SASHA HARTSLIEF

BIOGRAPHY

SASHA HARTSLIEF

(b. 1974 Gauteng, South Africa)

Passionate about drawing from an early age, Sasha Hartslief is largely self-taught. Hartslief’s subjects are often viewed from a philosophical, deeply personal perspective, resulting in paintings that are emotionally charged, pensive in mood and considered in composition. Her subtle investigations into the human condition somehow strike a chord with us.

"I defer to the classical Masters for inspiration," says Sasha Hartslief, who admits to placing images painted by the 19th century American Impressionist, John Singer Sargent, next to her easel while she paints. Her muses include the 19th century neo-classicist, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whose draughtsmanship and linear dexterity provide formal inspiration for her works.

But Hartslief's brushstrokes are more diffuse than the precise, stylized techniques of the neo-classicists. Like the 19th century French Impressionists, she uses brushstrokes to evoke the transience of light, colour and movement. And like her Renaissance and Impressionist forebears, she employs everyday visual devices to explore the way in which atmospheric light and tonal modulations inform a surface, and to evoke atmospheres fraught with symbolic subtexts. But the transience of the captured moment is counterbalanced by the disciplined rigour of Hartslief's technique and painterly process. She admits to being "obsessively skills-driven and consumed" by her work. Each image becomes a formal study in light, contour and line.

Hartslief's experimentation with chiaroscuro techniques derives inspiration from the works by 17th century Baroque masters such as Rembrandt who, through the use of impasto, evoked light and shadow in his portraits as a psychological device, similar to the way in which stage-lighting functions in the theatre. Often seeming to be lit from below, the expressive shading in Hartslief's portraits tends to converge around the facial hollows, giving the paintings a spatial as well as emotional depth. The eyes of the women in her portraits, in particular, seem inwardly focused.

Since 1999, Hartslief has exhibited regularly at the Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, including several solo exhibitions. She continues to attract a broad collector base from around the world and is one of South Africa’s most accomplished young talents. 

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019    
Nocturne, Everard Read, London, UK
New Works, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa 

2018     
Interiors, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Aura, Everard Read, London, UK

2016    
Sasha Hartslief: New Works, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2013    
Hartslief: New Works, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2012     
Sasha Hartslief: New Works, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Solo Exhibition, Rosendahl, Thöne & Westphal, Berlin, Germany

2011   
Recent Works, Everard Read, Cape Town

2009   
Sasha Hartslief: New Works, Everard Read, Cape Town

2007    
Solo Exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017  
People & Portraiture, Everard Read CIRCA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 

2016    
Nocturne, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 

2015    
Summer in the City, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Homage, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
WINTER, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
EMPIRE, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa           

2014
Summer Season Part I, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Winter, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2013    
100, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa