If there is one artist who can be said to have captured the psyche of South Africans’ love of their land, it must be Pierneef. Many people who could not name you one other artist will recognise his extensive landscapes, which often add a strong Art Deco element to the self-conscious way in which he distilled the literally millions of magnificent compositions, turning painting after painting into an iconic composition; compositions I found myself snapping away at on our recent visit to the Bushveld.
I have chosen one of the thirteen tree compositions I set aside among the 80 best photos – 25% of the weekend’s takings – to illustrate this. There is a vast amount of info out there on Pierneef, and I include a link to photographs of his work on auction here . And just for the hell of it, I played around with a painterly effect on the above photo…
One can see an Art Deco influence in the above painting. Possibly his most famous paintings move away from the impressionist- realism so beloved by South Africans and artists of his generation. Below is a very poor reproduction – the best I could find on the net – of his “Study in Blue”: the title already illustrates how far we have moved from popular realism.
We had a most wonderful time, staying in a lodge deep in the bush on which a journalist friend is doing an article; on our game drives we saw lions, leopards, a vast herd of buffalo and many other animals, besides the wonderful trees… Over the next weeks I hope to share some of this with you!