PROFILE

Willie Bester is regarded as one of South Africa's most important resistance artists. He incorporates recycled material into his paintings, assemblages and sculpture, usually commenting on political injustices and human rights issues of the day.

Born 1956, Montagu, Cape

EDUCATION

1991 

Full-time professional artist
No formal art training : Mostly self-taught

1986 

Community Arts Project, Cape Town

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

Transformation, Fynarts Festival, Space
Gallery, Hermanus, South Africa

2016

Comprehensive, Art B , Bellville South Africa

2015

Sculptures, Imibala Trust Gallery, Somerset West,
South Africa

2014

Community, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town,
South Africa.
Backyard, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2013

Recent works, Sol Plaatjie, Kimberlie South Africa

2011

Recent Works, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
South Africa

2009

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sasol Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Investec Private Bank & US Wordfest Artist

2008

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town

2007

 Montagu Museum

2005

34 LONG, Cape Town

2003

Association for Visual Arts,  Cape Town

2002

SASOL Museum,  Stellenbosch

2001

Centre D'Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium Grahamstown Featured artist Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

2000

Arte Assortite, Torino , Italy

1999

Opere Recenti, Studio D'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy Archivio Della Scuola Romana, Introdotto da Achille Bonito Oliva,  Roma,  Italy

1998

Emporain, Dakar

1994

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

1993

South African Association of Art, Cape Town
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

1992

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
Millpark, Port Elizabeth

1991

Gallery International, Cape Town

1982

Forum, Cavendish Square, Cape Town

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016

This Place-This Space, Moore Gallery,
Franschoek, South Africa
Outdoor Exhibition, Mok Gallery,
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa

2015

Die Burger 100 years of Art at Artscape,
Cape Town South Africa
Changchun Sculpture Symposium - China

2014

Libertas Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Summer Season, Everard Read Gallery,
Cape Town, South Africa
Winter, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2012

Small Works, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town,
South Africa
Beelden aan Zee, Netherlands

2011

15th Anniversary, Everard Read Gallery,
Cape Town, South Africa
Implemented Environments, (I Art) Brundyn &
Gonsalves, South Africa

2010

20 Years of SA Art Sculptures, Nirox,
Johannesburg, South Africa

2009

34 Long Fine Art, Cape Town , South Africa
Studio Rafaelli. Trento Italy

2008

A Way Through, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

2007

Rocca di Castagnoli, Biennale Internazionalr dÁrt, Italy

2006

Tokio, Mori Art Museum: June - September

2005

London, Hayward Gallery: 10 Feb - 17 April
Paris, Centre Pompidou: 15 May - 20 August
Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy

2004

Dublin Exhibition
10 Years - Klein Karoo Arts Festival, Outshoorn, South Africa
Milk Can Project, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town
Africa Remix - Düsseldorf, Museum Kunst Palast: 24 July - 7 Nov

2003

Suidoos Festival, Peninsula Technikon
'Coexistence- Contemporary Cultural Production in South African' Rose Art Museum, USA

2002

Passport to South Africa, Centro Culturale "Trevi", Bolzano, Italy
Sculpture Biennale, Spier Estate, Stellenbosch
National Art Gallery of Malaysia
King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth

2001

Barcelona Contemporary Cultural Center, Spain
Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy

2000

Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
Project Conflux, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town

1999

Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town
Rewind/Fast Forward, Van Reekum Museum of Modern Art, Appeldoorn, Netherlands
Claiming Art Reclaiming Space, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.
Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy
Artery, Joao Ferreira Fine Art, Cape Town

1998

Biennale de l'Art Contemporian, Dakar, Senegal
The Edge of Awareness, World Health Organization, Geneve, Switzerland, New York, Soa Paulo, New Delhi
Still our Land, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, joint with Zwelethu Mthethwa
Project Conflux, Tendances Mikado Gallery, Luxembourg
Project Conflux, Hotel de Ville, Dijon, France
Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town

1996

Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, USA
Basel Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
Simunye (we are one) exhibition, Adelson Gallery,
New York
Tradition in Tradition, October Gallery, London
Contemporary Art from South Africa,
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Contemporary S.A. Art 85 - 95, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
South African Art to Atlanta, City Gallery East, Atlanta, USA
OTRO PAIS : ESCALAS AFRICANAS, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona
The other journey (Africa and the Diaspora), Kunsthalle, Krems, Austria
Seven Artists from South Africa, Boumani Gallery,
San Francisco

1995

DIALOGUES OF PEACE, Exhibition for the UN’s 50th
Anniversary, Palaise Des Nations, Geneva
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
Africa ‘95 Festival, London
Art Salon at The Bay, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
De Kleur van Verandering Exhibition, The Hague, Netherlands

 

1994

UN ART CONTEMPORIAN D'AFRIQUE DU SUD, Galerie De L'Esplanade, La Defence, Paris
UN ART CONTEMPORIAN D'AFRIQUE DU SUD, Galerie De Ballens, Ballens, Switzerland
HEIMAT PROJECT, Grahamstown Art Festival
Stallion Gallery, Kentucky, USA
5th Havana Biennale, Cuba
Art Salon at The Bay, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany
CENTRO DE ARTE MODERNO, Las Palmas

1993

Venice Biennale, INCROCI DEL SUD : An exhibition of works by 27 contemporary South African Artists
INCROCI DEL SUD, Roma, Italy
INCROCI DEL SUD, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

1992

Primart Gallery, Cape Town
ZABALAZA FESTIVAL, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. ( This exhibition traveled to London and other British centres and was subsequently shown in South Africa at the S.A. National Gallery, Cape Town)

1991

Operation Hunger Exhibition, Cape Town
Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch
Gallery International, Cape Town
Cape Town Triennial Exhibition, Touring Exhibition

1990

Gallery International, Cape Town
Institute for African Studies, University of Cape Town
Jacobs & Liknaitsky Gallery, Cape Town

1989

Baxter Gallery, Cape Town

AWARDS

2009

Johnny Walker artist award

2004

Order of the Disa, Members Class, Government of South Africa

2003

Honorary medal for promotion of Fine Arts: Suid Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns

1992

Prix De L'Aigle, 4th Grand Prix International D'Arts Plastiques de la Vlille de Nice, France

1991

Merit Prize : Cape Triennial

REPRESENTED

MTN Collection, Cape Town
ENGEN, Cape Town
METROPOLITAN LIFE, Cape Town
Human Science Research Council, Cape Town
Cape Provincial Libraries, Cape
Foschini Ltd. Parow, Cape
GENCOR S.A., Johannesburg
Durban Art Gallery, Durban
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
Contemporary African Art Collection, Paris
Vodacom, Cape Town
Smithsonian Inst. USA
Oceana Fishing Group, Cape Town
NASPERS, Cape Town
Zonnebloem Art Collection, Stellenbosch
DE BEERS Collection, Johannesburg
BOE Bank, Cape Town

SASOL Limited, Johannesburg
South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Johannesburg Art Gallery
King George VI Gallery, Port Elizabeth
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
University of the Western Cape, Cape Town
University of South Africa, Pretoria
Department of National Education, Pretoria
Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria
Cape of Good Hope Bank, Cape Town
Rembrandt Van Rijn Collection, Stellenbosch
South African Breweries Collection, Johannesburg
South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC TV ), Cape Town
South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC TV ), Johannesburg
SANLAM, Cape Town
WOOLTRU, Cape Town

Willie's work is also in numerous private collections in South Africa and abroad.

PUBLICATIONS

BERMAN, E., 1993. PAINTING IN SOUTH AFRICA. Page 363. Halfway House, Transvaal : Southern Book Publishers, ( ISBN 1-86812-345-6 )

BOGATZKE, H., BROCKMANN, R., LUDSZUWEIT, C. 2000. ONDAMBO - African Art Forum. Page 30 - 49, Page 174 - 177. Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers ( Pty ) Ltd.,
( ISNB 99916-0-211-9 )

FRANK, H., & D'AMATO., M., 1999. LIBERATED VOICES, Contemporary art from South Africa. Page 27. New York, London, Prestel, Munich : The Museum of African Art, ( ISBN 3-7913-2195-1 )

KONATE, Y., 2001. WILLIE BESTER. Bruxelles : Centre D'Art Contemporain

LEE, D., 2006. WILLIE BESTER, ART AS A WEAPON, Awareness Publishing Group ( Pty) LTD., ( ISBN 1-77008-178-X )

LITTLEFIELD KASFIR, S., 1999. CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART. Page. 159 -161. London : Thames & Hudson, ( ISBN 0-500-20328-8 )

MAGNIN, A., & SOULILLOU, J., 1996. CONTEMPORARY ART OF AFRICA. Pages 155 - 156, Page 158. New York & London : Thames a Hudson, ( ISBN 0-500-01713-1 )

PROUD, H., 2008. REVISIONS + EXPANDING THE NARRATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICAN ART. Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art GAllery, ( SMAC), ( ISBN 1-874817-36-7 )

RANKIN, E., 1994. IMAGES OF METAL, Post-War Sculptures and Assemblages in South Africa. Pages 89 - 92. Johannesburg : Witwatersrand University Press, University of Witwatersrand Art Galleries,
( ISBN 1 86814 257 4 )

WILLIAMSON, S., & JAMAL, A., 1996. ART IN SOUTH AFRICA - THE FUTURE PRESENT. Pages 134 - 139. Claremont, South Africa : David Philip Publishers ( Pty ) Ltd., ( ISBN 0-86486-321-7 )