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Gordon Vorster - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Gordon Vorster (1924 - 1988)

Gordon Vorster was born in Warrenton, South Africa 1924 - 1988

Art Education
1946: in various studios in Fflorence.
1947-49: University of the Witwatersrand under Willem Hendrikz, Charles Argent and Dr Maria Stein-Lessing.

Short Artist Biography
His early childhood was spent amid the diamond fields along the borders of the Kalahari Desert; Gordon Vorster later lived on a farm near Kimberley; his love and knowledge of the veld were nurtured during that period; after schooling, Gordon Vorster worked briefly and discontentedly at bookkeeping.
1941: Gordon Vorster joined the South African Air Force; began writing articles and stories; served in N Africa and Italy; remained in Florence to paint; visited Rome and Paris.
1947: Gordon Vorster married and commenced studies at Wits; supplemented the joint income by writing for Iocal and overseas publications.
1949: Gordon Vorster joined Killarney Film Studios as a scriptwriter and art director; directed a number of documentary and feature-films during the following 13 years.
1955-62. his talents ramified in many directions: numerous exhibitions of paintings and graphics;
Gordon Vorster continued with filmwork and writing; broadcast regularly in English and Afrikaans as art and drama critic; travelled in the desert and bushveld, painting the landscape and the game.
1962: sudden illness brought his multifarious activities to a halt; Gordon Vorster decided to terminate his other occupations, retreat into the veld and concentrate on painting; built a home and studio on a kloof in the Pelindaba district, near Johannesburg; Gordon Vorster had begun to acquire an extensive following among South African viewers.
1965: sell-out exhibition of more than 40 paintings and drawings; successful exhibitions and sales abroad; several commissions.
1966-69: Gordon Vorster experimented with various techniques; resumed abstract analysis of landscape forms; investigated new conventions.
1971: starring role in Afrikaans feature film `Papa Lap', for which he subsequently won the Actor-of-the-Year Award, inaugurated a renewed career in film.
1972: Gordon Vorster continued painting parallel and alternately with cinematic activity; periodic trips into Kalahari and Namib deserts followed by short, intense painting spells; produced an experimental film on the linocuts of JH Pierneef.
1975: Gordon Vorster wrote, directed and acted in his own feature film production, `Sarah'.
1979: Gordon Vorster played a leading role in the serialized film version of Olive Schreiners `The Story of an African Farm', directed for TV by Edgar Bold; featured in `The World of . . . . Gordon Vorster', in South African -TV series.
1980: starred in Bold's award-winning production for TV of Pauline Smith's `The Pain'.
1982: Gordon Vorster published his first novel, The Textures of Silence' (Howard Timmins).

Art Exhibitions
1955: first one-man art exhib, Johannesburg; many subsequently in all South African centres.
1958: Venice Bien.
1960: Second Quad of South African Art.
1966: Republic Fest Exhibition, Pretoria.
1977: South African Art, National Gallery of Rhodesia, Salisbury.
1978/9: South African Graphic Art, touring W Germany; `Art in South Africa', touring USA.

Public Art Collections
South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Pretoria Art Museum; William Humphreys Gallery, Kimberley; King George VI Gallery, PL ; Hester Rupert Art Museum; Ann Bryant Gallery, East London; University of Wits Galleries; UNISA; Sandton Municiple Collection; Rand Afrikaans University; Pietersburg Collection; AngloAmerican Corp, NY, USA.

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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