About Diek Grobler | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
stay safe. info & support on COVID-19 at sacoronavirus.co.za
× art.co.za artists exhibitions training blog shop

About The Artist

Artist Photo

Mission statement

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.

Artist CV

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:
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 2004:
  • Nine Dragonheads environmental art symposium, Cheong Ju City, South Korea
  • Gallery 88, Sasolburg
  • International Olympic Comitee art exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2003:
  • 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.
  • 2002:
  • 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.
  • 1996:
  • 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.
  • 1995:
  • 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.

    Performance Art

  • 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.
  • 1999:
    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.
  • 1998:
    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.
  • 1993-1997:
    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
  • 2001:
    Independent Art animations - 'Idea' 4min 50sec
    "le Voyage, or Herr Dürer's dog is barking up the wrong tree again' 4 min
  • 2002:
    '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.
  • May 2005:
    “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.

    Art Collections

    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
  • RAU Collection
  • SASOL Art Collection
  • ABSA collection
  • GENCOR-collection
  • TELCOM-collection
  • SANLAM art collection
  • Gauteng Legislature
  • Rand Merchant Bank

    His work is also included in various private collections in South Africa and Europe.

    Articles Published

    • Langerman, J 2011, 'Diek Grobler: An Artist's Monograph with Intereactive Catalogue' Part I, M.A. thesis, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

  • Follow this artist