'Moon Year', 08, watercolour, 128x128cm
'Pilanesberg', 05.04, oil on board, 58x77cm
'Temple', 99, oil on canvas, 137x137cm
'Dreams for Peace', 08, oil on canvas, 107x122cm
‘Bringing together work done over a number of years is a rare treat. It is a chance to look at and understand the continuity, themes, and anomalies in my life. I see it all as a musical score... with it’s rhythms and movement, sometimes dynamic and sometimes still.’
This exhibition of Thirza Kotzen’s work tells of time and of a journey in paint. Her language is ‘landscape’, her medium, oils, watercolours and collagraphs, but it is the colour in her work that is the passion. Thirza’s work resonates with colour. It expresses a strong sense of place, at first recognisable but which soon changes into
an abstract unfolding of unbounded concepts.
Thirza was born in South Africa. She studied there, in the USA and London where she now lives. She says that her childhood in Johannesburg informs all of her work: ‘It was so full of colour and light, heat and organic shapes, it is hard not to see that aspect in all the landscapes that I paint. I also have a strong need to understand my identity and landscape is fundamental to this. I want to paint it as I feel it, not a snapshot in time, but a gathering of elements including emotional ones, which together tell of the whole experience of a place and make it permanent.’
This body of work includes expansive and fluid watercolours of the Grand Canyon and Alaska. There are oil paintings of the urban landscape of India with its jewel-like detail, mystical still life garden landscapes of southern Europe, the cool farming flatlands of Holland, and paintings of South Africa, powerful, breathless yet intimate. The integrity of the subject matter is never compromised by a superficial rendering of technique. With intellect and skill Thirza leads the viewer through her world of provocative memories and dreams, a world of intensity and optimism that leaves one thoughtful and exhilarated.
© Copyright 2021 Thirza Kotzen