RECOLLECT exhibition by Hendrik Stroebel opened on Tuesday 31 May 2011
02 June 2011
RECOLLECT – A solo exhibition by Hendrik Stroebel exhibition opening Tuesday 31 May 2011
The excitement in the Gallery on Tuesday evening was palpable. The exhibition opening of RECOLLECT was the much anticipated ‘big reveal’ of a solo exhibition by Hendrik Stroebel. Seventeen years in the making, the 186 artworks occupy the Main, Mezzanine and Park Contemporary Galleries. This in itself is an outstanding accomplishment for a single artist. This is an exhibition of dazzling proportions. Bronze, carved wood, ceramics and embroidery works depicting the artists love affair with the near and Middle East had the 250 guests flabbergasted, gobsmaked, awestruck…are there enough words?
I have seldom, if ever had the crowd cheer and clap when welcoming the artist. It felt like a rock concert. Why can’t visual artists be superstars?
The embroidery steals the show. At best this medium is laborious – Hendrik splits a single thread into its 6 individual strands and works with these. The results drew collectors from around the country. Guest speaker Andries Botha gave an impassioned plea for us to ‘wake up’ and realise that this kind of work reveals the desperate vulnerability of our modern world. He implored us to recognise that the (seemingly impossible) accomplishments of artists like Stroebel, reveal our perhaps sometimes shrouded and failing collective humanity. Needless to say there were tears…of joy. Art lovers responded with enthusiasm and the sales in the Gallery are I believe unprecedented in the recent history of the KZNSA. This is globally important work and we are thrilled that Marilyn Martin flew in to author original discourse for the artist which will appear in a number of international art publications. The exhibition is clearly a resounding success but what struck me most was the intensity of emotion felt by all. Stroebel’s generosity of spirit overflows in his work and the crowd was deeply touched.