Maaike Bakker (b. Pretoria, 1986) is a visual artist and illustrator working with various drawing, sculpture and installation based mediums as well as digitally with regards to her illustration based work. She obtained a degree in Visual Arts (2009) and MA in Fine Art (2013) from the University of Johannesburg. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg.
During her studies, Bakker started exploring illustration alongside her fine art practice in order to be able to discover a new, lighter and more eclectic approach to her work. Over the years, Bakker has developed her own style that introduces both concept-driven works as well as light-hearted, offbeat, rough works that depict sceneries from alternative realities. She adds complexity to her art by using line to create patterns, while her soft muted colours give a lush richness to each piece. Bakker’s work predominantly explores themes of notation and ephemerality. Her practice also investigates limitations imposed by systems or structures and aims to determine at what point such may become excess and irrelevant, ultimately exploring futility.
The artworks presented as part of the featured exhibition ‘Beyond the Vanishing Point’ serve as glimpses of proposed solutions to undefined problems exhibiting ‘beyond the vanishing point’. This series of speculated solutions thereby serve as a formation of a new logic. As these objects are presented as complex solutions without reference to their direct problem, these solutions (artworks) become futile expressions; they exist without a clear point of reference or structure, and thereby free explore the communicative potential and power of negotiation without a clear point of departure. The ‘solutions’ presented within the exhibition context thus start forming a self-sufficient logic in response to each artwork, challenging each artworks internal dialogue and reasoning. The abstracted symbols, illogical maps and non-tangible spaces infiltrate the varying agendas presented in the different pieces, disrupting their original expression and encouraging an abstract dialogue to develop between them.
The body of work thus serves to foreground a ‘visual negotiation’ at work. ‘Beyond the vanishing point’ features a collection of artworks that constantly reference, refer to, or build on other pieces in the exhibition, serving to form a self-sufficient logic of their own, accommodating new ideas and demonstrating new possibilities.
Kalashnikovv Gallery, Solo Show: ‘Beyond the Vanishing Point’ (2017)
Kalashnikovv Gallery, Duo Exhibition with MJ Turpin: ‘Aesthetic Engineering’ (2016)
Nirox Projects (JHB), Solo Show: ‘’Now museum | Now you don’t’ (2013)
Salon 91 (CT), Duo Exhibition with Louis Minnar: ‘The River’ (2012)
Platform 18th (PTA), Duo Exhibition with Francios Jonker ‘Postscript’ (2010)
Bakker has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions: ‘Memento Mori’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); ‘A Contemporary Showcase’, Graham’s Fine Art Gallery (2018); ‘Super Salon II’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2017); ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2017); ‘Trees make forests’, Salon 91, Cape Town (2017-2018); ‘Oracle’, Salon 91, Cape Town (2016-2017); ‘Super Salon’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2016); ‘Scramble for Africa’, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2016); ‘From Whence They Came’, Smith Studio Gallery, Cape Town and Kalashnikovv Gallery (2016); ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’, NO END Contemporary, Johannesburg (2016); ‘ZeRO’, SOMA Art Space, Johannesburg (2016);‘Death of the Old’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015) ‘Post-digital’, Kalashnikovv Gallery (2015), ‘Out of Context’, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘taking back the artworld one work at a time’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Cross-Sections’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘The Black Cube Sessions’, The Old Post Office, Braamfontein (2015); ‘Occupy Room 1’, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria and Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Capital: Present’, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria (2014); ‘Gravity’, Salon 91, Cape Town (2014); ‘Play_an exhibition’, Nirox Sculpture Park, Muldersdrift (2014); ‘Et al.’, Nirox Projects, Arts on Main, Johannesburg (2013); ‘Re-sample’, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg Gallery (2013); ‘Hanging Gardens’, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg Gallery (2012); ‘“The spirit is not an idea” says the penguin’, CO OP, Johannesburg (2010); ‘Land: Diversity and Unity India / South Africa’, Association of Arts, Pretoria and CEWAC, Indea (2010); and ‘Cape 09’ as part of the City Project, Cape Town (2009).
Art fairs include: FNB Joburg Art Fair (2018).