Tretchikoff: The People's Painter

  • Location: South African National Gallery
  • From: May 26, 2011     To: September 25, 2011
Tretchikoff: The People’s Painter


While Vladimir Tretchikoff (1913-2006) is undoubtedly one of South Africa's most controversial artists, much maligned in the 1960s and onwards by several members of the established arts community, there can be no doubt that he has become a cultural icon and remains a favourite artist to many South Africans. Despite this, there has been almost no serious assessment of Tretchikoffs legacy.

In his heyday Tretchikoff's exhibitions drew record audiences at his home and abroad and he was considered to be one of the richest artists, with earnings comparable to Picasso. He pioneered the idea of selling affordable copies of his works, enabling working class people to own art which they proudly displayed above their mantelpieces.

This retrospective exhibition aims to examine Tretchikoff anew and place him in contemporary perspective. Many iconic works such as the Chinese Girl and The Dying Swan will be on display.


Andrea Lewis

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