Cecil Skotnes ~ Woodcut

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  • Cecil Skotnes ~ Woodcut alternative image
  • Cecil Skotnes ~ Woodcut alternative image

Cecil Skotnes (1926-2009)
Untitled Composition
c.1958
Collaged woodcut (5/30)
Signed 'C. Skotes'
23 x 15 ins / 58 x 39 cms
Possibly exhibited 'Rock Faces', Egon Guenther Gallery,
Johannesburg (1962)
Ref. 2804

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Additional Information

Cecil Skotnes was born in London on 1st June 1926. He was a South African artist known for his painted and incised wooden panels, striking woodblock prints, public murals, tapestries and sculpture

When Skotnes finished secondary school (in 1944) he joined the South African Artillery and fought with them in Egypt and Italy. He then studied drawing in Florence before returning to South Africa (Johannesburg) where he attended the Witwatersrand Technical Art School (1946) and the University of the Witwatersrand (1947-1950).

Initially Skotnes was a painter but woodcutts soon became his preferred medium. His early woodcuts were of landscapes, influenced by the work of the German artists Willie Baumeister and Rudolph Sharpf, but he soon developed a style that was uniquely South African.

In 1952 Skotnes became cultural recreation officer for the city of Johannesburg. Based at the Polly Street Art Centre he would tutor and influence a generation of black artists from Lucky Sibiya to Ezrom Legae.

Skotnes first exhibited at the South African Academy in 1948. He exhibited extensively, both in South Africa and abroad, throughout his life. Notable solo exhibitions include Wittenborn Gallery, New York (1959); Grosvener Gallery, London (1965); ‘Passage Through an Alien Land’, Wolpe Gallery, Cape Town (1981); Retrospective exhibition at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (1996) and 'Cecil Skotnes: A Private View’ South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2008).

In 2003 Skotnes was awarded the (Gold) Order of Ikhamanga for 'exceptional achievement in the deracialization of the arts and for outstanding contribution to the development of black artists’.

Cecil Skotnes died in Cape Town on 4th April 2009, aged 82.