Jake Aikman – Confini Velati
5 – 20 giugno 2014
Confini Velati is Jake Aikman’s first solo exhibition in Italy, following a residency in Trevignano Romano, Rome, facilitated by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro and his ARP – Art Residency Project. In 2009 Aikman participated in an official collateral exhibition to the 53rd Venice Biennale titled L’Anima dell’Acqua, presented at the prestigious Palazzo Ca’ d’Oro. Since then Aikman has presented three solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group and curated exhibitions both locally and internationally. His last exhibition, titled At the Quiet Limit, at SMAC Gallery received widespread critical acclaim and has cemented his reputation as one of South Africa’s top contemporary painters.
The veiling he deploys, gives an eerie sensation of the image (Nature) withdrawing, along with the sets of codes that were once embedded in our culture to assure us that our assumptions about the natural cycles of life and the existence of God were real and true. The irony is that this is conveyed by the tradition of easel painting, in a culture where nature has been reified and we are saturated with either glossy photographic images of ‘nature’ as something healthy and whole (and ultimately artificial) or sensationally cataclysmic images (documentaries) of our destructive exploitation of the ecological balance of the earth. Cunningly, painting is deployed to point to the gap between these two, contradictory sets of representation, leaving an uncanny sense of suspended meaning behind or in the veils of paint. (Julia Teale – extract from “At the quiet limit”, 2013)
In a time of rediscovery of classicism by young artists who return to investigate the image of reality through the reproduction of what surrounds them, the modernity of Aikman’s reflection on painting is not only the idea of a Nature ‘indifferent and selfstanding’ – almost calling back the vision of the philosophy par excellence of romantic poetry, Leopardi’s poem “La Ginestra” – but in the meticulous research on technique of the color and the brush stroke – the use of oil painting is a further confirmation – showing in this how elusive can be the picture of reality that we try to capture in order to survive. That is the water of the sea , or rather that of the lake – in the case of the residence held in Trevignano , on the shores of Bracciano Lake , near Rome during which a series of works in the exhibition were made – the depth of the Aikman’s research always gives us the same question : can the artistic image to fully grasp the meaning of reality? how much of this is ‘ real ‘ and what is the projection of our expectations or fears ? (Alessandra Atti Di Sarro)