SHANY VAN DEN BERG

BIOGRAPHY

(b. 1958 Riversdale, South Africa)

 

Shany van den Berg's practice centres on contemporary portraiture and figurative work, with an underlying theme of womanhood. Her ethereal oil paintings evoke the mood and texture of Old Master paintings, conveying complex emotions, moods and ideas through meticulous attention to detail, an extraordinary facility with paint and subtle symbolism.

Van den Berg's portraiture is most often of women, whose features morph into a composite of the artist and her loved ones, serving as portals to narratives of sacrifice, struggle and ultimately transcendence. The references are delicate and ambiguous: a nude atop a gallery plinth is transposed from stone into flesh and blood, or vice versa; a sheet draped, shroud-like, across an ethereal form emerging from or entering an abyss; hands depicted in gestures of supplication, prayer, self-protection or release; a red scarf or fragile scarlet thread seeming almost to flutter across and beyond the canvas. 

A sense of layering pervades her works, in the imagery itself and through Van den Berg's painterly process. Surfaces are built up of swathes, not painted onto the board but rather, absorbed into it. Shadows are imbued with texture and skins exude an almost viscous sheen. Although unmistakably feminine, some of her forms evoke a sense of animalism through their attenuated bone structure, and an underlying sexuality pervades many of the forms. They suggest recognition, confirmation and the bittersweet knowledge of love, loss and letting go.

Van den Berg has worked as a full-time artist for almost thirty years. Her practice includes painting on board, linen and found objects, drawing, sculpture, site specific installations, mixed media, three-dimensional work as well as poetry and music.

Van den Berg is a three-time finalist in the BP Portrait Award at London's National Portrait Gallery. Her work is represented in private collections in the UK, South Africa, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Caymen Islands and the U.S.A 

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020

The Portrait Show, Everard Read, Johannesburg

2019 
Dream Pond, Everard Read, London, UK

2018 
FLUISTERINGE VANAF 'N LELIEPOEL/ WHISPERS FROM THE LILY POND, Everard Read, Franshhoek, South Africa

2017 
(in)filtration of time, CIRCA gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2015 
New works, Everard Read gallery at La Grande Provence , Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

2012 
Hinterland, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

2011 
Siel van my Vel, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2010 
Solo, IS Art at Le Quatier Francais, Franschhoek, South Africa

2008 
in gesprek met, Smellick &Stokking, Den Haag, Netherlands

2007 
..(h)erken...ken...en... , Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
gedagtes wat reis, My Own Choice Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2006 
dwaaltuin, Grande Provence Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa

2003 
construction site, Limeline Design, Cape Town, , South Africa

2001 
vlug in tyd, Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa

1999 
my shadow, my echo, me, Bang the Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019 
Winter, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Southern Aspect, Everard Read, London, UK

2018 
Winter, CIRCA, Cape Town, South Africa
People and Portraiture, CIRCA, Cape Town, South Africa
Summer, Everard Read, London, UK
Winter, Everard Read London, UK

2017 
Summer, Everard Read, London, UK
Winter, CIRCA, Cape Town, South Africa
Summer, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa

2016 
Summer, Everard Read, London, UK
Opening Group Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery, London, UK 
Winter, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2015
Homage, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Winter, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2014 
Summer Season, D-Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Summer of Sculpture III , Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Magicus, D-Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2013 
Cape Town Re-Imagined, Suidoosterfees, Cape Town, South Africa
100, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Universal Suffering, War Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Femininity, curated by Eva Roer, Germany
SAADA Antique Fair, Pier Rabe Antiques, Franschhoek, South Africa
Hiernamaals/Hereafter, Slee Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Binnehemels, Red, Black & White, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2012 
Small Works, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
A Summer of Sculpture, Mount Nelson, Cape Town, South Africa

2009 
halfmens / heelmens, Red, Black & White Gallery, Pier Rabe
Sex, Power, Money, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2008 
Confluence,  Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2006 
Small works, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Shany van den Berg / Strijdom van der Merwe, Grande Provence Gallery, Franschhoek Cape Town, South Africa

2005 
Three, trio, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2000-2002 
Shany van den Berg/Alex Hamilton, Bang the Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2000 
A Celebration of Art & Technology, in aid of the Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund, sponsored by Hewlett Packard, South Africa

COMPETITIONS & PROJECTS 

2019
Sanlam Portrait Award, South Africa

2016 
BP Travel Award Finalist, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Art Patron of MAD Leadership Foundation

2013 
Fellowship granted by the Ampersand Foundation, New York

2011 
Bright Ideas Ceramic art / Light from Africa Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa

2010 & 2009 
BP Award Portrait Gallery London / finalist

2008 
Art exchange / Hubei Institute of Art, China

Artfair Utrecht / My Own Choice

2007 
AAF Amsterdam / My Own Choice

2005 
Sasol New Signatures / finalist

1990 
Corobrick Ceramic Competition Cape Town / finalist