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ART AGAINST APARTHEID (article first published : 2001-09-25)

Comprising works by 80 artists, as well as contributions by internationally acclaimed poets, writers and philosophers, Art Against Apartheid runs in the Durban Art Gallery until October 20.

The concept of an Association "Artists of the World Against Apartheid" was devised in Paris in 1983 by Spanish artist Antonio Saura and French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest. 1983 was the year in which the United Democratic Front was formed in South Africa. International artists responded to an appeal by Saura and Pignon-Ernest to denounce apartheid's crime against culture and to fight for freedom of thought and the prospect of the new non-racial democracy.

This international collection was first shown in Paris in November 1983 at the Rothschild Foundation. Since then it has been exhibited in over forty cities worldwide. In 1995, a year after the first democratic elections in South Africa, the collection was presented to South Africa as a country. The works are now housed in Parliament.

The collection is described as an “extraordinarily broad selection of works by representatives of popular international art movements of the late 1970s and 1980s". Some of the names on the show include France's Christian Boltanski, showing conceptual photographs of children framed in glass, op artworks by Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesus Raphael Soto, abstract expressionism by Robert Motherwell and Antonio Tapies and pop-art by English artist Joe Tilson.

Also featured are a gouache by Roy Lichtenstein, lithographs by James Rosenquist, mixed media by Claes Oldenburg and an figurative oil by Richard Hamilton.




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