Jacob van Schalkwyk’s work has been exhibited by David Krut Projects in New York, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and by GALLERY AOP in Johannesburg since 2010. He exhibited with blank projects in 2011 and 2013,
and was included in Back to the Future, a survey of abstraction in South Africa at SMAC in 2013.
His debut novel (in Afrikaans and English) The Alibi Club, was published by Penguin Random House in 2014. It was nominated for the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. He contributed to Africa Modern, an authoritative resource on the South African cultural landscape around the launch of the Zeitz MoCAA. He is a regular contributor to Ons Klyntji.
Prior to returning to South Africa from New York, van Schalkwyk worked as an experimental video artist and musician, performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Central Park SummerStage, REDCAT Los Angeles, MassMoCA, Salle Jacques Brel in Paris, and De Singel in Antwerp. He toured South Africa with Carl Hancock Rux and progenitors of hip-hop The Last Poets in 2006 as part of the Urban Voices Festival. Returning to the theater in 2018,
Van Schalkwyk served as dramaturge for Jemma Kahn’s The Borrow Pit at the National Arts Festival and The Centre for the Less Good Idea.
He is a director of the Initiative for Motion Pictures in the African Continent (IMPAC), a triennial exploratory film festival in Centurion, where he has shown the work of Dutch experimental filmmaker Gerard Holthuis. Van Schalkwyk collaborated with artist-filmmaker Michael Macgarry on LHR-JNB, Will to Power, Race of Man and As Above So Below, screened internationally at film festivals such as The 62nd International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany and as part of Macgarry’s ten year retrospective Show No Pain at the WITS Art Museum (WAM) in 2017.
Van Schalkwyk received a BFA from the Bauhaus-style integrated art and design Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 2003, where he focused on Drawing, study- ing anatomy (including human dissection lectures at Columbia University Medical School) with Salvatore Montano and drawing with William Sayler and Dennis Masback. He studied the philosophy of mathematics and logic under Robert Richardson. He is currently completing his MAVA, focusing on sculpture, at Stellenbosch University under Ledelle Moe and Lize van Robbroek.
Van Schalkwyk has a decade’s worth of experience as a part-time lecturer, having taught at tertiary level at WITS, The Open Window School of Visual Comunication and Stellenbosch University. He worked as video compression specialist, in New York for IDEALOGUE on FANATIC and the D&AD Yellow Pencil Award-winning adicolor podcast campaign of 2006, and as Head of Graphic Design for Artlogic between 2009 and 2011, responsible for all below and above the line design for the FNB Joburg Art Fair and the Sanlam FoodWineDesign Fair.
Known primarily as an abstract artist, Van Schalkwyk uses lithographic ink as a medium for drawing and painting. His work on paper and aluminium conflates the distinction between drawing, painting, printmaking and low relief sculpture. He continues to exhibit and publish regularly and is slated to launch Kalahari Elegy, a limited edition album of experimental/noise music with Bad Paper, along with a new sculptural work at the Joburg Art Fair in September this year.
Klaar Gepraat, 2020 (drawings series)
Artist Unknown, 2017
Found re-used, re-purposed rubber strips, wood. Return flight to Malawi, Transport, 1 night stay on Lake Malawi
Lithographic ink on paper 29 76 × 56 cm
Bait al-Hikma Part 1_10, 2011
Lithographic ink, pen and pencil on paper
77 × 56 cm