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ALAN CRUMP: A FEARLESS VISION Edited by Federico Freschi 157


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ALAN CRUMP: A FEARLESS VISION Edited by Federico Freschi


Published by Friends of the Johannesburg Art Gallery

Project director: Antoinette Murdoch

PO Box 6514, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Editor: Federico Freschi

T: +27 (0) 11 720 3479

Project team: Cameron Bramley, Reshma Chhiba,

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

E: fionag@joburg.org.za

Barbara Freemantle, Jacques Lange, Neil Lowe, Jeff

reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,

W: www.joburg.org.za/culture/museums-galleries/jag

Malan, Paula Munsie, Karel Nel

electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording

Contributing authors: Federico Freschi, Karel Nel,

or any other information storage and retrieval system,

Karin Maria Skawran, Christopher Till and Mandie van

without prior permission in writing by the publisher and

der Spuy

copyright owners.

Copyright Š 2011 Johannesburg Art Gallery

Design: Bluprint Design Production management: Value Capture Media &

All works of art reproduced in this publication are from

Marketing (Pty) Ltd

various public and private collections. All efforts were made to gain permission from the artists or copyright owners.

ISBN 978-0-620-50320-4

Printed in the Republic of South Africa by Creda Communications (Pty) Ltd

COVER: Open Cast Coal Mines, Newcastle, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 102.4 x 154.4 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo: Roy Reed TITLE PAGE: Untitled (Artefacts series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

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CONTENTS 07

Foreword

Antoinette Murdoch

09

Alan Crump: A Fearless Vision. Curator's Foreword

Federico Freschi

13

An Appreciation

Christopher Till

19

A Tribute

Mandie van der Spuy

25

Self, Land and Power: The Art of Alan Crump

Karel Nel

45  Illuminating Landscapes: Their Pathos and Their Beauty. Some Thoughts on Selected Watercolours by Alan Crump

Karin Maria Skawran

87

Works

137

Chronology

149

Index of Illustrations

155

Sponsors

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FOREW ORD Antoinette Murdoch

The Johannesburg Art Gallery’s vital role in ensuring the

acquisition was motivated by then-director Christopher

artist’s life and work goes some way to acknowledging

progress of contemporary art and curating in South Africa

Till, but the role of the Art Gallery Committee in the

the impact Alan Crump made on the South African art

has always depended both on the general support of the

then-controversial decision to acquire this collection

world in his lifetime.

public and the arts community, and on the efforts of a few

ought not to be overlooked. At the same time, the gallery

exceptional individuals. The latter are figures whose unique

shifted the scope of its Contemporary Collection actively

This exhibition would not be possible without the efforts

critical perceptiveness, tenacity and commitment to art

to include more works by black artists. The annual re-

of curator Professor Federico Freschi, all curatorial and ad-

have helped the gallery to take bold steps in collecting

ports of the years between 1987 and 1997, for example,

ministrative staff of JAG, our dedicated Research Librarian

and exhibiting, steps which have often constituted major

show a marked increase in the representation of black

Jo Burger and Registrar Reshma Chhiba, and also Cameron

leaps in South African art history. Alan Crump was such

artists both in JAG’s collection and in its exhibition halls.

Bramley and Jeff Malan, who assisted with fundraising for the catalogue. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks

a person, and his far-reaching contributions to art education, practice and teaching in South Africa, and in Johan-

Crump took on the role of Chairman of the Art Gallery

to these people and to all others involved in the realisation

nesburg particularly, are enumerated throughout this

Committee in 1999, and served JAG with dedication and

of this important project.

catalogue.

composure until his passing in 2009. In the years of his chairmanship, the innovative steps taken in earlier years

Antoinette Murdoch, previously CEO of the Art

However, the importance of his involvement with the Johan-

were expanded upon. This is particularly evident in the

Bank Joburg, was appointed Chief Curator and

nesburg Art Gallery warrants special recognition – not

opening up of JAG’s doors to international artists, cura-

Head of the Johannesburg Art Gallery on 1 April

only as an artist represented in our collection, but more

tors and artworks.

2009. She has a Masters in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand.

specifically as an important member of the Art Gallery Committee for almost 20 years.

In addition to his contribution to JAG’s vision and direction over the years, Alan Crump was also a consummate

Alan Crump joined the Art Gallery Committee – which is

painter, and JAG is honoured to have a number of his works

the advisory body responsible for JAG’s acquisitions and

in its collection. These are all fine watercolour paintings

loans policies and decisions – in 1983, and remained a

– a medium in which Crump was considered a master

distinguished and influential member of this group until

and an innovator – executed in the 1990s, and depict

he passed away in 2009. This was a period of dramatic

scenes evocative of South Africa’s varying urban and

change in South Africa and also at JAG. In 1987, a water-

peri-urban topographies.

shed year for JAG, the gallery started its collection of socalled ‘traditional’ African artworks with the acquisition

JAG is proud to host the exhibition Alan Crump: A Fearless

of the Jaques Collection of wooden headrests. This

Vision, and I hope that this retrospective survey of the

a world class African city

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ALAN CRUMP: A FEARLESS VISION CURATOR'S FOREW ORD Federico Freschi

When Alan Crump passed away on 1 May 2009 he left

instrumental, as Scientific Curator and Consultant for the

Crump’s work is a testimony to his unwavering vision and

behind an extraordinary legacy of committed engagement

Standard Bank International Exhibitions, in bringing compre-

consummate skill as an artist.

with, and passionate involvement in, the South African art

hensive exhibitions of the important European modern mas-

world. As a teacher, curator, writer, judge, arts administrator

ters, Chagall and Miró, to South Africa for the first time, and

As both Nel and Skawran note in their essays, Crump was

and – not least – artist of extraordinary subtlety and skill,

to extending his influence to curating and publishing abroad.

not a particularly prolific artist. He tended to work in short,

Crump was driven throughout his distinguished career by

concentrated periods, balancing his creative output with his

a fearless vision of excellence. This vision informed his role

The considerable scope of these activities – which he per-

considerable commitments in the art world more generally.

as Professor of Fine Arts at the University of the Witwaters-

formed with characteristic aplomb, grace and legendary

He was also well known to many students, young artists,

rand, where, as one of the youngest professors ever ap-

charm – in no way detracted from his ongoing practice as

colleagues and associates as something of a behind-the-

pointed (he was 31 years old when he took up the posi-

an artist. This exhibition, coinciding with the second anniver-

scenes facilitator; a man of extraordinary collegial generosity

tion), his commitment to professionalism and to pushing

sary of his passing, is hosted by two significant cultural

and insight with an uncanny ability to identify and bring to

the boundaries of creative practice informed every aspect

institutions that he in many ways helped to shape – the

fruition potential synergies; to spot the best in the people

of the Fine Arts Department, and had a profound influence

Johannesburg Art Gallery and the National Arts Festival

he knew and liked and actively to find ways of making it

on every generation of students that he taught. Extending

in Grahamstown. The exhibition celebrates the extraor-

bloom. Nonetheless, as the works in this exhibition show,

this vision beyond the walls of the academy, Crump was an

dinary depth and integrity of Crump’s artistic vision by

his relatively small output in no way detracted from the qual-

important and powerful figure in the South African art

bringing together for the first time a comprehensive retro-

ity and integrity of his work. Indeed, the fact that his work is

world, actively involved in the influential Cape Town Trien-

spective of his work. From the austerity of early conceptual

represented in all the major South African public and corpo-

nial and Johannesburg Biennales, as well as a number of

work, influenced, as Karel Nel notes in his essay in this

rate collections are a testimony to the high esteem in which

competitions; serving as director and advisor to the Wits

catalogue, but in no way constrained by the conceptualism

he was held as an artist.

University Art Galleries, the Standard Bank African Art

he encountered as a Fulbright student in Los Angeles and

Collection at the University of the Witwatersrand and the

New York City in the 1970s (where he worked as a studio

This exhibition also features many previously un-exhibited

Standard Bank Art Gallery and Corporate Collection, the

assistant to Vito Acconci and Richard Serra); via the boldly

works from private collections. Viewed with the better-

Johannesburg Art Gallery’s Acquisitions Committee, and

monumental watercolours that pushes the limits, as Karin

known public works it is possible to trace, for the first time,

serving on advisory boards of many of the country’s national

Skawran discusses in her essay, of what we understand by

the consistency of his vision, and the consolidation of his

museums; chairing the Standard Bank National Festival of

the notion of landscape and the ravages wrought upon it

technical skills over the course of his career. The themes of

the Arts, Grahamstown between 1995 and 1999; and curat-

by mining and industry; to the profoundly subtle and elegiac

abjection, loss, destruction and suffering that first appear

ing and publishing widely. Towards the end of his life he was

abstract watercolours of his last solo exhibition in 2001,

in his student and early postgraduate work, and which are

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so elegantly and insightfully discussed in the two essays by

Director of the Gallery, and Reshma Chhiba in her role as

A special word of thanks is due also to my research assist-

Nel and Skawran, are developed with a clarity and fearless-

Registrar, have been tireless in their commitment to realising

ants, Paula Munsie who began the arduous task of tying

ness that pervades the body of work. Featuring a number

this project, and to pursing the loan of the various works.

together the many and complex strands that constitute Alan

of watercolours engaging a range of subjects and scale, the

Jo Burger, the Librarian, has been unfailingly helpful and

Crump’s curriculum vitae, and to Neil Lowe who completed

exhibition also allows us to celebrate his skill as a water-

generous with her time and expertise.

it with commendable tenacity and insight. Thanks also to

colourist and his unrivalled mastery of this extraordinarily

Colleen Wafer for scanning much of the archival material,

difficult medium, even as he pushes its boundaries to limits

Ismael Mahomed and Louisa Clayton from the National

and to Jacques Lange for his patience and expertise in pro-

unimagined by any of his contemporaries in the South

Arts Festival enthusiastically responded to our proposal

ducing the catalogue. With characteristic enthusiasm and

African art world.

that the exhibition be held in Grahamstown as well as

generosity Christopher Duigan, Steinway Artist and pianist

Johannesburg, and loaned of one of Crump’s most impor-

extraordinaire, recorded the Bach that Alan so loved, and

tant and harrowing works, Monument I.

which we have used as part of the installation of the

This exhibition would not have been possible without the support, energy and commitment of many individuals and

exhibition.

institutions. First amongst these is Standard Bank, and par-

In addition to showing works from the collection of the

ticularly Barbara Freemantle from the Standard Bank Gallery

Johannesburg Art Gallery, works have been loaned from

Last, but by no means least, my sincerest thanks to Karel Nel,

and Mandie van der Spuy, Head of Arts Sponsorships. The

the Durban Art Gallery, Tatham Gallery, William Humphreys

whose energy and intelligence has guided this project from

importance and closeness of the relationship that Alan

Art Gallery, Standard Bank of South Africa, Grahamstown

its inception, and to Caroline Crump, whose patience,

Crump had with the Bank – to the considerable advantage

Foundation, MTN Foundation, SASOL Collection, BHP Bil-

equanimity, and generosity of spirit has been its true north.

not only of the Standard Bank Gallery, but also the Standard

liton, Wits Art Museum at the University of the Witwaters-

Bank Collection of African Art at the University of the Wit-

rand, Unisa Art Gallery, and private collectors. My thanks to

Speaking at the opening of the Bonnie Ntshalinshali

watersrand, the many winners of the Standard Bank Young

the curators of these collections and owners of the various

Museum in 2003 Alan Crump famously remarked, “When

Artist Award, and the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown

works for their generosity, and the prompt and efficient

someone dies, it is what they leave behind that counts,

– is captured in Mandie van der Spuy’s tribute, and lives on

ways in which they dealt with my requests.

the objects and the residue of their thoughts.” In a com-

in the continuing legacy of these projects.

pelling exhibition of the finely-wrought artworks he made, Thanks also to the exhibition advisory board, Mandie van

Alan Crump: A Fearless Vision celebrates the ‘residue of

The Johannesburg Art Gallery provides a fitting location for

der Spuy, Barbara Freemantle, Christopher Till, Antoinette

the thoughts’ of an extraordinary man and a brilliant

the Johannesburg leg of this exhibition, not only because

Murdoch, Karel Nel, Meret Meyer Graber and Lorna Fer-

artist, whose legacy is the professionalism and bold

of Crump’s long involvement – as Christopher Till, former

guson for entrusting me with this task, and for sharing their

fearlessness that characterises the contemporary South

Director of the Gallery, notes in his affectionate tribute

insights and wisdom. Thanks to the writers, Mandie van

African art world that he helped to shape.

– with the Gallery, but also because of the strong concep-

der Spuy, Christopher Till, Karel Nel and Karin Skawran,

tual link that this important location provides with a body

whose admiration and respect for Alan Crump is palpable,

Federico Freschi is an Associate Professor of History

of work that is in many ways inextricably linked to the

and whose tributes and essays have given this catalogue

of Art at the University of the Witwatersrand. His

urban, social and geological landscape of Johannesburg.

depth and insight. Colleagues at the Wits School of Arts

research centres on South African modern art and

Indeed, issues of mining wealth and power are at the very

have been extremely generous with their time and their

architecture, a subject on which he publishes

foundation of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, and the Phillips

memories, as have many friends and associates, not least

regularly.

Gallery thus provides a compelling setting for Crump’s pow-

Meret Meyer Graber, Lars Svensson and Lynette Marais.

erfully evocative ‘minescapes’. Antoinette Murdoch, current

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TOP LEFT: Reggie Letsatsi (left), Alan Crump (middle) and Lolly Page (right), Gertrude Posel Gallery, 1989. Both Letsatsi and Page were recipients of the Martienssen Prize, an annual award instituted by Alan in honour of Heather Martienssen, the first Professor of History of Art and Fine Arts at Wits.

TOP RIGHT: Alan giving a lecture/demonstration at the Watercolour Society of South Africa, c. 1998. BOTTOM RIGHT: Alan with students at William Kentridge’s Chambre Noire installation at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2006.

BOTTOM LEFT: Alan assessing student work with colleagues from the Wits School of Arts, c. 2007.

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AN APPRECIATION Christopher Till

The moment of commenting on the life and character of

Moving back into an art world that was still in the grip

including through his own work. I was privileged both

a friend and colleague of many years is one that is not

of apartheid and the politics of that time, which were

to observe Alan closely, and to be invited to be a part-

thought of or anticipated until it happens. It is one that

played out in the cultural arena, was both difficult and

ner with him, in making this a reality.

is at first daunting, tinged with sorrow and regret, and

challenging. It was perhaps Alan’s Jewish ancestral line-

then becomes inspiring in the knowledge that the

age on his mother’s side which shaped his philosophical

The raised eyebrow and nose in a gesture of conviction

chance to reflect on the magnitude of the contribution

core and cyclic debating and teaching approach, and

that some took to be imperious belied Alan’s generosity

Alan made to all of our lives is one to celebrate. Alan,

which tempered his abhorrence and rejection of the in-

in sharing the stage that often came with the process of

you are saluted and remembered in many ways and for

justice and discrimination this system represented.

publicly creating space and place for the artists of this

many reasons. Your multi-dimensional and talented

country. The high profile that this created inevitably lead

character has been formative and inspirational to many,

In a world where cultural politics had to be negotiated

to labels being applied. The one we often laughed at

and we are in your debt for making such an impact

Alan brought to the debate a powerful voice through

was ‘The Art Mafia,’ this being so off the mark. That he

upon, and difference to our own lives.

actions and example, in creating opportunities, and in

should have been considered so powerful does, how-

his curatorial insight, courage and vision. Alan often

ever, in some sense speak of Alan’s achievements.

Alan came into life on my return to South Africa in 1983

measured the events of our own country against the

to take up a new and challenging job (as Director of the

historical example of European modernism, the Russian

The challenge referred to in Alan’s first telephone call to

Johannesburg Art Gallery), and a new life. The memory

avant-garde and the effects of the Russian Revolution

me proved to be a mixture both of his sense of drama

of sitting in my office in the Johannesburg Art Gallery

and the Weimar Republic on the work of artists of the

and his sense of humour, which I soon came to enjoy

and picking up the ringing telephone to be told that

time. These historical examples provided both a stimu-

and relish. The raising of eyebrow, rolling of eye, and

Professor Crump was on the line, and then to hear a

lus for the creative force, as well as a background and

pursing of lips and the conspiratorial stage whisper fol-

soon-to-become-distinctive voice saying, “Mr. Director,

reference point upon which to comment and reflect on

lowed by a double grunt became familiar and endear-

welcome to the ride” is one that echoes still. It was

local issues and events.

ing mannerisms. The stage across which he walked in

both a challenge and an offer of support. The challenge

commentating on art and life and the cast of characters

was one that needed to be evaluated and identified,

Alan’s articulate voice and discerning eye was heard

and the support had to be earned.

and seen in the many arenas he occupied in striving to

was never too big for him.

bring recognition and life to art in its various forms,

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During Alan’s tenure as the Chairman of the Johannes-

the conviction of the Lady Phillips Trust governing the

burg Art Gallery Committee, the collection developed

autonomy of the Art Gallery Committee, and Alan’s un-

and grew to being possibly the most important in the

compromising commitment to supporting these acqui-

country. I will remember with admiration, appreciation,

sitions for the Gallery and this policy won the day and

thanks and gratitude the wisdom he imparted and sup-

the battle.

port he gave not only to me, but also to three subsequent Directors of the Gallery.

Our shared interest in African art took us on a number of adventures up north, where my presumed local

The battles fought with the then Chairman of the Manage-

knowledge was sufficient for Alan to place mistaken

ment Council of the City, Francois Oberholzer, whose

trust in me as the party’s guide. How can I ever forget

appreciation of art stopped at South African ‘officially

our trek through the Binga valley in Zimbabwe in search

sanctioned’ realism, were legendary and created great

of the elusive ‘mama’ of all drums, which mysteriously

publicity for the mischievous politician. Some members

was always over the hill in the next valley and village,

of the public still believe that the copy of Picasso’s Tête

only to have moved on our arrival? It took some time

de Harlequin (1971) that Oberholzer had had made and

and many exhausting and hot hiked kilometres to figure

placed in an O.K. Bazaars shop window – informing the

out that the locals had no intention of having this cul-

media on April the 1st that the work had been sold –

tural artefact collected for the Standard Bank or JAG

was the original and was indeed sold. Oberholzer also

collections.

referred to Francis Bacon’s Study of a Portrait of a Man (1969) as a gedrog (monstrosity), citing its acquisition as

The pleasure Alan derived from working in the interna-

an example of the decadence of the Johannesburg Art

tional arena on other shows was palpable and a tribute

Gallery Committee. Needless to say, both these impor-

to his professionalism and stature. It was through his

tant works were acquired during Alan’s tenure.

committed efforts that such exhibitions as the Chagall and Miró shows were brought to the Standard Bank

The active pursuit of the Lowen collection of ‘traditional‘

Gallery, whose corridors he walked as an advisor and as

African art (renamed the Brenthurst collection after it was

Chairman of the Committee of the National Arts Festival.

finally purchased by the Oppenheimer family), together

Our many years of working together on the Grahams-

with the acquisition of the Jaques collection of head-

town Festival presiding over numerous exhibitions, es-

The Execution, 1990

rests, was a watershed moment in the collecting policy of

pecially those by winners of the Standard Bank Young

Watercolour on paper, 58 x 76 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery Photo: John Hodgkiss

the Gallery. This too initially fell foul of the municipality’s

Artist Award, were particularly rewarding. The hilarity of

cultural and racial sensibilities and policies. However,

the Chairman of the Festival Committee and one of its

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Committee members after long night of sampling the ‘Fringe’ benefits, eluding pursuing police in an armoured

Caspir in the early hours of the morning (Alan having suggested that the play entitled In Search of Stoffel Botha’s

Brain – the then Minister of Home Affairs – aptly applied to his storm troopers) is a magic moment that will never be forgotten.

Alan, this exhibition and its catalogue is your forevertangible legacy. You deftly and effortlessly made your own a medium that intimidates and eludes most, and established yourself as an extraordinary artist, whose vision was characterised by bravura and conviction. It summarises your mercurial self and brings a smile of recognition and memory.

Christopher Till is a former Director of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, and currently Director of the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg, and the Gold of Africa – Barbier-Mueller Museum, Cape Town.

LEFT: Cottesloe Ridge (Brixton Series), 1990 Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57,5 x 76 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss TOP RIGHT: Press photograph from The Natal Mercury, 15 April 1988. RIGHT: Alan lecturing students, Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2006.

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A TRIBUTE Mandie van der Spuy

Alan Crump was a remarkable man who touched the lives of

A joint working group, comprising representatives from the

Art Collection in order to preserve the cultural heritage

all those with whom he came into contact in many differ-

Festival Committee and members of various cultural bodies,

of the continent. This agreement dates back to 1978 and

ent ways. Alan’s vast knowledge and expertise enabled him

was established to exchange viewpoints, consult and give

has ensured that, thanks to an annual acquisitions grant

to wear multiple hats during the course of his professional

input on the way forward. Alan Crump was the right man

made to the University, a significant cultural resource

career – as artist, academic, curator, art historian and advisor.

at the time to take the Festival forward and to deal with

comprising well over five thousand extremely valuable

the socio-political challenges of the day with honesty and

objects has been secured. Alan together with his colleagues

Alan was appointed to the Committee of the National Arts

integrity. He believed it was the Festival’s duty to reflect the

at Wits worked tirelessly to ensure the preservation of this

Festival in Grahamstown in 1984 in the same year that

artistic wealth of our nation, our continent and beyond.

collection and he often described it to me as amongst

Standard Bank became the title sponsor, and so a close

As Lynette Marais, the former Festival Director who was

the most valuable resources of its kind.

relationship spanning 25 years between him and the bank

at the festival’s helm for 20 years puts it:

began. A ten-year tenure followed as Chairman of the Com-

As a member and later Chairman of the Festival Committee

mittee from 1990 to 1999, the year in which the festival

Alan’s contribution to the growth of the Festival

he was closely involved, together with his fellow committee

celebrated its 25th anniversary. Alan’s vision, wisdom and

was immeasurable. He had an enormous passion

members, in the selection process for the finalists and win-

overall support had a significant impact on the Festival.

The momentous events of the early 1990s that would

for the arts and gave of his time, great intellect and talent way beyond the call of duty. He certainly walked the extra mile striving for excellence. He was highly respected by his peers especially in

ner of the annual Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art. As a professional artist and academic, as well as a long serving member of the committee, Alan was only

bring irrevocable change to South Africa naturally also had

his professional world of the visual arts and his

too well aware of the value and impact of these prestigious

an impact on the country’s cultural environment. The Festival,

generosity of spirit and willingness to share his vast

awards on the future of emerging young professional artists.

as a well established independent event of national stature,

knowledge will live on in our hearts for decades

In order to ensure the continued credibility of the Award, he

could not escape scrutiny from various quarters. Alan em-

to come (Marais, 2011).

worked tirelessly to ensure that the selection processes in

braced the challenge wholeheartedly and encouraged con-

all categories were rigorously adhered to. “The Young Artist’s

structive and critical debate, maintaining that if there were

Alan also played a key role in all of Standard Bank’s visual

programme needs little to champion its contribution and

“no outside comment, [there would be] no internal progress.”

arts activities. One of the bank’s earliest commitments to

excellence to the national quality of the arts,” he wrote

the arts was to establish, in collaboration with the Uni-

(Crump, 2009: 18), and argued that

versity of the Witwatersrand, the Standard Bank African

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Art inevitably expresses the nature of society: its

first curator, Roslyn Sugarman, as well as Mary-Jane

pressures, hopes, insecurities and aspirations, par-

Darroll, who managed the corporate collection for a

ticularly in a country like ours, which has undergone so many radical changes over so short a time... The pace of change may be happening at an

while, both of whom were former students of his. He continued to play the role of mentor and advisor to Bar-

uncontrollable rate but contemporary art strives

bara Freemantle, who currently holds the position of

for, and requires, the cut and thrust of constant

gallery curator. “Alan was a multi-faceted person,” says

reinvention, so that it continues to question the

Barbara,

society in which it exists (Crump, 2009: 17). consequently his relationships took on different Alan played a key advisory role as a consultant to Standard

forms in different contexts. He was a teacher,

Bank for acquisitions of new works for its extensive and

mentor and friend to me. His lunch hour lectures

valuable corporate art collection. When a more formal advisory committee was constituted to fulfil this role, his view

and private evening walkabouts in the gallery were informative, erudite and delivered with such charisma that they left you wishing he

and input were of enormous value due to his extensive

could continue for a few hours more! As a gifted

knowledge of the collection and its expansion over

speaker he built up a real following at the gallery

time. (Memories of the entertaining lunches that fol-

and we all learnt a great deal from him. Alan

lowed committee meetings, when Alan would regale all present with art world anecdotes, will long be cherished by those who experienced them!)

was a true mentor to many of us. He was able to be supportive in a way which preserved one’s dignity and was never patronising or condescending. He was supportive of my appointment as curator and I was able to call on him for ad-

However, Alan’s most significant contribution to Stand-

vice or moral support at any time.

ard Bank was the support and invaluable advice he offered the former Chairman, Dr Conrad Strauss, in the decision to establish the Standard Bank Gallery at the

Alan’s ability to be a friend was characterised by the same generosity as his professional relationships. I recall many happy hours spent in absorb-

bank’s Johannesburg headquarters in 1990. His ongo-

ing, often irreverent, conversations around the

ing contribution to the gallery and its staff over an al-

pool on a perfect Highveld afternoon (Freemantle,

most 20 year period is immeasurable. In the early years

2011).

he played a vital role, thanks to his influence and vast Floor Piece, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 73.5 x 54.5 cm Standard Bank Gallery Photo: Wayne Oosthuizen

network of contacts in the South African art world, in

Alan also made an important curatorial contribution to

establishing the gallery as a reputable and professional

the Standard Bank Gallery. He curated the inaugural

exhibition space. He closely mentored and advised the

exhibition in 1990 showcasing the bank’s corporate

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collection, followed in 2005 by New Beginnings, a show

from speaking his mind, an attribute which at times re-

comprising the best of new acquisitions after a substan-

sulted in heated differences of opinion between him

tial refurbishment of the gallery. He was closely involved

and colleagues, fellow artists and even friends. His con-

in the gallery’s hosting of its first major international

tribution to Standard Bank and the National Arts Festi-

exhibition of works by Marc Chagall in 2000; and in

val, and his knowledge and expertise left an indelible

2002 curated the next international show, The Magical

mark on both institutions.

Universe of Joan Miró.

His dedication was evident during the last few months

REFERENCES

of his illness in 2009, when he insisted on putting all his

The Star Tonight, Wednesday 23 April 1986 Photo: Ruphin Coudyzer BOTTOM (LEFT & RIGHT): Alan giving a lecture/ demonstration at the Watercolour Society of South Africa, c. 1998

energy into completing two shows to which he had

Crump, A. (2009). Standard Bank Young Artists: 25 Years

committed. These were Edoardo Villa: Moving Voices

of Commitment and Financial Support. In E. Maurice (Ed.),

and a major retrospective exhibition celebrating the col-

Standard Bank Young Artists 25: A Retrospective Exhibition

lective talent of the past 25 years of Standard Bank

(pp. 12-18). Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery.

Young Artist Award winners. This exhibition opened at the National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown and

Freemantle, B. (2011). Alan Crump and the Standard

then transferred to the Standard Bank Gallery. Sadly

Bank Gallery. (Personal communication with M. van der

Alan never got to see either of the exhibitions.

Spuy, February 2011).

Alan’s visits to the gallery are sorely missed by us all,

Marais, L. (2011). Alan Crump’s Contribution to the

not only for the professional input and support he in-

National Arts Festival. (Personal communication with

variably gave, but also for the entertaining manner in

M. van der Spuy, February 2011).

which he delighted in sharing the latest intrigues in the art world. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humour

Mandie van der Spuy is Head of Arts Sponsorship,

and a wicked twinkle in his eye when recounting the

Standard Bank Group and is responsible for the

antics of some prominent personality.

overall development and management of the Group’s arts, culture and jazz sponsorship pro-

Alan Crump was a man who undoubtedly had a vision-

grammes.

ary influence on the art world in South Africa. His questioning and critical approach in the academic and professional environment ensured that he did not shy away

23


24


SELF, LAND AND POWER: THE ART OF ALAN CRUMP Karel Nel

How does one, in retrospect, assess the traces left behind by a life as complex as Alan Crump’s? Perhaps through a trail of artworks, tangible objects, or through the evidence of his successes, failures and fallibilities, or through the ways in which he lives on in the minds of the public, art historians, critics, students, friends and family. One has also to track his considerable role in the shifts and developments of the South African art world and its institutions; a part of his legacy that in many ways remains important yet intangible.

In ruminating on Alan in an attempt to grasp, order and deal with the complexity of a life lived with intensity, the first image of him that comes to my mind is of a young striking-looking man, his dark hair, almond shaped eyes and Slavic looks, backed up by a sense of confidence and defiance, driven by an ambitiousness both for himself but largely for others (p 26). I had met him the year before his appointment as one of the youngest professors ever to take office at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits). Prior to his appointment at Wits, he had completed a Masters degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. Majoring in sculpture under Richard Wake, a rare photograph of him as a student shows him cradled in a welded steel sculpture, planar in form, conforming in style to the dominant formalist international language of the sculptors such as David Smith and Anthony Caro (p 25). There is a certain air of flippancy about the

Alan Crump photographed on a welded steel sculpture in the parking lot of the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, Cape Town, c. 1970

25


photograph, which provides a glimpse of his innately

The use of the written word becomes a predominant theme

defiant demeanour.

in the final body of work Alan produced for his Masters show. Now all lost, the works for this exhibition were

Analysis of his student work seems to portray his first

wall-mounted sheer slabs of glass, with impeccably sign-

early attempts to dispense with image, the visual charge

written words in gold leaf; the slabs painted black on the

of the work reduced to a retinal sign of communication

back surface. The body of work was startling in its re-

in the use of a rudimentary image of a postal envelope

strained beauty but, more importantly, for its radical

(pp 27-30). The envelope as a recurring compositional

nature in the conservative South Africa of 1972: the ob-

format is personalised by a series of scratched, doodled

vious absence of the artist’s hand, its anonymity, and above

names, alluding to friendships and relationships at the

all the affront that the work had been ordered and pro-

time. The scored, scraped, aesthetic is accentuated through

duced by a sign writer who specialised in traditional shop

this body of work being executed as a group of etchings,

front windows.

employing direct dry point and spit and open bite techniques. They range in scale from small oblong formats

From the nature of his work it is evident that Alan, as a

to larger square compositions. The irreverent and defi-

student, was looking to the transatlantic shifts in art that

ant hatched, cross-hatched and slashed marks of pres-

were focusing more on conceptual paradigms that em-

ence to some degree resemble the arbitrary clandestine

braced the use of language and that foregrounded process

images and words perpetrated on the back of public

over the finished product. It was therefore not surprising

toilet doors. They assert a deskilled and random aes-

that he made a conscious decision to study in the United

thetic, consciously used to critique observational and

States, shifting from the then more conventional trend

conventionalised notions of drawing and skill, so valued

to study in Europe, particularly Paris. This was a trend that

at the time, in the academy. Surprisingly, he was reward-

had predominated in South Africa well into the 1960s, long

ed for this boldness and he won the student art prize along

after the international art focus had relocated to London

with Shelly Sacks, Nina Romm and Susan Norton: a judg-

and America.

ment that reflects positively on the progressive nature of the Michaelis School of Fine Arts. The staff and students

Alan was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for post-graduate

there at the time were engaging, and had embraced the

study at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of

emerging conceptual modes of, art production that re-

California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This experience was signifi-

lated to the work of Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus move-

cant yet trying in that financial difficulties required him to

ment. Marlene Dumas’s early work was also a product

work long night shifts in a hospital. The adversity of this

of this moment at Michaelis.

period coupled with his enforced loneliness and the death of an anonymous neighbour were to leave an indelible

26

ABOVE: Press clipping, 1980 RIGHT PAGE: Allan Crump, student etchings on paper, 1971 Private collection. Photos: Cliff Shain TOP LEFT: K4. 37,3 x 37,6 cm TOP RIGHT: Figures. 37,5 x 37,6 cm BOTTOM LEFT: Home 1 2 3 Red. 37,1 37,6 cm BOTTOM RIGHT: Home 1 2 3 Blue. 37 x 37,5 cm


27


28


Alan Crump, student etchings on paper, 1971 Private collection. Photos: Cliff Shain OPPOSITE PAGE TOP LEFT: Norman. 37,2 x 37,5 cm TOP RIGHT: To My Favourite Cousin. 37,4 x 37,9 cm BOTTOM LEFT: Scored Envelope. 37,4 x 37,6 cm BOTTOM RIGHT: Me You. 37,4 x 37,7 cm THIS PAGE TOP: Toilet Art Hosted Alan Crump. 37,4 x 37,7cm BOTTOM: Toilet. 37,4 x 374 cm

29


Alan Crump, student etchings on paper, 1971 Private collection. Photos: Cliff Shain TOP LEFT: Letters to Nina. 20 x 22,2 cm LEFT: Envelope for Mr. 20,1 x 24,8 cm TOP RIGHT: Package. 13 x 19,3 cm BOTTOM RIGHT: Envelope for Katrine Harries. 12,4 x 18,4 cm

30


impression upon him. Nonetheless, he graduated from

First and Second World Wars haunted him. The issues

During the period in which Danzig was produced I acted

UCLA with a Master of Arts degree and continued his studies

around guilt, power and destruction and the politics and

as a studio assistant to Alan. I had just majored in sculp-

at the New York School University, in a New York that was

strategies that shaped Weimar Germany, and the subse-

ture and had acquired a certain expertise in bronze cast-

tough, gritty and a far cry from that city’s recent gentri-

quent land grabs of Europe impacted deeply on his psy-

ing. A direct sand mould was made to produce this work,

fication. During this period he worked as a studio assist-

che, on his growing interest in history and world politics, and

out of which he scooped handfuls of oil-impregnated

ant for both the performance artist Vito Acconci and the

eventually found their way into his work as an artist.

sand to form the two organic depressions that eventually

now famous sculptor, Richard Serra. The hours spent in

became the two brusque, convex lumps. He then roughly

these studios were to provide a healing to the emotional

These concerns are central to a series of drawings and

cut a long trough into the sand, forming the chamfered

scarring of the hospital experience, and were to have a

bronze sculptures produced on his return to South Afri-

shaft, and shaped the small phallic tip of the object. The

profound influence on his subsequent work.

ca. Perhaps one of the most brutal is the 1978 bronze

sand was tamped down and secured in a reinforced

Danzig (p.32). The status of the city of Danzig and the

wooden bolted frame. After the smelting of the bronze,

Returning to South Africa he initially took up a lecturing

Danzig corridor – a region awarded to Poland after the

the crucible containing the molten bronze was carried in

post in the Department of History of Art and Fine Arts at the

First World War thus splitting Germany in two – was the

the long-armed securing cradle, then positioned and the

University of South Africa (UNISA). Almost immediately,

immediate impetus for the start of the Second World

bronze poured directly into the sand mould and left to

both his dynamism and leadership qualities made them-

War. The oppression, counter-oppression, propaganda and

change from hot cherry red to cold metallic black. The rudi-

selves very evident to students and staff alike. His need

brute politics of this history was the start of the road to

mentary object was then lifted out, brushed, and the shaft

to assert his own vision and forge a shift in the broader art

genocide and the disaster of the Second World War. Danzig

roughly finished with an angle grinder. Once ground,

world led him to apply and be accepted for the advertised

consists of two lumps brusquely cast at one end of a

filed and finished, Alan punched the word ‘DANZIG’ (p 33)

professorial post at the University of Witwatersrand.

long extension-like handle with a roughly ground, cham-

into the surface with a hammer, using individual metal

fered surface terminating in a small almost geometric,

letter stamps. The process described had an innate drama

Politics and power were an integral part of Alan Crump’s

phallic head with the word ‘Danzig’ punched into its

and danger that parallels the violence embodied in this

life and clearly manifested as an underlying theme of his

surface. The physical presence of the object is frightening,

work. Danzig seems also to invert the idea of a space/

work. Alan’s Jewish identity was manifest in his intellectual

like some brutal weapon, an image of raw power, yet with

corridor into a claustrophobic solid form or object.

world but not necessarily in his belief system, a legacy

some allusions to the crude provocation of a surrealist

of his mother’s formidable intellect and his parents’ trade

object. The piece and the process used to make it and

The work was radically different in form and conception

union activities and association with the banned Com-

others at the time, had resonances to the ‘process works’

to anything in the South African art world of the time. It

munist Party. It was in Durban, against the backdrop of

made by Richard Serra whose direct pourings of lead

challenged the formal language of spatial articulation seen

this powerful Jewish intellectual attitude and political

into rudimentary moulds or against edges and obstruc-

in the sculptures of Edoardo Villa and Malcolm Payne, as

awareness and a chosen modest lifestyle that the young

tions in a room have a similar informality. Given the time

well as the influential legacy of steel sculpture produced

Alan blossomed as an athlete, rugby player and talented

spent in Serra’s studio, Alan would have been well ac-

by artists at the St. Martin’s School of Art in London. It

pianist, only much later coming to focus intently on art.

quainted with these works.

was so utterly idiosyncratic that when exhibited, it left

Within this family context, the historical events of the

most South African art viewers speechless.

31


32


Danzig and the works that followed immediately created

move through something to somewhere else (like the

a language that alluded to lessons from history and po-

Danzig corridor). Along with the word ‘corridor’, the ghostly

litical strategies. Although his work has seldom been spoken

and ashen tonalities, the dark chambers and the evoca-

about in the paradigm of ‘political art’ or included in major

tive dissipation of smoke produce an uncanny echo of

publications with this underlying focus, Alan’s work is

the concentration camp horrors of World War II.

profoundly political in the broadest rather than the parochial sense. In Danzig, the artwork is the outcome of his

Embodying also Alan’s own life experiences, the simple

ruminations on the relationship between art and politics

shapes, the visual gravity and the allusion to the thin

and on the idea of art as a political weapon. In retro-

narrow spaces, can be traced back at some level to the

spect, the sculpture itself is a brutal transformation of

impact that Serra had on his sensibility. The monumen-

the concept of art as a political weapon into a literal

tal emphatic forms and blank dark surfaces speak di-

object of violence.

rectly to the long hours spent as an assistant rubbing black paint stick into the surfaces of the heavy rag pa-

The drawings entitled Wedge Series, (pp 34-35) are

per of Serra’s uncompromising works. These bold black

similarly brusque and bold in sensibility. Executed on

decisive works reflected no sense of compromise to an

heavy paper, parts of the drawings are richly worked

inflected or delicate aesthetic: they were what they were,

with dense black paint stick, at times affirming the tac-

and clearly assert the defined and assured nature of his

tility of the surface, and at others creating deeply reces-

mindset.

sive passages. The construction lines structure and cho-

LEFT: Danzig (four views), 1978 Exhibited at the Market Gallery, Johannesburg with Margaret Vorster Bronze, 83 x 12.2 x 4.5 cm Private collection. Photos: John Hodgkiss ABOVE: Details from Danzig, Wedge Series, Lull and Lap

reograph the page with text punctuating the field. At

The evocative use of the word or words, which did not

times, words like ‘CORRIDOR’ (p 33-34)are written ob-

easily allow the mind’s eye to translate into an image or

liquely across the page, destabilising the ground-text or

object, particularly interested him. For instance, the large

ground-image relationship. Elements also are made to

marble Lull in the Wits collection (p 36) was also done on

ghost by being submerged and scrubbed in the bath

his return to South Africa. Engraved in classic Roman capi-

during the genesis of the work. The construction lines

tals the word ‘LULL’ floats indeterminately on the pristine

hark back to the early envelope etchings of his student

crystalline white field of the roughly edged marble slab.

days but here the writing and the forms are used in a

Eventually, in discussions with him, Alan alluded to the

more iconic manner, provocative in the elusiveness of

idea that ‘Lull’ was the suspended state that he felt on

their meaning yet toying with the mind in its attempt to

his return to South Africa after his period abroad. Return-

fix meaning. The Wedge Series alludes to the simplicity of

ing to the dark days of apartheid there seemed to be a

the form of a wedge and simultaneously to its potential

lull before the storm, a quiet but definite apprehension

to split things apart, as does a passage, allowing one to

that characterised the mood of the time.

33


TOP LEFT: Untitled (Wedge Series), 1978 Oil & paintstick on rag. 75.5 x 55.5 cm TOP CENTRE: Wedge Series #1, 1978 Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper 75 x 55.5 cm TOP RIGHT: Wedge Series #2, 1978 Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper 75 x 55.3 cm Wits Art Museum collection Photo: John Hodgkiss BOTTOM LEFT: Wedge Series #3, 1978 Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper 75 x 55.6 cm BOTTOM LEFT: Wedge Series #4, 1978 Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper 75 x 55.6 cm BOTTOM LEFT: Wedge Series #5, 1978 Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper 75 x 55,6 cm

34


Lap (p 37) in the UNISA collection was also produced at

such talent and influence that it would cleave its way

this time. It is a 130 centimetre long cast square bar of

into the centre stage of the South African art world (p 38).

lead with the raised letters ‘LAP’ (p 33 & 37) standing

Alan went out of his way to recruit and appoint some of

proud of the surface at its narrow midpoint. The cast im-

the youngest and most promising talent. The existing staff

print of a length of wooden brandering that had been

included the painters Robert Hodgins, Terry King and Paul

packed into the oil-impregnated sand and then removed

Stopforth, the sculptor Neels Coetzee, the printmaker

to create the long cavity, this work was cast in a similar

Giuseppe Cattaneo and education specialist Ulrich Louw

method to that which we used for Danzig. In contrast,

(p.36). He augmented the staff with myself, Penny Siopis,

Lap is cast in toxic lead rather than bronze, lead’s spe-

Peter Schutz, Willem Strijdom, Malcolm Christian, and fol-

cific weight being almost as heavy and soft as gold.

lowed later by Colin Richards, Walter Oltmann, Clive van

After cooling, this long square sectioned cast object

den Berg, David Andrew and Jo Ractliffe. Alan believed all

was lifted from the sand mould, a heavy length of limp,

his staff should be practicing artists, exhibiting, curating

soft white metal which when bolted to the wall sagged

and active within the art world, in which, leading by

with gravity creating a soft poetic curve, the form evoc-

example, he was a powerfully active participant. As this

atively integral to the raised word. Despite the toxicity

catalogue shows, he was involved with other institutions

of the medium, Lap’s soft curve produces gentleness in

and museums around the country; in the organisation of

stark contrast to the ferociousness of Danzig.

major national art competitions and festivals; and constantly in touch with curators and art dealers.

Alan Crump’s creative energy was not channelled through his art alone, but as mentioned earlier, he was one of the

His confidence in South African art and the next genera-

youngest and most dynamic professors to be appointed

tion of artists led to his active teaching and critiquing in

to Wits or to any art school in the country at the time.

the department and elsewhere, and also led to his proac-

He made it his goal to create a powerful pool of talent to

tive involvement with the influential Cape Town Triennial

be housed in new premises for the Fine Art department

instigated by then-director of the South African National

at Wits, an industrial building with large cavernous spaces,

Gallery, Raymund van Niekerk (p 17). At a time when the

cranes, huge warehouse-like sliding doors and gantries.

international boycott of South African art was at its height,

The building was known as the Wedge, due to the shape of

the Triennial enabled South African artists at least to

the land upon which it was situated, at the western edge

become aware of what was happening throughout the

of the campus next to the speedy bustle of the highway

country and to shift from the seclusion of regionalism,

(now the location of the Origins Centre). The significance

which had characterised the country for decades. A younger

of the name was fortuitous but it underscored the am-

generation of artists emerged, vibrant and ignited by

bitious nature of Alan’s plan to make a department of

both the artistic and political climate of the moment.

35


Lull, 1978 Incised marble, 36.7 x 246.5 cm Wits Art Museum collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

36


Lap, 1978 Poured lead, 79 x 130 x 9 cm Unisa Art Gallery collection

37


Alan was instrumental in the development and judging of the national drawing competition, the AA Mutual Vita Art Now awards, and was constantly called upon both as a judge and as an advisor on those and many other competitions throughout his career.

In 1990 he became the honorary director of the Wits University Art Galleries (now the Wits Art Museum) and the Standard Bank African Art Collection housed at Wits University. As Mandie van der Spuy and Christopher Till note in their tributes in this catalogue, Alan was also an advisor to the Standard Bank Art Gallery and corporate collection, Chairman of the Johannesburg Art Gallery Acquisitions committee and was on the advisory board to many of South Africa’s national museums. Between 1995 and 1999 he was Chairman of the Standard Bank National Arts Festival at Grahamstown. In this role he was an astute talent scout for the festival’s Young Artist award and guest artist programme, helping to launch many young and older aspiring artists on their way to make significant contributions to the South African art scene.

He seemed to be everywhere, making a case for art, initiating projects, nurturing across community and political lines, and controversially bringing Barbara Masekela from the government in exile to address the Grahamstown TOP: Exhibition invitation with an image of the Wedge building, 1983. Archival image, Wits Art Museum BOTTOM: Photograph of staff , c. 1980 at the Wedge building, mezzanine level. Right to left: Patrick O’Connor, Alan Crump, Giuseppe Cattaneo, Karel Nel, Neels Coetzee, Ulrich Louw, Terry King, Malcolm Christian. Archival image, Wits Art Museum

38

audiences. He was both criticised and hailed but took little notice, keeping his eye on what could be done to keep the art world on the move. He was part of the advisory team for the first and second Johannesburg Biennales, which attempted to reintroduce South Africa into the international art arena after decades of isolation.


Alan was a gifted teacher, nurturing and badgering his

culture and its legacy of a radically disrupted topogra-

students to achieve their innate creative capacity. He

phy (p 40). The subtexts of these watercolours were power,

was formidable, even opinionated, but had a wry sense

abuse, land, ownership and the fallout of their volatile

of humour that tempered these characteristics. The strength

contestation. These were definitely not the grand nation-

and force of his responses were not always easy to receive.

alist images of Pierneef’s beloved country (p 39) or the

He wrote extensively for books, artists monographs and

picturesque tradition that had dominated the conserva-

numerous exhibition catalogues, many of which he was

tive landscape painting practices and the endless saccharine

also involved in curating. In his writing, curating, involve-

works of the Sunday watercolourists. His bold assertive

ment with museums and with colleagues at the Univer-

challenge to both the subject and the medium was typical

sity, he was not averse to making controversial decisions

of the upstream hurdles that he often set for himself. His

if he felt they needed to be made. He was fearless in his

landscapes, like those of many of his predecessors, were

vision for art and as a result made allies and enemies in

devoid of humans. But rather than evoking the unspoilt

equal measure as he swept his way through the art world.

idyll, Alan’s work made the human presence palpable by the scarred and mutilated intervention into the African

A gifted artist in his own right, one can see how all these

panoramic view, casting aspersions on our colonial for-

activities and responsibilities left him with little time for

bears and on political and economic paradigms, on the

his own work, his creativity largely diverted into the art-

dispossession of people and by implication on the ex-

political arena. He did however at times return to mak-

ploitation of land, labour and life.

ing art. His work shifted focus from the more austere

TOP: Golden Gate, 1968 Oil on board, 53 x 77 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photos: John Hodgkiss BOTTOM: Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) Karibib, a View of the Town, c. 1929 Oil on canvas, 43.7 x 58.8 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss

conceptual works of his early career to challenging the

The human body did not appear much in Alan’s work, only

status of traditional watercolour painting with all its in-

by implication in the scarred and mutilated landscapes

herent historical and colonial baggage. He returned to

mentioned, yet there is an anomaly in his body of work,

looking at the African landscape, something that had

a piece produced in 1978 entitled Permanent and Imper-

fascinated him since his early schoolboy days when he

manent Marks acquired by Wits University Art Galleries

and his friend Roger Young would go on holiday paint-

in the year it was produced (p 41). It consists of a lexicon

ing camps in the picturesque Golden Gate region (p 39)

of photographs abutted in a long row. The images, taken

in the eastern Free State. His later watercolours, made as

by a professional photographer, are of scars, scratches and

an adult, were tempered with his now characteristic socio-

marks on Alan’s body. The close-up images never reveal

political undertow and were of a different ilk altogether.

their full body gestalt. The marks, a result of daily scuffs, wounds and unusual features of his body, are revealing of his

The bold works that followed were sober in their subject

own fallibility. His interest in using his body as the medium

matter and engaged the ravaged landscape of our mining

for his art seem to be direct references to both his time

39


40


spent working with Vito Acconci and the self-referential

of time passing with the loss of his father, George, in May

works of Dennis Oppenheim (p 41). In its pink inflections,

1998 and his mother, Anna, in October 1999, coupled with

the work reveals a candidness and includes a strange image

the migration of his only sister, Ingrid, and beloved nieces,

of twin navels, which are evidence of a traumatic medical

to New Zealand and Australia. His wife Caroline suffered

incident that occurred during Alan’s military conscrip-

similar losses in her own family at this time too, and he

tion and was to scar and affect his life to follow.

was left with a deep resonant emptiness, an uncharacteristic fallibility and an awareness of the fragility of life.

This ability to read a life’s events from the surface of the

After much negotiation, he planted two trees in the lush

body was also something evident, for Alan, in looking at

surroundings of the Durban botanical gardens in memory

trees. Their trunk and bark often affected by traumatic

of his parents, an affirmation of both life and death.

events, healing but leaving visible traces of the scuffs

LEFT: East Rand Property Mine, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 55 x 74 cm Presented in 1993 by Linda Givon to Wits Art Museum. Photo: John Hodgkiss TOP: Permanent & Impermanent Marks, 1978 Colour prints (9), 22.5 x 169.5 cm Wits Art Museum. Photo: John Hodgkiss BOTTOM: Dennis Oppenheim, Reading Position for SecondDegree Burn. Stage I and Stage II, 1970 Book, skin, solar energy. Exposure time: 5 hours. Jones Beach, New York. Photodocumentation: Color photography and text, 215,9 x 152,4 cm Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Photo: Dennis Oppenheim Estate

and rents that have marked them. In travelling with Alan

The death of his mother in particular had a profound

in northern Venda in the belt of the great monumental

impact on Alan. In coming to terms with it, he revisited

Baobabs, we often marvelled at their loose fluid bark that

his Jewish heritage, and came to be haunted by the tragic

seemed to evoke a presence, something like a cross be-

devastation of social and political engineering. He visited

tween a tree and an elephant. Alan also had a great love

Auschwitz and confronted the ghosts of Nazi Germany and

of the botanical gardens in Durban and a fascination with

his early engagements with Danzig, the corridor and the

the extraordinary array of plants and their colonial legacy.

political climate that led to such tragic consequences. The

We also looked together at the great 200 year-old Camphor

cobbled streets with their myriad of pebbles, witness to

trees planted by Simon van der Stel at Vergelegen in the

all that had passed over them, appeared in a new series of

Cape (p 42). Deeply moved by their age, their distant origins,

small watercolours: countless rounded surfaces, friction-

having been brought centuries back from Japan, we con-

polished by history and its passing, people lost without

sidered their unbroken witness from the time of Van der Stel

trace, ash washed away, dissolved but not forgotten by

to the present; living presences rooted to one place with

their descendents or the thoughtful and moral.

a very different sense of time. Alan became acutely aware

41


His final exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in 2001

family. His involvement in these exhibitions led to a

was devoted to a series of large and ambitious water-

string of invitations both to write for and to curate

colours based on the Camphor trees at Vergelegen (p.

exhibitions in Europe and Belarus.

43; 119-120). Rather than painting a picturesque representation of the historic line of trees, the works focus

In January 2008, Alan was diagnosed with oesopha-

solely on the trunks of these old giants, documenting

geal cancer. Undaunted, he made a strenuous and

their gnarled surfaces and lesions. The lexicon of per-

courageous effort to keep up his pace of teaching, writing,

manent and impermanent marks on his own body come

curating and travelling in the face of the ordeal with

to mind, but here these visceral images in soft pinks

which he was grappling. He finally succumbed three days

and greys move to a more generalised statement

after his sixtieth birthday on Friday, 1 May 2009. A tree

around the slippage of form and flesh, of life and the

was planted for him and his ashes placed in the Durban

softening of its contours. The loss of boundary in the

botanical gardens by family, friends and those who loved

works has softness and something tragic in the evo-

him deeply, positioned not far from those that memo-

cation of the passing life of both tree and body. The

rialise his parents: quiet presences that continue beyond

images feel vulnerable, despite the fluidity and confi-

our lifetimes. His contribution is not only visible in the

LEFT: Camphor tree trunk at Vergelegen, 2000 Photo: Alan Crump

dence reflected in the consummate use of watercolour as

works he produced, seen in this publication and in the

a medium. They seem to allude to mortality, to a shift in

retrospective exhibition, but in the many artists that con-

RIGHT: Untitled (Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 77 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

the balance between life and death and the uncom-

tinue to produce and in the museums and publications

fortable sense of the gravity of agedness.

that continue to reflect the breadth of the contribution he made to so many.

Despite these introspections on loss he threw himself into the intensity of working on the curation of his-

Karel Nel is an Associate Professor of Fine Art

torical exhibitions of European artists made possible

at the Wits School of Arts. He is a practicing art-

now by the dropping of the international cultural boy-

ist who exhibits widely both locally and interna-

cott and the financial commitment of Standard Bank.

tionally, and has written and curated extensively

Important cultural alliances were made and he was

in the field of African art.

appointed Scientific Curator and consultant for the Bank’s international exhibitions, which began with an exhibition of the work of Marc Chagall The Lights of

Origins (2000) and was followed by The Magical Universe of Joan Miró (2002), both organised with the help of Meret Meyer as representative of the Marc Chagall

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ILLUMINATING LANDSCAPES – THEIR PATHOS AND THEIR BEAUTY. SOME THOUGHTS ON SELECTED W ATERCOLOURS BY ALAN CRUMP 1

Karin Maria Skawran

The landscape as it was known before the nineteenth

Rooted within the tradition of Romantic landscape paint-

and reinterpret it, deploying landscape as a medium of

century, essentially unspoilt by human intervention, was

ing, Alan Crump chose particular landscapes and sites

communication, private visions and personal memories.

largely destroyed in Western Europe by the Industrial Revo-

to communicate metaphorically his vision of the world

The German artist Anselm Kiefer (b.1945) has signifi-

lution in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

as he experienced it. Although his thinking reflected a

cantly extended post-Second World War concepts of

The general move to the cities created a distance between

deep respect for the work of the Old Masters and for the

landscape painting also rooted in Romantic thinking.

humans and nature, and artists began to alter the essence

humanist tradition of Western Europe, his work distinctly

Landscape to him is a source of pure spiritual and inex-

of what had traditionally been known as landscape paint-

embodies the formal and conceptual concerns of main-

haustible memory. Unlike Piet Mondrian who essential-

ing. Influenced by the thinking of the transcendentalists

stream contemporary art. At the same time, his vision

ised and radically abstracted nature, and Paul Cézanne

and the German nature philosophers of the nineteenth

and the content and meaning in his works were in-

who revolutionised perspective, Kiefer, in order to reveal

century, artists such as William Turner, Robert Cozens and

formed by his own life and were guided by a specifically

historical truth, returns it to its narrative function. In Varus

others saw in nature the reflection of the sublime, while

South African context. Above all, he deliberately engaged,

(1996), for example, he engages with the myth and

Caspar David Friedrich in Germany contemplated the

mentally and emotionally, with altered landscapes

memory of Germany’s past (Schama, 1996: plate 16).

dynamic nature of the landscape as reflected in the cycle

which bear the ‘scars’ of human imprint and through

of life and death (Skawran, 1980: 67-85). The landscape

which he could, like Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys,

Although artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian

was no longer merely seen as the backdrop for religious

generate a social, historical and political discourse (Schama,

and Howard Hodgkin, to name but only a few, also used

compositions, such as those by Albrecht Altdorfer, or the

1996: 123ff).2

the landscape metaphorically to express feelings and

mythological tableaux by Nicholas Poussin, the French Classicist. Landscape became meaningful in itself.

personal visions, pure landscape painting during the twenThe realisation that landscape is in continual motion and

tieth century has generally been marginalised. Modernists,

change challenged twentieth century artists to reinvent

on the whole, were more concerned in their work with

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the social, political and psychological upheavals of the

exploitation of the land, its flora and fauna. They are

century. Nature for its own sake became largely relegated

also symbolic of the constant presence of all residual mem-

to Sunday painters. For South African colonial landscape

ories. Despite the darkness of certain images and their

painters of the nineteenth and early twentieth century,

inherent pathos, most of them are instilled – primarily as

including well-known artists such as Jacob Hendrik

a result of the watercolour medium the artist used – by

Pierneef,3 the human presence in the landscape is osten-

an exceptional luminosity and beauty.

sibly irrelevant. Farms and indigenous dwellings are rarely

Toy Town, 1991 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75.7 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo: Roy Reed

seen in images of the land, while roads and cities seldom

Crump’s choice of watercolour for his landscapes was a

occur. Such highly selective rendering of the landscape,

profoundly considered one, not only because of his em-

perhaps consciously, excluded the horrors of slavery, of

pathy for the medium and skill at engaging with the

colonialism and apartheid which have dominated this

technical challenges it poses, but also because it best

country. Neither do they take into consideration the con-

conveyed the elusiveness and transience of natural phe-

cept of power which is directly linked to issues relating

nomena, of civilisations and of life in general. For Crump,

to the land and the landscape. Even artists such as Walter

landscapes are impermanent, fragile and vulnerable. The

Battiss avoided conflict in his landscapes and primarily

artist excelled in the medium, significantly extending its

focused on its external beauty.4 He consciously created

formal and conceptual boundaries.5 He usually worked

a personalised mythology, a joyful magic which implies

on a table, but on occasion would resort to the floor

another kind of presence.

when painting exceptionally large scale images. The artist used watercolour in its purest form, much in the manner

For Crump (2009: 97) a landscape was “by no means an

of Graham Sutherland, Emil Nolde and August Macke,

easily measured planar vista, but [was] rather a construc-

the German Expressionist whose work Crump greatly

tion of many layers, inner and outer skins.” His landscapes,

admired for its fluidity and clarity. Indeed, early works

whatever their outer appearances, are “visual manifes-

like Toy Town (1991) (p 46) and Natal Landscape Ixopo

tations that deal with the bedrock of the South African

(1991) (p 48) are strongly reminiscent of Macke’s work.6

economy: land and power.” The images on this exhibition – whether they are depictions of the landscape itself,

Without quite rejecting the scaffolding of a preliminary

still lifes, African market scenes, excavated mines, quarries,

pencil sketch7 Crump usually applied watercolour directly

archaeological sites and artefacts, pieces of furniture, or

onto exceptionally large sheets of imported paper. He

even a burnt-out theatre – all evoke various ‘landscapes’

worked with broad sweeps of the brush, building up his

that have been interrogated and interpreted by the artist

images with layers of transparent washes, making use,

as metaphors for human greed, and the devastation and

at times, of a limited range of colours which he allowed

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to spread and flow into each other. In one of his last

poisonous gases that continue to invade and erode the

series of watercolours, the abstracted images of Camphor

landscape are major issues of concern today.

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen)

Natal Landscape Ixopo, 1991 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75.7 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo: Roy Reed

(pp 119-120) appear as though their forms are governed

Mine Landscape (1993) (p 84) and Minescape (1994)

by their own laws. The apparent spontaneity of his approach,

(p 100) are aerial views of “minescapes that traverse vast

however, did not preclude careful planning and control,

tracts of privately-owned land, silent, sometimes glistening

deliberation and forethought. Being thoroughly familiar

and malevolent, but often artificially beautiful with chem-

with the behaviour of pigment on different kinds of paper,

ically coloured [shades] of yellow sand. Though these

the technique Crump used allowed him to rework and ‘edit’

diggings are devoid of people, they remain testaments to

his paintings extensively in order to obtain the very specific

extensive human activity” (Crump 2009: 97). The artist

qualities he envisaged. It allowed him to lift and even

described them as “wrecked, distorted and carved waste-

remove colour areas, to soften edges and define details.

lands, apocalyptic vacuums where no animal transgresses

He was acutely aware, however, that mistakes in this me-

and no plant grows.... These windswept landscapes are

dium could not be painted out and that his images had to

dangerous, closely guarded and patrolled, only fully seen

be conceptualised very thoroughly before applying paint

from above via ... flights and aerial photography.” In his

to paper. The artist was particularly challenged by areas

images of minescapes, the artist often used different

in the work to be left unpainted, in order to create light

elevated perspectives, peeling away surfaces to reveal

and energise large fields of colour. Although the form and

what is normally hidden from sight. He tilts these land-

structure of Crump’s images do not seem to be predeter-

scapes and reduces distance, thereby creating an imme-

mined, they are very much part of the creative process

diacy between the viewer and the image. The viewer is

itself, emerging at times from the intuitive flow of colours.

compelled to scrutinise, observe and contemplate these panoramic vistas which frequently also contain “cyanide-

When Crump moved to Johannesburg in 1980 he was

laced stagnant slime dams and barren artificial mountains”

intensely moved by its extended minescapes. Eroded Mine

(Crump, 2009: 97), which are as transitory as the urban

Dump (1992) (p 50) and Mine Dump and Slime Pool (1993)

landscape itself.

(p 51) reflect Crump’s awareness of the radically altered landscape of Johannesburg, which clearly mirrors its social

One of the most powerful minescapes Crump painted in

history. The mine dumps evoke human invasion into a

1994 is his dramatic vision of the Open Cast Coal Mines,

once unspoilt landscape, and they are reminders of ex-

Newcastle (p 52). Metaphoric of the dark brutality of

cessive and ruthless exploitation of labour and territory.

gouging and ‘scarring’ the land, this image brings to

The mine dumps have become beacons of human greed

mind Kiefer’s Cockchafer Fly (1974) (Lauterwein, 2007:

for precious metal and gold, and the acid waste and

plate 76). While Crump rendered a blackened landscape,

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LEFT: Eroded Mine Dump, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 56 x 75 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Mine Dump and Slime Pool, 1992 Watercolour on paper, 56 x 75 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

51


TOP LEFT: Copper Pots, undated, c.1965 Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

52


contaminated by human greed, Kiefer has projected Nazi

Whereas the two mine scenes described above indicate

crimes directly onto the charred earth. In its dark tonality

the artist’s growing concern with human intervention in

the landscape is bare, spoilt and burnt, the “black and

the landscape, the Dune is depicted in its still protected,

white of the ashes [masking] the sun like rainclouds”

original, pristine state. It is translucent in its colourful

(Lauterwein, 2007: 143). Both artists have made use of a

luminosity. The artist rendered the vegetation on the dune

high horizon in their images, extending and deepening

with rhythmical, vigorous and colourful brush strokes.

their ominous darkness.

The light ‘halo’ around the dune and the white specks which the artist has left untouched in between the dense

The artist believed that the reinterpretation and innova-

vegetation contribute significantly to the vibrancy of this

tion of landscape painting also required alterations in

painting.

scale, colour and perspective. In the large Great Coastal

Open Cast Coal Mines, Newcastle, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 102.4 x 154.4 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo: Roy Reed

Dune St. Lucia (1993) (p 54), the viewer is confronted

Leaving (p 55) (1999) is another work that reflects

directly with the dune, rising abruptly from an almost

Crump’s unusual use of perspective and demonstrates his

eliminated foreground. This is much in the tradition of the

technical innovations. In this image a vast expanse of

Romantic painter, Caspar David Friedrich in his Tetschen

emerald green rises vertically above the waters of the Bluff

Altar (1807/8) (Vaughan, 1982: plate 2), for instance,

in Durban, and dwarfed in the foreground is a small

which represents a cross on a triangular mountain, ris-

boat leaving the harbour. It is a poignant image of loss

ing from the immediate foreground. Heinrich von Kleist,

and leaving. The departing boat reminded Crump both

in 1810 writing about this and other works by Friedrich,

of his sister leaving for New Zealand and of his mother’s

noticed that it had no foreground but the frame, and that

death in October 1999. It may also be a social commen-

“the viewer feels as though his eyelids had been cut off”

tary on the exodus of people leaving the country. The

(quoted in Miller, 1974: 207). He recognised something

tiny boat in the painting is a ‘replica’ of one of the metal

radically new in Friedrich’s handling of space and admit-

jelly moulds Crump collected. The fact that the little boat

ted to a feeling of discomfiture (Unbehagen) when having

is based on an everyday, somewhat kitschy domestic

to confront the image rather than dissolving into it. Kleist’s

object, carries deep associations of ‘home’, and rein-

aesthetic experience of Friedrich’s spatial innovations

forces the poignancy and intensely personal nature of

anticipated something of twentieth century downgrading

this image.8 Technically the artist was challenged to rep-

of spatial illusion and subject matter (Miller,1974: 207).

resent a vast area of luminous, variegated green, evoking

That Crump was profoundly inspired by Friedrich’s work in

a still untouched piece of land on the Bluff.

this regard, is reflected in his own writing (Crump, 2002:4)

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FAR LEFT: Great Coastal Dune St. Lucia, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 105 x 160 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss LEFT: Leaving, 1999 Watercolour on paper, 151 x 102 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Untitled, c. 1964-69 Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 77 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

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56


In 1993 Crump painted three small works at the Mape-

forest and Crump’s fluid use of watercolour, emphasise

lane nature reserve, which is part of the Greater St. Lucia

again both the pathos and the beauty of the rendered

Wetlands Park. In these aerial views of felled and burnt9

scene.

mangrove trees, the artist comments on the destruction

Mapelane Burnt Forestry, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 96 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

of nature and its ecology. The scenes have been rendered

Crump loved trees.12 He was seriously concerned about

in an almost monochrome range of dark greys and black,

the ruthless ‘slaughtering’ of endangered species of trees

interrupted by sun-spilled pools of light. They evoke the

for building and other excavation sites. The artist depicted

pathos of a deeply ‘wounded’ landscape. Seen from a

several versions of cut-down palm trees. Cut Palm Trees

dark and sinister foreground, the arena of dolmen-like

(1997) (p 111), is an example of Crump’s awareness of cold-

tree trunks in Mapelane Burned Forestry (p 56) resembles

blooded human ambition for technical progress. The

a cemetery. Such dead stumps and stubbles reappear in

image shows the foreshortened view of several gigantic

a narrow strip of landscape at the very top of Rail Line

palm trees which had to be cut down to make space for

Mapelane (p 58). One is strongly reminded of Kiefer’s

the Gautrain construction works in Rosebank, Johan-

2005 works dedicated to the French poet, Paul Celan.

nesburg. In the far distance on the right, a bare and

His Black Crown (Lauterwein, 2007: plate112) depicts a

desolate field of felled tree trunks, recalling Mapelane

snow-covered landscape with dead tree stumps, evoking

Burned Forestry.13

one of the essential phases in the cycle of seasons, and by extension, of all life on earth.10 Like Crump’s vision of

Interestingly, in the African Market series of the same year,

Mapelane, it is a strangely disturbing landscape charac-

Crump painted an image of trays with dark pink slices

terised by a morbid beauty. For Crump as for Kiefer, these

of raw fish, the trays almost filling the entire format of

are images of profound mourning and loss.

the composition (p 114). The inclusion at the top of the composition of green leaves, seems to have been deliberate,

Mapelane Mangrove (p 59) evokes the smoked blackness

in order to emphasise the resemblance between the

of a burnt-out forest, contrasted with a brightly lit zone

sliced fish and the ‘slaughtered’ Rosebank palm trees.

at the top of the composition, reminding the viewer of the

Both resemble eroded landscapes and are metaphors

still unharmed foliage of the trees.11 Inside the swamp

for the destruction of natural habitat.14

forest the pathway is covered in leaves, and the canopy of branches and foliage blocks out most of the sky. Here it

In 1997 Crump took a fresh look at traditional still life

is sheltered and quiet. It is a reminder of the dense foliage

painting. At a time when both the landscape and the

of still unharmed trees. The contrast between ominous

still life seem to have served their purpose in painting,

darkness and flashes of light, the colour-drained burnt

Crump imbued them with a new painterly pathos and

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LEFT: Rail Line, Mapelane, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 55 x 74 cm Tatham Art Gallery. Photo: Ian Carbutt RIGHT: Mapelane Mangrove, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 38.5 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

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an aggressive energy, reflecting the harshness and ruth-

Turkey 2 and Turkey 3 (1997) (pp 63, 103, 104) still lifes

lessness of the world we live in.

are disturbingly evocative of eroded and colour-drained landscapes, as well as dry, crumpled human skin.

In his Kitchen Series (1997), small iconised still lifes of half-eaten food and raw or cooked meat and fish, the

In Crump’s Market Series (pp 112-115) of 1997, the

artist explored the ritual of food and eating. Most of

artist’s attention was captured by a pile of heads of vul-

these still lifes resemble landscapes, and like the earlier

tures, ground hornbills, and other protected and endan-

minescapes, evoke similar connotations of greed, waste,

gered animal species for sale at the Manzini market. The

excess, erosion and carnage. They comment on the con-

sale of animal carcasses for medicinal purposes (Umuthi)

tradiction between the necessity of eating and the repul-

is a well established practice in traditional healing. For

siveness of raw, defrosted meat, and the forlorn remains

Crump, however, this practice symbolised culling, carnage

of a meal (p 109). In the Kitchen Series: Fillet (p 60) the

and the violation of nature. The muted greys and browns

somewhat sinister depiction of meat dripping with blood

in these images heighten the feeling of death and decay,

in a sink becomes symbolic of bleeding wounds and

as well as the mystery and silence the artist has experi-

violation.

enced about these markets.17 The gruesomeness of the culling of animals continued to haunt the artist, and he

Fillet (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

Alan Crump portrayed the landscape as food and food

was even reminded of such practices in the image of a

as landscape. This is particularly evident in the image of

snarling dog’s head on an innocuous towel, which he

Foil (p 62) in which the crumpled foil is reminiscent of a

painted in Dish Cloth (p 110) from the Kitchen Series. The

textured and furrowed landscape.15 It also has connota-

bright green of the lettuce on the right – perhaps sym-

tions of a shrivelled brain. Likewise, the crumpled cling

bolising renewal – is here contrasted sharply with the

wrap around a roast in Pan with Brush (p 107) conjures

faded pallor of the dog’s head. Discolouration for Crump,

up organic forms in an arid landscape, and also evokes

as for Kiefer, always symbolises destruction, mourning

wrinkled skin over dead flesh. For Crump, it seems, the

and loss.

ravaged landscape becomes the trope of the ‘scarred’ body – yet another violated site. As a reservoir of memory,

A work entitled Bones (1997) from the Market Series (p 112)

such sites recall Kiefer’s For Paul Celan (2005) (Lauter-

depicts bones scattered onto a reed mat18 by a traditional

wein, 2007: plate 116), in which the ashes in the fallow

healer (sangoma), and must have been a formal challenge

landscape “...become physically ubiquitous: they are

to Crump as much as it was yet another metaphor for loss

absorbed into the countryside, into humans, into every

and decay. It is an almost monochrome image in shades

living thing” (Lauterwein, 2007:144).16 Crump’s Turkey 1,

of browns, seen against an unexpected luminous light

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LEFT: Foil (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Turkey 2 (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

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blue at the top of the composition. The scattered bones

The three large paintings depicting the burnt-out audito-

seem to have been inspirational to the artist because of

rium of the 1820s Settlers’ Monument (pp 64, 66, 67)

their formal qualities, allowing him to energise the for-

at Grahamstown, are amongst the most compelling and

mat with energetic mark-making. Iconographically this

powerful images Crump created. These three large aqua-

work can be linked to Shards (1997) (p 108), also rendered

relles were the first in a proposed series of images of public

in monochrome shades of greys and a velvety black that

monuments. They depict the charred skeleton of the theatre

evoke a mysterious sense of loss. This can perhaps be

after a devastating fire razed the building in 1994. To Crump

linked to the mysterious disappearance at the time of

it became both another violated landscape as well as a

some valuable artefacts from the South African National

site of contested culture.

Cultural Museum in Pretoria.19 Formally the work is interesting. The surface of the plate has been tilted, so that

Public monuments are possibly the first beacons to signify

the shards on it appear frontally on a two-dimensional

change in a society. Because they usually stand for mem-

plane, allowing the viewer to confront the image directly.

ories of the past, celebrating individual ‘heroes’, cultures

Crump chose this kind of perspective in several of the

and ideologies, they tend to disturb and offend new

still lifes he painted, even before 1997. Butternuts (1993)

governments and political orders. For many years the

(p 97), for instance, is characterised by similar formal

1820s Settlers’ Monument in Grahamstown had sym-

concerns.

bolised and celebrated the cultural history of the largest stage of British settlement in Africa. When Crump took

Monument I, 1995 Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm Grahamstown Foundation Collection Photo: Carol Gourley

The two pygmy hippos in Amsterdam Zoo (1997) (p 115),

over the politically fraught position of Chairman of the

were yet another reminder to the artist of an endan-

Festival Committee in 1990, it was undoubtedly a momen-

gered animal species. In an aerial view, the two hippos

tous period in the history of the Standard Bank National

are seen on either side of a high partition. In the narrow

Arts Festival. It was the year Barbara Masekela, the then

and claustrophobic spaces to which they have been

head of the ANC’s Department of Arts and Culture, deliv-

confined, they seem to be seeking closeness with each

ered her controversial address in Grahamstown, in which

other. Rendered in a range of subdued browns and ochres,

she described the National Arts Festival as “Eurocentric”

this image, like so many others Crump deliberately chose

and “colonial”, and warned that “strong action would be

to paint, distinctly evokes associations with loss, suffering

taken if it did not change its character” (quoted by Crump,

and abjection. Formally the composition is reminiscent

1995: 7).20 By 1995, however, Ben Ngubane, the then

of Crump’s quarry and excavation sites – it has been

Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, already

composed as an almost geometric structure, the walls

considered the Grahamstown Festival “terribly important”,

around the animals forming a grid and piercing the earth

and felt that it was the “only event that brought the

like sharp knives.

whole country together nationally in the arena of the

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LEFT: Monument II, 1996 Watercolour on paper, 105 x 160 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Monument III, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm Sasol Collection

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arts” (quoted by Crump, 1995: 7). His Deputy, Brigitte

harsh black-and-white charcoal sketches, the medium

Mabandla, was similarly positive about the Festival in

itself becoming a metaphor for annihilation.

1997.21

Red Giant (p 68) (1994) depicts a large building excavaWhatever the reason for the 1994 fire, the burnt-out

tion site showing the tracks of heavy trucks in the blood

remains of the theatre reminded Crump of photographs

red earth, scattered with the detritus of building.24 The

of the incinerated building of the Reichstag in Berlin,

intense red colour of the earth reminded the artist of

destroyed during the Second World War.22 The gutted

the loss of life and bloodshed in KwaZulu Natal in 1994

and blackened cavity of the auditorium, the sacred heart

between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC.25

of the theatre, symbolised for the artist the power of

Both political parties committed atrocities in the period

annihilation by fire and the destruction of an era and of

immediately after the first democratic elections of 1994.

a past political order. The concept for these images once

At the same time, the artist may have named this work

again recalls the work of Anselm Kiefer in Germany, who

after the luminous Red Giant star because of the im-

has used images of burning and smouldering sites as

manence of destruction that such a star represents in

metaphors for the devastation caused by World War II.23

the short-lived and nearly final phase of its evolution. Certainly the association was also made because of the

In his depictions of the incinerated Monument I (p 64)

blood-red colour of the earth at this excavation site. The

Crump has captured the raw energy of fire, its terrifying

pliability of the watercolour medium allowed Crump to

life and turbulence. To evoke the charred void left by the

render the elusiveness of natural phenomena, and through

blaze, he has made use of large areas of variegated

layers of translucent washes, notions of the passing of

black and ashen greys, pierced here and there by lumi-

time, transition and change.

nous shafts of light falling through gouged windows. Normally the site where dramas have been performed,

Earthworks (p 70) (1997) and Quarry (1997) have been

the theatre itself has been transformed into a drama.

painted on large formats in broad and fluid brush strokes. The aerial perspectives of these excavated sites force the

Red Giant, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm BHP Billiton collection

In the afterglow of the fire the burnt seats and terraces

viewer to ‘enter’ the image directly – there is no gradual

of the theatre are shown in the image of Monument II

recession into the background as in traditional landscape

(p 66), which has also become a metaphor for a burnt cul-

painting. The conceptual concerns embedded in these

ture. There is a kinship also between these images and

images are directly linked to social and cultural issues relat-

works created by some of the German Expressionists.

ing to this country. Both are sites of devastation, greed

Max Beckmann, whose art Crump greatly admired, ren-

and exploitation. Earthworks depicted, according to Crump,

dered his vision of the destructive force of the War in

an excavation site for a visitors’ centre in the Botanical

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LEFT: Earthworks, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm MTN Collection. Photo: Clive Stewart RIGHT: The Mine, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 103 x 152 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss

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Gardens in Durban.26 On either side of a razor-sharp stone

white pyramid-shaped lamps. The vast luminous expanse

wall, the red earth evokes a fleshy, bleeding wound. Crump

of bright green captures the viewer’s attention, because in

was moved by the pathos of this scene, heightened by

it the artist has managed, as in Leaving, to sustain tension

its contrast with the sensuality of the flora and fauna in

and life on a large scale. The ability to energise such large

the Gardens around it.

areas of pure colour recalls the watercolours of such great masters as Mondrian and Matisse.

Quarry (1997) is depicted at an oblique angle, from above, and is an almost abstract composition, dark and threaten-

In some of his very last works, the Cinnamomum camphora

ing. It conjures up the poisonous slime pools surrounding

(Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) series (2001), (pp 119-124)

the Johannesburg mine dumps. Its eroded appearance

Crump took his interpretations of the visual to the ultimate

links this work with the earlier images of minescapes, such

limits of the representational. He immersed himself in the

as Kaolin Mine (1992) (p 96), in which such slime dams

elementary energy of nature and rendered his response to

feature prominently. Landscapes – and minescapes, for

the landscape in large gestures, allowing his washes of

that matter – evoke, for the artist, archaeological sub-

colour to unfold freely and surprise him, yet never losing

strata. They suggest that we are ‘standing on’ our diverse

sight of his vision. The giant Camphor trees at Vergelegen,28

cultures, conjuring up memories of the past.27

the oldest living, officially documented trees in South Africa, moved the artist profoundly. He has radically abstracted

In The Mine (p 71) the earth has also been gutted and

and presented them in muted, almost monochromatic

‘wounded’ for the wealth it yields. Its innards have been

grey-browns, resembling bones, possibly symbolising the

exposed, and the marks made for purposes of dynamiting,

passing of a vibrant life force (p 120). As I have pointed

appear as tremulous red lines, resembling blood seeping

out above, these images are profoundly evocative of the

from the earth. Both The Mine and the Quarry signify

abject body, and in this sense, Crump’s work has come

man-made interventions into the earth. The natural

full circle in terms of his engagement with issues relat-

shape of a mountain has here been reversed in the

ing to suffering, loss and destruction.

mine cavity, revealing its negative form. Both hold seThe Club, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 103 x 152 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss

crets of human civilisation.

The Cobbles series, painted in shades of grey and soft ochres, are amongst the last works Crump produced29

Directly related to The Mine is Club (1997) (p 73). An evo-

(2002) (pp 131-135). Cobbled streets in Europe always

cation of the lavish interior of a Randlords’ club, it shows

fascinated Crump,30 and their sombre appearance in these

the place where those who pillage the earth go for rec-

images, with the railway track stretching into the distance,

reation and pleasure. Part of a green billiard table has

suggests that they may allude to Auschwitz and the dark

been depicted at a sharp diagonal, and is lit by two

historical memory of the Holocaust, a historical reality

73


74


which was never far from the artist’s mind.31 After 1942,

intentionally ambiguous and elusive. His images demand

all the railways in Europe potentially led to Auschwitz and

spiritual and mental engagement, and through their inter-

have become a symbol for the road of no return. The rail-

pretation, participation in the creative act of painting.

way track, most prominent also in the work of Kiefer,32 is one of the most stereotypical images of the Holocaust.

ENDNOTES

A ceramic sculpture from the Ardmore Studio33 inspired

Funeral, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

Crump to produce a ‘landscape’ of a totally different

1 This essay is partly based on an article in de arte 62

nature. Entitled Funeral (2001) (p 74), this composition

(2000): Skawran, K. ‘Alan Crump and Neels Coetzee:

resembles the sculpture closely. It is a dark, yet atmos-

Sites revisited. Images in Watercolour’, pp 72-83. Discus-

pheric image, rendered in earthy, warm colours. A funeral

sions with the late Alan Crump, Caroline Crump, Mari-

scene has been depicted on a slab of clay, resembling a

lyn Martin, Willem Strydom, Warren Siebrits and Karel

piece of earth. Diagonally positioned on the format, it is

Nel have also been taken into consideration.

seen against a mysteriously lit background. A bier drawn

2 Like Kiefer, Crump also made use of words in some of

by two animals is seen from above. The bier itself is accom-

his images, especially his graphic works, e.g. Red Giant

panied on either side by another two animal figures.

and Lull (pp 76-77), to denote some socio-historical

Three of the four bright candles on each of the four corners,

context.

are burning, while the light of the fourth has been extin-

3 Alex Duffey (2010) demonstrates that Pierneef, al-

guished. Caroline Crump suggests that this image may

though most conservative, was not politically neutral in

be read as a tribute to Crump’s parents who had passed

some of his images. See also N J Coetzee (1992) for a dis-

away only a few years before.34

cussion of the relationship between Pierneef’s work and the nascent ideology of Afrikaner nationalism.

The act of painting was for Crump a contemplative one,

4 Crump, surprisingly one-sidedly, claimed that Battiss

in which intuition and insight, spontaneity and conceptual

circumvented inner reality, and that he hardly ever com-

coherency, interacted in a harmonious and organic manner.

mented on himself, nor engaged on a deeper level with

His manipulation of formal means, such as colour and

cultural or historical issues (Crump,2005: 32)

lighting, has enabled him to essentialise and conceptu-

5 I have commented elsewhere (Skawran, 2000) on the

alise his visual impressions and to explore the metaphor-

fact that watercolour is a medium that, in this country,

ical potential of diverse landscapes and sites.

has not as yet received the attention it deserves. Since then not much has changed. Being practiced by many as

Crump’s iconography is accessible on one level, but its

a socially recreational hobby – an escapist art practiced

interpretation remains open and its meaning, at times,

by the amateur bourgeois – it is considered a

75


Lull, 1978 Shoe polish, charcoal and wax, 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

76


Red Giant, 1978 Shoe polish, charcoal and some colour 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection Photo: John Hodgkiss

77


Still Life, 1965-­69 Oil on board, 38 x 55 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

78

second-rate medium, considered by many as little more

century, called this area of the Natal coast Terra dos fu-

than a Victorian drawing room pastime. The exhibition,

mos (‘Land of smoke’).

Stained Paper: South African Images in Watercolour (18 April

10 Such awareness of the cyclical nature of the land is

– 10 June 2000), Standard Bank, Johannesburg, curated

reflected in Crump’s Rail Line Mapelane, in which the

by Keith Dietrich and Karin Skawran, and the retrospec-

felled tree trunks sprout new foliage, signifying rebirth

tive exhibition of the work of Walter Battiss, Walter Battiss:

and renewal.

Gentle Anarchist (20 October – 3 December 2005),

11The dune forest of Mapelane reserve leads down into

Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, which I curated,

the quiet reaches of a swamp forest where mangroves dig

may have contributed to a greater awareness in this country

their gnarled roots deep into the tidal sands.

of the medium itself and of the exceptionally competent

12 Trees reminded Crump of the Botanical Gardens in

works in watercolour created by artists in this country,

Durban, where both his and his parents’ ashes have been

such as Walter Battiss, Maud Sumner, Adolph Jentsch,

buried. Three trees and a wooden bench mark the

Ernest Mancoba, Keith Dietrich, Willem Strydom and others.

gravesite. Palm trees, in particular, also brought to mind

6 Crump frequently discussed Macke’s work with me, as

his friend, the late Dick Leigh who collected palms.

well as that of George Baselitz, whose watercolours as well

13 Compare Kiefer’s Aspen Tree – For Paul Celan (2005)

as his graphic work had greatly inspired him

(Lauterwein, 2007: Pl.118, 214)

7 At a later stage in the creative process, Crump erased all

14 I am indebted to Karel Nel for this observation.

traces of pencil marks.

15 Crump always held an interest in the depiction of

8 For this observation I am indebted to Federico Freschi.

silver, copper and other metals. Even as a young boy he

There is a poignant correlation between this work and

painted copper pots (p 78).

a work that Crump did as a schoolboy, which depicts a

16 Crump’s Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

small boat against an ominous background of blue and

Vergelegen) series is powerfully reminiscent of such

green sea and sky (p 55).

bodily abjection. The bone-like shapes in these watercol-

9 Caroline Crump maintains that Sappi cut down these

ours ominously evoke the recycling of human remains to

trees at Mapelane, but that there seems to have been

fertilise the land during WW II.

a fire as well at the time. It is not clear whether the fire on

17 Crump was attracted to the silent darkness of such

this site was the result of arson or was due to other causes.

Umuthi markets, partly because they differed so

Inhabitants of this area are known to lead a subsistence

radically from other colourful and lively African markets else-

lifestyle, depending very much on wood and the ash of

where in South Africa.

fires, which they dig into the ground for composting. In

18 A collection of bones, shells, seeds and other assorted

this regard it is interesting that the Portuguese, when

charms are thrown onto a reed mat by a Sangoma, in

they explored the coast of South Africa in the 15th

an attempt to communicate and seek advice from the


African King and Sceptre Series I, 1984 Watercolour and pencil 88 x 80 cm Caroline Crump collection Photo: John Hodgkiss

79


ancestors and spirit guides as to the treatment to be given to a patient. 19 At the time of his and Neels Coetzee’s exhibition in the Pretoria Art Museum in 2000, the artist spoke to me about his deep concern at the disappearance of these artefacts. 20 Unpublished lecture, ‘Culture in a new South Africa’, 2ff. See Crump, 1995. 21 The then Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Brigitte Mabandla delivered a speech at the Grahamstown Festival in 1995, thereby establishing the ANC’s support of the annual event. For Crump’s direct involvement in the activities of the Grahams-town Festival, as well as the Standard Bank Corporate Collection of Art, see Mandie van der Spuy’s tribute in this catalogue. 22 Personal communication. 23 See, for example, Kiefer’s To the Unknown Painter (1982) (Lauterwein, 2007: plate 81) and Your Ashen Hair,

Shulamith (1981) (Lauterwein, 2007: plate 43). 24 In astronomy, a Red Giant is a luminous giant star, which, as it gets warmer, explodes and collapses. Crump has engaged astronomical themes before, e.g. the charcoal and wax Giant Star (1983) (p 77). This work, interestingly, is also related to Permanent and Impermanent Marks (p 41). The watercolour, Red Giant (p 68), depicts the vast building site of the new Gencor Head Office Building in Johannesburg that was being constructed at the time. Gencor became Billiton in 1997, and then merged with BHP Australia to become BHP Billiton in 2001. I am indebted to Warren Siebrits for providing the information about this building site.

80


African King and Sceptre Series II, 1984 Watercolour and pencil, 100 x 70 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss African King and Sceptre Series III, 1984 Watercolour and pencil, 68 x 97 cm Karin Skawran collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

81


82


25 There were severe conflicts at the time between Chief

31 Crump has also depicted a railway track in his Rail

Buthelezi and his nephew, King Goodwill Zwelethini,

Line, Mapelane (p 58)

which brought the country to the brink of civil war. The

32 See, amongst other, Kiefer’s Lot’s Wife (1990) (Lauter-

three King and Sceptre images (pp 79, 80-81) Crump

wein, 2007: Pl. 79, 148) which refers to the Holocaust.

painted in 1986 may refer to the decline of the king’s

33 When Crump’s term of office as Chairman of the Board

power in modern times.

of the Standard Bank Gallery expired he was presented with

26 Personal communication, 2000.

two Ardmore sculptures, one of which depicts the funeral of

27 The pillaging of the earth also refers to the pillaging of

Martina Jiyane, a member of the Ardmore team who was

artefacts from museums. Crump, himself an avid collector,

killed in a car accident in 1997. Interestingly, animals,

was interested in museums and collections of all kinds.

rather than people are represented in this funeral scene.

He was concerned about the disappearance of objects

The clay sculpture was made and painted by Martina

from collections, and thus the images in his Artefact

Jiyane’s husband, Nhlanhla Nsundwane, in memory of

Series (pp 125-130) have become metaphors for loss.

his wife.

In San Object the artist has depicted objects which have

34 Caroline Crump, personal communication, 2011.

been created from animal skins, sewn into objects which Keate’s Drift Nursery Overlooking the Tugela Valley, 1991 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75.7 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo: Roy Reed

are only vaguely recognisable. The reference here is also to the culling of animals.

REFERENCES

28 These trees were planted at Vergelegen during the Van der Stel era (1700-1706). The five remaining giants

Coetzee, N. J. (1992). Pierneef, Land, and Landscape: The

were proclaimed National Monuments in 1942, and are

Johannesburg Station Panels in Context. Johannesburg:

expected to live for another 150 to 200 years.

Johannesburg Art Gallery.

29 Crump, unfortunately, was not a very prolific painter, and there are years during which he did not produce any

Crump, A. (2009). Alan Crump. In J. Charlton (Ed.), Signa-

work at all. This may well have been due to his aca-

ture Pieces: The Standard Bank Corporate Collection (p. 97).

demic and many other commitments, as well as much travel-

Johannesburg: Bell Roberts Publishing.

ling. Crump stopped painting altogether in 2002. 30 Interestingly, these Cobbles images are signed, in

Crump, A. (2005). Battiss’s Eloquent Vocabulary with Pen

abbreviated form, in the middle of each composition, as

and Brush. In K. M. Skawran (Ed.), Walter Battiss – Gentle

AC ‘02, seemingly in a rush. Caroline Crump suggested

Anarchist: A Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of Walter

that he may not have quite finished the works. A cobbled

Whall Battiss (1906-1982) (pp. 31-35). Johannesburg:

pathway already occurs in Keats Drift Nursery Overlooking

Standard Bank Gallery.

Tugela Valley (1991) (p 83).

83


84


Crump, A. (1995). In the Hot Seat. Contact, 7.

at the University of South Africa. She has written and curated extensively on South African art.

Crump, A. (2002). Landscape in the Works of Marc Chagall – Nature or Memory? Chagall Conference, Vitebsk, 7-8

July 2002, (pp. 1-10). Vitebsk. Duffey, A. (2010). J H Pierneef and the Union Buildings.

de arte, 82, 8-23. Lauterwein, A. (2007). Anselm Kiefer/Paul Celan: Myth,

Mourning and Memory. London: Thames and Hudson. Miller, P. B. (1974). Anxiety and Abstraction: Kleist and Brentano on Caspar David Friedrich. Art Journal, XXXLLL (3), 205-209.

Mine Landscape, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 73.5 x 55 cm Standard Bank Gallery. Photo: Wayne Oosthuizen

Schama, S. (1996). Landscape and Memory. London: Fontana.

Skawran, K. M. (Ed.). (2005). Walter Battiss: Gentle Anar-

chist. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery.

Skawran, K. M. (2000). Alan Crump and Neels Coetzee: Sites Revisited. de arte, 62, 72-83.

Skawran, K. M. (1980). Caspar David Friedrich’s World View in Pictorial Form. In M. Macnamara (Ed.), World Views. Cape Town: van Schaik.

Vaughan, W. (1982). German Romantic Painting. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Professor Karin Maria Skawran is a former Head of the Department of History of Art and Fine Arts

85


86


W ORKS

Red Giant (verso), 1978 Shoe polish, charcoal and some colour 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

87


Lull (verso), 1978 Shoe polish, charcoal and wax, 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection Photo: John Hodgkiss

88


LEFT: Dwesa, Transkei (recto), undated (c. 1984) Charcoal and watercolour, 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Dwesa, Transkei (verso), undated (c. 1984) Charcoal and watercolour, 73 x 55 cm Karin Skawran collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

89


90


LEFT: Brixton Ridge (Brixton Series), 1990 Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour, 57 x 76 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: N G Kerk (Brixton Series), 1990 Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57,5 x 76 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss

91


92


LEFT: The Tin Temple (Brixton Series), 1990 Body colour, pencil, watercolour; 56,5 x 76 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: The Large Monument, (Brixton Series), 1990 Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57 x 75,5 cm Johannesburg Art Gallery. Photo: John Hodgkiss

93


94


LEFT: Cato Manor, 1991 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75.7 cm Durban Art Gallery. Photo by Roy Reed RIGHT: Umgeni, 1991 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

95


96


LEFT: Kaolin Mine Grahamstown, 1992 Watercolour on paper, 102 x 74 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Butternuts, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 75 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

97


98


LEFT: Red and Green Figs, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 25 x 55 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Bread on the Water, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 63 x 111 cm Presented in 1995 by Linda Givon to Wits Art Museum Photo: John Hodgkiss

99


100


LEFT: Minescape, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 71.5 x 55 cm Standard Bank Gallery. Photo: Wayne Oosthuizen RIGHT: Circle Erosion, 1994 Watercolour on paper, 102 x 154 cm William Humphreys Gallery

101


102


LEFT: Cover (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Turkey 1 (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

103


104


LEFT: Turkey 3 (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Gammon 1 (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

105


106


LEFT: Gammon 2 (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Pan with Brush (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

107


108


LEFT: Shards (Kitchen Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Crème Caramel (Kitchen Series), 1997 Watercolour on paper, 28.5 x 20 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

109


110


LEFT: Dish Cloth (Kitchen Series), 1997 Watercolour on paper,37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Cut Palm Trees, Rosebank, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

111


112


LEFT: Bones (Market Series), 1997 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Herbs (Market Series), 1997 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

113


114


LEFT: Fish (Market Series), 1996 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Amsterdam Zoo, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 28 x 38 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

115


116


LEFT: Durban Monument, 1997 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Circa 1990s, 1999 Watercolour on paper, 30 x 38 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

117


118


LEFT: Untitled, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 1, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

119


Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 2, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

120


Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 3, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

121


Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 4, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

122


Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 5, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

123


124


LEFT: Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees, Vergelegen) 6, 2001 Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Untitled 1 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

125


126


LEFT: Untitled 2 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Untitled 3 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

127


128


LEFT: Untitled 4 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Untitled 5 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

129


130


LEFT: Untitled 6 (Artefacts Series), 2001 Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss RIGHT: Untitled 1 (Cobble Series), 2002 Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

131


RIGHT: Untitled 2 (Cobble Series), 2002 Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

132


RIGHT: Untitled 3 (Cobble Series), 2002 Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

133


Untitled 4 (Cobble Series), 2002 Watercolour on paper, 77 x 56 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

134


Untitled 5 (Cobble Series), 2002 Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm Caroline Crump collection. Photo: John Hodgkiss

135


136


CHRONOLOGY SELECTED EVENTS, ACHIEVEMENTS AND APPOINTMENTS 1949

Born April 28th 1949 in Durban, South Africa

1958-1963

Durban Preparatory High School

1963-1966

Durban High School

1966

Art Prize for Golden Gates Area, Centenary Art Exhibition, Durban High School

1968-1971

BA (Fine Arts) Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town

Standard Bank National Arts Festival Committee member (Visual Art) 1984-2009

Standard Bank Young Artist Award – Visual Art (input and recommendations) Involved in the influential Cape Town Triennale with the director of the National Gallery, Raymund van Niekerk

1985

Awarded Michaelis prize (with Shelly Sacks, Nina Romm and Susan Norton)

Instrumental in the development and judging of the National Drawing Competition, the AA Mutual Vita Awards and was called upon as both a judge and adviser on these and many other competitions throughout his career

1990

Marries Caroline Robinson on April 21st 1990

1972

MA (Fine Arts) (Distinction) Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town

1990-2009

1973

Appointed lecturer at the University of Cape Town

Appointed honorary director of the Wits University Art Galleries (now the Wits Art Museum) and the Standard Bank African Art Collection at Wits University

Awarded Fullbright scholarship

1990-2009

Ad-hoc advisor to the Standard Bank Art Gallery

MFA, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

1990-1999

Chairperson of the Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Later attended the New York School University

1990-2009

Executive Member of the Grahamstown Foundation Council

Worked as studio assistant for the American performance artist Vito Acconci (b. 1940) and the sculptor Richard Serra (b. 1939)

1993-2009

Advisory member to the Standard Bank Corporate Collection

1995

Johannesburg Biennale Advisory Committee

Returns to South Africa

1997

Johannesburg Biennale Advisory Committee

Appointed Lecturer in History of Art, Department of History of Art and Fine Arts, University of South Africa (UNISA)

1997-2000

Presents lectures and workshops country-wide re-examining watercolour as a medium

1999

Appointed Chairman of the Johannesburg Art Gallery Committee

2000

Appointed Scientific Curator and consultant for the Standard Bank’s international exhibitions

2005

The Everard Read Art Award is launched, brainchild of Mark Read and Alan Crump

Appointed as teaching assistant at the University of Cape Town 1971

1974-1975

1976

1978

Promoted to Senior Lecturer in History of Art, Department of History of Art and Fine Arts, UNISA

1980

At age 31, appointed Professor and Head of Department of Fine Art, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits), one of the youngest Professors and Heads of Department at Wits

1983-2009

Member of the Johannesburg Art Gallery Committee

Dies on Friday May 1st 2009, aged 60 2009

Standard Bank Young Artists: 25, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, which he co-curated, dedicated to the memory of Alan Crump

137


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS [SOLO * AND GROUP **] *

University Art Galleries, UCLA

1976

*

Market Gallery, Johannesburg

1977

*

Market Gallery, Johannesburg

1975

** 1978

* *

1983

1984

1986

** ** ** **

1990

**

Displacements: South African Works on Paper, 1984-1994, 1995

UNISA Staff Exhibition, SA Association of Arts, Pretoria

* **

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Johannesburg

* *

Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

**

University Academic Staff Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg 1999

**

Group Exhibition, Market Gallery, Johannesburg

Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Cape Town Triennial, Cape Town

1992

**

Group Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

1993

*

1994

**

5 Havanna Biennale, Cuba

**

Goodman in Grahamstown, The Round, Grahamstown

Alan Crump and Neels Coetzee, The William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley Alan Crump and Neels Coetzee, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg Alan Crump and Neels Coetzee, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria Group Exhibition, Vega School of Brand Advertising Communications, Johannesburg

Wedge, recent work by the staff, Department of Fine Arts, Wits University, NSA Gallery, Durban

Ferreira Fine Art, Lipschitz Gallery, and Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet) exhibition in collaboration with the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

Wits Fine Art Staff Exhibition, University of the

**

11-22 March

Artery, a multi-venue (The Association for Visual Arts, Joao

2000

138

**

Johannesburg

1991

Invited Artist, South African National Gallery, Cape Town,

1998

The Wedge, Wits University Staff Exhibition, Tatham Art

University Academic Staff Exhibition, Goodman Gallery,

Evanston, (Chicago), USA

1997

Alan Crump and Leon du Plessis, Wartenweiler Gallery,

Alan Crump and Margaret Vorster, Market Gallery,

**

Mary and Leigh Bloch Galley, Northwestern University,

**

Emotions and Relations, Group Exhibition, Lecturers at the Wits School of Arts, Sandton Art Gallery, Johannesburg

No 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Group Exhibition, Lecturers at the

Solo Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg th

** 2001

* **

Wits School of Arts, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg and Grahamstown Alan Crump and Lyndi Sales, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

LAND, UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria


TOP LEFT: A press clipping from Alan Crump’s days as a lecturer at UNISA. CENTRE LEFT: Eddy Magit, Mayor of Johannesburg, Vice Chancellor Karl Tober and Alan Crump in the Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, 1984. BOTTOM LEFT: Alan Crump, Peter Schutz and Johan Schoeman at the Wits Club, c. 1991. RIGHT: Alan Crump in a Ficus grove, 2002.

139


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS CURATED * AND CONFERENCES ** 1984-1998

1990 1997

* * *

2000

*

The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection,

2001

* *

2003

140

Johannesburg

Chagall Conference, Museum of History and Culture, Minsk, Belarus.

*

Rome, Italy. Co-curated with Meret Meyer and Claudia Beltramo Zevi

Grahamstown

*

Scientific curator, Marc Chagall: The Light of Origins,

Edoardo Villa: Moving Voices, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

(Lithographs from the Charles Sorlier collection), South African National Gallery, Cape Town

No. 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

The Magical Universe of Joan Miró, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

Lozoya, Caja Segovia, Spain, Conference, January,

**

Memory? Vitebsk, Belarus

*

Schutz @ 60, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

*

2007

Johannesburg and Observatory Museum,

2002

Landscape in the Works of Marc Chagall – Nature or

Chagall Conference, Lublin, Poland Marc Chagall, un maestro, GAM Galleria d’Arte

2004

Corporate Collection, Standard Bank Gallery,

Chagall delle Meraviglie, Museo dell Vittoriano,

**

**

**

Lien Botha, Boxing Days, Grahamstown and touring

Chagall, El Mensaje Biblico, 1931-1983, Torreon de 2002

2005

Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg.

Scientific curator, Marc Chagall: The Light of Origins

*

*

Award exhibitions

Everard Phenomenon, Standard Bank Gallery,

*

New Beginnings: The Best of the Standard Bank

Advisory role, annual Standard Bank Young Artist

Moderna, Turin, Italy. Co-curator with Meret Meyer and Jean-Michel Foray

Standard Bank Young Artists: 25 Years of

2009

Commitment and Financial Support, Albany Musem,

*

Grahamstown and Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg. Retrospective exhibition co-curated with Barbara Freemantle


TOP LEFT: A salt pan in the Kalahari, Alan Crump in the foreground, 1998. BOTTOM LEFT: Alan Crump framed by a vista in the Kruger National Park, 2000. RIGHT: Alan Crump in the entrance of an indlu, a traditional Zulu dwelling, 1993.

141


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

1972

An Investigation Into the Structure of Linguistic and Non-verbal

The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection. Exhibition catalogue,

Iconography as an Expressive Means of Communication, Cape

Johannesburg: Standard Bank Art Gallery.

Town: University of Cape Town. 1985

1986

‘Harvest of Diversity’ in Cape Town Triennial 1985. Exhibition

Standard Bank National Drawing Competition. Exhibition 1990

catalogue, Cape Town: Rembrandt van Rijn Foundation.

Introduction to A Verster, Feè Halsted-Berning and Bonnie

Introduction to N Dubow, Gavin Younge – Koperberg: Standard

Ntshalintshali: Standard Bank Young Artist Award – 1990.

Bank Young Artist Award – 1986. Exhibition catalogue, Graham-

Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown: 1820 Foundation.

stown: 1820 Foundation.

Sculpture by Edoardo Villa 1985-1987. Johannesburg Art Gallery, 1987

Introduction to E Rankin E et al, Andries Botha: Standard Bank 1991

Young Artist Award – 1991. Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown:

Johannesburg.

1820 Foundation.

Miles E and Crump A, Standard Bank Young Artist Award 1987

Introduction to R Van Niekerk, Tommy Motswai: Standard Bank

– William Kentridge, Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown: 1820

1992

Young Artist Award – 1992. Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown:

Foundation.

1820 Foundation.

Introduction to J Carman, Margaret Vorster: Standard Bank Young

Foreword to Rankin, E. Images of Metal: Post-War Sculptures and

Artist Award – 1988. Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown:1820

Assemblages in South Africa, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand

Foundation. 1988

catalogue, Johannesburg: Standard Bank Art Gallery.

1994

University Press and University of the Witwatersrand Art Galleries.

Crump A and Van Niekerk R, Public Sculpture and Reliefs – Cape

Introduction to D Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa: Standard Bank

Town. Woodstock: Clifton Publications.

Young Artist Award – 1994. Exhibition catalogue

John Ndevasia Muafangejo (1943-1987): Second Guest Artist Award 1988. Exhibition catalogue, Johannesburg: The Broeder-

Introduction to J Sherman ed. Three Sculptors/Three Readers. 1995

tersrand.

stroom Press. Introduction to A Nettleton and D Hammond-Tooke, eds. Ten

Years of Collecting (1979-1989), Johannesburg ).Wits Art

Exhibition catalogue, Johannesburg: University of the Witwa-

Introduction to P Sibisi, Trevor Makhoba – Uma Ngisaphila (As 1996

Galleries.

Long As I Live): Standard Bank Young Artist Award – 1996. Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown: 1820 Foundation.

1989 Introduction to M Arnold, Helen Mmakgoba Mmapula Sebidi:

Standard Bank Young Artist Award – 1989. Exhibition catalogue,

Introduction to S Selepe, Nhlanhla Xaba – In Between: Standard 1998

Grahamstown,1820 Foundation.

Bank Young Artist Award – 1998. Exhibition catalogue, Grahamstown: 1820 Foundation. ‘Chagall in Africa’ in A Crump, S Forestier, et al, Marc Chagall: La

2000

Lumière des Origines/ The Light of Origins, 1949-1977, Exhibition catalogue. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Art Gallery.

142


LEFT: Edoardo Villa and Alan Crump, 2007. RIGHT: (From left to right) Caroline Crump, Alan Crump, Edoardo Villa and Roslyn Katzen, c. 1997.

143


Introduction to K Skawran and K Dietrich, Stained Paper: South

African Images in Watercolour. Exhibition catalogue, Johannes-

‘The Everard Group: A Dialogue Through Painting’ in K Nel et al, 2006

Johannesburg: Everard Read Gallery. pp. 3-9.

Crump A & Graber M, The Magical Universe of Joan Miró.

‘Marc Chagall’s Artistic Independence through Influences’ in C Beltramo et al, Chagall delle Meraviglie, Museo dell Vittoriano,

Exhibition catalogue, Johannesburg: Standard Bank.

Marc Chagall Paysages, Le Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Biélorussie, Munish, Belarus.

Exhibition catalogue, Milan: Skira. 2007

Symposium, University of Heidelberg, Germany, May 30-June 1,

Chagall El Missatge Biblic, 1931-1983. Exhibition catalogue,

2007, Conference Proceedings (to be published in 2011).

Girona: Fundacio Caixa de Girona. pp. 22-25

Alan Crump, Artists’ Voices entry in J. Charlton, ed. Signature

‘Marc Chagall: Los trabajos de la Biblia’ in Chagall, El Mensaje

Pieces: The Standard Bank Corporate Collection. Johannesburg:

Biblico, 1931-1983. Exhibition catalogue, Segovia: Caja Segovia.

Bell Roberts Publishing. p. 97

pp. 22-25. ‘Landscape in the Works of Marc Chagall – Nature or Memory?’

Chagall Conference, Vitebsk, 7-8 July, 1-10, Conference Proceedings. ‘The Determined Search for the Exotic’ in P. Cullen et al. eds. Irma 2003

Stern: Expressions of a Journey. Exhibition Catalogue, Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery. p.25 Untitled entry in A Nettleton, F Rankin-Smith F and J Carlton eds.

Voice-Overs: Wits Writings Exploring African Art Works, University of the Witwatersrand Art Galleries, 2004, p.48 2004

‘Un Artista Indipendente’ in Marc Chagall, Un Maestro del ’900. Exhibition catalogue, Florence: Artificio Skira. pp. 187-194. ‘Chagall and the Stage’ in Marc Chagall et la scène, Exhibition catalogue, Minsk, Belarus: Belarusian State Art Museum. ‘Villa’s Interactive Permutations in Sculpted Steel’ in K Nel, E Burroughs and A von Maltitz , eds. Villa at 90, His Life, Work, and

Influence, Jonathan Ball with Shelf, Johannesburg. pp. 179-200. 2005 ‘Battiss’s Eloquent Vocabulary with Pen and Brush’ in K Skawran,

Walter Battiss, Gentle Anarchist. Exhibition catalogue, Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery. pp. 31-36.

144

‘Status and Social Habit : The First Generation of Jewish Collectors in South Africa and their Consultants’ in Collector’s

‘Marc Chagall: Les Obres Bibliques’ in A Salavedra & F Saguer, 2002

The Everard Group: Then and Now, Exhibition catalogue,

burg: Standard Bank Gallery.

Moving Voices: Edoardo Villa exhibition at the Standard Bank 2009

Gallery. Classicfeel, April 2009, pp. 60-63. ‘Standard Bank Young Artists: 25 Years of Commitment and Financial Support’ in E Maurice, ed. Standard Bank Young Artists:

25 : A Retrospective Exhibition. Exhibition catalogue, Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery. pp. 12-18.


Alan Crump with family and friends.

145


SELECTED PUBLIC AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS Durban Art Gallery Gencor Collection/BHP Biliton, Johannesburg Johannesburg Art Gallery Mobil, Johannesburg MTN, Johannesburg Nedbank, Johannesburg Pretoria Art Museum Sasol Collection, Johannesburg South African National Gallery, Cape Town Standard Bank of South Africa, Johannesburg Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg University of South Africa Art Gallery, Pretoria University of the Witwatersrand Art Gallery, Johannesburg William Humphries Art Gallery, Kimberley

146

Robert Hodgins Portrait of Prof Alan Crump, c. 1980-89 Oil on canvas, 94 x 125 cm Caroline Crump collection Photo: John Hodgkiss


148


INDEX OF ILLUSTRATIONS CRUMP, ALAN

African King and Sceptre Series I, 1984

Brixton Ridge (Brixton Series), 1990

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57 x 76 cm

Vergelegen) 4, 2001

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 90

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Watercolour and pencil, 88 x 80 cm Caroline Crump collection, p 79

African King and Sceptre Series II, 1984

Caroline Crump collection, p 122

Butternuts, 1993 Watercolour on paper, 75 x 57 cm

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Caroline Crump collection, p 97

Vergelegen) 5, 2001

Watercolour and pencil, 100 x 70 cm Caroline Crump collection, p 80

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Cato Manor, 1991

Caroline Crump collection, p 123

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75,7 cm

African King and Sceptre Series III, 1984

Durban Art Gallery, p 94

Vergelegen) 6, 2001

Watercolour and pencil, 68 x 97 cm Karin Skawran collection, p 81

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Vergelegen) 1, 2001

Caroline Crump collection, p 124

Amsterdam Zoo, 1997

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Watercolour on paper, 28 x 38 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 119

Caroline Crump collection, p 115

Circa 1990s, 1999 Watercolour on paper, 30 x 38 cm

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Caroline Crump collection, p 117

Bones (Market Series), 1997

Vergelegen) 2, 2001

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Circle Erosion, 1994

Caroline Crump collection, p 112

Caroline Crump collection, p 120

Watercolour on paper, 102 x 154 cm William Humphreys Gallery, p 101

Bread on the Water, 1994

Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor Trees,

Watercolour on paper, 63 x 111 cm

Vergelegen) 3, 2001

Cottesloe Ridge (Brixton Series), 1990

Wits Art Museum, p 99

Watercolour on paper, 150 x 100 cm

Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57,5 x 76 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 121

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 16

149


Cover (Kitchen Series), 1996

East Rand Property Mine, 1993

Foil (Kitchen Series), 1996

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 55 x 74 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 102

Wits Art Museum, p 40

Caroline Crump collection, p 62

Crème Caramel (Kitchen Series), 1997

Envelope for Katrine Harries, 1971

Funeral, 2001

Watercolour on paper, 28,5 x 20 cm

Etching, 12,4 x 18,4 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 76 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 109

Private collection, p 30

Caroline Crump collection, p 74

Cut Palm Trees, Rosebank, 1997

Envelope for Mr, 1971

Gammon 1 (Kitchen Series), 1996

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75 cm

Etching, 20,1 x 24,8 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 111

Private collection. 30

Caroline Crump collection, p 105

Danzig, 1978

Eroded Mine Dump, 1993

Gammon 2 (Kitchen Series), 1996

Bronze, 83 x 12,2 x 4,5 cm

Watercolour on paper, 56 x 75 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Private collection. p 32

Caroline Crump collection, p 50

Caroline Crump collection, p 106

Dish Cloth (Kitchen Series), 1997

Figures, 1971

Golden Gate, 1968

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Etching, 37,5 x 37,6 cm

Oil on board, 53 x 77 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 110

Private collection, p 27

Caroline Crump collection, p 39

Durban Monument, 1997

Fillet (Kitchen Series), 1996

Great Coastal Dune St. Lucia, 1993

Watercolour on paper, 257 x 76 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 105 x 160 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 116

Caroline Crump collection, p 60

Caroline Crump collection, p 54

Dwesa, Transkei, c. 1984

Fish (Market Series), 1996

Herbs (Market Series), 1997

Charcoal and watercolour, 73 x 55 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Karin Skawran collection, p 89

Caroline Crump collection, p 114

Caroline Crump collection, p 113

Earthworks, 1997

Floor Piece, 1997

Home 1 2 3 Blue, 1971

Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm

Watercolour on paper, 73,5 x 54,5 cm

Etching, 37 x 37,5 cm

MTN Collection, p 70

Standard Bank Gallery, p 20

Private collection, p 27

150


Home 1 2 3 Red, 1971

Lull (verso), 1978

Monument I, 1995

Etching, 37,1 x 37,6 cm

Shoe polish, charcoal and wax, 73 x 55 cm

Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm

Private collection, p 27

Karin Skawran collection, p 88

Grahamstown Foundation Collection, p 64

K4, 1971

Lull, 1978

Monument II, 1996

Etching, 37,3 x 37,6 cm

Incised marble, 36,7 x 246,5 cm

Watercolour on paper, 105 x 160 cm

Private collection, p 27

Wits Art Museum, p 36

Caroline Crump collection, p 66

Kaolin Mine Grahamstown, 1992

Mapelane Burnt Forestry, 1993

Monument III, 1997

Watercolour on paper, 102 x 74 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 96 cm

Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 96

Caroline Crump collection, p 56

Sasol Collection p 67

Keate’s Drift nursery overlooking the

Mapelane Mangrove, 1993

N G Kerk (Brixton Series), 1990

Tugela Valley, 1991

Watercolour on paper, 38,5 x 57 cm

Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57,5 x 76 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75,7 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 59

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 91

Me You, 1971

Natal Landscape Ixopo, 1991

Lap, 1978

Etching, 37,4 x 37,7 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75,7 cm

Poured lead, 79 x 130 x 9 cm

Private collection, p 28

Durban Art Gallery, p 48

Mine Dump and Slime Pool, 1992

Norman, 1971

Leaving, 1999

Watercolour on paper, 56 x 75 cm

Etching, 37,2 x 37,5 cm

Watercolour on paper, 151 x 102 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 51

Private collection, p 28

Mine Landscape, 1993

Open Cast Coal Mines, Newcastle, 1994

Letters to Nina, 1971

Watercolour on paper, 73,5 x 55 cm

Watercolour on paper, 102,4 x 154,4 cm

Etching, 20 x 22,2 cm

Standard Bank Gallery, p 84

Durban Art Gallery, p 52

Minescape, 1994

Package, 1971

Lull (recto), 1978

Watercolour on paper, 71,5 x 55 cm

Etching, 13 x 19,3 cm

Shoe polish, charcoal and wax, 73 x 55 cm

Standard Bank Gallery, p 100

Private collection, p 30

Durban Art Gallery, p 82

Unisa Art Gallery, p 37

Caroline Crump collection, p 55

Private collection, p 30

Karin Skawran collection, p 76

151


Pan with Brush (Kitchen Series), 1996

Shards (Kitchen Series), 1996

Toilet Art Hosted Alan Crump, 1971

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Etching, 37,4 x 37,7cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 107

Caroline Crump collection, p 108

Private collection, p 29

Permanent & Impermanent Marks, 1978

Still Life, 1965-69

Toilet, 1971

Colour prints (9), 22,5 x 169,5 cm

Oil on board, 38 x 55 cm

Etching, 37,4 x 374 cm

Wits Art Museum, p 41

Caroline Crump collection, p 78

Private collection, p 29

Rail Line, Mapelane, 1993

The Club, 1997

Toy Town, 1991

Watercolour on paper, 55 x 74 cm

Watercolour on paper, 103 x 152 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75.7 cm

Tatham Art Gallery, p 58

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 73

Durban Art Gallery, p 46

Red and Green Figs, 1993

The Execution, 1990

Turkey 1 (Kitchen Series), 1996

Watercolour on paper, 25 x 55 cm

Watercolour on paper, 58 x 76 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 98

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 14

Caroline Crump collection, p 103

Red Giant (recto), 1978

The Large Monument, (Brixton Series), 1990

Turkey 2 (Kitchen Series), 1996

Shoe polish, charcoal and some colour; 73 x 55 cm

Body colour, charcoal, pencil, watercolour; 57 x 75,5 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Karin Skawran collection, p 77

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 93

Caroline Crump collection, p 63

Red Giant (verso), 1978

The Mine, 1997

Turkey 3 (Kitchen Series), 1996

Shoe polish, charcoal and some colour; 73 x 55 cm

Watercolour on paper, 103 x 152 cm

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Karin Skawran collection, p 87

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 71

Caroline Crump collection, p 104

Red Giant, 1994

The Tin Temple (Brixton Series), 1990

Umgeni, 1991

Watercolour on paper, 100 x 105 cm

Body colour, pencil, watercolour, 56,5 x 76 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 75 cm

BHP Billiton collection, p 68

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 92

Caroline Crump collection, p 95

Scored envelope, 1971

To My Favourite Cousin, 1971

Untitled, 1964-69 c.

Etching, 37,4 x 37,6 cm

Etching, 37,4 x 37,9 cm

Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 77 cm

Private collection, p 28

Private collection, p 28

Caroline Crump collection, p 55

152


Untitled, 2001

Untitled 1 (Cobble Series), 2002

Wedge Series #3, 1978

Watercolour on paper, 37 x 56 cm

Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm

Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper, 75 x 55,6 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 118

Caroline Crump collection, p 131

Wits Art Museum, p 34

Untitled (Cinnamomum camphora ) Camphor Trees,

Untitled 2 (Cobble Series), 2002

Wedge Series #4, 1978

Vergelegen) Series), 2001

Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm

Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper, 75 x 55,6 cm

Watercolour on paper, 77 x 57 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 132

Wits Art Museum, p 34

Untitled 3 (Cobble Series), 2002

Wedge Series #5, 1978

Untitled (Wedge Series), 1978

Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm

Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper, 75 x 55,6 cm

Oil & paintstick on rag paper, 75,5 x 55,5 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 133

Wits Art Museum, p 35

Untitled 4 (Cobble Series), 2002

HODGINS, ROBERT

Untitled 1 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm

Portrait of Prof Alan Crump, c. 1980-89

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 134

Oil on canvas, 94 x 125 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 43

Wits Art Museum, p 34

Caroline Crump collection, p 125

Caroline Crump collection, p 147

Untitled 5 (Cobble Series), 2002 Untitled 2 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Watercolour on paper, 76 x 57 cm

OPPENHEIM, DENNIS

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 135

Reading Position for Second-Degree Burn. Stage I and Stage II, 1970

Caroline Crump collection, p 126

Untitled 6 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Book, skin, solar energy. Exposure time: 5 hours. Jones

Untitled 3 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Beach, New York. Color photography and text

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 130

215,9 x 152,4 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 127

Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. p 41

Wedge Series #1, 1978 Untitled 4 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper, 75 x 55,5 cm

PIERNEEF, JACOB HENDRIK

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Wits Art Museum, p 34

Karibib, a View of the Town, c. 1929 Oil on canvas, 43,7 x 58,8 cm

Caroline Crump collection, p 128

Wedge Series #2, 1978 Untitled 5 (Artefacts Series), 2001

Charcoal & paintstick on rag paper, 75 x 55,3 cm

Watercolour on paper, 57 x 76 cm

Wits Art Museum, p 35

Johannesburg Art Gallery, p 39

Caroline Crump collection, p 129

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SPONSORS

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As a teacher, curator, writer, judge, arts administrator and – not least – artist of extraordinary subtlety and skill, Alan Crump (1949-2009) was driven throughout his distinguished career by a fearless vision of excellence. This catalogue, accompanying a retrospective exhibition of his work, celebrates the extraordinary depth and integrity of Crump’s artistic vision, and includes essays by Karel Nel and Karin Skawran.

ISBN 978-0-620-503204

9 780620 503204

156

Alan Crump: A fearless vision  

When South African artist Alan Crump passed away on 1 May 2009 he left behind an extraordinary legacy of committed engagement with, and pass...

Alan Crump: A fearless vision  

When South African artist Alan Crump passed away on 1 May 2009 he left behind an extraordinary legacy of committed engagement with, and pass...

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