Chris Soal

South Africa

Chris Soal’s (b. 1994) practice is concerned with the materiality of objects that are so common that they have become invisible to us. Utilised daily by millions of people before being discarded, toothpicks and bottle-tops comprise his key materials: they are essentially manufactured to become debris. Simultaneously, Soal juxtaposes concrete with these materials to provide structural reflections on urban habitation.


Click here to view Chris’ catalogue for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019.

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Driven primarily by formal concerns, Soal’s sculptural practice seeks to highlight the histories embedded in found and pre-disposable material, including their socio-political, economic and geographic aspects.  Often highly textured, the sculptures utilise repetition and scale. Through the repetition of the singular, their form is reimagined, rendering them initially unrecognisable. Toothpicks become warm, soft, expansive topographies of fur; bottle-tops become gilded reptilian armour, and concrete is transformed into pocked, ruptured, dystopian landscapes. Brought into dialogue and into new conjunctions, these different materialities – soft, hard, warm, cold – evoke wholly fresh reactions. Soal’s works are meditations not only on human relations – between individual and community – but also on the relationships between humankind and the natural environment which sustain and support our existence.


Exhibitions, Awards and Collections

2019 – Guns & Rain, Investec Cape Town Art Fair

2019 – Stellenbotsch University Museum

2018 – Sculpture category and Overall Award at the PPC Imaginarium

2018 – Sasol New Signatures Finalist

2018 – Residency awarded by the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art.

2018 – RAW Material Company experimental residency, RAW Academie (Dakar, Senegal)

2018 – No End Contemporary Art Space

2018 – Guns & Rain Gallery

2018 – FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

2018 – Featured Artist-  GONG LAUT: The First Singaraja International Art Forum in Bali, Indonesia

2017 – RMB Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

2017 – Cassirer Welz A ward finalist

2017 – Wits Art Museum

2017 – Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels, Belgium

2016 – Wits Young Artis Award finalist

2016 – Museum of African Design

2015 – Thami Mnyele  Award finalist


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