Vivien Kohler

b.1976

Vivien Kohler is an experimental mixed media painter based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The concept of liminality; the liminal city and its people, lies at the core of Kohler’s work, which explores migration, marginalization and displacement in the urban landscape of post-Apartheid South Africa.

“His work has an immediate and intimate relationship with the materiality of the city” - Prof. Gore

Kohler constructs two and three dimensional assemblage pieces; appropriating discarded material, painting naturalistic figures and detailed replications of packaging material (a layered visual metaphor signifying transience, migration, displacement), to articulate challenging social and economic circumstances that affect those on the periphery. “My works do not hide the realities of the unfair perception, but symbolically display it in relations to the liberating verdict of the human spirit”. Fascinated by man's ability to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, he captures with gentle rawness the complexity of the human disposition. His work seeks to illuminate the duality of lived experiences by depicting, with an air of surreality, meditative moments of the individual, mentally cocooned from, yet physically enveloped by life’s detritus.

Kohler received his National Diploma in Fine Art from the Ruth Prowse School of Art and Design in Cape Town, 2000. He has exhibited in art fairs and group shows across South Africa and internationally, including "Is There Still Life" curated by Prof. Michael Godby which featured William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and Willie Bester. He has produced two solo shows to date shown in South Africa; Given to Fly (2012) and De(re)tritus (2014). Clay Opera (2017) is his first international solo exhibition. He has received awards; the ItWeb / brainstorm competition (2012) with his entry commissioned by Vodacom, and in 2013 he was the winner of the Lovell Gallery artist competition. His work is housed in both private and public collections, the latter including the Nandos Collection, the Hollard Collection, SAB and Fusion UK. He has an impressive number of artworks sold (close to 80% of all he has produced).

Vivien Kohler

Selected Works

The latest work from this artist.

Latest Insights

The latest insights about this artist.

The Power Of Dreams

The Power Of Dreams

Vivien Kohler
Press
14 Jun 2017

 Visual artist Vivien Kohler reflects on socio-economic issues. 

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Finding Beauty in Decay

Finding Beauty in Decay

Vivien Kohler
Press
29 May 2017

Artist Vivien Kohler has mastered the art of re-purposing discarded objects to create poignant snapshots about humanity and society.

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De(Re)tritus interview

De(Re)tritus interview

Vivien Kohler
Interviews
07 Sep 2014

Name: Vivien Kohler Age: 38 Type of artist: Contemporary mixed media South African Artist  City/Neighbourhood: Pta / Jhb / CT     

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Exhibitions

The latest exhibitions from the artist.

Turbine Art Fair 2017

Turbine Art Fair 2017

Neill Wright, Slimen El Kamel, Ralph Ziman, Carolyn Parton , Vivien Kohler, Nú Barreto
Cape Town
14 Jul 2017 - 16 Jul 2017

The Turbine Art Fair (TAF17) brought to you by The Forum Company, returns to the iconic Turbine Hall in Newtown from 14th – 16th ...

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Clay Opera

Clay Opera

Vivien Kohler
London
06 Jun 2017 - 24 Jun 2017

Vivien Kohler's first solo exhibition with Sulger-Buel Lovell in London.

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De(re)tritus

De(re)tritus

Vivien Kohler
Cape Town
20 Sep 2014 - 25 Oct 2014

CAPE TOWN, South Africa De(re)tritus, a new solo exhibition by Vivien Kohler

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Publications

The latest publications from the artist.

Turbine Art Fair 2017

Turbine Art Fair 2017

Neill Wright, Slimen El Kamel, Ralph Ziman, Carolyn Parton , Vivien Kohler, Nú Barreto
Publication
12 Jul 2017

The Turbine Art Fair (TAF17) brought to you by The Forum Company, returns to the iconic Turbine Hall in Newtown from 14th – 16th ...

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Clay Opera Catalogue

Clay Opera Catalogue

Vivien Kohler
Publication
05 Jun 2017

Solo Exhibition by Vivien Kohler

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Of(f) Africa

Of(f) Africa

Ralph Ziman, Vivien Kohler, Abdulrazaq Awofeso
Publication
11 Dec 2014

Catalogue nr. 1

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