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Thursday, February 24, 2022


(Above: “The Bird Chaser” by Gerard Bhengu)

The Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg will host an exhibition by Gerard Bhengu titled tradition & modernity.

The exhibition will be opened on February 27 at 11h00 and the speaker will be Juliet du Toit as a curator.

Among South Africa's and the region's well-known artists, Gerard Bhengu has become widely recognised for his role in establishing a thematically African but European-derived stylistic representational pictorial idiom. This idiom, sustained throughout his long artistic career (c1925-1985), comprised known and nostalgically recalled themes - an ethnically specific portrait genre, landscapes and culturally sourced historical and narrative scenes.

This comprehensive exhibition of works by Gerard Bhengu, curated by Juliette Leeb-du Toit, supports a researched publication, and indicates how the historical background to Bhengu's work is more layered and inflected than has thus far been realised. Bhengu's works remained marketable mainly to select patrons and ethnographers and to a popular and tourist market. However, given his increasing and simultaneous significance to a black audience and peers, as well as an emerging modernity among a politicised black South African populace that renewed their embrace of culture and tradition, and a painter of modern life.

The exhibition will take place in the Tatham Art Gallery’s Main Room (2nd floor).

The Tatham Art Gallery is situated opposite the Town Hall in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg. It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h00 to 17h00. Café Tatham is open on Saturdays. Safe parking with a car guard available. More information on 033 392 2801 or visit