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The latest News on Artist Willie Bester
11 August 2002  By Andries Loots
Artist Willie Bester is  celebrating 15 years of work with an Exhibition "WILLIE BESTER 15 YEARS" at the Sasol Art Museum in Stellenbosch, 8 Aug  till 29 September 2002. A catalogue is also be available at the exhibition.

'Sarah Bartmann' sculpture at the Exhibition

In the course of the 1990s, Western Cape artist, Willie Bester, witnessed a meteoric rise to international fame, capturing the imagination of art lovers both here and abroad through his extraordinarily moving commemorative portraits of ‘struggle’ leaders, and his collage works and salvage sculptures focusing on the complex realities of life in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.  

Today, Bester is without a doubt one of South Africa’s foremost artists: his mixed media paintings and sculptures are housed, not only in this country, but also in private and public collections throughout Europe and the USA. Ironically, though, it is mainly in West Africa, Belgium, Spain, Italy and, most recently, Malaysia, that attempts have been made to mount informative retrospective exhibitions of his works.  In South Africa his exhibitions to date have mostly been at commercial galleries.

It is against this background that the University Museum, Stellenbosch, decided to mount an exhibition, Willie Bester 15 Years, in the Sasol Art Museum. Envisaged, initially, as a fairly modest project, the aim was to draw pieces from private collections in the Western Cape. However, following discussions with collectors of Bester’s work, and with the artist himself, enthusiasm for the project has grown to such an extent that  a substantial exhibition could be mounted.  

The guest curator, for this exhibition will be Prof Sandra Klopper, Head: Department of Fine Arts, University of Stellenbosch.  Works from private and corporate collections will be seen at this exhibition. 

Museum Hours:  Tues – Fridays  09.00 – 16.30
Wednesdays  09.00 - 20.00
Saturdays   09.00 –17.00
Sundays   14.00 – 17.00 

Tel: 021-808 3660/3695/3691

The opening of the Exhibition

Willie is also preparing for a Solo show early next year at AVA Cape Town and an Exhibition is planned for the United States in the near future.

New Book: 

Prof. Yacouba Konate of Ivory Coast is working on a book about Willie and his work to be released soon.

Latest Projects: 

Willie has just completed a large metal sculpture "Staatkundige Ontwikkeling" 2.3m x 0.8m x 2.8m that left for Amsterdam where it will be publicly displayed for a year.

'Staatkundige Ontwikkeling' 2002, 230 x 80 x 280cm, 
Mixed media sculpture installation
His latest sculpture , "Saxophone player" can also be viewed at the exhibition and he is also working on a bench sculpture.

'The Saxophone Player' 2002, 210 x 100cm, Mixed media sculpture

Willie Bester busy working on a new bench mixed media sculpture 
July 2002

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