Previous Exhibitions

Jan Rupert Art Centre​

Rembrandt in the Karoo

The latest exhibition, entitled Rembrandt in the Karoo opened on 25 May 2023 in the Jan Rupert Art Centre, Graaff-Reinet. The exhibition focuses on the main categories of printmaking, illustrated by a very special selection and inclusion of Rembrandt van Rijn etchings as well as works by relevant South African artists and printmakers. In addition, a small inclusion of international artists such as Alberto Biasi, Edoardo Landi, Joan Miro, Kathe Kollwitz, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. The exhibition is on display until May 2024 (see exhibition hours). Entrance to the Jan Rupert Art Centre is complimentary.

Printmaking is often over-looked, especially in the company of disciplines such as painting and sculpture. The exhibition focuses on introducing the four main printmaking categories and some of each category’s techniques. The nearly 80 fine art prints included represents the categories of relief, intaglio, planography, and stencil.

Printmaking, specifically woodcuts, dates to the 9th century in China. By the 14th century printmaking made its way to Europe, leading to the development of more techniques. Showcasing the 20 original etches by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) – from the Rupert and Rembrandt Art Foundation collections – served as inspiration for this exhibition and its title.

Rembrandt is known as a master of drypoint and etching under the intaglio category. The etches include picturesque studies of beggars, his wife Saskia, his acclaimed self-portraits, and his world-renowned biblical scenes. It is indeed a special encounter that awaits each visitor to be able to inspect and be mesmerized by the variety of tones and marks achieved on such a small scale.

Prints by South African printmakers or artist-printmakers represent the other three categories and artists included are Lionel Abrams, Marion Arnold, Deborah Bell, Gregoire Boonzaier, John Clarke, Douglas Goode, Hilary Graham, Feé Halsted-Berning, Philippa Hobbs, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge, Azaria Mbatha, Karel Nel, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, JH Pierneef, Helen Sebidi, Cecil Skotnes, Penny Siopis, Irma Stern, Andrew Verster, Margaret Vorster, and Gavin Younge. The selection of the fine art prints is all from the collections managed by the Rupert Museum.

Click images to enlarge

Lay of the Land, a selection of 20th century South African Art

From September 2019 to September 2020 the Jan Rupert centre in Graaff-Reinet tipped its hat to a collection of SA Masters with an exhibition of 20th century prints, paintings and sculptures. The exhibition took its cue from the permanent exhibition at the Hester Rupert Art Gallery, but focused on the land and its people as imagined and immortalised by prominent South African artists. From Cecil Skotnes’ prints, Assassination of Shaka to JH Pierneef’s Dorpstraat toneel: the loved, the familiar and the formidable were celebrated. These representations of scenes, scapes and peoples tapped into the spirit of SA’s 20th century artistic production. The show featured work by Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Lucas Sithole, Sydney Kumalo, Maud Sumner, Hugo Naudé, Erik Laubscher, Ezrom Legae, Pieter Wenning, WH Coetzer, and others.

Click images to enlarge

In Conversation with Colour Symphony

5 March 2021 – 5 September 2021

In Conversation with Colour Symphony opens a dialogue of 37 artist’s responses to South African artist Michéle Nigrini’s monumental colour theory panel produced in 1993. It marks the first of the Rupert Museum’s public open calls and is done in collaboration with the Imibala Gallery.

This year marked a collaborative effort with the Imibala Gallery, with the Rupert Museum’s first ever Open Call to artists, launched in September 2020.
The initiative was to use one of the most iconic pieces from the Rupert Art Foundation Collection namely 
Colour Symphony by South African artist
Michèle Nigrini for the public to respond to.

View Colour Symphony panel here

This collaboration aimed to introduce both established and upcoming South African artists to Graaff-Reinet. The exhibitions In Conversation with Colour Symphony and Outside In has a further reach as profits generated from sales will go directly into the Imibala Educational Fund.

The Open Call received 135 entrants, 37 were chosen by the judging panel as the most successful responses to Colour Symphony. The artworks are varied in style and across mediums, bringing a textured yet energetic feel to the exhibition. The visually arresting impact of all 395 individual panels that make up Colour Symphony, is balanced by a sharp and bold exchange from the responding artists’ work. All the artworks on exhibition and listed in the catalogue are for sale, with the exception of Michèle Nigrini’s – Colour Symphony.

Leoni Aucamp, Kathy Botha, Katherine Bull, Arabella Caccia, Fawa Conradie, Ronél de Jager, Eve de Jong, Klara-Marie den Heijer, Nontokozo Dladla, Johannes du Plessis, Evert Esterhuizen, Debra Field, Adela Friedmann, St. John Fuller, Michaella Janse van Vuuren, Beate Jordaan and Quinton Lehnert, Sandra Lemmer, Babette Ludick, Cecilia Maartens, Odette Marais, Sharle Matthews, Johann Moolman, Darshana Nagar, Tracy Payne, Nathan Petersen, Sonya Rademeyer, Mark Rautenbach, Hannalie Taute, Guy Thesen, Marinus Uys, Theodor Van der Merwe, Ariana van Heerden, Marelise van Wyk, Sassa van Zyl, Elizabeth Vels, Rix Welmann, Caroline Wheeler

All sales are subject to availability and will follow a first come first serve system. All technical information (medium, size, and selling price) for each artwork has been provided within the catalogue. Please note, that the specifications on size are the dimensions of the actual artwork (excluding the frame), unless specified differently.

All administration of sales are managed by the Imibala Gallery, Graaff-Reinet.
Please do not hesitate to contact Ros

+27 (0)87 285 4810

Any enquiries on the artist, artwork size and aesthetics, please be in direct contact with Audré at the Jan Rupert Art Centre.
+27 (0)49 892 6107

To view the catalogue online click here 

To print the catalogue click here

To walk through In Conversation with Colour Symphony exhibition click here


Nature Morte

The Still from Life

11 November 2021 – 30 October 2022

Inspired by the Rupert Museum’s permanent collections, this instalment of Nature Morte is the second part, following the exhibition under the same title that was shown in Stellenbosch. 

Still lifes and interior scenes are well-practiced genres in the visual arts. The significance of which is particularly relevant since the start of the pandemic, as we have experienced confinement to our domestic spaces the world over. 

Through the mediums of drawing, painting and print, the South African stylistic movements of the 20 th  and 21 st  century through the genre of stills are recognized, compared and celebrated. 

Prominent works by artists like Irma Stern, Jean Welz, Cecil Higgs, Alexis Preller, Erik Laubscher, Christo Coetzee, Penelope Siopis, Derrick Nxumalo and Marion Arnold amongst others, are included. A small but very prominent inclusion of 16 th  and 17 th  century Flemish still lifes, from the Michaelis Collection of Iziko National Gallery, are incorporated with food and still photography by Cape Town based photographers Claire Gunn, Michelle Parkin and Nadine Greeff, for comparison. 

Look forward to ceramic inclusions by local artists during the course of this exhibition.

Christo Coetzee (1929 – 2000). Still life with fishes, c1955. Oil on carton. Rupert Art Foundation Collection

IN-RESPONSE: Art of the Space Age

During 2012-2015 the centre hosted the exhibition Art of the Space Age featuring the works of international artists Giacomo Balla, Victor Vasarely, Auguste Herbin, and Yaacov Agam amongst others from the Huberte Goote Collection. Works featured were abstract, bright, colourful, and energetic; through optical illusions and kinetic movement visitors were invited to question their eyes and doubt their perception.

IN-MOTION: Art of the Space Age a reworked exhibition featuring a bigger selection of these works opened end 2021 in Stellenbosch. With this, the second Open Call of the Rupert Museum was launched – inviting all creatives from any platform to respond to these iconic and ground-breaking inventions created in the eye of 1960s popular futuristic trends.

As a result, over 200 entries were received with the judging panel reaching a conclusion of 39 successful applicants whose responsive artworks are now the IN-RESPONSE exhibition. In summary, the pieces you are about to encounter provide a contemporary take and material-based approach to the icons that served as its inspiration. The artists sought symbolic meaning while exploring the possibilities of their chosen subject, material and its execution. Mediums include painting, printmaking, ceramics, textiles and digital displays with various materials from recycled plastic, wood and steel to the more traditional.

On the external wall of the centre and greeting you streetside is the mural and a proud collaborative effort with members of the community. The Ilukuluku Collective now features their permanent mural as landmark to the Jan Rupert Centre – the result of an outreach workshop with the Imibala Trust and 20 learners from the Isibane Primary School who worked to conceptualise and realize the designs.

Featured artists:
Amita Makan, Asha Zero, Bonolo Chepape, Cecil Cameron, Cecilia Maartens,
Collin Cole & Dina Kroon, Cornelia Wessels, Dal Botha, Diana Vandeyar, Dylan McGarry & Teyana Neufeld, Erna Ziegelmeier, Eve de Jong, Gaelen Pinnock, Heather Moore, Hendrien Horn, Herman Pretorius, Ilze-Mari Maartens, Jacky Lloyd, John Bauer, John Lizamore, Kiveshan Thumbiran, Louw van Zyl, Maré van Noordwyk, Monique Day-Wilde, Monique Etsebeth, Nicholas Hales, Nicki Friedlein, Oliver Mayhew, Paul Birchall, Pedro Malada, Primrose Charmz, Pyda Nyariri, Rika Haasbroek, Sheila Walwyn, Tony Pietersen, Torick Hatha, Yolandi Schreuder and Ilukuluku Collective.

We invite you to journey through this space to question, explore and engage. Each artists’ statement about their response is expressed in the online catalogue.

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