About The Artist
If forced to classify my work into an -ism, the term Magic Realism gets closest to what I attempt to achieve. My work is inspired by common occurrences which seems insignificant in
terms of global social or political issues, but when scrutinized, contains the essentials
of human drama.
I place these everyday ideas in new and unusual contexts, thus heightening
its impact due to the 'strangeness' of the resulting images. A recurring theme in my work
is the relation between spirituality and reality. This I address by using biblical
narratives depicted within a contemporary context. Humor and irony is important in my
work because of its communicative power, but especially because humor requires the
subversion of the usual meaning of something.
In order for something to be funny or
ironical, its context or outcome should be other than what could normally be expected.
This is also the aim of my work.
Diek Grobler obtained his BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Pretoria in 1987 and
his Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996. He has
exhibited professionally since 1988 and his work is included in several major public and
corporate collections. Grobler is involved in avant garde theatre, and has his own
performance company, Fopspeen Live Art. He has also been involved in public art projects,
and organised and curated the Artwall Metrorail Art Gallery, a public mural project which
received two Business and Arts South Africa awards in 2001.
Diek Grobler work in a variety of media and disciplines: Ceramic sculpture, oil, and
gouache paintings, scraperboard drawings.
He also works in time based disciplines: Performance art, computer aided 2D animation
and stop-motion animation. He lives and works in Pretoria.
Solo- and Two-person Shows
2019: Love Letters, Association of Arts Pretoria
2012: Festival Artist, Inniebos Nasionale Kunstefees, Nelspruit
2010: Breytenbach Centre, Wellington
2008: Story, Gordart, Johannesburg
2008: Fried Contemporary, Pretoria
2007: Pretoria Arts Association
2006: Pretoria Arts Association
2005: Gordart. Mellville, Johannesburg
2004: The Tina Skukan Gallery, Pretoria
2003: The Art Space, Johannesburg.
2001: Chelsea gallery, Wynberg, Cape Town
1999: Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans University and Millenium Gallery, Pretoria.
1998: Two-person show at the Johannes Stegman Gallery, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein.
1998: Two-person show at the Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch.
1997: The Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg
1997: Two-person show at James Colman Fine Art, London.
1997: Arts Association Pretoria
1995: Two-person show at Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch
1994: Gallery on Tyrone, Parkview, Johannesburg.
1993: Gallery on Tyrone, Parkview, Johannesburg.
1992: Two-person show at Gallery 709, Cape Town.
1990: Two-person show at SAAA Gallery , Pretoria
1989: Two two-person shows in February and December, at The Gallery on the Market, Newtown, Johannesburg
1988: First professional Exhibition: Two-Person show at Aleta Michaletos Gallery, Pretoria
Selected Group exhibitions
2012: Fopspeen Moving Pictures
2011: Speel-speel at Tina Skukan Gallery, Pretoria
2009: Pretoria Artists at the Oliewenhuys Museum, Bloemfontein
2008: Agenda, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town
2007: Snert, Tina Skukan Gallery, Petoria
2007: Agenda, Platform on 18th, Pretoria
2007: Absa Exhibition of Atelier merit winners, KKNK
2006: Little Bang, Platform on 18th, Pretoria
2005: Part of the South African Delegation to the Delphic Games, Kutching, Malaysia.
Nine Dragonheads environmental art symposium, Cheong Ju City, South Korea
Gallery 88, Sasolburg
International Olympic Comitee art exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
Hope Box/ Weather Report international art project run by Dutch artist Rienke Enghart.
"In the Mind's i" Rand Africa University gallery, Johannesburg
"Om die Bosch gelei" Mind's i art space, Pretoria.
"Fine Line" drawing exhibition, Mind's i art space, Pretoria.
"Edition" printmaking exhibition, Mind's i art space, Pretoria.
Group Exhibitions with the Korean Society of Illustrators in Prague and Peking.
Solar Eclipse Exhibition at Mind’s I art space in collaboration with the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology.
1998: Exhibition of South African Contemporary Art in the SASOL Collection: Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn.
World Environment Day exhibition: Pretoria Art Museum
’A Little Show of Drawers’ University of Pretoria Art Gallery
13 Annual Open Exhibition of the Royal Over-Seas League: Over-Seas House, London and Royal College of Art, Edinburgh.
El Gezirah Sheraton Hotel, Cairo: SAAA International Project.
World Environment Day exhibition: Pretoria Art Museum.
Annual Wits Masters in Fine Art exhibition, Gertrude Posel Gallery.
1991: Love, Landscape, and Lonely escape: Gallery on the Market, Newtown.
1991-1998: Volkskas Atelier Competition exhibition
1989: Vita Art Now: Johannesburg Art Gallery
1988-1989: Volkskas Atelier Competition exhibition
1988: CLAY + : Unisa Art Gallery
1985-1988: Annual New Signatures Competition exhibition: South African Association of Art, various locations.
1988: Merit award for Sculpture, New Signatures Competition.
1993: Merit Award in Volkskas Atelier Competition
1995: Merit Award in Volkskas Atelier Competition
1996: Work selected for 13th Annual Open Exhibition of the Royal Over-Seas League, London
1999: De Kat Herrie- Award ,Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn
2003: Chosen as the winner, Graphic arts section, of the South African leg of the International Olympic committee art Competition.
2004: "Small Song", at the Nine Dragonheads environmental art symposium, Cheong Ju City, South Korea
2002: "Stories of sunlight and shadow" - a programme of three performances by Fopspeen Live Art as part of the Solar Eclipse project by Mind's i art space, in collaboration with the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology.
2001: "Pachipodium Namakwanum" a Performance conceived in collaboration with Fopspeen Live Art, performed at the Moonbox, Pretoria
2000: "Ararat" as part of the main festival program at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. The performance was created in co-operation with singers and dancers from the Oudtshoorn community.
Presents "Die Lang Pad na Ninevé" at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, as well as the "Jong Afrikaner Anargiste" project.
Receives the De Kat Herrie-award with the two productions.
"Die Lang Pad na Ninevé" enjoys two runs in Pretoria, and is presented at arts festivals in Durban and Potchefstroom.
Organizes and presents a Live Art Festival at the Capitol Theatre, Pretoria.
Establish 'Fopspeen' Live Art Company
Creates and presents "Sewe Dae in Babel" at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, and at the Pretoria City Hall.
Presents "Populier/Poplar" at various venues, including the Universities of Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Unisa.
1997: Compile a Performance Art Show, "Boe of Baa", with works by four artists for the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.
Presents various pieces at the FNB Vita Dance umbrella
Participate in the Baesement Theatre projects organised by Pinto Ferreira, TOM performance company.
2000: Animated Music Video for Karin Hougaard, broadcast on SABC2
Independent Art animations - 'Idea' 4min 50sec
"le Voyage, or Herr Dürer's dog is barking up the wrong tree again' 4 min
'Die onmerkwaardige reis van Juffrou Visser' 12 min
"Without Title" 4 min
Curate the 'Absolut Insig Animation Festival' for KKNK and Aardklop arts festivals.
2003: Animated title and inserts for comedy program "Blikskottel" on Kyknet (South African TV station)
2004-2005: Working on “Sanna’s Garden” an animated television series for children.
“Sanna’s Garden” is selected into competition for Anifest Trebon 2005 , Czech Republic.
Zlin International animationa festival, Czech Republic, and Cortoons on the Bay International animationa festival, Positano, Italy, and KROKfest 2005, Ukraine.
Diek Grobler’s work is represented in the following public and corporate collections:
Pretoria Art Museum
Tatham Gallery, Pietermaritzburg.
Durban Art Gallery
University of South Africa Art Collection.
University of the Orange Free State
SASOL Art Collection
SANLAM art collection
Rand Merchant Bank
His work is also included in various private collections in South Africa and Europe.
- Langerman, J 2011, 'Diek Grobler: An Artist's Monograph with Intereactive Catalogue' Part I, M.A. thesis, University of South Africa, Pretoria.