My studio is located in the inner city’ industrial fringes. Downtown Johannesburg is an area that has tentatively been recovered from deterioration. Some of its surroundings are still rusted, stained, faded or disjointed… forming interesting patterns with rich textures, colours and tones in which any attentive observer can find beauty.

 

A panel of veined wood’s paint pealing off, exposing ancient layers of colours - or the raw weathered wood itself - carries beauty and nostalgia. Old cement floors waxed patiently and unremittingly over the years, rusting industrial equipment abandoned in a forlorn wasteland or walls of old buildings stained and patched with layers of paper board teared off and hanging in the wind, are a source of constant inspiration and instil in me a sense of abandonment and melancholy.

 

I look for an aesthetic in decay and try to capture it on canvas and on wood panels that I use as support to my work.

 

The process starts with a layer of black paint. Black is the absence of light and evokes the “Nothingness”, so dear to Martin Heidegger. But black is also one of the first colours used by man in the neolithic so, although “Nothing” is on the canvas at this stage of the process, it carries already the potentiality of “Everything”.


The dark canvas stays in a corner of my studio, maturing. It is the most powerful object, something like a black hole that devours all.

 

Eventually I cover the canvas with a first layer of colour. The process is then unleashed and entails at times up to fifteen layers of oil paint. It is a long process as it consists of the multi-layering of oil material - concocted in my studio with imported pigments - each layer needing to dry and to be “worked out” before the next one can be applied.

 

I reproduce the effects of time using tools such as knives and spatulas, but also chemicals and waxes, sandpaper and glue. It is a gruelling and physical exercise, constantly scratching, rubbing and sanding layers off.

It requires patience and the “right” configuration of all elements involved. It is a chaotic process that only terminates when, standing in front of the work, all inner tension is  gone.

 

The work is abstract in essence, each piece being an object that stands by itself. Its resonance is “fuelled” by the black matter underneath, so powerful that sometimes it devours the layers of colour covering it.

 

Works can be perceived at different scales, something like fractals. One of my favourite ways to look at them, is close to the canvas, exploring the complexity of shapes, textures and colours which play with my emotions and intellect.

 

“I always have the impression, that I write the same book” says the Nobel price of Literature Patrick Modiano. I could say the same about my work. This repeated process has existential connotations: Is there anything at all under the coloured layers of life that inevitably fade away with time?

 

Abstract painting is a solitary and sometimes arduous experience enshrined by meaning. One cannot venture into abstraction lightly. Essential questions arise inevitably during the process and answers, if any, are never simple. One must accept this mystery with humility and understand that more than a creative process, abstract painting is a quest in its rawest form.

 

Philippe UZAC

“Untitled” | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
Mixed media on canvas | 3000 x 2000 | 2020

“Remember, Remember always” | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
Mixed media on canvas | 3000 x 2000 | 2020

“We all are immigrants” | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
Mixed media on canvas | 3000 x 2000 | 2020

POPOL VUH | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2020

NANO2 | Everard Read, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on wood panel | 200 x 200 | 2020

NANO1 | Everard Read, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on wood panel | 200 x 200 | 2020

KUU 2 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1145 x 850 | 2020

 Mémoires 3 | Artist Collection , Johannesburg 

0il on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2020

Mémoires 2 | Artist Collection , Johannesburg 

0il on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2020

Mémoires 1 | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
0il on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2020

eGOLI 19 | Private Collection , Johannesburg
0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1145 x 850 | 2020

eGOLI 18 Everard Read Gallery , Johannesburg
0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

eGOLI 17 | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

eGOLI 16 | Artist Collection , Johannesburg
0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

eGOLI 15 | Private Collection , Johannesburg 0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1800 x 1500 | 2019

eGOLI 14  | Artist Collection, “Ode to Africa” (R. Tagore)
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1145 x 850 | 2019

eGOLI 13 | Private Collection, Ireland
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 750 x 600 | 2019

eGOLI 12 | Everard Read Gallery , Johannesburg
0il & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

eGOLI 11 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018

eGOLI 10 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018

KUU 1 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

eGOLI 9 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018

eGOLI 8 | XXS House Hotel Lake District, UK
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1100 | 2018

eGOLI 7 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Gaia Triptych | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg | Oil and gold leaf on canvas | 2500 x 1350 | 2017

eGOLI 6 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

eGOLI 5 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017

eGOLI 4 | Private Collection, London
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017

eGOLI 3 | Private Collection, London
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017

eGOLI 2 | Private Collection, London
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017

eGOLI 1 | Everard Read Gallery, London
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 750 x 600 | 2017

Laub 33 | Artist Collection
Oil on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2019

Laub 32 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018

Laub 31 | Private Collection, Dubai
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018

Laub 30 | Private Collection, Geneva
Oil on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2018

Laub 29 | Private Collection, Cape Town
Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018

Laub 28 | Private collection, Johannesburg Oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018

Laub 27 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

Laub 26 | Artist Collection
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

Laub 25 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Entropy 2 | Private Collection *, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Entropy 1 | Private Collection *, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Laub 24 | Everard Read Gallery London
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Laub 23 | Artist Collection Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017

Laub 22 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
0il on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

Laub 21 | Private Collection Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

Laub  20 ” The mother of all spectra” | Private Collection, Cape Town
Oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2017

Laub 19 Triptych | Private Collection * | Oil on canvas | 1300 x 2490 | 2017

Laub 18 (Sally) | Private Collection, Dubai
oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2017

Laub 17 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016

Laub 16 | Private Collection, Dubai
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016

Laub 15 | Donated Bursary Foundation
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016

Laub 14 | Artist Collection
Oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

Laub 13 | Private Collection*, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

Laub 12 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

Laub 11 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

Laub 10 | Private Collection*, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016

Laub 9 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016

Laub 8 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2016

Laub 7 | Private Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2016

Laub 6 | Private Collection*, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1200 x 900 | 2016

Laub 5 | Private Collection* , Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 900 x 1200 | 2015

Laub 4 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg
Oil on wood panel | 1500 x 1200 | 2015

Laub 3 | Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1600 x 900 | 2015

Laub 2 | Private Collection *, Johannesburg
Oil on canvas | 1200 x 900 | 2015

Laub 1 | Private Collection, London
 Oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2015

Fox 8 | Private Collection, Johannesburg | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 7 | Artist Collection, Johannesburg | Oil on wood panel

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 6 | Artist Collection Johannesburg | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 5 | Private Collection, Johannesburg | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 4 | Private Collection, Johannesburg | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 3 | Private Collection London | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 2 | Everard Gallery London | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Fox 1 | Private Collection, London | Oil on Canvas

| 1200 x 900 | 2013

Exhibitions
EVERARD READ - TINY 2020 JOHANNESBURG 2020
SOLO EXHIBITION - CIRCA GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 2020
EVERARD READ KNYSNA 2019
"SPECTRUM" EXHIBITION - CIRCA GALLERY 2018
EVERARD READ GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 2018
EVERARD READ GALLERY LONDON 2017
JOHANNESBURG ART FAIR 2017
SOLO EXHIBITION - EVERARD READ GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 2017
EVERARD READ GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 2016
VOGELSANG ART GALLERY BRUXELLES 2015
EVERARD READ GALLERY JOHANNESBURG 2014
EVERARD READ GALLERY JOHANNESBURG

6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank 2196 South Africa

Johannesburg +27 11 788 4805

Mark Read

EVERARD READ GALLERY LONDON

80 Fulham Road, London SW36HR UK

London +44 20 7590 9991

Georgie Shields

VOGELSANG ART GALLERY

13 Avenue General De Gaulle 
Brussels, Belgium 1050
Brussels  +32 485 148845
New York +1 646 3227935

Gregoire Vogelsang

 

Artist Studio
JOHANNESBURG  –  SOUTH AFRICA

YODATA HOUSE

26, Roper Street

3rd Floor

SELBY

tel: +27 82 606 07 05

© 2020 Philippe Uzac, All Rights Reserved.