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Johann Louw is one of South Africa’s pre-eminent painters. Louw’s paintings are intense responses to notions of identity and space, as well as to the particular relationship that exists between the artist and his subjects. Introspective and empathetic, Louw’s ambiguous subjects and deserted scenes are testament to a particular psychological spirit of place and time, experienced with discomfort across social structures within a fast transitioning South Africa. There is a pervading uneasiness as vulnerably exposed figures and forsaken landscapes occupy non-descript and paradoxical spaces. Louw’s masterful handling of his materials draws the viewer in and demands an emotive engagement. Although primarily a painter, Johann Louw also produces expressive drawings and graphic works.
Johann Louw was born in Belville, Cape Town, in 1965 and graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Stellenbosch University in 1992. He has exhibited to great critical acclaim in South Africa and internationally. In 2007, the Sanlam Art Collection presented a mid-career retrospective as a tribute to Louw’s extensive output and distinguished career over the past two decades. This exhibition toured the country in 2008 and 2009, and was accompanied by a publication on the artist. In 2009, Louw was selected to form part of Linguaggi del Mondo:Languages of the World an official collateral exhibition to the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. In 2010 he exhibited in Environmental Concern and Human Existence at the 4th Beijing International Art Biennale, China, and Parallelithe official exhibition of the Sabbionetta Biennale for Contemporary Art in Italy.
Solo exhibitions include: New Paintings in 2010 at SMAC in Stellenbosch, Terugkoms van Cythera (Return from Cythera) in 2013 at SMAC in Cape Town and Gestaltes, an exhibition of large scale works on paper at SMAC in Cape Town in 2014. The University of Johannesburg Art Gallery presented his Et in Arcadia Ego in 2013. Louw’s last solo exhibition, Loog, was presented at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch in 2016.
Johann Louw was awarded the Ampersand Fellowship in 2014. He was most recently included in Home Truths, curated by Micheal Godby, at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 2016. Home Truths is currently on show until 3 February 2017 at the Sanlam Art Gallery in Belville.
Johann Louw South African 1965- Dubbelbeeld: Hond in Landskap; Naak (Double Image: Dog in Landscape; Naked) signed and dated 2012 on the reverse oil on plywood 122 by 224,5cm excluding frame; 125 by 247 by 3cm including frameStrauss & Co
Maggie Laubser South African 1886-1973 Landscape with Harvester, Tree and Houses signed oil on canvas laid down on board 35 by 45,5cm excluding frame; 63 by 73 by 5cm including frameStrauss & Co
Johann Louw South African 1965- Untitled signed with the artist's initials oil on board 122,5 by 80cm excluding frame; 137,5 by 95,5 by 3,5cm including frameStrauss & Co
Johann Louw South African 1965- Portret f, 1 inscribed with the artist's name, title, dated 2010 and medium on a SMAC Gallery label adhered to the reverse oil on canvas 90 by 120 by 2,5cm, unframedStrauss & Co
signed with the artist's initials and dated 2013 on the reverse oil on plywood 122 by 128,5cm excluding frame; 126 by 131,5 by 4cm including frameStrauss & Co
signed with the artist's initials; signed and dated '97 on the reverse oil on board 183,5 by 122cm excluding frame; 186,5 by 125 by 5,5cm including frameStrauss & Co
signed with the artist's initials and dated 2013 on the reverse oil on plywood 122 by 128.5cm excluding frame; 126 by 131.5 by 4cm including frameStrauss & Co
signed with the artist's initials and dated 2015 on the reverse oil on canvas 50 by 157 by 2,5cm, unframedStrauss & Co
Johann Louw South African 1965- S op die Knersvlakte signed with the artist's initials oil on board 122,5 by 65cm, unframedStrauss & Co
Johann Louw South African 1965- Large Lying Figure; Standing Figure (Large, from Back) each signed, numbered B.A.T in pencil and embossed with The Artists' Press chopmark in the margin two colour lithograph 57 by 76cm, unframedStrauss & Co
Johann Louw S op die Knersvlakte signed with the artist's initials oil on board 122,5 by 65cmStrauss & Co
Johann LouwSouth African 1965-City/Stadsignedcharcoal and conté on paper62,5 by 100,5cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw Two Men Against Wall signed, dated 95 and inscribed 'Woodstock' on the reverse oil on canvas 60,5 by 170cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw, HondeskedelAspire Art Auctions
Johann Louw Untitled - Seated Figure signed with the artist's initials; signed and dated 2002 on the reverse oil on canvas 40,5 by 50cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw City/Stad signed charcoal and conté on paper 62,5 by 100,5cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw; FiguresStrauss & Co
Johann Louw, Three Men with CityscapeAspire Art Auctions
Johann Louw, Portret van C met FragmentAspire Art Auctions
Johann Louw Groot Landskap-rotse, Piketberg 2005 oil on board 90 by 122cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw Stoel en Hond signed and dated 2016 on the reverse oil on canvas 203 by 137cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw Head - Portrait signed and dated 2006 on the reverse oil on canvas 51,5 by 77,5 by 2,5cm, unframedStrauss & Co
Johann Louw Suited Men and Landscape oil on masonite 222 by 177cmStrauss & Co
Johann Louw Klein Willem, Lêend signed with the artist's initials executed 2007 oil on canvas 59,5 by 59,5cmStrauss & Co