Bio on he Arftist
John Meyer studied at the Johannesburg Technical College School of Art, before joining an advertising agency. In 1967, Meyer settled in London where he carried on his studies in art while working as a freelance illustrator.
Meyer is regarded as the leading figure in the Hyper-Realist movement in Southern Africa. Decidedly contemporary in his unique vision and a proponent of modernism in all its guises, Meyer has a considered commitment to representational painting. Concerned with the complexities of visual perception and their solutions, his paintings are not mere representations of existing places and things, but exist as indelible retrospection, like total recall.
Meyer describes his paintings as being ‘made.’ Each layer of tension or emotion is built up over a mental and physical process creating a credible, charged and tangible event in each of his paintings. He presents us with strikingly real illusions, all distinctly familiar, yet ultimately invented. They are imagined archetypes rather than specific events. His most recent narrative genre, exploring the complex currents of human relationships, captivates his viewers. Few other artists inspire such commentary. Rarely are interpretations the same. Everyone has their own judgement and somehow the relationships continue to change with every inspection or even passing glance. There is fluidity, an evolving drama, a very real atmosphere.
He later developed these into a series of three separate but related views of the same reaction. These ‘Sequential Narratives’ explore the nature of intimacy between men and women. The series reflects his interest in compositional interaction rather than conventional realism and displays his traditional visual hallmark – a tight theatrical control of the painted surface. Meyer is a master of staging, plot and lighting and there is a quality to the paintwork that reinforces the themes of emotional ambiguity between the protagonists in the paintings.
More recently, Meyer has been commissioned to do a body of work around the Boer War. His Lost In The Dust, exhibition offered an intimate and compelling look at how war affects the lives of those swept up in it. The paintings weave history, imagination and narrative into a multi-layered realm that deals with the tragedy of war. They are at once compelling, delicate, emotional and foreboding.
In 2015 this exhibition will travel having been seen in Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa to the United Kingdom and be seen by the public in both London and Edinburgh at the Bonham’s Auction Houses.
Meyer was inspired to embark on this challenging journey by his ancestors who had fought on both sides, allowing him to reflect on it from a neutral position. Set against the dramatic and hauntingly beautiful backdrop of the vast South African interior, the collection combines Meyer’s talents for landscape and narrative in a unique body of works.
Minx Publishing, Cape Town, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Inscribed 2014 birthday gift, not sure why whom “The Batchelor Team”with a lovely message. 265 x 265mm. 172pp. profusely illus. in colour. Heavy at 1.4kg. Signed by Author(s) “The Batchelor Team”??? signed valued on I’ntl market $350 = R5250 Like New