Albert Coertse was born in 1980 in Pretoria. He is now a Cape Town-based artist, painting mostly in oil as his preferred medium. Coertse was educated in communication design at the Open Window Art Academy in Pretoria. He also studied interactive design at Malmö Högskola in Sweden. He has also recently graduated in Industrial Design from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Coertse has completed many commissioned portraitures, done figurative work and landscapes, but has also, over recent years, done abstract forms which have been composed by his pictorial language. His paintings often present somewhat graphically reduced details of portraits, building facades and vanishing landscapes.
His work has been described as having a feeling of simplicity. He uses vertical and horizontal lines which then breaks his landscapes up into their most basic form. The use of these interlocking lines has cubist tendencies, which also then build rhythm and movement, and create a sense of harmony. Coertse lives outside of Knysna, away from the cities. With his paintings he tries to create a sense of order and understanding within his landscapes. He also deconstructs the colour used in his paintings. His work is simplifies his environment.
Coertse works in two mediums, the canvas and the panel. With his panels, he carves into the valchromat creating his trademark horizontal and vertical lines. With his canvas he uses paint, but builds up the texture with a thickening agent.
“I just see myself as an artist. I don’t set out to be overtly conceptual, although everything I paint or draw or sculpt comes from a considered place, however instinctive or impulsive its genesis may be. I work through ideas and concepts that are realised in images. I am not overly concerned that a ‘meaning’ should be imparted, but rather how successfully I can make an image grow, mutate and permeate to ultimately communicate with the viewer on a visual level. I consider art as a self-learning tool and a way to keep stretching what I want to know of things. There’s always an initial excitement at an idea – the reason I become interested in things is generally because of conversations with someone or something I see in the media. It’s a new jerk reaction followed by a need to find out more, to read more – obviously my interests are more biased to post-colonial theory and cultural studies, social constructions and the choices we make about them – and so, reading and finding background about that and putting it back into art for an audience. It’s always about wanting to have a discussion with someone but then in my art I also get to go off on my own little tangents. My current series of works revolve around abstracted images, codified into individual flat islands of colour.”