Abstract South African Art
from the Isolation Years: Part 1

20 June – 31 July 2007

This is the first exhibition hosted by SMAC Art Gallery focusing on South African artists who produced art of an abstract nature during the sixties, seventies and eighties. These artists were poorly received by an often indiscriminate and naïve art market.

Internationally, abstract art from this period continues to break records at contemporary auctions. In South Africa, the opposite applies. We predict that this trend will change over the next few years.

This collection includes important and significant works by a variety of artists. The exhibition has been curated t highlight different periods, styles and exponents of the abstract movement in South Africa.

The most important absentees from this exhibition are Stanley Pinker, Ernest Mancoba, Georgina Ormiston, Cecily Sash, Nel Erasmus, Karel Nel and Selby Mvusi. We have purposefully excluded earlier (pre-war) artists such as Alexis Preller, Maude Sumner, Walter Battiss, Maurice van Essche, Cecil Higgs, Jean Welz and Alfred Krenz, because they do not fall into the period under review.

Further artists not included, who we intend to feature in subsequent exhibitions are; Johan van Heerden, Kenneth Bakker, Gunther van der Reis, Joan Clare, Nils Burwitz, Giuseppe Cattaneo, Alice Goldin, George Boys, Peta Marschall, Adele White, Ronald Mylchreest, Anne D’Amant, Louis Jansen van Vuuren, Arthur Goldriech, Ulrich Schwaneke, Frank Spears and Nico van Rensburg.

Artists not known for Abstraction, such as Ephraim Ngatane, Carl Buchner, Herman van Nazareth, Durandt Sihlali, Helmut Starcke and Robert Hodgins, should also be included in a comprehensive analysis.