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Herman Van Nazareth – pseudonym of Herman van Aerde (°1936, Evergem Belgium) occupies a unique position in the South African art scene.
In the early 60s Herman van Nazareth studies painting and graphic art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent and Antwerp. He subsequently apprentices himself to Floris Jespers. During this period he mainly paints portraits, figures and landscapes in expressionist colours.
Later on, painting lyrical landscapes, his colours became more subtle and mild.
In South Africa he experiments with bronze casting and sculpturing and studies at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, where Marlène Dumas studied as well. The shapes and figures of Van Nazareth are initially rough and expressionistic in a terse, massive style, expressions of a tormented mind. His works not only display military commanders and their victims but also other figures, figures without an identity, in an oppressive atmosphere.
Approaching the millennium, Herman Van Nazareth returns to the archetypes of his initial period. The exhibition in the Constant Permeke Provincial Museum provides an overview of his contemporary works since the 90s: busts as well as lying and standing figures. The rough touch and the original patina make the figures look weathered and battered, injured and tormented by society.
Herman Van Nazareth receives international recognition with oeuvres in public places and private collections.