South African 1894-1966 Top Artists
After studying in Germany in the 1910s, Irma Stern was a true pioneer of modernist Expressionism in South Africa. Initially derided for her innovative style, she gained widespread recognition after the Empire Exhibition of 1936. She travelled extensively throughout Africa, searching for exotic models to paint. Her golden period is bookended by her visits to Zanzibar (in 1939 and again in 1945). She published two travelogues, Congo (1945) and Zanzibar (1948). In the 1950s and 60s she gained international recognition, participating in numerous Venice Biennales and receiving the Guggenheim Award in 1961. Stern’s joyous use of bright, expressive colour is particularly evident in her many still-life paintings.
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