Gerard Sekoto [fr]

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Gerard Sekoto

The artist

Gerard Sekoto (9 December 1913 - 20 March 1993) was a South Africa painter and musician, seen as one of the first Black urban artist.

In 1938, working as a professor graduated from Pietersburg, he won the second prize in an art competition organized by the Fort Hare University. He then left to Johannesburg to start an artistic career. He was exposed for the first time in 1939. In 1940, the Johannesburg Art Gallery bought one of its work, making him the first Black artist to enter a museum collection in South Africa. In the fourties, he lived in District Six in Cape Town and then in Pretoria.

A strong relation with France

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Gerard Sekoto paintings
Gerard Sekoto - "View along the Seine, Paris" - 1970

In 1947, he left South Africa to Paris. His first years in France were hard, studying art during the day and playing the piano in a nightclub during the night. Some of his songs have been recorded.

His paintings became political in the seventies, because of the Apartheid reigning in its birth country, South Africa.

He died on 20 March 1993 in Paris’ suburbs.

In July 2014, South Africa Minister of Arts and Culture Mr Mthethwa visited the grave of Gerard Sekoto in Paris.

Gerard Sekoto's grave in Paris - JPEG Gerard Sekoto's grave in Paris - JPEG

The Gerard Sekoto award

The Gerard Sekoto Award has been sponsored by ABSA, SANAVA, the French Embassy in South Africa, the French Institute of SA and the French cultural network of Alliances Françaises in Southern Africa since its inception in 2004.

Gerard Sekoto Award Winners include: 2014 Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe, 2013 Mongezi Ncaphayi, 2012 Bambo SIBIYA, 2011 Isabel MERTZ, 2010 Bongumenzi NGOBESE; 2009 Nyaniso LINDI; 2008 Retha FERGUSON; 2007 Nina BARNETT; 2006 Nomusa MAKHUBU; 2005 Lawrence LEMOANA; 2004 Billie ZANGEWA.

- Read the article "2014 Gerard Sekoto Award Winner Announced"

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Gerard Sekoto Award 2014
SANAVA President Dirkie Offringa, Gerard Sekoto winner Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe, Ambassador Barbier, Absa’s Art Curator Dr Paul Bayliss. ©Absa Art Gallery

Find out more

- Website of Absa L’Atelier Award
- Website of the Gerard Sekoto Foundation

publie le 04/08/2014

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