January 2014

In Symonds' work, space, objects, ideas and responses are distilled into remarkable surfaces, intricate and varied skins of paint made of gesture and brushstroke.
Jacquie Phipps, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland, New Zealand, from the catalogue foreward to Symonds' recent New Zealand exhibition.
The Return of the Prodigal
A group of 11 still life paintings by the South African-born artist Henry Symonds (born 1949) was specially created and recently shipped to South Africa for this exhibition at Deon Viljoen Fine Art, which opens on Friday, 24 January 2014, at 6.00pm. This is Symonds' first solo exhibition in South Africa for more than twenty years. We are particularly pleased to have been included in the initiative "Wine & Art" as part of the expanded activities of the annual Stellenbosch Wine festival. Kleine Zalze is the wine sponsor for this event.

Symonds says of this group of paintings: "I am only too aware that still life might well be regarded as something of an irrelevancy in our current context … but I hope that these works might suggest that they both operate as a means of recapturing a tradition while creating a site within each work which allows for wider formal, historical and socio-cultural connection and speculation. These works then would attempt to recover beauty -- beauty with a small 'b' rather than the implications of Beauty in a larger philosophical sense."

The exhibition will be on view until 1 February 2014.


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August 2013

“My conversation with Matisse and his work has been an ongoing business since the end of the ‘70s when I visited the Museum of Modern Art (NY) and first saw The Piano Lesson in the flesh....I have since always included this work in my personal pantheon.”
Henry Symonds, January 2013
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