The triptych “South Africa 58/59”

The triptych “South Africa 58/59” I can only see as a miscarried attempt at symbolism because the treatment of the composing element – the abstracted “Crucified Dark Man” and the two realistic Marys is so completely different as to prevent seeing the group as a unity.

This, however, does not prevent us from feeling, even here, that we are in the presence of an artistic production which might well mean the beginning of a new era in South African art.

It is a venture into new, often undisciplined, but passionate expressionism, which one also finds in recent years in the art of Ceylon, Japan, Mexico, the Caribees and certain African territories. While people may like it or dislike it, according to their breeding, but they must also realize that they and their conceptions play very little part in it.

Matthys Bronkhorst
Cape Times
1959

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