Claudette Schreuders is an internationally renowned sculptor and printmaker. She graduated with a masters degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1998. Her work has been exhibited extensively in various international group exhibitions at, amongst others, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. She is represented by the Stevenson Gallery in South Africa and by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.
The Bystander 2 follows a line of work that seeks to ‘make public that which is private’. The work, a remarkably skilled piece of print-making, playfully uncovers the middle-class condition. Its darker overtones work to uncover the lighter green, yellows and ochre that form its details.
Schreuder’s nine colour lithograph is hand-printed on Arches paper by Andrea Steer at the Printmaking Studio at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. The work is signed and titled in pencil at the bottom of the image.
" I think what I'm interested in is telling stories. It's portraiture, but it's a vehicle for telling a particular story, or the way in which society makes people who they are or the group against the individual. As soon as you make a figure, it has an identity, and it's immediately a white person or a black person. To me, things aren't that simple in South Africa. Everyone has an identity. And I made three white figures at first. The first one was Lokke and then the Housewife, which was fiberglass, and then the Dominee, which was of my grandfather. And then you start thinking, "but they're all white". That was before I even looked at the color. And that provided a connection for me in Africa. I like to think of it as desire in a way that makes you want to make things. I don't look for 'authentic African art' to collect. I find that relationship of 'taking' very hard. My whole outlook is obviously western, but if you do research about art, or your own art, you have a whole different way of looking at it. Then you can get back to very basic questions. It's interesting for me to look at portraiture as something where you try and make a person with the idea you have of them, and try and bring in abstract elements, like in African art where they say "this is a beautiful person because he [sic] is complete." So I am interested in making things that are beautiful, and how beauty works."
The Bystander 2. 9-colour Offset Lithograph on archival cotton rag paper. 34.3 x 51.1 cm. Edition of 60. R 7 315