Underscape – Clive van den Berg at Goodman Gallery

Monday Jan 10 - Saturday Jan 15       163 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood
Unifying all of artist Clive van den Berg's work – across a range of mediums throughout his prolific career, from monumental sculptures to prints, films and paintings – is an enduring focus on themes of memory, light, landscape, desire, and the body. All of these are bound up with the turbulent history of South Africa, and the ongoing public experience of its aftermath.

In his latest exhibition, Underscape, the artist turns his attention to the land, seeking to “distemper” our lived experience in relation to landscape through lush and engrossing abstract paintings.
African Landscape V by Clive van den Berg

Describing the themes that have inspired this latest series Van den Berg speaks of the land as a powerful marker for the anxieties contained in both the personal and the political sphere. In his paintings he unpacks these ideas by separating the land into what is above and what is below and subsequently that which we idealise on the surface, and what exists unresolved beneath.

It's a figurative and literal understanding of land – and one that mines below the surface to the shattering reality of what wealth has been founded upon in South Africa, a mining economy that has left many impoverished. 

Darting between allegory and abstraction, he sees the body and the landscape as arresting sites that carry memories and scars.

“A swelling of earth, a hollow or dispersed pile of stones that once marked a grave or embattlement, are the grammar of my landscape vocabulary... I grew up in Luanshya, a small mining town in Zambia and now live in Johannesburg, one of the largest of all mining towns. Perhaps it is the occasional shaking of the land, its stuttering as a shaft collapses or a plate realigns, or indeed the sudden appearance of sinkholes, those most compelling of negative spaces that first made me curious about that other landscape, the underscape.”
African Landscape XIII by Clive van den Berg


African Landscape XVII (seep) by Clive van den Berg




Jan 10 2022 - Jan 15 2022
Goodman Gallery
163 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood
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