NEIL RODGER

BIOGRAPHY

NEIL ROGER 
(b. 1941, Cape Town, South Africa)

Neil Rodger was born in 1941 in Mowbray, Cape Town. The artist lived and worked in the Eastern Cape, where he thrived on the austerity and solitude of the region until he died in 2013. It seemed that this environment was conducive to the enigmatic silence so characteristic of his finest work. None of the currently favored classifications apply to his work – rather, he belongs with those individual realists who have, throughout the modern era, defied categorisation.

What he pursued is a universality, timelessness and harmony that can be found in all great art from whatever period or place. It is a measure of his conviction of the continuity of great art that he remained unmoved by revolutions, fashions or attitudes. Regular trips to Europe reinforced his cultural connections, which are to the Mediterranean by inclination and to the Netherlands by training.

His work covers an unusually wide range of content and he worked in a variety of media in both painting and sculpture. The vehicle for this content was also in a perpetual state of flux, so that ever-new perceptions were evinced, be it of the portrait, of the nude, of the landscape, of the animal painting. For this artist, the quest for refinement and distillation never ceased.

I believe that pictures rarely benefit from commentary by the artist. In general I would say that whilst most good art has been extremely difficult and taxing in the making, it is a prerequisite of great art that this is not evident – that it appears effortless or even inevitable.

PROFILE


1968 -1974
        
Member of the Grahamstown Group

1966 -1967        
Part-time lecturer in drawing and painting at the Cape Technical College

1967
                     
Art Teacher, Wynberg Boys High School, Cape Town

1968 -1974        
Lecturer in Fine Art, Rhodes University

1974 -1981        
Lecturer, then a senior lecturer in fine art, Port Elizabeth Technical College

1981                     
Full-time artist

1980                     
Member of the selection board of the King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth

1963-6                                 
Travelled throughout Europe

1971                     
Worked and traveled in United Kingdom, Netherlands and Spain

1986                     
Worked and traveled in United States of America and England

1987                     
Texas, United States of America where he did some portraits

1988                     
United Kingdom and Switzerland painting portraits

EDUCATION


1961-63 & 1966               
Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

1963-66                               
Rijks Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam

1981-82                               
Rhodes University, Masters Degree in Fine Art, (cum laude)

AWARDS


1963     
Max Michaelis (prize for painting)

1965  
   
Merit Award (painting) Rijksakademie

1982    
 
Five Roses Young Artist of the Year, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS


He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in South Africa and abroad since 1968

1968     
Grahamstown Rhodes University (first of six solo exhibitions)

1973     
Grahamstown Johan Carinus Art Centre
Port Elizabeth P.E. Technikon

1975   
  
Bloemfontein Gallery 82
Kimberley William Humphreys Collection

1976     
Cape Town Atlantic Gallery

1982     
Grahamstown Settlers Monument Arts Festival

1982     
Johannesburg Everard Read Gallery

1989    
Johannesburg Everard Read Gallery

2000     
Johannesburg, Everard Read Gallery
Permanent Exhibition at Everard Read Galleries, Johannesburg and Cape Town

COLLECTIONS

Throughout South Africa, USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Portugal, Monte Carlo, Hong Kong, Namibia and Australia.

REPRESENTED

George Municipal Collection
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth
SA National Gallery, Cape Town
University of Pretoria
University of Cape Town
Opera House, Port Elizabeth
William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley