Exhibition gives a glimpse of reconciliation

2019-01-30 06:01

Father Frans Claerhout’s well-known series Reconciliation by Women is on display at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein. The exhibition, which opened on 17 January, will close on 24 February.

The Flemish-born artist died in his sleep in a Bloemfontein hospital at the age of 87 on 4 July 2006, after contracting pneumonia. He was born in Belgium in 1919.

In 1946, he came to South Africa as a Catholic priest to work in mission stations in the Free State.

He began painting in the 1950s, which he continued to do until shortly before his death. He also tried his hand at sculpting and printing.

Clearhout’s stylised, expressionistic images, applied in thick paint, depict rural scenes with children and animals.

His work soon became popular in South Africa and was later exhibited in Belgium, Canada, Germany, America and Britain.

Clearhout described this series as a glimpse of reconciliation.

“Reconciliation transcends loneliness; it brings light, humour, laughter and liberation.”


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