Kirsten Beets paints our contemporary Eden. Her paintings inhabit a place somewhere between the real and imagined, a painted mythology that explores ethical realities. She is continually looking at the shifting relationship between people at leisure and the natural world. She isolates the moments of these interactions; sometimes as immersive images, and at other times as curious objects suspended in the picture plane where a landscape is reduced to flat colour or soft ombres. Snapshots of our curious human interactions with natural environments are all rendered in delicate detail. Beets revisits certain subject matters which have captured her imagination; and often familiar figures make cameo appearances throughout her work. These characters seem to inhabit a narrative realm within the confines of a canvas where their paths are intertwined and yet, perhaps, they remain strangers to each other. The repetition of these figures embodies the strange familiarity inherent in public spaces, such as the beachfront, where many of the things we use to identify ourselves are stripped away. Her exhibitions are complex collections of observations and imaginary musings made manifest in oil paint on paper, board, and linen. Her carefully considered compositions tell a subtle story of the strange and the familiar, leisure and decay, stasis and transience.
2020 – Souvenirs from Another Summer, solo exhibition, Salon91; Summer, group exhibition, Everard Read, London; Investec Cape Town Art Fair Solo & Group exhibition with Salon91; Things Behind the Sun, group exhibition, Salon91; A Hazy Shade of Winter, group exhibition, Salon91. 2019 - Sydney Contemporary Art Fair with Salon91, Sydney, Australia; Wildflowers, end-of-year group salon in aid of Ilitha Labantu, Salon91; Helios, solo exhibition, Salon91; Regarding Winter, group exhibition, Salon91; Investec Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91; The Distance from Afar, group exhibition, Glen Carlou gallery, Paarl. 2018 - Dreamland, solo exhibition, Salon91; Folklore, end-of-year group exhibition in aid of True North, Salon91; Investec Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91; FNB Joburg Art Fair with Salon91; Turbine Art Fair with Salon91. 2017 - Trees Make Forests, end-of-year group exhibition, Salon91; Field, group exhibition, Salon91; FNB Joburg Art Fair with Salon91; Artist Residency, Foundation OBRAS, Netherlands; Mirage, solo exhibition, Salon91; Turbine Art Fair with Salon91; Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91. 2016 - Oracle, year-end group exhibition, Salon91; Paper Is You III, group exhibition, Salon91; Turbine Art Fair with Salon91; Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91. 2015 - STELLAR, year-end group exhibition, Salon91; Everyday Eden, solo exhibition, Salon91; Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91. 2014 - Sunday’s Child, solo exhibition, Salon91; Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2013 - Possessed, group show, Everard Read, Cape Town; National Arts Festival in Grahamstown; Animal / Advance, group exhibition, Ron Belling Gallery, Port Elizabeth; Aurora, all-female illustration group exhibition, Salon91; Cape Town Art Fair with Salon91; For Play, group exhibition, Underculture Contemporary Gallery, Port Elizabeth. 2012 - Scuola Internationale di Grafi in Venice, Italy. 2011 - First Editions: an exhibition of visual narratives, a group exhibition featuring the first editions of hand-bound illustrated books, Salon91.