George Pemba and Robert Hodgins – Social Stances exhibition

Thursday Jul 1 - Saturday Jul 31       89 Central Street, Houghton
Strauss & Co is one of Africa's leading fine art auction houses, and in addition to presenting impressive fine art sales, they also host a variety of art exhibitions and online talks and discussions.

Their latest exhibition pairs the works of George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (1912-2001) and Robert Hodgins (1920-2010), finding synergies between the different styles and subjects of the two 20th Century South African artists.

George Pemba and Robert Hodgins held very different stances towards the society in which they lived, although as this exhibition shows for both artists the people around them were also their main source of inspiration.

In his work Pemba displayed a very humane attitude towards society, depicting traditional African culture and his own local contemporary way of life in a sensitive social realist style that emphasised the dignity of his subjects. In contrast, Hodgins had a much more satirical stance and a semi-abstract and expressionist style, portraying in his distinctive works an urban way of life shot through with an array humorous and literary references, often focusing his portraits on imposing businessmen and self-important military officers.

Viewing the exhibition

The exhibition is on display at the Strauss & Co gallery in Houghton. Currently under Level 4 restrictions galleries are not allowed to open. Once Level 4 finishes it will be possible to view the exhibition in person by booking a visit. To book email or call +27 11 728 824.

The accompanying exhibition e-catalogue can be viewed online here and is a fantastic read filled with gorgeous imagery.

Online events programme

Accompanying the exhibition are a host of complementary online events focused on the work of Hodgins and Pemba. You can join in the online events here via Zoom and the online walkabouts and talks will also be available to watch on the Strauss & Co youtube channel.

Thu Jul 1 at 18:00 Virtual exhibition launch and discussion
Join Wilhelm van Rensburg, George Pemba expert Sarah Hudleston and Hodgins expert Neil Dundas at the online exhibition launch as they discuss the life and works of the two renowned artists.

Thu Jul 8 at 16:00 Virtual exhibition walkabout
Wilhelm van Rensburg in conversation with Koulla Xinisteris (Curator of the SABC Collection) and Edward Tsumele (Independent journalist).

Fri Jul 9 at 16:00 Teacher Workshop
Conducted by senior art specialist and art educator Wilhelm van Rensburg.



Jul 1 2021 - Jul 31 2021
Strauss & Co
89 Central Street, Houghton
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