Ryno Swart’s one-man show

The Ryno Swart Art Gallery played host to the artist’s latest collection, ‘Nocturne and Romance’. The showing opened at 6pm on 26th of June 2014 and ended at the end of July 2014. It was a real treat for both art lovers and auctioneers of Cape Town as the show featured some of Swart’s amazing pieces. Ryno Swart began painting full time in 1976 and music and dance have been a major part of his subject matter and inspiration. Swart spent much of his time developing his skills at ballet studios across Europe, but also at cabaret clubs, most notable the Alcazar Club in Paris, France.

The ‘Nocture and Romance’ collection features much of this music and dance-inspired work. He would “paint as the music flows”. He has been inspired by the structures, chords, atmosphere and rhythms of music, much like Monet was said to “paint as the bird sings”. There is a definite interplay of music, dance and beauty and even a bit of eroticism. This exhibition even featured many of Swart’s preparatory sketches and studies. He has devoted himself completely to his art and it definitely shows in his work.

Swart’s sketchbooks range over a period of four decades. The subject matter features everything from nudes, lingerie and compositions. His favourite however is to sketch the sparrows of Venice. Swart has a lot of practice in the subject of nudes. Many times a week a model visits his studio, staying for two to three hours at a time, so that he can practice his sketching from real life. He allows the model to be playful and natural, often sketching erotic poses. Other subject matters include landscapes, where he will sketch buildings, bridges, ships as well as the little birds he loves so much. These sketches and drawings evolve into the paintings he eventually creates. He draws from the inspiration he gets from hours of sketching a variety of subjects, with the final painting coming together from his own incredible imagination. His work has been described as “mysterious, with a mystic quality”. He makes use of a lot of chiaroscuro, as seen in his painting ‘The train’ which he painted in the early 1980s.

Swart is based in Simon’s Town (where his gallery is also located) but he spends a lot of his time in Greece, France and Italy. Although his one-man show has come to an end, you can still view much of his work at his gallery as well as on his website, www.artistvision.org.