Fresh off the back of a successful run at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein, The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg is proud to present the latest body of work from Christiaan Diedericks – Paradisus Deperditum.
Not only does this showcase include his newer exhibits, but a collection of his older drawings and graphic works that the Diedericks’ name has become renowned for.
According to A Latin Dictionary by Lewis & Short (1879), the English definition of the Latin word “paradisus” is “paradise or the garden of Eden” and in the online Oxford Latin Dictionary (1982 – OLD) the English definition of the Latin word “deperditum” is “that which is permanently lost”.
The title chosen for this exhibition is thus derived from the alarming fact that our ecosystem is severely disrupted, the financial system increasingly uncontrollable and the geopolitical structure has recently begun to appear as unstable, as it has always been uneven. This triple crisis infuses doubt and inspires reflection about our basic assumptions, as much as inflaming cultural debates and provoking dogmatic entrenchments.
As a serious contemporary artist, Diedericks is continually, within himself and through his creative output, seeking answers for alarming issues.
In light of the above, Paradisus will focus on the resurgence of sincerity, healing, hope, romanticism, affect, and the potential for grand narratives and universal truths in the world. In its most basic essence this exhibition deals with healing as the artist is currently fascinated by concepts dealing with this topic as well as modes of escape, both physical and mental.
In his creative work Diedericks is therefore trying to both expose and find solutions for this alarming reality – elixirs to heal this injury to our planet as well as the human race in general.
Diedericks is a South African artist, currently working and residing in Cape Town. This extremely talented artist received a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the North West University (NWU) in 1992, and a Masters degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria during 2000. As a meticulous printmaker, Diedericks refers to himself as a professional artist, educator and creative process navigator.
He has exhibited extensively throughout Southern Africa, as well as internationally. His work has been exhibited in the USA, Japan, Finland, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Belgium, England, Sweden and France, where he worked, as artist in residence, at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris on nine different occasions since 1994.
Diedericks also worked in New York after receiving the prestigious Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in 2006, where his work was exhibited to critical acclaim at the Gallery 5+5 in Brooklyn in December 2007, receiving outstanding reviews in the New York Blade newspaper.
The Paradisus Deperditum opening night will be opened by curator and artist Gordon Froud on the 8th April and the exhibition will run until the 8th May 2017.