Zander Blom is a South African artist who utilizes painting, drawing, assemblage sculpture, and, crucially, photography, to interrogate ideas about creative endeavour and Modernism in Africa. Specifically, Blom is interested in the materiality of painting and its Modernist history. His paintings rely on sets of marks made through the direct application of paint from a tube, syringe (in imitation of a tube) or via variations of a palette knife.
Blom aims and succeeds at striking a balance between careful control and random chance, generating mostly elegant and pleasingly rebellious abstract arrangements. These alluring and discrete works conjure up a range of Modernist imagery from Matisse’s harmonic dancing muses and paper cut-outs to Miro’s whimsy and Rothko’s sublime colour fields. The palpable visual tension in these works seems to communicate desires to both be wild and contained, to disrupt and please, to be mocking and serious, and to be curiously suspended in between these states.