Gregory Kerr

Born in 1949 and  educated at King Edward VII School, Johannesburg, The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg College of Education, UNISA and the University of Georgia where he gained a PhD in 1985.

Was Director, Fine Art at Technikon, Witwatersrand, then Professor in Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch until 2000 when he left  the academic world to pursue a full-time career as an artist and private teacher.

This, his eighteenth solo exhibition since his first in 1982, draws on work dating back to 1961 (when the artist was 11) and includes examples of  paintings and drawings from each decade since then.  Most of the earlier work is  in the artist's own collection and there are a number of  recent works.


Traditionally his main subject-matter has been rooted in the dynamics between people and their environments, but in the last six years he has included animals - especially Nguni cattle - as part of his interests.  The cattle theme arose from his involvement, in 2000, in the Keiskamma Art Project at Hamburg, Easterrn Cape. The theme of that year's community project was Vuselela, the Xhosa word for Restoration, based on the iconic role of Nguni cattle in the lives, mythology, beliefs and symbology of the amaXhosa.  The artist became fascinated with the animals and their impact on the people, both black and white, who owned and nurtured them. Since 2001, the cattle have had an important role to play in the artist's iconography, but in the last two years the images have become once again dominated by humans and their inner-outer worlds.

His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including

Johannesburg College of Education
Anglo American Corporation
Sandton Art Foundation
Technikon Witwatersrand
University of the Free State
Telkom
University of Stellenbosch
Nelson Mandela Foundation

He lives and works in Schoenmakerskop, a tiny seaside village near Port Elizabeth, with his wife, Natalie and three enthusiastic dogs. Every few weeks he travels to Johannesburg, Cape Town or Plettenberg Bay to give specialist classes to painters.

 

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