Cape Town based artist Dave Robertson has been producing artwork and exhibiting since the mid 90’s. Initially known for his photographic work, he has exhibited at several galleries in Germany, USA, the Netherlands and South Africa.
Robertson spent the early part of his journey as a visual artist, in the film industry, freelancing as an art director. In between film projects he followed his passion for photography, which was primarily a form of social commentary, often concerned with documenting marginalized lifestyles. After winning a national prize at the Spier Contemporary competition in 2010, for ‘Paper trails’ a documentary project focusing on informal recyclers in Newtown, Johannesburg, he took a break from both photography and the film industry and began to teach himself to paint.
“I consider myself a versatile visual artist who feels happiest when pushing the limits of my creative process, whether it be expressionist photography, abstract painting or printmaking. My work is often concerned with the in-between spaces which are not immediately apparent but can be found just under the ‘skin’ of the perceived physical world. A place where fact and fiction, objectivity and subjectivity join hands in a magical dance. Where our so-called physical reality seemingly invites aspects of the metaphysical world to show themselves in the work.”
Group exhibitions paintings and prints :
2022 “When life doesn’t give you lemons”, OriginArt, Johannesburg.
2021 “Summer Salon”, Nel Gallery, Cape Town.
2021 “Plane”, Deepest Darkest Gallery, Cape Town.
2021 “Up to the mark”, AITY Gallery, Franschhoek.
2021 “Abstrakt”, Nel Gallery, Cape Town.
2021 “All we need is”, AITY Gallery, Franschhoek, Western Cape.
2020 “Home is where the art is”, Zeitz MOCAA Gallery, Cape Town.
2020 “Summer Salon”, Nel on Long Gallery, Cape Town.
2020 “Edition 2020”, Alliance Francaise du Cap, Cape Town.
2020 Artist Solidarity Assistance Project, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2019 “Turbine Art Fair”, represented by Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg.
2018 “Ancillary Axes”, Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg.
2018 Twentieth Anniversary show, Artvark Gallery, Cape Town.
2018 “Vivid and Vibrant”, Gallery One11, Cape Town.
2017 Inaugural exhibition, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2017 “Michaelis Silent Auction”, Smith Gallery, Cape Town.
2017 “Drought”, Artvark gallery, Kalk bay, Cape Town.
2017 “Cape Town Salon”, AVA Gallery, Cape Town.
2016 “Ephemeral Pleasures”, Moor Gallery, Franschoek.
2016 “Muse Montage”, Eclectica Modern Gallery, Cape Town.
2016 “Materialisation”, AITY Gallery, Franschhoek, Western Cape.
2016 “A tribute to Rose Korber”, AVA Gallery, Cape Town.
2014 “Great Stock”, AVA Gallery, Cape Town.
2013 “Artreach“, AVA Gallery, Cape Town.
2013 “Proverbs”, Church St. Gallery, Cape Town.
Group exhibitions photography :
2016 “Broken Chords”, Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg.
2015 “Twenty: Art in the time of democracy”, University of Johannesburg.
2015 “Twenty: Art in the time of democracy”, Pretoria Art Museum.
2014 Turbine Art Fair, represented by Res gallery, Johannesburg
2014 “20 Years of Democracy”, Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA.
2014 “Urban Wonderland”, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town.
2010 ”Point of Focus”, pinhole photography, Kalk Bay Modern, Cape Town.
2010 ”Bonani Africa Festival”, Cape Castle, Cape Town.
2010 “Spier Contemporary Awards 2010”, Cape Town.
2009 “Spirit of Ubuntu”, Exposure Gallery, Cape Town.
2007 “CT 24”, Focus Contemporary Gallery,Cape Town.
2004 “PhotoLA 2004”, The Perfect Exposure Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2002 Exhibition of lithographs: Kim Sacks Gallery, Johannesburg.
2001 “Absolut Cape Town”, Pinnacle Building, Cape Town.
2001 “Collaborative Art”, The Upstairs Gallery, Cape Town.
2000 “Collaboration”, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town.
Solo exhibitions photography:
2015 “Partially Nomad”, THATARTFAIR, Cape Town.
2014 “Partially Nomad”, Res Gallery, Johannesburg.
2012 “Plakkerskamp 2003 – 2012”, book launch at Chateau de Wiltz, Luxembourg.
2013 “Plakkerskamp 2003 – 2012″, Salle Culturelle Kaundorf, Luxembourg, Europe.
2008 “Rain”, Focus Contemporary Gallery, Cape Town.
2007 “Abstract Egypt”, Focus Contemporary Gallery, Cape Town.
2005 “Remember”, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town.
2004 “De Dependance”, Smelik & Stokking, Den Haag, Netherlands.
2000 “Metaphysical Photography”, The Upstairs Gallery, Cape Town.
1999 “Colour Spirit”, hand-painted photographs, Jazz Radio, Berlin, Germany.
1998 “Colour Spirit”, hand-painted photographs, ARTCO, Leipzig, Germany.
1998 “Colour Spirit”, hand-painted photographs, Marzahn Library, Berlin, Germany.
1998 “Colour Spirit”, hand-painted photographs, Jojo Centre, Berlin, Germany.
1996 Exhibition of life on the streets of Luanda, Angola for Kandengues Unidos, held in Paris, Angola, Mozambique. Initiated by CIES and the E.U.
Solo exhibitions painting :
2011 “concrete tails and urban trails”, Worldart, Cape Town.
Shortlisted for the Rise Art Prize 2018, for his “Subtraction print series”.
His photographic book entitled, Plakkerskamp, Bonnievale South Africa 2003-2012, won a prize at the Lëtzebuerger Buchpräis 2013, a national book award ceremony, in Luxembourg.
Spier Contemporary 2010 award for “Paper Trails”, a documentary photographic project focusing on informal recyclers in Newtown, Johannesburg.
Robertson’s artworks have been acquired by a variety of international collectors from Sweden, the USA, Tasmania, and the UK. Local collectors include the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAACA), Nandos and AFDA.
2019 “Accentuated fluidity” print series catalogue by Berman Contemporary.
2018 Article in Habitat Magazine, by Candice Berman Gallery, highlighting the Transition print series.
2015 Article in Future Cape Town, an online magazine featuring a photo essay highlighting the Transition series and travels in African cities.
2012 Publication of his first photographic book Plakkerskamp, Bonnievale South Africa 2003-2012. The book documents a marginalized community living on a municipal refuse dump in the Western Cape, over a nine year period.
2011 Article in Elle Decor magazine (March/April edition), about his abstract paintings created using textured industrial paints.
2010 Spier Contemporary 2010 awards book.
2010 Bonani Africa documentary exhibition catalogue.
2003 Hand-painted photograph used as cover image for Wayne State University press spring/summer catalogue.
2002 Article in July edition of Elle magazine, about his hand-painted photographs showing at Kim Sacks gallery, Johannesburg.
1998 “Colour Spirit” exhibition print catalogue for ARTCO, Germany.
1999 “Collaboration”, exhibition catalogue, Bell-Roberts gallery, Cape Town.
1996 Book of interviews and photographs of life on the streets of Luanda, Angola for Kandengues Unidos. Exhibition and book launch held in Paris, Angola, and Mozambique.
1996 Commissioned by the Red Cross Society to create a calendar depicting life in South Africa.
1996 Commissioned by the European Union and CIES (Rome), to photograph life on the streets of Luanda, Angola, for a book project.