Louis Khehla Maqhubela

A Vigil of Departure

A Retrospective 1960 – 2010

Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
3 August – 16 September, 2010

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
27 October, 2010 – 13 February, 2011

Durban Art Gallery
23 February – 24 April, 2011

The Standard Bank Gallery is honouring Maqhubela with a major retrospective exhibition of work from 1960 – 2010. This is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by the curator, Marilyn Martin. It covers Maqhubela’s remarkable historical achievement in being the first ‘black artist’ to win a prestigious art prize in an Apartheid clad South Africa of 1967. Tracing how the award took him to Europe to see its art collections, the curator describes his move away from the prevalent ‘township art’ towards a formal, spiritual abstraction that has characterised his painting ever since.

In 1973 Maqhubela left South Africa with his family for political reasons and in 1976 settled in London, where he has lived and worked ever since. The exhibition provides an invaluable survey which allows South Africans who have forgotten him or have never heard of him, to discover someone returning from apparent obscurity into their midst, and in Mariyn Martin’s words, “to welcome and embrace a significant artist who, for too long, has been absent from our consciousness and our art history books”.

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