ANTON UYS made an impression on the South African art scene from the start. Even before completing his formal academic studies he had won the New Signatures’ competition with group and solo exhibitions soon following.
He is based in Johannesburg, South Africa but is internationally in demand with works in private, corporate and institutional collections locally and abroad. He paints full-time, sometimes specific client commissions. He describes his work as being ‘Landscapes of the Imagination’ – a process of staining the canvas, running the paint, looking for things to happen … searching for life to be found in them, no reference to subject matter in the beginning.
They develop into vistas/landscapes that are seen in the unconscious or mind’s eye, he brings out onto the canvas for it to reflect back to the senses. Landscape has become a personal language. Anton says, “these paintings are private truths, lines, shapes, forms, colours, images; my psychology, a vehicle for thinking about myself and the world. Although commentators have sometimes pointed to mystic and Zen-like attributes in my work, these are paintings in the Romantic tradition, fragmented landscapes as symbols, metaphors and allegories.”
“They come from inside me, drawing on emotions and forces instead of echoing what I see outside. They are unrealistic in that they are not naturalistically correct – they are, to a degree, mindscapes in landscape format. It is not the forms of nature I am after but the processes, it’s creative powers, not in anything out there but in the mind alone.”
“These are landscapes of the spirit and I will continue to use nature to express that spirit. I do not incorporate human forms, although references are made to sky, land, sea and mountains.” “I hope to move away from the earthbound towards light and darkness. In my work I strive for harmony, equilibrium and wholeness, in the Jungian sense, fusing the conscious and the unconscious.