About Lynette Van Tonder | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Lynette van Tonder was born in Pretoria but grew up in the countryside just outside Johannesburg. She received a diploma in graphic design at Pretoria Technikon (TUT) with a minor in sculpture and later a MMI diploma from Damelin business college.

Lynette worked her way up to the position of creative director in design and advertising winning several awards for large international and local blue chip brands.

In her spare time, van Tonder studied French at the Alliance Francaise, keyboard and rhythm on djembe and actively pursued her visual art during any spare moment.

She furthered her studies at the Summer Academy of Art in Salzburg, Austria, (lithography with Prof Werner Otte); Bill Ainslie Studio (etching); Thea Soggot (drawing / painting); Bevan de Wet and Lebohang Sithole at Sharon Sampson studios (printmaking), Professional Practice Seminar with Art Source in partnership with Lizamore and Associates.

Van Tonder's first solo exhibition, COVERED, comments on loss of identity when abuse is hidden behind societal masks. Rather than using shock tactics, the artist presents a sober reflection inviting courage to lift masks covering wounds that require honest introspection, accountability and personal responsibility.

COVERED was exhibited at Standard Bank Art Festival in Grahamstown and a Johannesburg-based pop-up gallery. Group shows followed at Fried Contemporary, The Gallery Riebeek Kasteel, Halifax Art, Tina Skukan, Sharon Sampson studios. Lynette van Tonder also works at Halifax Art Gallery on a part-time basis.

URBANISM, her latest solo, reflects randomly on the relationship between a euro-african woman and her mother-city, Johannesburg. Van Tonder expresses herself in a variety of disciplines on various substrates and media: oil, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, printmaking, photography, digital genres and multi-media installation.

Mark making is integral to her message, exposing layers hidden behind societal masks, revealing unexpected beauty when imperfection and brokenness is embraced. Architecture, flesh, masculine and feminine states, relationships and isolation, bravery and fear inform her work.

Artist CV

  • 1981: Pretoria Technikon (TUT) - Diploma in Graphic Design, minoring in sculpture
  • 1982: Starts career as Graphic Designer in Advertising | continues producing fine art after hours
  • 1984: Studied etching and printing techniques at Bill Ainslie Studios
  • 1985: Studied Lithography at the Internationale Sommerakedemie fur Bildende Kunst - Salzburg, Austria, under Professor Werner Otte
  • 2004 - 2010: Facilitating creative release workshops
  • 2009 - 2011: Art classes at Thea Soggot Fine Artist
  • 2002 - 2010: Experimental work on various multimedia installations; working towards first solo
  • 2013 - date: Working towards new body of work for solo exhibition and various other works
  • 2013 - date: Halifax Art Gallery in co-managing, marketing, sales, curating, and design
  • 2014: Print making with Bevan de Wet, Lebohang Sithole and Sharon Sampson.
  • 2014: Professional Practice Seminar - Art Source in partnership with Lizamore and Associates


  • 1984: Group Show - Internationale Sommerakedemie fur Bildende Kunst, Salzburg
  • 1995 - 1997: Several group exhibitions of painting, drawings and mono prints
  • 2012: May - Group Show - Alumni - TUT gallery, Pretoria
  • 2012: September - SOLO Covered - Upstairs@Bamboo, Melville, Johannesburg
  • 2013: March - Covered II - Gallery Miri, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
  • 2013: June - Group Show - Arts on Acacia, Blackheath, Johannesburg
  • 2013: July - SOLO Covered III - Carinus annex, Grahamstown Arts Festival
  • 2013: August to November - Group Shows - Portraits, Figures, Eclectic, Journey, Halifax art, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
  • 2013: Nov - Group Show - For the love of figures - Tina Skukan Gallery, Faerie Glen, Pretoria
  • 2013 - 14: Dec to date - Various works on show - The Gallery, Riebeek Kasteel, Eastern Cape
  • 2014: June to August - Various Group Shows - Halifax Art, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
  • 2014: May - Bloc Art Group Exhibition - The Gallery, Riebeek Kasteel, Eastern Cape
  • 2014: April to May - Fried Autumn Art Fair - Fried Contemporary, Pretoria
  • 2014: Group show - Sharon Sampson Printmaking Studio
  • 2014 - 15: December to February - Eclectic group show - Halifax Art, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
  • 2015: May - Parhurst Soul - Halifax Art, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
  • 2015: May to June - SOLO Urbanism - Halifax Art, Parkhurst, Johannesburg

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