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Claudia Shneider – soutpiel
June 1 – July 26, 2014

We are pleased to announce the latest exhibition by the Johannesburg and Berlin based artist Claudia Shneider. The new paintings, drawings, photographic works and 3-D works engage with the proximity / immediacy of this world, of this society. At the same time her focus is broad, but specifically informed by
the two places she lives in Europe and Africa.

Titles play a pivotal role in Shneider's work, as do the titles of her exhibitions. Showmaster or Hands Up - quotes of popular buzzwords, or catchwords from art, combined with a wicked wit, conjure imaginary spheres and reflection spaces, and synthesise in her works.
Soutpiel (from sout, salt + piel, penis) - this Afrikaans word refers to someone who stands with one foot in England and the other in South Africa, resulting in his penis dangling in the salty ocean between. As much as this name embodies the criticism and distain in the problematic roll of the (neo) Colonialists - and nowadays these include all the big world powers - Claudia Shneider squarely interprets this with large-scale works like Living and Dying in Africa, or Chinese take-away - or with small works such as Concrete Water, at the same time reflecting on her own personal situation as a soutpiel, as an individual and as a white female.

A relatively late addition to the captivatingly loose yet precise, playful yet penetrative brush drawings and works on canvas are the sometimes colossal, bulky, imposing yet light poetic sculptures often made of found or throw-away or 'half-ready-made' materials. Most recent additions are the - typical for her- supersimple, cheeky, playful, sometimes wicked 3-D collages. Not forgetting the photographs and short video-works.
The work dexteroulisly shifts from Abstract to Realism and back, the figurative dissipates, merges, becomes both at once.

Claudia Shneider studied in Stellenbosch and in Munich (with Hermann Jünger), taught at the University of Stellenbosch, at the Hope School in Johannesburg and at the HdK, Berlin, and has exhibited in many solo and group shows in Europe and South Africa. She founded and curates the Joburg Fringe annual video art
in Johannesburg.

Rupert Walser, 2014