Phetshane ‘counts’ on Simplified Complexity

Simplified Complexity is a continuation of Phetshane’s exploration of numbers and the structural role they play in contemporary society. The artist takes the view that numbers provide a narrative of who we are; our age, the amount of money we have or the number of siblings in our family. The way we spend our time is structure around numbers. In a sense, numbers become a reflection of one’s identity and place in society. As an example, an identification number can be used to unveil one’s age, gender and citizenship. In Simplified Complexity, Phetshane engages with the symbolism of numbers and integrates this with the cycle of life, as numbers become a measuring tool through which we count the happenings in life.


This exhibition consists of painting works on paper in pastel and acrylic and oil on canvas in a variety of sizes. Phetshane masterfully combines abstraction and colour with symbolic elements like trees, butterflies, birdcages and road signs. These symbolic elements become clues through which the viewer can explore Phetshane’s work and often relates to contemporary themes, such as religion, politics, consumerism and capitalism – which are al, is some way or another, informed by numbers.

These exhibitions open on 1 March 2018 at 18:00 and will run until 28 March 2018 at Lizamore & Associates gallery (155 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg).