotions are felt, not understand and the image making process is a way that I can understand them and feel at peace with them.

        My surrounds provide me with such fertile fodder for this journey as it is one that I have an authentic connection with. People, landscapes, foliage, cityscapes and still life objects may all seem everyday subjects but they feel anything but when I mould them into artworks. Paint and emotions have a manner of transporting the mundane into a visually intriguing and compelling subject that hold my attention.
    • Biography
      • Solo Exhibitions:

        “Taking Pause”, Longmynd, Durban

        “Learning to let go”, Ebony Gallery, Cape Town

        “13 years –Mid career retrospective”, artSPACE Durban

        “Within”, Ebony Gallery, Cape Town
        “Internal Markings”, Showcase gallery, Dubai

        “thaw”, KZNSA Gallery, Durban

        "Anatomy of the Un-seen", artSPACE Durban
        "Darkness and Wonder", KZNSA Gallery, Durban

        "A Sense of.......", Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg
        "A Sense of.......", artSPACE Durban

        "Co-ordinates", artSPACE Durban

        KZNSA Gallery, Durban

        "Inversion", Bang the Gallery, Cape Town
        "Inversion", The Art Seen, Durban

        Selected Group Exhibitions:

        “The Purple Starman Mash-Up”, curated by Alex Hamilton, Cape Town
        “Portervile Open Studio Weekend”,curated by Alex Hamilton JP Meyer, Porterville
        “The Grand III”, a group show at Rust-en-Vrede, Cape Town
        “Transitiona”, curated by Grace Kotze at The Breathing Space, Durban
        “Transmutation”, group show at Knysna Fine Art Gallery
        Loading Bay gallery, Nine group shows curated by Grace Kotze
        “Interlude” – curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg

        Part of the Benetton traveling collection show at the Venice Biennale
        A two person exhibition with Melody French at artSPACE DUrban
        A two person exhibition with JP Meyer, "Oombliklik", Woordfees, Stelenbosch
        A two person exhibition with Jonathan Gecelter at Diedericks Faber Fine art
        “When my eyes are open”, The Breathing Space, Durban
        “Manifesto”, curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg

        Upstairs at Bamboo, curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg
        Alex Hamilton, “Flippen Vlambaar” Exhibition, Cape Town
        Mashup, “Freeda” curated by Alex Hamilton, Cape Town

        “Homosapien”, Kznsa Gallery, Durban
        “Velvet”, Absa KKNK (Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees), curated by Christiaan Diedericks, Oudtshoorn
        The Art Business, Picketburg
        The Art Business, Picketburg
        “Anthropology”, The Breathing Space, Durban
        “Who I am”, Fat Tuesday, Durban

        “Inspiration 2”, artSPACE Durban
        “Mix”, Curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg
        “Who I am”, Fat Tuesday, Durban

        Ebony, Cape Town
        “More is More”, curated by Gordon Froud, FADA Gallery, Johannesburg
        artSPACE Durban, "Inspiration" - Durban Art Gallery Archive Show
        KZNSA Gallery, curated by Bren Brophy
        Upstairs at Bamboo, Curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg
        “The End”, artSPACE Durban

        The opening of Gallery 2 (previously Gallery on the Square), Johannesburg
        Jabulisa 2010 - Natal Arts Trust juried exhibition, opening at the Tatham Art Gallery, and touring South Africa
        "Big is Beautiful", artSPACE durban
        “KZN” - artists from around Durban, curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        Gallery on the Square, Johannesburg
        "Review", curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        "Enigma", curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        Hilton College Arts Fair Show, curated by artSPACE durban
        Affordable Arts Fair, artSPACE Durban

        "17th Annual SALON", Rose Korber Art, Cape Town
        "Heaven", South Gallery, Cape Town
        "Transform", curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        "Formation", artSPACE durban
        "Expression", curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        "diminutive", artSPACE durban
        "Christmas Present Show", Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg
        "Sell, sell, sell", curated by Gordon Froud
        "Wildlands Art for Conservation Exhibition", curated Lindsay Davies, Durban

        "Project" curated by Carol Lee, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg
        Gordart end of year show, Johannesburg
        "Malleable", artSPACE durban
        "About the surface", with Themba Shibase, Deanne Donaldson and Gabi Ngcobo, curated by Nathi Gumede, KZNSA Gallery, Durban
        "Icons", Gallery 415, Durban

        Representing artSPACE durban at the Hilton Arts Festival
        "Jabulisa 2006", touring the national galleries in the province
        Moja Modern, Johannesburg
        Tamasa Gallery, Durban
        "Paean to Paint", artSPACE durban

        Public and Corporate Collections
        Luciano Benetton Collection to be shown in Venice during the Biennale of 2015
        Durban Art Gallery
        Dundee Museum
        Durban University of Technology
        Anglo America
        Spar head office

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Diane Victor, Christiaan Diedericks and Clive Van den Berg are three artists who inspire me constantly. Their integrity and innovative natures are great role models.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        Judith Mason is an artist who was way-ahead of her time. She managed to fuse a graphic quality with a more traditional fine art execution which is a great achievement.  Mason’s ability to hold so much fragility and beauty alongside such brutality is an incredible achievement that artists seldom attain.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        I have seen three Turners in my life, that experience changed the way I approach paint. Turner used the physical structure of paint to talk of his surrounds and emotions, he was not just a picture maker. Through him I realize that paint has a much stronger voice in the art making process, it is not just a means to an end but a subject in itself. This let me to approach paint with a freedom and delight that allowing its flow and volume to lead me rather than my trying to force it into submission.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
        My surrounds, in the form of people I meet, the city in which I live, nature I visit and artworks that move through my life. I am constantly in awe of how the world looks and feels different every day offering me such fodder to work from. Our world is such a visually rich place that I just have to open my eyes and I have an array of subjects to select from.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        I thrive off isolation, it makes creating possible, allowing me to gain a sense of still which I find essential to focus on the extremely subtle string of decision making that takes place while I paint. Rooibos tea and the company of my cats are added aids to my art making process!

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        There is so much I love about being an artist. Firstly, I find the art making process extremely fulfilling and I am constantly excited about going to work every day. I love the freedom of mind that being an artist demands, I hate complying to the narrow vision of the requirements most jobs require. Dealing with the visual is a treat for me and I get to do that on a daily basis. So I get to live my passion not just steal moments to explore it after hours.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        I seldom experience this but I have learnt that it is detrimental to me if I paint while I am emotionally drained. Fortunately, I have teaching and curating to focus on during those times.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        I find that hard to answer as I just see my journey as an artists as tackling issues in the painting I am working on. I don’t aim for accolades and being invited to show in internationally acclaimed galleries as a place I want to be but rather resolving the task at hand and keeping food on the table through my passion in the visual world.
        There are some works that have taken me a step further to understanding the complexity of painting but these are often the works I throw away rather than the highly successful achievements.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        I always aim to be honest in my work and that somehow seems to move the spectator. People have thanked me for allowing them not to feel alone in their emotions. To feel heard and validated is a positive thing and a am very grateful that my art can serve that purpose. It also gives me great pleasure that people are visually moved by my work, as I believe that beauty has a way of quenching humanity.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        Painting is a field that provides me with an ever-expanding area to learn from and widen my visual vocabulary. I hope to be more ambitious with my work this year and push my technical and visual skills into areas that I am not familiar with. I find that growth must come from the unknown, so this year will be one of shift even if unnoticed by an outsider.
        I also hope to venture in the world of ceramics where I know very little. I find this prospect very exciting as I will be starting almost from scratch.
  • a tribute unknown makers: blue jug   painting grace kotze GRACE KOTZE
    A Tribute Unknown Makers: Blue Jug
    Painting / 20 x 25 cm
  • a tribute unknown makers: blue vase painting grace kotze GRACE KOTZE
    A Tribute Unknown Makers: Blue Vase
    Painting / 20 x 25 cm
  • a tribute unknown makers: blue/green bowl painting grace kotze GRACE KOTZE
    A Tribute Unknown Makers: Blue/Green Bowl
    Painting / 25 x 20 cm
  • tribute to johan gregor van der schardt with weaver birds painting grace kotze
    Tribute To Johan Gregor Van Der Schardt With Weaver Birds
    Painting / 80 x 80 cm
  • the pigeon and the chinese teapot painting grace kotze
    The Pigeon And The Chinese Teapot
    Painting / 80 x 80 cm
  • male nude: standing nude painting grace kotze
    Male Nude: Standing
    Nude Painting / 26 x 40 cm
  • release portraiture grace kotze
    Portraiture / 100 x 150 cm