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Jane Alexander South African A Essay Research

Jane Alexander South African A Essay, Research Paper

*****Jane Alexander*****

Jane Alexander is a sculptor whose works comment on current political issues in South Africa. Winner of the Standerd Bank Young Artist award for 1995, she is recognised for her creative commitment, individual vision and talent..

In her sculptures and photomontages she emphasises her perceptions of the human condition, using her own experienceas a base doing so, she had taken personal and social experiences and transformed the into art with imaginathing and technical skill.

In her sculptures, she manages to disrupt out expectation of appearences by producing 2 and 3 dimentional forms. Using direct modelling techniques and working in plaster, she produces lifesize figures, which gain presence from their human scale. Her forms are still, tactile sculptures, so lifelike that they seem to ask for personal space to be taken into account, but they seem to have a pull factor so the viewer can closely examine the material ans texture. The artist offers no supporting commentary and maintains that her sculpture is primarily a visual statement. As a result, her works require close analysis and ask the viewer to construct their own private meanings. Alexander restrics her part as an artist to only a visual commentator and adds no verbal contribution.

Alexander aims to shock visual senses and once she has your attention, these forms require you to rethink your understanding of the human condition. Her works seem to avoid predictability and manipulation of the viewer s emotions. Her works question situations of disempowerment, suffering and acceptance and she teases out the complications and strategies of displaying and our reception of concepts of identity which is very important in our every day South African lives as cultural, political, social and racial inheritance determine our identity.

Living in long street, Cape Town. The length of Long Street is lined with beautifully restored buildings showing a prodominent Dutch and English backround. This street is also home to spice and bookshops, antique and sex shops. It houses a mixture of vibrant activities and offers the artist a rich array of sights and incidents from her balcony. Large influences, although not connected, have been sex workers and german museums. Many of Alexander’s pieces have originated in her response to a violent society. Avoiding the traps of narration and manipulated emotionalism, her forms are disquieting and uncomfortable in making her staement.


Alexanders work probes human valnerability and exhibit a fascination with states of being, it s intensely expressive and intellectually challenging, it is visually challenging in it s powerful silence urging viewers to pass judgement on both people and art with caution.


Name and date Media

Serviceman 1994 Mixed

Intergration program 1994 Mixed

Somethings going down 1994 Mixed

Pastural scene 1995 Mixed

Integration program man with tv 1995 Mixed

Stripped (oh yes girl) 1995 Mixed

Hit (poor walter) 1995 Mixed

Erbschien: an den bergen 1995 Mixed

**And numerous photomontages

Source: Internet site: search engine on south African sculptors and book entitled: JANE ALEXANDER , SCULPTURE AND PHOTOMONTAGE photo copied at the Pretoria art gallery .