Albert Coertse is based in Onrus, a small town on the Southern Cape Coast a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town. He specialises in oil on CNC routed Valchromat or Medium Density Fibre board (MDF) as preferred medium.
He has done commissioned portraiture, figurative work and landscapes, but over recent years, abstract forms composed his pictorial language.
I just see myself as an artist. I don’t set out to be overtly conceptual, although everything I paint or draw or sculpt comes from a considered place, however instinctive or impulsive its genesis may be. I work through ideas and concepts that are realised in images. I am not overly concerned that a ‘meaning’ should be imparted, but rather how successfully I can make an image grow, mutate and permeate to ultimately communicate with the viewer on a visual level.
There’s always an initial excitement at an idea – the reason I become interested in things is generally because of conversations with someone or something I see in the media. It’s a knee jerk reaction followed by a need to find out more, to read more – obviously my interests are more biased to post-colonial theory and cultural studies, social constructions and the choices we make about them – and so, reading and finding background about that and putting it back into art for an audience.
It’s always about wanting to have a discussion with someone but then in my art I also get to go off on my own little tangents.
The paintings present graphically reduced details of portraits, building facades, still-life compositions and vanishing landscapes as structural all-over linear grids. Whilst these paintings resonate formally with the rationalist modernist strategies running from Piet Mondrian to Peter Halley, their formal reduction is the product of a semiotically distilled reference to the urban world.