Asanda Kupa: Solo Exhibition

06/10/2016 – 05/11/2016

Asanda Kupa is a rising talent among South African painters. He was born in Molteno, in the Eastern Cape and has always been drawn to the illustrative arts. His expressive mark making and abstraction of the human form creates a vivid and moving body of work that seems to explore change, progression and alteration through the language of narrative painting in a uniquely abstract manner. Kupa’s gestural works command a great presence in each space they can be found and his investment of time, energy and emotion as well as immense skill becomes apparent.

Cape Times Article:

Cape Time: 13/10/2016

First Thursday Opening Night:

Opening Night 1
Opening Night 2
Opening Night 3
Opening Night 4
Opening Night 5
Opening Night 6
Opening Night 7
Opening Night 8
Opening Night 9
Opening Night 10
Opening Night 11
Opening Night 12
Opening Night 13
Opening Night 14
Opening Night 15
Opening Night 16
Opening Night 17
Opening Night 18
Opening Night 19

Un_Learn, my soul:

With powerful, sweeping gestural movements, and evoking a constantly changing theatrical set in the progression of canvasses on display, Asanda Kupa’s exhibition powerfully interrogates the way knowledge is constructed and argues that we have to unlearn practices and conventions of the past in order to move forward. Forward-movement, dynamism and vitality have always been a characteristic of Kupa’s work, with his gripping, even chaotic, compositions evoking protest, movement and surging figures.

This series of images is something of a departure, perhaps, in that we are consistently presented with tableaux portraying a group of figures represented individually and on the same lateral plane as they relate to each other. Nevertheless the dynamic quality and energy for which he is so well known is plain to see.

In these works the human subjects are grounded – quite literally – but are engaged in actions and interactions that seem to speak of something that is about to happen and is projected into the next moment. This technique creates a tension and sense of suspense in the viewer: a viewer who always seems to take the same position in relation to the action that unfolds in each successive painting.

It seems as if Kupa is presenting us with set-pieces and our decisions and actions in relation to them may be as important as what he has constructed on the canvas. I think his system of knowledge is predicated on a rigorous demand that we ‘find out for ourselves’ rather than passively accept what we are told. Learning – and unlearning – demands doing for this artist, I would offer.

While we cannot erase our past, we are not beholden or imprisoned by it; we can shift our beliefs, assumptions and ingrained ways of doing things or thinking in moving on through life’s journey. Thus, I think this is a very timely and insightful body of work.

As the world seems to be in greater flux and insecurity than ever before, we perhaps need to find new ways and new techniques to respond: those of the past simply will not work. Unlearning then, is a vitally important strategy for dealing with change and responding creatively and constructively to the world around us.

Over and over again there is the portrayal or intimation of a bird in flight. This classic symbol in art of spiritual enlightenment, when juxtaposed with the human figure, can perhaps be seen to imply a fresh beginning and a new way of being for us as viewers as well as for the subjects portrayed: perhaps  the artist is  hinting to us that in order to be free – to soar above our everyday concerns – we need to radically change our way of doing things.

Asanda Kupa has created a series of paintings that offer hope and a practical solution to the troubles that beset today; in my view he does this by demanding that we look at tomorrow and the possibilities that it will bring, if we only let it.

Andrew Lamprecht

Artist statement:

Asanda Kupa explains: “This body of work is informed by a process in which I try to unlearn the ways I was taught by society: how things are or how they are done… things like culture and customs or religion. I have tried to depict my figures as spirit beings and by this, unusual or strange in a sense. I wanted to achieve a sense of mystery and questioning. This I also hope the exhibition encourages people to dig deep into culture and the way in which the universe provides small signs and omens for one’s path in life”.

Asanda Kupa Imbilini yam 2016 Acrylic on canvas 68 x 41 cm

Imbilini yam
2016
Acrylic on canvas
68 x 41 cm

Asanda Kupa Imbilini yamanyange 2016 Acrylic on canvas 145 x 105 cm

Imbilini yamanyange
2016
Acrylic on canvas
145 x 105 cm

Asanda Kupa Ingxoxo 2016 Acrylic on canvas 140 x 115 cm

Ingxoxo
2016
Acrylic on canvas
140 x 115 cm

Asanda Kupa Intak’ eZulu 2016 Acrylic on canvas 110 x 70 cm

Intak’ eZulu
2016
Acrylic on canvas
110 x 70 cm

Asanda Kupa Intsindabadala 2016 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 140 cm

Intsindabadala
2016
Acrylic on canvas
200 x 140 cm

Asanda Kupa Inzonzobila 2016 Acrylic on canvas 114 x 100 cm

Inzonzobila
2016
Acrylic on canvas
114 x 100 cm

SOLD

Asanda Kupa Isanusi 2016 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 87 cm

Isanusi
2016
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 87 cm

Asanda Kupa Isazela kumlisela nomthinjana 2016 Acrylic on canvas 115 x 72 cm

Isazela kumlisela nomthinjana
2016
Acrylic on canvas
115 x 72 cm

Asanda Kupa Isiziba siviwa ngodondolo 2016 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 77 cm

Isiziba siviwa ngodondolo
2016
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 77 cm

Asanda Kupa Isono sobuMnyama 2016 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 84 cm

Isono sobuMnyama
2016
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 84 cm

Asanda Kupa Kwabamathamb’’ amhlophe 2016 Acrylic on canvas 87 x 69 cm

Kwabamathamb’ amhlophe
2016
Acrylic on canvas
87 x 69 cm

Asanda Kupa Ingxubakaxaka (Zimkil’ iinkomo) 2016 Acrylic on canvas 126 x 88 cm

Ingxubakaxaka (Zimkil’ iinkomo)
2016
Acrylic on canvas
126 x 88 cm

SOLD

Asanda Kupa Ntunjambini 2016 Acrylic on canvas 140 x 105.5 cm

Ntunjambini
2016
Acrylic on canvas
140 x 105.5 cm

Asanda Kupa Thoban’ amaxhala 2016 Acrylic on canvas 205 x 140 cm

Thoban’ amaxhala
2016
Acrylic on canvas
205 x 140 cm

RESERVED

2017-06-30T11:05:47+00:00