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The title of the exhibition ‘SEVENTY’, has a sacred meaning in scripture – from Prophet Peter who was told to forgive people seventy times to seventy Disciples who were appointed by the Lord and sent out in pairs to preach the Gospel. Seventy is also made up of factors of two perfect numbers, seven representing perfection and ten representing completeness. In ‘Factors of 70’ it is written as 2x5x7, where 2,5 and 7 are prime numbers. In Roman numeric SEVENTY is LXX whilst in English Cardinal numbers it is SEVENTY. Though the title has less to do with the biblical story, it nonetheless articulates the idea and is a guiding philosophy behind the artistic processes, possibilities and limitations behind the development of a new oeuvre of Thabiso Phepeng consisting of seventy abstract artworks. Only seventeen works are exhibited on ‘SEVENTY’.


The works on show are improvisations, “gestures of errors” that had a life before. They started as high-quality reproduction giclee fine art prints (multiplies) on Hahnemühle paper until Phepeng noticed errors after a printing process. Like a musician adjusting his melody – he decided to rework them, radically imbuing them with a new meaning by painting over them – proving that ‘wrongness’ is something that might exist only in our heads. The “gestures of error” are no longer visible – the works are new and unique and are marked by a sense of spontaneity as if nothing was planned. Phepeng says, “I’m feeling good about the transformation of these

works … and the flow of the journey where my hand takes me.” These works are a celebration of imperfection artistically perfected. 


 Andile Magengelele

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