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Strauss & Co. Honours Legacy of South African Artist, Alfred Thoba

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Strauss & Co. will honour the life and artistic legacy of South African Modernist Alfred Thoba (1951-2022) through a new commemorative exhibition titled ‘True Love.’

Alfred Thoba, God may You, can You… (2019) in Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present

In partnership with Kalashnikov Gallery, ‘True Love’ will delve into Thoba’s 50-year career as a pioneering figure in the South African art scene. The exhibition will showcase a curated selection of his artworks, as well as archival materials, within a unique reconstruction of his Hillbrow home studio.

Alfred Thoba (1951-2022), renowned as a seminal political painter and Apartheid activist, gained international recognition for his distinctive painting style and fearless exploration of challenging subject matter. This exhibition honours Thoba’s enduring legacy and also presents a collection of his works alongside a recreation of his studio and archival documents.

Alfred Thoba, Do we know were eyes of God are always they?, Natalie Knight Collection

Thoba’s art passionately addresses the disenfranchisement of black South Africans, intertwining personal and communal spheres with politically charged narratives. His paintings vividly capture contemporary events of historical significance, expressed through vibrant colours and also accompanied by handwritten reflections that provide insight into his perspective.

Alfred Thoba, Football Mash Keiza Chiefs and Orlando Pairet (Disastor Comparison), Natalie Knight Collection

One notable piece, “True Love,” featured in Playboy magazine during the 1990s, encapsulates Thoba’s devotion to his craft and offers a glimpse into his life story, intimately connected to his artistry. By engaging with uncomfortable and confrontational themes, Thoba contributed significantly to socio-political discourse. Through ‘True Love,’ viewers can delve deeper into Thoba’s Modernist approach and better understand the complexities within his portrayals.

The exhibition runs from 5 February – 1 March 2024


Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art News Africa.

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