Pauline Gutter: Execution Opening

Gutter’s current art-making embodies universal themes of time, negligence, scarification, decay and conflict as framed by the sublime. The Kantian view on the sublime concerns that which is unfathomable – that which gives awe and cannot be explained. Gutter’s representation of the landscape forms part of the South African landscape tradition but move beyond a literal depiction of space and terra firma, instead, she offers a textual reaction to the notion of land and the history of landscape painting.

As Gutter wrestles with the incomprehensible, the visceral, as she reaches out to the terror that is the sublime, she confronts it; tries to comprehend it and give it form. In her work conflicted pastoral analogies emerge, between the use of machines and narratives that play out on the land. This translates into the actual physical execution of the artist’s painting methods, mark-making and processes. The kinetically interlaced mark-making echoes her layered process of uncovering meaning through visual interrogation and tactile embodiment of the materials.

Laborious layers of oil paint embody the current unstable situation in the agricultural sector: impending climate apocalypse and rampant veld fires, the crisis of violence and farm murders and an economy tethering on the brink of junk status – a weight of material and symbolism that clings to a thin fragile membrane.