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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

GUSTAV KALTENBRUN (article first published : 2008-06-4)

The Complete Picture in Hillcrest is to host the Gustav Kaltenbrun Retrospective exhibition entitledNow and Then which will include etchings and oils as well as his more recent metalwork.

Born in Pretoria, Gustav Kaltenbrun He studied at Michaelis, University of Cape Town’s School of Art, under Lippi Lipshitz and Maurice von Essche obtaining a B.A. Honours, Art in 1964. In the 60s and 70s, he lived in Cape Town where his work was accepted by the Cape Salon, S.A Association of Arts exhibitions and the prestigious Institute for Race Relations Exhibitions for many years. His lithograph Dirga won an Award at the South Africa Today Exhibition. He has exhibited in all the main cities of South Africa since.

Gustav Kaltenbrun lives in Hillcrest with his wife Patricia and their two children. He is an art lecturer by profession (now retired) and has a studio workshop at home. For his Masters degree he spent many years in the Free State studying South Sotho art expressions and vernacular dwellings. A follow up book is soon to be published.

In the Seventies he made many etchings of Die Hel Gamkaskloof, in the Cape. In this valley an Afrikaans speaking community lived in isolation for many years. During the years they developed an unusual architecture. Houses made almost entirely with indigenous materials. The etchings which included portraits of the people, who lived there, have been exhibited widely and is now regarded as Africana.

These etchings were exhibited widely and is now considered Africana and collectable, as they have been moved and the Valley now is a nature reserve. A limited number of etchings of Die Hel are on display at his current retrospective at The Complete Picture.

This exhibition reflects the years from 1960 to 2008. The work on view shows a gradual development from academic realism towards modern abstraction.

This tendency can be seen in the portrait charge studies, such as the Backpacker, The Lady from Düsseldorf and The Chucker. In these studies the emphasis is on the personality of the sitter, rather than on likeness, as in the earlier portraits. The metal forms carry on the abstract tendency but the point of departure is rooted in organic shapes, inspired by the natural forms in nature, the spidery curves of stamens, the delicate fronds of a fern or the rippling waves of windswept water.

Now and Then runs from June 6 to 29 at The Complete Picture, Shop A2, Lillie’s Quarter which is opposite the Heritage Market in Hillcrest. More information on 031 765 5980 or 083 6737 975.




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