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JOHAN SMITH (article first published : 2006-12-3)

An exhibition of evocative, brilliantly-executed landscapes in vividly-coloured oils by Bethlehem artist Johan Smith is running at the elegant Anton Benzon @ Crouse Art Gallery KZN.

This exciting beautifully-lit, airy new gallery space in Morningside Ė a stoneís throw away from Windermere Centre - aims to showcase excellent works of art by inspirational South African artists. Anton Benzon @ Crouse Art Gallery KZNís fourth exhibition features work by Johan Smith which complements the work of an eclectic group of fine artists also on display.

After moving to Bethlehem in 1987, working as an agricultural researcher, Johan set up his own ceramic studio. In 1995 Johan left his career as agricultural researcher to practice art professionally. His artistic journey took him from multi-dimensional pots, to water colours, then to etchings and pastels and now to oils.

While on an international trip, Johan was reminded that what makes our landscape unique is the intensity of the radiantly blue skies. This observation became assimilated into his work giving his landscapes a distinctive texture and hue. His pieces are quiet yet stark, capturing the vastness of the African sky. Johan has developed a distinct style - thin application of the paint gives a translucent, almost air-brush type effect which contrasts well with thick palette knife work.

The opening of the Johan Smith Art Gallery in Clarens in 1999 launched the marketing of Johanís work to new heights. Today his work is enjoyed by art lovers both locally and internationally.

Crouse Art Gallery KZN is at 56 Adrain Road in Morningside diagonally across Sutton Park from the Alliance FranÁaise. More information on 031 312 2315 or visit www.artdealers.co.za




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