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CYPRIAN SHILAKOE REVISITED (article first published : 2005-07-3)

Artist Cyprian Shilakoe (1946-1972) has not received sufficient acclaim for the wonderful sculptures he made, believes the Durban Art Gallery.

“He is much better known as a prolific printmaker,” says curator of DAG Collections, Jill Addleson. “Because he produced relatively few sculptures, these are now very rare. Also, he died very young - he had not yet reached the age of 30 - which also accounts for the scarcity of his sculptures.”

An exhibition due to open at the Durban Art Gallery in April 2006 going on to tour to all the major art museums in South Africa, sets out to examine his sculpture with a major essay being written for the catalogue by Professor Elizabeth Rankin. It will also feature nearly 100 Shilakoe prints as well.

“So far we have traced some 20 sculptures,” adds Jill Addleson, ”but because he trained at Rorke's Drift and made sculpture while he studied there, we believe that there may be Shilakoe sculptures in private collections in KZN.

“Another interesting aspect of the exhibition is that we have managed to trace close family,” adds Jill. “Up until now it was generally believed that there were no family members still alive. Much of the biographical information about Shilakoe is incorrect and the catalogue will publish up to date information about his early life, in particular.”

More information from Jill Addleson at PO Box 4085, Durban 4000 or phone 031 33 27 286, fax 031 368 3093 or email:Jilla@crsu.durban.gov.za




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