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.’
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.
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.
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