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Old masters on show at Hilton Festival 2019


Two of South Africa’s proudest artistic exports – JH Pierneef and Anton van Wouw – will come under the spotlight at this year’s Hilton Arts Festival from September 13-15, when Absa features a sample of some of their leading work from its corporate collection.

Pierneef is widely considered to be one of the best of the old South African masters, and his work continues to inspire landscape painters. He is in excellent company with Van Vouw, who is known as the father of South African sculpture.

‘The Skapu Player’ bronze by Anton van Vouw.

“They were pioneer artists who represented the top tier of South African art in its various forms, and their art continues to leave an incomparable imprint on the art world – making the decision to take a sample of their work to showcase at the prestigious Hilton Arts Festival a simple one. Our objectives are the same: to shine a spotlight on South Africa’s outstanding artistic talent,” says Senior Specialist Art Curator of Absa Art Gallery, Dr Paul Bayliss.

Bayliss will also give four public lectures looking at a united narrative through the artwork of Pierneef and Van Wouw in an early South Africa, based on the works being exhibited at the festival in the Absa marquee.

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His lecture will focus on the enduring love Pierneef had for the countryside, and the inspiration he took from it throughout his lifetime. It will also examine how Van Wouw was inspired by the rich tapestry of South Africa’s people and how they became his primary theme.

Pierneef’s Kameeldoring, N-Tvl’ woodcut.

Dynamic and inspiring

The winning artworks from the 2019 Absa L’Atelier competition will be featured alongside the work of the old masters in the Absa marquee. The Absa L’Atelier is one of the oldest art competitions for young artists. Now in its 34th year, it has built a strong legacy as a platform that allows the dynamic, inspiring and young visual artists of Africa to shine.

More festival info

For details, refer to the festival website after August 11. The Hilton Arts Festival, now in its 27th year takes place from September 13-15. The full programme will appear in KZN copies of The Sunday Times on Sunday, August 11. Booking opens on August 12, and the programme will be live on the festival website from the morning of August 12.

For more info visit or contact the festival office on or 033 383 0127.

Picture, top: Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s ‘Plaastoneel en berge’, woodcut

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