Galia in studio with her works Lenio and Superficeum.

In the five years since she relocated to Cape Town from New York, artist Galia Gluckman’s striking large-scale works – made up of hundreds of tiny strips of paper – have garnered quite a following. Her work has taken a dramatic new direction towards pure abstraction. DECO took a closer look at her patterns and textures that quiver and vibrate.

Superficeum edition 1 of 8.

Her most recent work is looser, more chaotic, full of jagged spires and tangled webs of colour. She maps out her internal state and her grappling for balance in a chaotic world. “It’s this constant battle of perfection versus imperfection but lately I’m more interested in embracing the flaws and the glitches in the system,” says the artist, who works from her home studio in Constantia.


Elle Decoration SA
Lenio 100 cm x 206 cm.

Gluckman has evolved a very unusual technique. Her medium of choice is pigment ink on cotton paper and collage. Painted paper is cut into strips and pieced together to form an undulating surface that is both crystalline in its attention to detail and expansive in the manner of geographical maps. The paper strips form deliberate lines that come together in streams and then branch out again.

I love the process of cutting and pasting. I like that rhythm. My scissors have a bit of a squeak and I enjoy the physical cutting, pasting and moving pieces around. It’s like a meditation.

Desperado Grey 153 cm x 106 cm. 2 of 8.

Each artwork is an exploration of colour and how different hues melt into or pop out when placed next to each other. “Each block or unit of colour is information,” she says, likening them to pixels that disappear the further away you are.

The Israeli-born artist, who returned to live in the Mother City from New York in 2010, has work in private and corporate collections in Australia, Dubai, Israel, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and USA. She has even attracted the attention of the highest office in the land – her piece “Balancing” was recently acquired by the South African Presidential Residence for its People’s Collection.

Text by Kelly Berman

Stay in touch with Galia on her website

Gluckman’s huge, intricate pieces will be on show at this year’s Cape Town Art Fair as part of the Everard Read’s booth – her third time at the event.
Visit booth B7 in the Main Section of the Fair from 19-21 February at the CTICC.

Read about our other favourite artists like photographer Peter Prato and printmaker Anna Glover

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