DEON VENTER

BIOGRAPHY

DEON VENTER

(b. 1953 Eastern Cape, South Africa )

 

STATEMENT ABOUT THE ARTIST

 

“Whatever you have to say,” wrote poet Charles Olson, “leave the roots on, let them / dangle / Just to make clear / Where they come from.”

 

Venter’s paintings, which are almost of necessity big, raw, brawny, caustic and convulsive – all qualities which lie somewhere quite beyond their being merely “expressive” or “expressionistic” – are quite clearly dedicated to the galvanizing of understanding, and perhaps to some subsequent transformative and cathartic effect generated, in the viewer, by the dark scale of the events which are his subject.

There is a stern nobility about Deon Venter’s paintings, the origin of which may well lie in the epic grieving that informs them. It’s as if each of these big tortured pictures – pictures that are distressed both literally and metaphorically – can be said to bear witness to a specific node or crisis event in recent world history, some extreme fallout from the human condition that qualifies his art as both political and, in the long run, historical, albeit in a very special sense. Venter’s paintings do not, for example, document. Rather, they memorialize, contextualize, and, in the end, provide something like benediction; a palm of understanding proffered at the end of the mind’s bitter journeying through experience.

 

This is the space in which Venter’s paintings seem to come into being: in the highly-charged gap between a wrenching, disorienting, destabilizing historical event, and the formation of the artist’s epic essay in painterly inquiry into what has befallen us.

 

Venter’s convulsiveness is one way, a powerful, ancient route, finally, to revelation and peace. What, in sum, are Deon Venter’s paintings? I’m going to plunder poet Frank O’Hara for the phrase – a phrase which, used anywhere close to Venter’s paintings, gains new resonance. Venter’s paintings are Meditations in an Emergency.       

 

Gary Michael Dault

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Deon Venter exhibits internationally in leading contemporary fine art galleries. His work is included in permanent collections of museums, public and private collections in Canada,  USA,  UK, Germany, Switzerland and Africa.


Since 2002, Venter’s paintings have been exhibited regularly at international art fairs on three continents. His unique content, method and use of materials have stirred the interest of art collectors and critics alike.

 

Venter was born in 1953 in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He graduated from Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design in 1976. He lectured at the University of Fort Hare and the Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa.

 

Venter immigrated to Canada in 1989 and lives on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. He visits South Africa regularly. His latest series include: My Mother’s Ashes/ Battlefields, (paintings of the Anglo/Boer War battlesites in their contemporary settings) – Missing / Highway of Tears (paintings of the missing and murdered women from Vancouver East Side and Highway 16) – Mythos/Logos (paintings of the symbiotic relationship between mythical and logical thinking).

 

CV

 

Education and Appointments

 

1976                               

Fine Arts Diploma Hon. Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design.

 

1983-1986                     

Lecturer Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design. Head of Ceramics.

 

1986-1989                     

Lecturer University of Fort Hare. Head of Sculpture Department.

 

EXHIBITIONS

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

 

2016  

Winchester Gallery, Victoria – Measuring a Life

 

2015  

Winchester Gallery, Victoria – Mythos/Logos

 

2014  

CIRCA, Johannesburg – Battle Sites/My Mother’s Ashes

 

2013  

Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver – Pyramids

 

2011  

Robin Relph Contemporary, Zug, Switzerland – Olympia 2

Robin Relph Contemporary, London, England – Olympia 2

 

2010  

Simon Fraser University inaugural exhibition Fine Art Campus – Missing III

Galerie Orange, Montreal – Olympia

 

2009  

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery – Highway of Tears

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery Vancouver – Missing II.

 

2008              

Toronto International Art Fair – Missing / Flight 182 Solo exhibition

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery Vancouver – Missing / Flight 18 2

 

2007  

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Palm Desert - The Order of Things

William Traver Gallery, Seattle - Sarcophagi

 

2006  

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto – New Work

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver – New Work

 

2005  

Parisian Laundry, Montreal – Last Supper Series, Headlines Series, Evidence Series

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Palm Desert - New Work

 

2004  

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto – New Work

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver – Headlines

 

2003  

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver – New Work

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – Founders Series

 

2002  

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver – Founders Series

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – Evidence Series

 

2001  

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver – Wound, Scab, Scar

 

2000  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – Altars, Offerings and Sacrifices

 

1999  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – Under the Volcano

 

1998  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island - Bosnian Stillife

 

1997  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver – Riders

 

1996  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – New Work

 

1995  

Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton – Extra Ecclesium Nulla Salus

 

1994  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – Extra Ecclesium Nulla Salus

 

1993  

Port Angeles Fine Art Center, Wa.  USA – Shadow

 

1992  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island – New Work

 

1991  

Vortex Gallery, Saltlspring Island – Requiem

 

1990  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver – New Work

 

1989  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver – Requiem

 

1988  

Gallery International, Cape Town – New Work

University of Fort Hare, Republic of the Ciskei, South Africa – New Work

 

1987  

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa – Blue Object

 

1986  

University of Pretoria, South Africa – Extract

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa – New Work

 

1985  

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa – New Work

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa

 

1984  

Beuster Skolomowski Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

 

1983  

Beuster Skolomowski Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

 

1982  

Port Elizabeth Fine Arts Gallery, South Africa – Y-U-Vooz

 

1981  

Port Elizabeth Fine Arts Gallery, South Africa – Y-U-Vooz

 

1980  

Port Elizabeth Fine Arts Gallery, South Africa – Y-U-Vooz

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

 

2016  

CIRCA Gallery, London,  UK

Gallery 8, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Winchester Galleries, Victoria, B.C.

 

2015 

Pulse, New York, USA

Winchester Galleries, Victoria, B.C.

Gallery 8, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

 

2014  

Johannesburg Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg.

Winchester Galleries, Victoria

 

2010  

Art Toronto – Toronto.

Galerie Orange, Montreal – Extreme Painting.

 

2008  

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver

 

2007  

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Palm Desert

 

2006  

Parisian Laundry, Montreal

Toronto International Art Fair

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto

Palm Beach III, Miami International Art Fair.

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery.

 

2005  

Cologne International Art Fair.

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery.

The Armory Show, New York

Mira Godard Gallery.

 

2004  

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto

The Armory Show, New York

Mira Godard Gallery.

Toronto International Art Fair –

Mira Godard Gallery,

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery

Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver – Western Perspectives

 

2003  

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto

Toronto International Art Fair, Mira Godard Gallery

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver

 

2002  

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island

 

2001  

Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver

 

2000 - 1992  

Vortex Gallery, Saltspring Island

 

1995  

Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton – Out of Canada Displaced

 

1991  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver

 

1990  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver

 

1989  

Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver

Los Angeles International Art Fair, Diane Farris Gallery

 

1988  

University of Fort Hare, Ciskei, South Africa

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa – Ecca

Grahamstown Art Festival, South Africa – Ecca

National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa – Operation Hunger

 

1987  

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

Anne Bryant Gallery, East London, South Africa – Five Artists from Ciskei

G.A.P. exhibition, Port Elizabeth Town Hall, South Africa

G.A.P. exhibition, Grahamstown Settlers' Monument, South Africa

 

1986  

Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa.

University of Fort Hare, Ciskei, South Africa – Ecca

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design – Staff Exhibition

 

1985  

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

University of Orange Free State, South Afriaca

Beuster Skolomowski Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

University of Pretoria, South Africa – Hans Marensky Award

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa – Staff Exhibition

 

1984  

G.A.P. exhibition, City Hall, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa.

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa – Staff Exhibition

Beuster Skolomowski Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

National Gallery of South Africa, Cape Town

 

1983  

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa – Staff Exhibition

 

1982  

King George V Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

1981  

King George V Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

1980  

Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

1979  

King George V Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Centennial Exhibition

 

1978

King George V Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

 

1977  

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

 

COLLECTIONS

 

 

Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, Canada.

Granite Club, Toronto, Canada.

Harbor Green One, Vancouver.

Aldo Collection, Montreal.

Jacob Collection, Montreal.

Michael Kedar/Eva Seidner collection, Toronto

John Le Febvre collection, Malibu.

Robin Relph collection, London,  UK

National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

South African National Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.

King George V Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

University of Fort Hare, Ciskei, South Africa

Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Hans Marensky Sculpture Award, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Numerous private and corporate collections in Canada, South Africa, UK and US