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Indepth Arts News:

"Willie Bester: 15 Years"
2002-08-08 until 2002-09-29
Sasol Art Museum, University of Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch, , ZA South Africa

In the course of the 1990s, Western Cape artist, Willie Bester, witnessed a meteoric rise to international fame, capturing the imagination of art lovers both here and abroad through his extraordinarily moving commemorative portraits of struggle leaders, and his collage works and salvage sculptures focusing on the complex realities of life in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.

Today, Bester is without a doubt one of South Africas foremost artists: his mixed media paintings and sculptures are housed, not only in this country, but also in private and public collections throughout Europe and the USA. Ironically, though, it is mainly in West Africa, Belgium, Spain, Italy and, most recently, Malaysia, that attempts have been made to mount informative retrospective exhibitions of his works.  In South Africa his exhibitions to date have mostly been at commercial galleries.

It is against this background that the University Museum, Stellenbosch, decided to mount an exhibition, Willie Bester 15 Years, in the Sasol Art Museum. Envisaged, initially, as a fairly modest project, the aim was to draw pieces from private collections in the Western Cape. However, following discussions with collectors of Besters work, and with the artist himself, enthusiasm for the project has grown to such an extent that  a substantial exhibition could be mounted.

IMAGE:
Willie Bester
Head North
1997
painted metal and found objects


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