FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF PIER NEEF
By: Dale Munatswa
Carl Becker collaborated with Monique Pelser to commemorate the remarkable contributions of Pier Neef to art in South Africa at the Durban Art Gallery on Thursday.
The two, a painter and a photographer respectively, exhibited their contemporary versions of their mutual predecessors work, world renowned artist and painter Pier Neef.
According to Backer, Pier Neef was the greatest landscape painter during the 20th century. He is best known for some paintings he did in the 1930’s which were put in Johannesburg station and later moved to the Johannesburg Art Gallery.
Backer and Pelser exhibited a reproduced collection of Neef’s work.
Baker said that he was driven by the inspiration that was carried in Neef’s work to go to the places he painted the pictures in 1932 and capture the same image now. His main aim was to show the passing of time, while at the same time exploring the wonders of South Africa that inspired Neef.
“Partly I am trying to re-invent those places, so that people can be aware of those places and draw their attention to the things that changed. For myself, I am on a journey of discovery. Each place has a story- Pier Neef’s paintings were done to encourage people to travel to those places. For me it was to find those places and to see if that story exists,” said Becker.
The exhibition received a fair turnout of viewers who found it interesting and could relate to some of the places displayed. Neef’s enthusiasts in particular enjoyed it.
Chris Randlehoff said,” I am quite well traveled and I can identify Pier Neef’s paintings where ever I go. I like the mixed medium of photographs and pictures here- it is good to tell a story and let people think.”
Digital screens were showing the images taken by Pelser and traditionally painted images gave the exhibition a sense of immediacy.