Joni Brenner  



Joni Brenner's portraits engage with ideas emerging out of the genre concerning commemoration, mortality and death. Small oil paintings, clay sculptures, watercolours and photographs explore and celebrate the human presence. The intensely coloured pigments of the red paintings and the small clay sculptures made of Terra, 'earth' or 'terrain', suggest the field of influence, conjecture and material meaning in the work.

Wilson Mootane, the artist's long-time sitter for almost fifteen years appears in many of the works. Here abstraction and the question of likeness or identity hover between our own and the artist's perception, but the fugitive presence lodged within each of Brenner's portraits opens our minds to the subtle inflections of human character that the shape of an ear, an eyebrow, a jawbone or a nose may evoke.


Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


BA Degree in Fine Art, University of the Witwatersrand


Awarded HSRC Senior Bursary, University of the Witwatersrand


Awarded HSRC Senior Bursary, University of the Witwatersrand


Awarded CSD Scholarship, Centre for Scientific Development


Masters Degree in Fine Art (graduated cum laude for both practical and theoretical research. The thesis was written on the construction of likeness in portraiture; the practical work also investigated this notion, working with oil painting and plaster relief sculpture), University of the Witwatersrand

1996/97 Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, residency for five months


Lecturer in Art History - second and third year level (Wits)


Ampersand fellow - Manhatten, New York.


Lineus Palmer teaching exchange - Konstfack Stockholm, Sweden

2010 Cite Internationale des arts, Paris, residency for 6 weeks