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Alexia Vogel’s art is pretty. It’s not only the pink-toned palette that lends her painting this quality but also her style and subject matter. Mountains, valleys, rivers and other bucolic settings are her focus, which she renders in a soft, floaty manner. Since conceptualism fell out of favour, painting has been revived and art has increasingly become "prettier". This has led to a trend in local art that could be called romanticism. It is a fitting label for artists such as Vogel and contemporaries including Sarah Biggs, Zarah Cassim, Ruby Swinney and Heidi Fourie, who are interested in depicting nature. Like Vogel, Biggs evokes nature through a colour palette and brushstrokes suggesting organic matter rather than definite features of a rural landscape or vegetation. In the past, she planted small figures in her compositions to indicate the grand scale of the mountains and rivers. More recently she has presented portraits of people immersed in nature, clearly swayed by its psychic e...

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