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Die Suid-Afrikaanse kunstentoonstelling in Londen / The South African Art exhibition in London

JH Pierneef (1886-1957)

Wolke/ Clouds, 1945. Olieverf op skilderbord/ Oil on board (33 x 42 cm). Versameling / Collection: La Motte Museum, Franschhoek

Charles te Water se ambisie om ‘n nasionale tentoonstelling van Suid-Afrikaanse kuns in Europe te open het in 1948 gerealiseer. Pierneef is gekies onder ander bekende Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaars om hul werk uit te stal by die ‘Overseas Exhibition of South African Painting and Sculpture’. Die keurings komitee het bestaan uit 12 lede, waarvan die direkteur, John Rothenstein, van die Tate Galery in Londen deel was.

Die komitee het ses van Pierneef se werke op die tentoonstelling ingesluit, die was 2 waterverfwerke van Maroneburg en Port Said, die ander 4 was olieverfwerke van die Kremertartboom, Die eerste reen – Lichtenburg, Seringboom en Dar es Salaam.

Die tentoonstelling het 149 kunswerke op vertoon gehad en is by die Tate Galery in Londen op 20 September 1948 geopen. Dit het vir ‘n hele jaar geduur waarna dit na Den Haag in Nederland geskuif en in 1949 geopen het. Die kunstenaars wat die meeste belangstelling gewek het op die uitstalling was Walter Battiss en Alexis Preller (jonger tydgenote van Pierneef). Soos met die internasionale uitstallings wat die een vooruitgeloop het, is Pierneef se werk raakgesien en as ware Suid-Afrikaanse skilderye gemerk.

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Charles te Water’s ambition to have a national exhibition of South African art in Europe was realised in 1948. Pierneef was selected amongst other famous South African artists to exhibit at the Overseas Exhibition of South African Painting and Sculpture. The selection committee consisted of 12 members, amongst those also the then director of the Tate Gallery in London, John Rothenstein.

The committee selected six Pierneef artworks to be included on exhibition, these included 2 watercolours of Maroneburg and Port Said the other 4 were oils of Baobab trees, The first rain – Lichtenburg, Sering tree and Dar es Salaam.

The exhibition featured 149 works and opened at the Tate Gallery in London on 20 September 1948, it ran for the whole year and then moved to The Hague in the Netherlands in 1949. The artists of most interest on this exhibition was Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller (younger contemporaries of Pierneef). But as with previous international exhibitions Pierneef held, his work was noticed and labelled as true South African paintings.

Bron / Source:

Nel, PG (eds) 1990. JH Pierneef : His life and his work. Perskor: Cape Town. p98