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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

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Charles te Water se ambisie om ‘n nasionale uitstalling van Suid-Afrikaanse kuns in Europa te hou, het in 1948 gerealiseer. Pierneef en ander bekende Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaars is gekies om hul werk by die ‘Overseas Exhibition of South African Painting and Sculpture’ uit te stal. Die keurkomitee het uit 12 lede bestaan, met die direkteur, John Rothenstein, van die Tate Galery in Londen, een van hulle.

Die komitee het ses van Pierneef se werke vir die uitstalling ingesluit — twee waterverfwerke, naamlik Maroneburg en Port Said, en die ander vier olieverfwerke, naamlik Die Kremertartboom, Die eerste reën – Lichtenburg, Seringboom en Dar es Salaam.

Die uitstalling het 149 kunswerke behels en is op 20 September 1948 in die Tate Gallery in Londen geopen. Die uitstalling is ‘n jaar lank daar gehou, waarna dit na Den Haag in Nederland verskuif is en in 1949 daar geopen is. Die kunstenaars wat die meeste belangstelling by die uitstalling uitgelok het, was Walter Battiss en Alexis Preller (jonger tydgenote van Pierneef). Soos in die geval van die internasionale uitstallings wat dié een voorafgegaan het, het Pierneef se werk in die besonder die aandag getrek as ware Suid-Afrikaanse skilderye.

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

The committee selected six Pierneef artworks to be included on exhibition — two watercolours, namely Maroneburg and Port Said, while the other four were oils, namely The Baobab Tree, The first rain – Lichtenburg, Sering tree and Dar es Salaam.

The exhibition featured 149 works and was opened at the Tate Gallery in London on 20 September 1948. It ran for one year, before it was transferred to The Hague in the Netherlands and opened in 1949. The most noted artists at this exhibition were Walter Battiss and Alexis Preller (younger contemporaries of Pierneef) but, as with previous international exhibitions, Pierneef’s work attracted special attention as true South African paintings.

Bron / Source

Nel, P G (eds) 1990. J H Pierneef: His life and his work. Perskor: Cape Town. p98