The tradition of black artists in South Africa has, until recently, been neglected. In the last ten years a new art history has developed from a growing awareness of the omissions of the past. At the forefront of this reassessment is the work of Gerard Sekoto.
Sekoto who is considered by many as the ‘Father of South African Art’ established himself as a successful painter throughout the apartheid era. Wits Arts Museum, Johannesburg is exhibiting the artist’s work from 25 April- 2 June 2013. It was inevitable that when Mary Jane , head curator of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation, opened her long-awaited “BODY” exhibition, it would be met with enthusiasm from the young and old, nationally and internationally.
As I walk around the museum observing the artwork I couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t only the golden oldies who were familiar with his artwork but the amount of young people who actually related with this legendary artist’s work was impressive. The atmosphere gave the audience a sense of belonging, enticing one to feel the struggle in which the artist portrayed through his work. In the background, the liberating music of The Blue Heads featuring Gerard Sekoto was playing, giving one a sense that he was present with us.
Its been, so far, a great exhibition that appeals to many, creating awareness and knowledge to the studying youth. The initiative was designed to help build stronger communities through mutual respect and understanding through artwork.