Alexis Preller

Alexis Preller 100 - Photo 640x480

ALEXIS PRELLER (1911 – 1975) – Preller was a South African painter.  He trained at the Westminster School of Art from which he graduated during 1934.  He also attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris during 1937.

He was especially influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, and visited European galleries and museums to study these artists’ works.  Elements of Gauguin can be seen in his paintings on South African subjects such as the Garden of Eden (1937).  Over time, he developed his own style and his works showed an array of elements from nature, African masks and other African art.  His travels in Europe and North Africa gave further expression to his art, which also became influenced by Egyptian murals, as can be seen in Hieratic Women (1956).

A painting of Alexis Preller st work.

A painting of Alexis Preller st work.

Preller’s later unique style isolated him from the artistic movements of the 20th century, nor did he fit into any conventional style of the old school.  Although highly regarded in his native Pretoria, this was not initially the case during an exhibition of his works in Cape Town during the late 1960s, where his work was coolly received by art critics.

Recognition for his work and style has grown ever since, and today his works are highly regarded by art collectors across the world.  A major exhibition in Johannesburg by the Standard Bank Gallery on 13 October 2009 was strongly attended.

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