With Jeanne Gaigher's first solo show in Italy (Cape Town, 1990), Osart Gallery continues its investigation of the most interesting personalities of the South African art scene Until November 6, 2021 - Osart Gallery, Corso Plebisci 12, Milan

Starting from the reflection on the traditional format of painting and its support - the canvas - Gaigher investigates the expressive possibilities of materials and their textures. The artist uses fabrics, gauze, painting and drawing to build works in which he recounts the tensions between the body and its context. It stages dreamlike, surreal narratives, in which the female body is the absolute protagonist.

In the exhibition at Osart Gallery (opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm / 2.30 pm - 7 pm free entry, tel. 02 5513826 - info@osartgallery.com) the artist moves between figuration and abstraction, focusing on hybrid zones; the supports chosen change shape and size together with the subjects becoming one, and grow in unexpected directions; the structure of the support and that of the anthropomorphic figures, or of the anatomical details, blend together: they are literally sewn together. Bodies propagate through trajectories and lines of energy, without defined boundaries.

“At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the anatomy of the canvas itself - the construction of the substrate on which the image is painted. I use the word anatomy in relation to the surface, constructed through layers of canvas with curved shapes, sewn together, which mimic the profile of organs and limbs. The anatomy itself changes, the body of the canvas changes. It has its own pseudo-symmetry, ”explains Jeanne Gaigher. "The colors chosen, with a strong evocative power, do not have a decorative function, but tell the exchange between figure and environment: they are Veronese green, red iron oxide, black, up to the color of the smoke of a fire that covers the Sun. These settle on the materials, accumulate as residues on the figures and the place they live in. The temporal dimension is faced as a sedimentation of emotional experiences. "

The environments represented often have more to do with the unconscious dimension of rooms of the mind than with tangible places, but they are no less real for this. The scale of the subjects is deformed, the very small coexists with the very large and the monstrous, thanks to combinations capable of restoring the temperature of the situations. The three-dimensionality of the scenes and the material layering is fundamental: it recreates the thickness of the air in an environment, or the ripples of the water, or more often it imitates unknown material compounds, in which the subject seems to immerse himself.

The works of Jeanne Gaigher represent situations of transition and metamorphosis, which often disorient and upset. She herself evokes in several cases the image of the chrysalis.