Pierre Fouché


Pierre Fouché (born 1977) achieved his MA in Fine Arts (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch in 2006. He has subsequently had 7 solo exhibitions, most recently,  The Little Binche Peacock and other Utopian Dreams at WHATIFTHEWORLD. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions of which Ebb ‘n’ Flow, Place and Climate at the Walford Mill Museum, Wimborne, UK (2018); You and I, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2017); After the Thrill is Gone, Fashion Politics and culture in Contemporary South African Art at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Kalamazoo, USA (2016); Queer Threads at the Leslie+Lohman Museum, New York (2014) and Brave New World, at Iziko SA National Gallery, Cape Town (2014) are notable. This year,  Fouché led a  workshop titled Bobbin Lace Design & Binche Cloth Manipulation at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ, USA. In 2006 he won the the ABSA L’atelier art competition which resulted in a 6 month Residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. From January to April 2014 he was awarded a Prohelvetia residency at IAAB, Basel. Fouché lives and works in Cape Town.

Portraiture, the languorous gaze, domestic photography, and how these intersect with desire is central to the work Pierre Fouché. His employment of these broad categories constitute an example of the subtle and poetic side of queer representation.

Fouché’s work consistently represents individuals, from close familiars to strangers whose likenesses are culled from the realm of domestic photography in all its guises: from scratchy old prints to digital downloads.

The portrait is subsequently crafted. It is woven with lace-bobbins, embroidered, written out, cut out of paper, knitted, letter-embossed in plastic, crocheted, assembled with dice or painted on a puzzle. The residues of these laborious construction techniques often become secondary portraits by default – aesthetically autonomous, yet reminding of the primary figuration and its creation.

Each instance of Fouché’s interpretation of an individual likeness involves a triadic narrative: the story of the individual represented, the story of the photographic likeness, and the history of the medium and technique used to reinterpret the photographic instant. These narratives are layered in the final portrait that monumentalizes the personal, the individual, the mundane.

The contrast between the lens based source material, the fraction of a second it took to expose the moment, and the months, years, to translate the image in thread, for instance, open up meanings from the specific and personal (the instant) to the broad and collective (history).

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 The Little Binche Peacock and other Utopian dreams - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2017 Vreesaanjaende Verligting - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2015 The Fallen and the Drowned - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2014 Traces: DOCK, Basel, Switzerland
2012 These Waves - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2011 Fred, Denis & Other Portraits, Solo Presentation at Volta7 with WHATIFTHEWORLD, Basel, Switzerland
2008 Convoluted Involvement, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
Convoluted Involvement, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
2006 The Distance Between Us, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2005 Excluded & Unsaid, Blank Projects, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 Ebb ‘n’ Flow, Place and Climate, Walford Mill Museum, Wimborne, UK
The 12th Textile and Lace Symposium, CAEE (Escaldes-Engordany Art Gallery), Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra.
Sunday Service, GUS Gallery, Stellenbosch
Lace, Not-Lace, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ, USA.
2017 You & I, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town
2016 Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, Boston Centre for the Arts, Boston
Women's Work, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
After the Thrill is Gone, Gwen Frostic School of Art, Michigan
Dear Europa ... - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2015 Objects in Flux - Exploring the Boundaries of Craft, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Monologues, Aardklop Festival, Potchefstroom
Queer Threads, Leslie & Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York
Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2014 Brave New World...20 Years of Democracy, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2013 Suspicious Minds - Artist's Exploration of Mind and Matter, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town
2011 Trading Freedoms - (part of the conference Love, Sex, Desire & the (Post)Colonial, University of London
Ingrid Jonker, Rust & Vrede, Durbanville, Cape Town
2010 Swallow My Pride, Blank Projects, Cape Town
1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Ways of Seeing, Ore gallery, Cape Town
Inverting the Pyramid, Blank Projects, Cape Town
Manet's too tight to mention, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
The Menippean Uprising, Blank Projects, Cape Town
2009 The gift (in collaboration with Liza Grobler), Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
Studio visit, Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town
Signs/Representation, 14-1 Gallerie, Stuttgart, Germany
Obsessie, KKNK Oudshoorn
2008 The Bijou Burns Again, UCA, Cape Town
2007 Portrait/Landscape, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Laurensford, Somerset West
Fest, Rust & Vrede, Durbanville, Cape Town
ABSA L’atelier regional finalists exhibitions, Art-B: Bellville & ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
Selected projects 2005-2007, Blank Projects, Cape Town
Greenhouse, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Laurensford, Somerset West
Love & misery, BIJOU art studios, Cape Town
A Legacy of Men, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg
2006 Take it like a man, Blank Projects, Cape Town
2005 Paper Never Lies, VEO, Cape Town
ABSA L’atelier regional finalists exhibition, Art-B: Bellville, Cape Town

Selected Publications

2013      Selected Works