(b. Benoni, Johannesburg)
Liberty Battson is inspired by Modernism, more specifically the Modernist theories around abstraction and the pursuit for ‘truth’ and ‘true art’. The artist uses statistics as an everyday way of representing ‘the truth’. For almost two years, Battson has focused her research on Google, statistically the most used search engine, and tracked what users wanted to know the numbers of/ truth about. The data reflects current affairs and is constantly changing. Statistics are not only the subject matter of her work but also govern the abstraction – the colours and lines that represent these search patterns on the internet.
Battson takes her notion of tracking data into stripes one step further as viewers are now encouraged to decode the paintings by simply looking at the art and responding to how it makes them feel. Inspired by the notion of the physical effects of standing before colours much like Rothko, Kelly and Newland were investigating, Battson translated the searched truths onto the canvas using the theory of the physical effects of colour. Before decoding the paintings viewers can now theoretically stand before these high-gloss stripes and feel emotional ties to the art. Viewers are able to decode the painting via matching the colours of a video projection on display to the same colours on the artworks.
More recently Battson used Dadaism as her source of inspiration, producing ready-mades and using unconventional ways of transferring paint to canvas. Battson focused on celebrating abstraction and the century since the birth of the idea. Battson focuses on the aesthetic of abstraction to conceptually address bigger issues. It is in the audience’s interest to decode the artwork through the playful engagement.
Liberty Battson is a conceptual artist born and raised in Benoni, South Africa. She matriculated from St. Dunstan's College in 2009 and obtained her BA(FA) with distinction for her work with automotive paint on canvas in 2013 from the University of Pretoria.
Battson has most notably won the 2014 Absa L’Atelier competition, is a 2013 Sasol New Signatures Merit Award winner and a merit award recipient for painting in the 2012 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts competition.
Battson was a featured artist at the 2015, 2017 KKNK National Arts Festival- Oudtshoorn and 2016 Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival- Potchefstroom. Battson featured as part of the Cool Capital initiative at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, has participated in numerous group exhibitions and is solely represented by Everard Read/CIRCA since 2016 where her debuted solo traveled from The Absa Gallery to CIRCA Cape Town.
Battson's artworks are in the Telkom, Sasol, Ellerman House, Absa, University of Pretoria, Nando’s Corporate collection (London),
Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton collection (Italy) as well as numerous private collections. She participated in a two-month residency in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts (2013) awarded by the University of Pretoria and returned for an additional seven months as part of her Absa L’Atelier award in 2015. Battson curated a three-week residency at Mas de Gravieres, Provence, France 2019 awarded by the organization.
@LibertyBattson - Instagram
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Tertiary Education: BA Fine Arts University of Pretoria 2013 (distinction)
Standox Qualified spray painter 2013 (Level 2)
NOTABLE EXHIBITIONS AND AWARDS
Cape Town art fair, Everard Read
Solo exhibition: Dada Data - Everard Read Cape Town
FNB Art Fair – Everard Read, Johannesburg
Iniboss national arts festival
Winter exhibition, Everard Read/ CIRCA, Cape town
Summer exhibition, Everard Read, London
Cape Town art fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg
southern abstract, Everard Read, London
Inside out Two man solo, KKNK Oudtshoorn
Curator of The Confessional, Absa Gallery and KKNK National Arts Fest.
Spectrum – group exhibition at CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg
Solo exhibition: Truth Sleuth – CIRCA, Johannesburg
FNB Art Fair – Everard Read
Solo exhibition: I bet you wish you did this - Absa Gallery
Venice Architecture Biennale (Cool Capital)
Solo exhibition: I bet you wish you did this – CIRCA, Cape Town
FNB Art Fair
Turbine Art Fair, Everard Read, Johannesburg
Solo exhibition at Absa KKNK National arts festival
Nominee for Absa KANA Award
Solo Exhibition at Clover Aardklop National Art Festival
The Summer Exhibition, Knysna Fine Art Gallery
Absa L’Atelier overall winner
Cool Capital Biennale
PPC young concrete sculpting awards 2012 Fans Favourite winner
Turbine Art Fair
SASOL New Signatures 2013 merit award winner
Thami Mnyele Fine Arts painting merit award winner
Two-Month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris 2013-2014, awarded by the University of Pretoria.
Seven-month return to Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris 2015 in conjunction with the Absa L’Atelier first prize.
Two-week residency at Mas de Gravieres, Provence, France 2018.
Curator of a three-week residency at Mas de Gravieres, Provence, France 2019 awarded by the organization.
Numerous private collections
Telkom Corporate Art Collection
Sasol Corporate Art collection
Ellerman House Private collection
University of Pretoria collection
Absa Corporate collection
Nando’s Corporate collection (London)
Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton collection (Italy)