About Naomi Press
Naomi Press, a sculptor of international stature critically acclaimed by Clement Greenberg, has been exhibited in some of New York, Cape Town and Johannesburg’s most prestigious galleries. Her artwork has been placed in a number of public and private collections in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa.
Influenced by both profound moments in her personal life and the history of art, her work belongs to the grand tradition of sculpture – in both their timeless aesthetics and mastery of the material. Affirmed by renowned Art Historian Robert Metzger; “[Press’ sculpture] projects the viewer into a timeless world where form and feeling have been integrated. This is a world which values the profound life-affirming experience of her sculpture – a deeply felt, graceful encounter.”
The exhibition, curated by internationally acclaimed art historian and critic Edward Lucie-Smith, is a retrospective of Press’ work spanning forty years. Press began her career in the arts as a disciplined and skilful ballet dancer and it was her understanding and training in this artistic field that had a profound and compelling impact on her sculpture. The refined texture and sensitive lines of her work are indicative of the corporeality that inspires her.
Each phase of Press’ artistic career is a direct reflection on her geographical and personal situation. Exemplary to this is her move from steel to brick in 2001. Press divided her time between London, New York and Cape Town, and it was the red brick buildings of London, decorated with elaborate gables, cornices and cameo busts that was her next focus. After extensive research, she visited a foundry in the hills of West Sussex which had been the source of red terracotta bricks for hundreds of years. From the architectural fragments and shaped bricks which she collected there, she began her “Citadel” series, each a fully resolved work.
Also in London, and ever alert to the contemporary trends around her, Press turned her eye to the world of beauty and fashion. In her newest “liquid silver” sculptures, she explores the extremes of beauty and fashion, the obsession with glamour, shoes, the runway and the youth culture of today.
On loan from the artist, 2012