South African 1913-1993 Top Artists
Gerard Sekoto is recognised as a pioneer of black South African modernism. He was born at Botshabelo Lutheran mission station in Mpumalanga in 1913 and studied at Grace Dieu, an Anglican training college for black school teachers. He worked as a teacher until 1939 when he moved to Johannesburg to pursue a career as an artist. Sekoto lived in the vibrant multiracial community of Sophiatown and the rich colour of his paintings from this time captures the reality of living in the townships, but with sensitivity, dignity, and a sense of calmness despite the harsh realities of life under apartheid. Sekoto went into self-imposed exile in Paris in 1947 where he worked as an artist and musician until his death in 1993. He was designated a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and posthumously received the Order of Ikhamanga for achievement in the arts from the South African government.
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