Susan Greenspan & Hentie van der Merwe

Susan Greenspan & Hentie van der Merwe

This is the first time that long-time friends and fellow artists Susan Greenspan and Hentie van der Merwe are exhibiting together. Their decision to make a joint exhibition springs from their longstanding shared interest in photography and the conceptual use thereof in their respective artmaking practices.

Greenspan will be showing archival inkjet prints, which are the latest in her series of photographs and sculptures titled, Photographic Graphic. In 2010, Greenspan began creating work based on the marks made while digitally retouching her family's damaged photographs. The new work transforms these same marks into elaborate geometrical compositions which evoke an aura of the people in the original portraits, without revealing any external details.  The results are iridescent, gem-like orbs that hover on the page.

This is the first time Van der Merwe will be showing new work after taking a five-year break from exhibiting to devote himself to starting, and growing, together with partner Frits van Ryneveld, the by now well-known Darling Sweet brand of toffees and caramels. In the works Van der Merwe will be exhibiting he returned to themes and artmaking techniques by now familiar to his work; archival photographs of the Namibian landscape of his youth, combined with autobiographical references, layering, stitching and embroidery, and text. For these works the artist has, as is often the case in his work, made use of a photographic archive as source material, and here he worked with a collection of digital trail camera images made in Namibia for wildlife surveillance.

Susan Greenspan received a BA from Smith College, and an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work has been exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including South Africa, as part of the touring exhibition, “Think of Number 6.” She has been a visiting artist at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Scotland, and an artist in residence at Joule City in Cape Town, SA. She has taught Digital Imaging at Smith College and The Cleveland Institute of Art. She currently lives in New York City where she is part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design.

Hentie van der Merwe lives and works in Darling. He divides his time between his studio and doing product development for the Darling Sweet brand of toffees and caramels that he and his partner Frits van Ryneveld started. Van der Merwe was born in Windhoek, Namibia and studied Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand where he obtained both his BA and MA degrees. Between 2000 and 2002 he attended the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Antwerp and in 2001 the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, USA. He has held many solo exhibitions both in South Africa and in Europe as well as taking part in numerous group exhibitions both in South Africa and internationally, some of which were curated by acclaimed international curators such as Jan Hoet (My Private Heroes, MARTa Herford, Germany, 2005) and Okwui Enwezor (Snap Judgements: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York, 2006). He won the prize for best visual artist at the BIG Torino 2002 International Biennale of Young Art in Italy, curated by Michelangelo Pistoletto and, in 2008, the Sasol Wax Art Award for professional South African artists.