Alexander Rose-Innes

Alexander Rose-Innes 110 - Art (640x480)

ALEXANDER ROSE-INNES (1915 – 1996) – Born in 1915 in Beaufort West, Alexander Rose-Innes developed an aptitude for drawing at an early age.

The Rose-Innes family moved to Port Elizabeth in 1927, where he began his art studies at the Art School of the Port Elizabeth Technical College, under Francis Pickford and Jack Heath. After completing his studies, he enrolled as an apprentice sign-writer, continuing to pursue his art in his free time.

He joined the army at the start of the Second World War in 1940 and was based in Pretoria, Kimberley and Cape Town during the following five years. Following the war, he decided to dedicate himself to his art, and made the decision to move to Cape Town during 1956, when he was 41 years of age.

Alexander Rose-Innes

Book about the art of Alexander Rose-Ines

Rose-Innes had his first solo exhibition in 1958, having previously participated only in group shows in the Eastern Province. In 1962 he exhibited in a group exhibition at the South African Association of Arts Gallery together with Ruth Prowse, David Botha, Gregoire Boonzaier, Carl Büchner, Nerine Desmond and Frank Spears.

He went on to have several solo exhibitions in South Africa and Belgium, and his work was included in numerous national and international exhibitions. In 1986, he was honoured by the University of Pretoria with a retrospective exhibition of his work and a medal for his contribution to the arts in South Africa.

Rose-Innes was a painter of “everyday situations like women selling flowers, people sitting in pubs and girls chatting”. He had particular interest in the scenes of the Cape Malay Quarter and District Six, figures and portraits of common people such as blacksmiths and fishermen, as well as the simplicity of still life compositions, Cape landscapes and domestic interiors. The absence of strong colour notes, together with the use of close-up views, contributes to a sense of intimacy in his work.

Today his work forms part of most significant collections of South African masters in galleries and in numerous private collections. Alexander Rose-Innes passed away in 1996.

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