Paintings and Photographic Installations
(1989 – 2009)

3 October – 30 December 2009

Anton Karstel: Paintings and Photographic Installations (1989 – 2009) is a large solo exhibition which contains recent work, as well as important examples of the artist’s production from the past twenty years. The exhibition provides an overview of Karstel’s career as a backdrop to his challenging and controversial new body of work. The exhibition, featuring more than 50 artworks, will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue with texts by journalist Christi Van der Westhuizen and art academics; Thembinkosi Goniwe and Andrew Lamprecht.

Karstel’s artistic strategy always reveals a deep concern for the notion of art and its relation to social reality and conscience. His paintings are deceptively appealing and attractive, despite their serious and often “politically incorrect” subject matter. Karstel paints from photographic, mostly historical source material as a process of confronting and addressing the past. Depicting uncomfortable and problematic imagery from the apartheid era is Karstel’s method of processing and dealing with the abhorrence and confusion which it represents to many South Africans of his generation. Even seemingly simplistic and less obviously contentious works originate from tricky sources which raise complex questions. The anachronism of the subjects and the ambiguity with which they are presented, place the viewer in an awkward and convoluted position, which prevents or complicates the sensory enjoyment and consumption of the work.