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Battiss, Walter - Origins Centre Johannesburg

The Origins of Walter Battiss:
The Walter Battiss Exhibition (09.07.2016 - 30.09.2016) presents his Rock Art Works on Public Display for the First Time
Origins Centre Museum, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), together with the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI), Wits University, are pleased to present a major new exhibition devoted to the early development of one of South Africa’s great artistic innovators. The Origins o

 “Another Curious Palimpsest,” features more than 80 works on public display for the first time and focusses on Battiss’s interest in San rock art, showing how this experience shaped him as an artist. The show includes his watercolour copies of rock art on cellophane, the final versions he made on paper as well as his pencil sketches and original fieldwork notebooks, as well as original rock art pieces he removed. The exhibition explores Battiss as a rock art copyist, as a collector, and as an artist, and reveals how and why this important collection has been conserved.
Walter Whall Battiss is recognized as one of South Africa’s great artistic innovators. Born in 1906 in the Karoo town of Somerset East, his artistic talent manifested at a young age when he used drawing to express himself. Battiss’s forays into the surrounding landscape soon led him to discover what to him, appeared to be mysterious depictions of nature that used colour and form in ways as yet unseen in modern art. In his mind, Battiss’s self-taught organic style coalesced with the rock art he was introduced to, by friends and family. His work attracted the attention of many South African painters as well as foreign artists, who saw Battiss as the first South African artist to infuse a South African aesthetic with modernist concerns. This acclaim has made him a significant name in the canon of the country’s art, and his work has become highly sought after in both local and international art markets. As interest in early modernist painters in Africa heightens, Battiss features at the forefront of many collectors’ and galleries’ lists. (Text: Origins Centre)