Bevan de Wet (b.1985) is an independent artist and printmaker based in Johannesburg. He graduated with a BFA with distinction from Rhodes University in 2008. From 2011-2016, de Wet worked at the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg as a professional print technician, collaborator, and academic facilitator. During this time, he worked with artists such as Gerhard Marx, William Kentridge, Norman Catherine, Doris Bloom and The Handspring Puppet Company. He simultaneously facilitated regular printmaking workshops at the Sharon Sampson studio.
Bevan currently practices as a full-time artist and works primarily with paper, exploring mostly etching, relief printing, papermaking, drawing and paper folding techniques. In his earlier work, history, identity, hybridity and belonging were central themes – an archaeology of the dichotomy between the civilized self and the instinctive, untamed self, not only in human forms but also explored in objects, artifacts, fragments and tools.
To view Bevan’s catalogue for Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019, click here.
His most recent work, including the Fool’s Gold series, is a dialogue of mediums as a means to embrace chance and the ephemeral cycle of creation and disintegration. The work forms an allegory for the breakdown of our traditional values, and the fragmented nature of our engagement with space and relation to the world. Bevan also considers the relationship between the natural, organic forms in nature, and the structures we impose on the landscape. Since mapping has a history of colonialism, of plotting “unchartered” space, the practice of construction and deconstruction is a process of reversal and re-imagining, in a sense unoccupying space.
He has exhibited extensively, both locally and internationally, including Drawing on Entropy (solo, Hazard Gallery, 2018), New Forms: A Study of Broken Parallels (solo, Candice Berman Gallery, 2017), Origins & Trajectories, Paris (2016); International Printmaking Alliance Exhibition, China (2016-17); Vestige (solo, NIROX Projects, 2014). The artist’s work is held in a number of private and public collections including The Wits Art Museum, Nirox Foundation, the South African Embassy in Washington DC, and the Ahmanson Foundation in Los Angeles.
In 2012, de Wet was awarded a fellowship from the Ampersand Foundation (New York 2013) and also received the Thami Mnyele Art on Paper Merit Award. In 2014, he was an ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award Winner with the Sylt Foundation, granting him a 2-month residency on the Island of Sylt (Germany 2015). He also received an ImpACT Award for Visual Art from the Arts and Culture Trust. In August 2017, de Wet travelled to Ireland for the Cill Rialaig Artists Residency. De Wet works from his own studio in Johannesburg called Eleven Editions.
Exhibitions, Awards & Collections
2017 Cill Rialaig Artists Residency (Ireland)
2015 Sylt Foundation Residency (Germany)
2014 Visiting Artist Program, Bag Factory (Johannesburg)
2013 Ampersand Foundation Residency (New York)
2014 Arts & Culture Trust ImpACT Award for the Visual Arts
2014 ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award Winner
2012 Thami Mnyele Art on Paper Merit Award (Johannesburg)
2017 New Forms: A Study of Broken Parallels, Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg
2017 International Printmaking Alliance Exhibition (touring), China
2016 Drawing Rooms, Guns & Rain (with City Soiree), Johannesburg
2014 Vestige: Solo exhibition, NIROX Foundation (Johannesburg)
2014 TWENTY: Contemporary Art from South Africa, Turchin Center for Visual Arts (North Carolina)
2014 South African Voices: A New Generation of Printmakers, Washington Printmakers Gallery (Washington DC)
2013 ZOO, NIROX Projects (Johannesburg)
2013 Masquerade, Montserrat College of Art (Massachusetts)
2013 Multiplied Art Fair, Christies Auction House (London)
2013 Bevan de Wet, Sandra & Philip Gordon Gallery, Boston Arts Academy (Boston)
2012 Coming of Age: 21 years of Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg Art Gallery (Johannesburg)
2012 ABSA L’Atelier Art competition exhibition, Top 100 Finalists (Johannesburg)