Bevan de Wet has never been more terrified or excited about an exhibition. The Johannesburg-based artist has reinvented how (and perhaps even why) he makes art, and the results will be on view as New Forms: A Study of Broken Parallels, which opens at the Candice Berman Gallery.
People familiar with his art will be surprised by the complete about-turn he has made in his practice. He has eschewed his distinctive high-precision figurative print making in favour of abstract art using mostly ink and paper.
De Wet is throwing himself in the deep end, letting go of everything he has known about art and seeing where he arrives.
Deep Water simply presents blue ink bleeding, spreading and drifting onto a page. It is not surprising to learn that this breakaway and rejection of making figurative art began with water. More specifically, the body of water surrounding the Sylt Foundation, where De Wet took part in a residency on the Island of Sylt in Germany in 2015.
The sense of isolation he experienced, combined with the desire to use water in the process of his art making, was the spark for a radical change.
Having studied under Christine Dixie and Diane Victor, who are known for their gritty portrayal of sociopolitical conditions through bodily depictions, De Wet arrived in the art world producing tight, figurative works centred on the human body.