A Lifetime of Collecting

The late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife, Huberte, started acquiring art in the 1940s. It became a passion spanning more than 60 years and culminating in the opening of the Rupert Museum in 2005. This exhibition features selected works from this 60-year period. It is a range of South African paintings and sculptures produced throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, including works by well-known artists such as Maurice van Essche, Wolf Kibel, Frans Oerder and Hugo Naudé. In Naudé’s work, a Cape Impressionist, we see the painterly use of dappled light, a technique all but impossible to recreate in any other province, as most of southern Africa is sun-bleached and stark. European influences of Impressionism and Expressionism are undeniable, yet this selection shows a gradual uptake of an inimitable South African visual language and techniques with an influence of Cubism and Abstraction. The influence of indigenous rock art, Ndebele design, African symbolism and spirituality is unmistakable, often thematically recurring in the work of Walter Battiss, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Ezrom Legae, Sydney Kumalo, Cecil Skotnes and Alexis Preller. Although there are often vast differences between the individual works, the fact that all were produced from the experiences of southern African artists means there is nevertheless convergence, making the collection an expression of both synergy and contradiction.

This exhibition, drawn from the permanent collection will be on view from mid-October 2017 to the end of January 2018.

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