The landscape - being continuously transformed by nature or human activity - has many faces, and many stories to tell. As the arena of life, it is a collection of innumerable tracks, a document of past and present occurrences, from which we can often read what the future may hold. As we inhabit and transform the landscape, the terrain and its elements also impact on us - physically and emotionally. This interplay of forces has a major influence on the identity and condition of both the landscape and the people who inhabit it.
Although this is quite obvious, it does hold the key to why Walter Meyer's paintings of the Southern African landscape so often leave a haunting and memorable impression on us.
On a technical level, his loaded brush, saturated colours and dramatic interplay of deep shadows and brilliant, shimmering light, do enough to elevate his painting well above those of many other accomplished painters. This allows him to render virtually any landscape into a beautiful and visually soothing vista.
But it is exactly here where the sting lies, because Meyer's subject matter - especially the psychological subtexts - is a different story altogether. When he casually says he merely paints whatever strikes him, he is actually being very specific about it. And this in particular gives his art although rooted in the centuries -old traditions of oil painting, a contemporary edge.
Instead of depicting beautiful and serene scenes - as so many decorative artists do - Meyer has become known for expressing, at best, the mundane, and, at worst, the less desirable side of reality. He currently focuses particularly on the harsh semi-desert that constitutes most of the South African platteland - the Karoo and the Kalahari.
Cobus van Bosch
Walter Meyer was born on 31 January 1965 in Aliwal North, S.A, and currently lives in Upington in the Northern Cape .
1982 - Matriculates with distinction in Art, Pretoria
1983 -1989 - Obtains BA Degree in Fine Art (Painting), University of Pretoria
Studied for 3 1/2 years at the "Staatliche Kunstakademie' in Dusseldorf under Prof. Michael Buthe
1984 New Signatures Exhibition, SAAA, Pretoria
1985 Solo exhibition, Pierneef Gallery, Pretoria; Group exhibition "Junger Westen", Recklinghausen; Group exhibition "Perspectiven 3" Dusseldorf Kunsthalle, Germany
1986 Two man exhibition with Ansger Piesche, Ratigen; Group exhibition "Mini Show" Gallerie Now, New York; Group exhibition "The Emerging Collector", New York; Group exhibition "Michael Buthe und seine Klasse", Bonn
1987 New Signatures Exhibition, SAAA, Pretoria; Standard Bank National Drawing Exhibition
1988 Three man exhibition, Gallery 21, Johannesburg
1990 Solo exhibition, The Loft gallery, Windhoek, Namibia
1991 Exhibits and works as resident artist, Dal Josafat Art Foundation, Paarl; Private solo exhibition, Johannesburg; Group exhibition, "Some Innocent Eyes", Newtown Gallery, Jhb
1993 Four person exhibition, Newtown Gallery, Jhb; Volkskas Atelier travelling group exhibition; Group exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Jhb
1994 'New Signatures' exhibition, SAAA, Pretoria; Solo exhibition, 'Present in the Landscape', Newtown Gallery, Jhb; Group exhibition "The Walls Sing", Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
1995 "Groundswell", Contemporary S A Art, Mermaid Theatre, London; Solo exhibition, Newtown Gallery, Jhb
1996 Four man exhibition "Landscapes of SA", Art First Gallery, Cork St., London
1997 Solo exhibition, NSA Gallery, Durban; Solo exhibition, Old Arts Gallery, University of Pretoria; Group exhibition "Lifetimes, an exhibition of SA Art", Munchen; Group exhibition "Cyst: Works in paint", The Castle, Cape Town
1998 Group exhibition, Open Window Gallery, Pretoria; Private solo exhibition, Cape Town
1999 Two-man exhibition with Guy de Toit at Knysna Fine Art; Solo exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein.
1999 Solo exhibition, South African Embassy, Paris, France
2000 Solo exhibition, National Art Gallery of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
2001 Solo Exhibition, Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery, Cape Town
'New Signatures' 1984 - First Prize for Painting
'New Signatures' 1987 - First Prize for Drawing
FNB 'Vita Art Now' Awards 1994 - Merit Award
Public Collections (Selected)
City Coucil of Pretoria
Dal Josafat Arts Foundation
Durban Art Gallery
Gauteng Provincial Administration
Ogilvy & Mather
Power Corporation, Canada
Pretoria Art Museum
Reader's Digest (N.Y.)
SA National Gallery, Cape Town
SA Reserve Bank
University of Pretoria