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Contemporary South African Art

The Contemporary South African art scene is dynamic and innovative in its approach.

Click Here to view what Contemporary South African Art we have in our current catalogue.

The 1989 exhibition Resistance Art in South Africa defined a great deal of what was seen as contemporary at the time, but the new democratic circumstances of the mid 1990s have allowed South African's to acknowledge an individuality and to provide a new energy on a new stage as it is not only the social, political and economic issues of apartheid that define us.
The international art world began to open and the 1993 Venice Biennale included South African artists for the first time. Embracing the international artistic community was taken a step further with the Johannesburg Biennale in 1995, which brought the international art world to the country.
South Africa has been a difficult social landscape for artistic endeavour to survive with ease. Nevertheless when it has occurred there has been a dynamic interaction between and with place and time, land and people, past and present, present and future.
The cultural isolation of the apartheid years has given way to the reality of social change and the real challenges and economics of everyday life. Many artists ask how should our future look and how do we face our past?
In this contemporary art catalogue we showcase the work of well-known and established names in the art world, such as Willie Bester, Louis Maqhubela, Patrick Matloa, Gavin Younge and Ben Omar.
Willie Bester presents animated collages and sculptures that provide a political commentary of life in Cape Town.
Louis Maqhubela's first works focused on the realism of his surroundings and life in Soweto, but in the late 1960s he moved way from this genre of work and began to explore abstract and linear configurations.
He settled in London in 1978. Ben Omar started working as an artist in Durban when he was 16 years old. He has gone through many phases in his artistic life and is noted for his early cartoons, his surreal pictures and his portrait sculptures in bronze. His gallery of South African heroes forms part of the Eskom Collection.
New artists, well-known in their respective centres include Peter Engblom and Shaheen Soni.
Peter Engblom plays with history and mythology to create a South African past unbounded by the constraints of racism - a plausible fantasy land where his main character Mpunzi Shezi takes South Africa's philosophy of the people, Ubuntu, to the Japanese and introduces Buddhism to Zululand.
Shaheen Soni works in an African Arabic genre exploring the decorative versatility of Arabic script and the ancient art of transcript illumination.
The contemporary South African art catalogue is intended to promote contemporary artists nationally and internationally. Contemporary sculptors and wildlife artists have been allocated a separate catalogue.
In addition, it is in this portion of our online catalogue that we are intentionally experimental providing leading names with an outlet in addition to providing scope for younger artists to showcase their work.

Click Here to view what Contemporary South African Art we have in our current catalogue.

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