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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Gavin Jantjes: To Be Free!—A Retrospective, 1970–2023

Gavin Jantjes, Untitled, 1989.

77-82 Whitechapel High St, Shadwell, London E1 7QX, United Kingdom

In 1970, after studying fine art at the University of Cape Town, Gavin Jantjes left South Africa for Hamburg, where he had a scholarship to continue his studies. Even without a scholarship, Jantjes would have fled his country; under apartheid he’d been classified as “colored.” Though he lived in Europe for decades—first in Germany and then in the U.K.—he continued painting scenes of South Africa, drawing on its Indigenous communities and cultural conflict. “One cannot speak of form and colour when one’s environment speaks of poverty, hunger, and death,” he once wrote. Now Jantjes is 75 and living in Cape Town. This large exhibition contains work from the 1970s to the present day. —Elena Clavarino

Photo: © Gavin Jantjes/licensed by DACS/courtesy of the artist

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