STEVENSON presents ‘Monochrome Paintings’ by Zander Blom

WORDS Cheri Morris

Zander Blom’s tenth solo exhibition with STEVENSON Johannesburg, Monochrome Paintings, is a joyous return to abstraction; a self-described visual mellifluence of “gentle gradients, confident shapes, intricate details and ecstatic yet violent brushwork abound in waves of monochrome.”

A U-turn from his cacophony of anxious colours and textures to a more earnest harmony, Monochrome Paintings is a shameless approach to abstraction sans Zander’s once-present need to insert ironic gestures or retrospective critiques of modernism.

And while he is no longer looking to overtly deconstruct modernism, it remains one of his key references. Black and white photographic images of modernist sculpture are Monochrome Paintings‘ muses; studies of what is possible in terms of form and composition. Beyond that, historical, documentary, astronomical, geographic and more forms of photography inform Zander’s intention to build a world unto its own. The chief aim? To avoid modernism becoming the “dead albatross around every abstract painter’s neck”.

Zander Blom

Zander notes that it is not just peaceful in the studio but it’s also exciting as he explores a new technique: oil paint (diluted with linseed oil and turpentine) applied thinly with brushes to primed linen. From there, “the paint is worked into with rubber and silicone utensils, which essentially erases the oil to varying degrees, revealing the surface of the canvas. This allows one to get incredible tonalities, textures and depth without resorting to impasto,” says Zander.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 12 February, 10am to 1pm. Zander will give a walkabout on opening day at 11am. Entrance is free and all are welcome. For more information, visit