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IRMA STERN EXHIBITION EXTENDED (article first published : 2004-04-25)

Due to ongoing public demand, the exhibition Studio Encounters: Portraits by Irma Stern, at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town has been extended until June 30.

More than 3,000 visitors have already viewed the exhibition which comprises 34 works, oils and pastels, which have been loaned by the Irma Stern Museum and the South African National Gallery. In addition to the original works, a biographical display and audio interviews of Irma Stern offer audiences an insight into the complex woman who became one of South Africa’s most prodigious artists. Excerpts from her private journals reveal Irma Stern at the crossroads of her life – confronting the choices that would shape her destiny.

Shea Albert, director of the South African Jewish Museum says “The response to this exhibition has been overwhelmingly positive. This encourages us to continue our collaborative efforts with other museums, and promote the accessibility of South African art and artists to a broad audience. “

What distinguishes this exhibition from the Irma Stern exhibition recently held in Johannesburg is the intense focus on the individuals whose portraits are displayed. Captions to each portrait relate little known facts about the subjects, and often their relationship with Irma Stern.

Stern’s portraits are of real people - friends and family, famous personalities and the strangers whose faces intrigued her, and who were enticed to pose for her. It is known that she did not accept commissions for portraits but rather was moved by the faces of people whom she met in a wide variety of circumstances.

It is in retrospect that the full power of her creativity as a portraitist is evident. Now almost forty years after her death, her compelling work and life continue to evoke intense interest and appreciation.

More information from Talia Marcus on 021 465 1546 or e-mail: info@sajewishmuseum.co.za




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