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DEATH OF TREVOR MAKHOBA (article first published : 2003-02-28)

One of KZN and South Africa's best known artists, Trevor Makhoba, died last weekend at his home in Umlazi at the age of 47. He had been suffering from angina for some time.

Makhoba was a self-taught artist who credited his school teacher mother with instilling a love of drawing and painting into him. He became a full-time artist in 1989 and his work first came to public attention when he won the Natal Biennial in 1991 with a painting which is now in the National Gallery in Cape Town. In 1996, he was the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Fine Art and his major solo exhibition travelled around South African following its opening at the Grahamstown Festival. Its first stop was at the Tatham Art Gallery.

The gallery owns several of Makhoba's works and his entry into the King Cetshwayo Portrait exhibition is currently on display in the main gallery. When he attended the exhibition opening earlier this month, he brought another, larger piece which he had just completed and which is currently being stored at the Tatham. This is possibly his final work.

Artist and art historian Valerie Leigh who has made an extensive study of Makhoba's work said yesterday that "more than any other artist, he has been a sensitive and convincing recorder of current South African lives and events. He has been able to penetrate social masks and see essential identity in others." She said she would place him "among the top" of contemporary South African artists and regarded him as someone very special.

Makhoba leaves his wife and children. Margaret von Klemperer




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