Early South African Art (Pre - 1970) (Yellow houses, Sophiatown, 1940 (The…
Early South African Art (Pre - 1970)
Pondo Woman (1929)
She is thinking as if she is resting or daydreaming.
The fact that the woman looks down creates a barrier between her and the viewer which obscures her personality, contributing to the stereotypical rendition of the woman
The woman is portrayed in her traditional dress, and does not constitute an individual, but a type
As with most of her portrait and figure studies, Stern placed the subject centrally, similar to traditional Western portraiture
A portrait - An indigenous black women is portrayed as she pensively sat and thinks.
The influence of German Expressionism is clear in this painting, specifically regarding the combination of (nude) figure and lush landscape
Oil on canvas
Romantic portrayal of Africa, used Africa as source material
Stern enhanced the view of the beauty of this traditional Pondo women through the expressive exaggeration of her eyes, nose, mouth and the shape of her face.
The painting is in warm reds, yellows and browns that contrast with the cooler colors of the background.
Color was used to portray feelings and evokes emotions, rather than describes objects.
The canvas is crowded with little open spaces for the viewer to escape in.
Prelude to the dance
1906 - 1982
Combining scenes from everyday rural village life, rites and rituals, the art of the Bushmen and that of the Ancient Egyptians
The stylized figures become calligraphic symbols that hole whole.
Examining Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Islamic calligraphy - that a word formed a symbolic picture of meaning
He had an interest in the heritage of rock art
He regarded bushmen painting as a significant art form and not merely as an item of scientific curiosity
Aside from the 3 women rendered in black silhouettes and draped in brightly colored and patterned wraps, all the other figures are depicted withing the language of Khoi-San figurative stylisation
They are rendered in swift, calligraphic line work, which is then filled in with flat tones of color
Free color from symbolic meaning : To enjoy color as color not servile to tone or science dogma, thus beholding polychrome paintings as chords of colors unsullied by superstitious associations
The figures reside on one plane while the background has been reduced to a flat one-dimensional decorative surface
The figure on the far right, that of an artist as he holds a palette and paintbrushes. One is tempted to guess that this is the figure of Battiss, the Shaman, or Wiseman-trickster
The turquoise figure holding a black object which leads the eye across the top of the canvas to the three figures at the top center, who in turn direct our attention to the Khoi-San hunter figure on the extreme left. Two white figures lead the eye to the last group on the middle right, their up-stretched arms leading us into the top right hand group again
Yellow houses, Sophiatown, 1940
He paints the view from his cousing's window
Stones and rubbish
Enhanced by color, design and texture
Portrays the bleak, desolate landscape where green life struggles through the dry red Transvaal soil
It presents somewhat idealized view of the place
The small figures seem almost insignificant on the broad uneven, unpaved road
His work does not dwell on harsh realities in Sophiatown
Corrugated iron roofs - flat patterned surfaces
His natural feeling of color was brought out by the rich vibrancy of the subjects that he painted - it seemed cheerful and inviting
The composition has been carefully planned with a strong diagonal line which takes the eye into the distance
His freedom with perspective and spatial relationships was - by chance - he was unaware of the experimentation of European artists at the same time
General art terms
Style - Grouping of work into categories
Subject matter - What the artwork is about
Medium - Materials used to create the artwork
Presentation - Realism / Abstraction / Symbolism / Fauvism / Futurism / Surrealism / Expressionism
Mode - Visual appearance of a work of art
Elements of design - Line, Shape, Color, Tone, Texture, Form