Pauline Gutter was born in 1980 and grew up on the farm Nuwe Orde in the Free State – a life that equipped her with a deeply rooted understanding of the landscape, cattle and farmers. She obtained her B.A. degree (Fine Arts) cum laude from the University of the Free State as well as honorary colours for Arts and Culture.
Her chosen media are oils, charcoal drawings and video and these works can be described as a visible version of stripes and colour. (Van den Berg 2011) She sees her artwork as a way of bringing communities together: “Art is an instrument of diversity that heals people.” (Van Wyk 2012)
2008 Works exhibited at Art Miami.
2010 Works exhibited in Johnny Clegg’s SABC 2 program A Country Imagined. Exhibition Stand at Aardklop National Art Festival, Potchefstroom.
2011 Solo exhibitions at the University of Stellenbosch, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus and Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein. The travelling group exhibition Rendezvous, a focus on painting at Aardklop National Art Festival, Potchefstroom.
2011 Works exhibited by Everard Read Gallery at the Joburg Art Fair. Works also included in a travelling group exhibition Land: Diversity and Unity: South Africa and India.
Pauline Gutter’s painting Die Makelaar was chosen, in 2011, for the second round of the British Portrait Award in London. She has been a finalist in various art com- petitions, such as Sasol New Signatures and the ABSA L’Atelier Award in 2013.
Art in collections
Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein; William Humphreys Art Museum, Kimberley; Permanent col- lections of Sanlam, ABSA, Universities of Stellenbosch, the Free State and North-West; Various private and corporate collections in South Africa and abroad.
Gutter’s work is themed around farm animals, figures and portraits, sometimes used in a juxtaposition where the vulnerability of the subject as the victim is portrayed. She has been described as an artist whose chosen medium is oil, which results in “making the unseen visible”. Through the use of photography, video and other media she creates a sense of exploiting the urgency. This is specifically relevant to farm murders, where humans and animals are shown as victims, vulnerable icons of a community in the country.
The piece Silenced I is an excellent quality example of Gutter’s body of work. It is an expressionist portrait study in relation to themed work she produced on farm attacks. It shows the passed victim, through which the viewer can only relate or identify by using the overall presence and vitality of the painting. (Commendatio 2011)
Pauline Gutter wants to level land, man and animal by intertwining them metaphorically as figures of each other; almost like images that are mutually reflected between three mirrors. In the dangerous worlds of these works there is a ruling battle of survival that is portrayed. We see land, man and animal in extremis because they are presented as soft targets and voiceless victims.
The violence is not openly portrayed, but rather embodied in a painterly medium. The painting process unfolds and unravels in these works to extraordinary varieties of marks and motives – sometimes applied energetically, hard handed and even violent. Some areas are handled roughly, at times also a more deft and refined approach. (Van den Berg 2011)
Silenced I (2008), oil paint on canvas, 150 x 100cm
University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
Photo courtesy of Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery