June 14 - July 30 2017
Simon Back is a prominent contemporary artist from Zimbabwe. His influences from Western art movements have ranged from the Abstract Expressionists of the 50’s to the work of Joseph Beuys.
Simon Back is a prominent contemporary artist from Zimbabwe. His influences from Western art movements have ranged from the Abstract Expressionists of the 50’s to the work of Joseph Beuys. That being said, his primary influence has been the environment of his youth. A visible recurring theme throughout his work is the organization and creation of space, an element born from the clean expansiveness of Africa. Against a backdrop of the Zimbabwean civil war, seemingly calm distant plains served to conceal a world of hostility and mutilation and the same is still true today.
Key elements or images within a work, which seem essential, are removed. In this vulnerable state, with all supports and land marks taken away, the artist is forced to examine what is left, to build on what remains and discover the value of every remaining piece of space. This is an act of building and removal, chaos and calm, order and disorder.
The process and act of painting are important, a culmination of a series of decisions that are made, not necessarily for aesthetic reason, rather often out of compulsion. The route taken tonight is not necessarily the route to be followed tomorrow morning when faced with the same decision, each decision will have different consequences.
After studying Fine Art in Cape Town, Simon returned to Zimbabwe to teach art whilst developing his own evolving visual. Since 1996, Simon has been living on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with his wife and daughters, working from his studio on the west coast.