WHITNEY McVEIGH
Archaeology of Memory

SMAC Cape Town
24 March – 22 April 2011

SMAC Art Gallery is pleased to present Archaeology of Memory, an exhibition of new paintings by international artist Whitney McVeigh. This is McVeigh’s first solo exhibition in South Africa and is accompanied by a catalogue with text by Sean O’Toole. The exhibition runs concurrently at SMAC Cape Town (24 March – 22 May 2011) and Nirox Projects Space, Arts on Main, Johannesburg (26 March – 17 April 2011).

Archaeology of Memory is the body of work produced during McVeigh’s recently completed residency at the Nirox Foundation, located in the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng. Her direct and complete engagement with the environment of the Magaliesberg has inspired this body of work.

The primary works are a series of large, black monoprint paintings of abstracted heads floating in space. These works reference the origin of our species, linking the modern human psyche to the mystery and presence of primordial man, tangible in the ancient setting at NIROX. McVeigh’s style is intuitive; she tears, presses, drips and paints simultaneously, allowing the material (paint or ink) to take its own course in a spontaneous creative process of ordered disorder. In addition to these semi-representational works, the exhibition includes completely abstract paintings as well as a selection of works produced on found paper and pages of second-hand books and journals, sourced in Johannesburg.

Archaeology of Memory is presented by SMAC Art Gallery in Cape Town in conjunction with the Nirox Foundation in Johannesburg. The exhibition catalogue that documents this intriguing body of work has been produced with the help of Citi Private Bank, a supporter of the arts around the world and a trusted advisor to the world’s most influential individuals and families. “We are proud to support talent like Whitney McVeigh and are pleased to help open this exciting exhibition,” says Karim Chorfi, Head of Citi Private Bank Africa. “As one of the foremost advisors to clients on collecting fine art, we hold a special interest in helping them discover contemporary art and artists”.