About Bettie Cilliers-Barnard | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Portrait by Elizabeth Riding

(1914 - 2010)

Born in Rustenburg, Transvaal on November 18, 1914. Since 1946 Dr Bettie Cilliers-Barnard’s works have been shown in seventy solo exhibitions in South Africa as well as in Paris (paintings 1956), London (graphic art 1971), and at the Prestiges Invitation Exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan (painting and graphic art 1987).

She has represented South Africa at a number of international exhibitions some of which include the Xie Grand Prix International d’Art Contemporian de Monte Carlo in Monaco, 1977, the 5th International Biennale for Graphic Art in Italy, the Gulbennkaian Exhibition in Portugal, 1968, the Venice Biennale, 1956 and 1964, and the Sao Paulo Biennale, 1957, 1959, 1961 and 1963.

Her South African graphic art exhibitions abroad have included Austria, Germany, Spain, Greece and Israel to name a few. Her tapestries, paintings, and murals in oils have been commissioned both for public collections and for museum- and private collections in South Africa and abroad. In 1992, she painted "Vision" for the Pretoria Eye Institute and some of her other commissions including the painting "Flight" for South African Airways, 1983, the tapestry "Guardian Angel of the Arts" for the State Theatre of Pretoria, 1981, and her mural in oils "Mensa sana corpore sano" for the Department of Health in Pretoria, 1980.

AWARDS

1966 Dr Cilliers-Barnard received her first artistic award when she was presented a Gold Medal for Painting from the Transvaal Academy.

1978 An Honorary Award for Painting from the South African Academy for Science and Art

1983 The State President’s Decoration for Meritorious Service

1985 A Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Pretoria

1988 A Commemorative Medal of Honour from the American Biographical Institute

1988 Was granted a full membership in the South African Academy for Science and Arts

1991 Receive a Prestige Award for Painting from the Federation of South African Culture.

1991 An Honorary Doctorate (D Phil) was awarded by the University of Potchefstroom

1999 An Honorary Doctorate (D Litt et Phil) from RAU University

Artist Photo

Two retrospective exhibitions of her work followed: Pretoria Art Museum 1995 and the SASOL Art Museum 1996. A book on the life and work of Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, by the Art Historian Prof Muller Ballot, was launched in 1996.

He says the following about her work:

"The artist’s current period of consolidated themes stems from the principle of joining and linking all kinds of existing and new motifs. In this way new contexts and new content are created. There is at least one central message which appears in the works of this period. This is certainly related to the artist’s serious search for a reconciliation of earthly and transcendental perspectives on human existence. Her reaching out to esoteric horizons, to the boundaries of time and space, which have fascinated her from an early stage, still seeks fulfilment in the symbolic values of the human figure. Sometimes these occur with, for example, strange alien beings, primeval animal forms, arrows and sharp triangular shapes."

Artist Photo

Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Woman with the blue jacket (self portrait), 1950, Pastel (340 x 240mm)

Artist CV

1914 Born 18 November in Rustenburg.

1937 BA Degree at the University of Pretoria

1940 BA Fine Arts Degree at the University of South Africa

1948 Study and work in Belgium and France.

During her life she worked and studied in Paris, Switzerland, USA. and the U.K. and also took part in various Biennials all over the world.

Selected exhibitions:

  • 2010 - Wings Within Timeless Space, Seventy-Fifth Solo Exhibition, Univeristy of Pretoria
  • 1987 - Prestiges Invitation Exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
  • 1977 - The Xie Grand Prix International d’Art Contemporian de Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • 1971 - Solo exhibition of Graphic art, London
  • The 5th International Biennale for Graphic Art, Italy
  • 1968 - The Gulbennkaian Exhibition, Portugal
  • The Venice Biennale (1956 and 1964)
  • The Sao Paulo Biennale (1957, 1959, 1961 and 1963)
  • 1956 - Solo exhibition of paintings, Paris
  • 1952 - Group Exhibition in Cape Town.
  • 1946 - First solo exhibition in Pretoria.

Retrospective exhibitions:

  • 1998 - Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans University
  • 1995 - Prestige exhibition of her work, Potchefstroom University
  • 1995 - Commemorative and retrospective exhibition of her work (1939 - 1994), Sasol Art Museum of the University of Stellenbosch.
  • 1994 - Commemorative and retrospective exhibition of her work (1939 - 1994), Pretoria Art Museum
  • 1988 - Retrospective of her work (1943 - 1987) concurrent with a donation of 58 artworks, “Intersaal” of the Old Arts Building at the University of Pretoria.
  • 1984 - Retrospective of her work (1943 - 1984), University of Pretoria
  • 1978 - Graphic art (1948 - 1978), Van Wouw House Museum of the University of Pretoria
  • 1967 - South African Association of Arts (Northern Transvaal)

Commissions:

  • 1992 - "Vision" for the Pretoria Eye Institute
  • 1983 - "Flight" for South African Airways
  • 1981 - "Guardian Angel of the Arts" tapestry for the State Theatre of Pretoria
  • 1980 - "Mensa sana corpore sano" mural in oils for the Department of Health in Pretoria

Awards:

  • 1966 - Dr Cilliers-Barnard received her first artistic award when she was presented a Gold Medal for Painting from the Transvaal Academy.
  • 1972 - Woman of the Year Award from the Pretoria Woman’s Club.
  • 1978 - An Honorary Award for Painting from the South African Academy for Science and Art
  • 1983 - Lauratus award presented by the Bond van Oud-Tukkies
  • 1983 - The State President’s Decoration for Meritorious Service
  • 1985 - A Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Pretoria
  • 1988 - A Commemorative Medal of Honour from the American Biographical Institute
  • 1988 - Was granted a full membership in the South African Academy for Science and Arts
  • 1991 - Receive a Prestige Award for Painting from the Federation of South African Culture.
  • 1990 - An Honorary Doctorate (D Phil) was awarded by the University of Potchefstroom
  • 1990 and 1997 - Prestige award for art of the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Organizations (FAK)
  • 1992 - Pre-eminent Achiever in Excellence from the Pretoria City Council.
  • 1996 - Presidential Seal of Honour of the American Biographical Institute
  • 1999 - An Honorary Doctorate (D Litt et Phil) from RAU University
  • 1999 - An Honorary Doctorate awarded by the Rand Afrikaans University
  • 2001 - An Honorary Doctorate awarded by the University of Pretoria
  • 2002 - Prestige Award for Painting from the Tshwane University of Technology.

Collections:

  • Absa Collection
  • Ann Bryant Art Museum, East London
  • Various universities throughout South Africa
  • Hester Rupert Art Museum, Graaff Reinet
  • Johannesburg Art Museum
  • King George VI Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
  • Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Potchefstroom Art Museum
  • Pretoria Art Museum
  • Sandton Art Museum
  • South African National Art Museum, Cape Town
  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Republic van China)
  • Willem Annandale Art Museum, Lichtenburg
  • William Humpreys Art Museum, Kimberley
  • Cape Provincial Administration
  • Provincial Administration of the Orange Free State
  • Kitty Collection, New York (USA)
  • Art Foundation Rembrandt van Rijn, Stellenbosch
  • ABSA Collection Ltd., Johannesburg
  • Olivier Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg
  • Nedbank Art Collection, Johannesburg
  • Development Bank of South Africa, Johannesburg
  • Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria
  • South African Embassies and Missions
  • Roger Hauert Collection, Paris (France)
  • SA Academy of Science and Arts, Pretoria
  • SANLAM Collection, Bellville
  • SASOL Collection, Johannesburg
  • Schlesinger Collection, Johannesburg
  • South African Reserve Bank, Pretoria and Cape Town
  • South African Broadcasting Cooperation, Johannesburg
  • Department of Defense: South African Navy



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