The November 2016 issue of House and Leisure featured a Curate section that focused on earthy, neutral interior decor complemented by raw, natural textures. A sculpture by Trevor Coleman was included as part of the feature, which was unfortunately incorrectly credited. We would like to pay tribute to the work of this talented South African artist and sculptor and celebrate the journey of this exquisite steel piece.
The sculpture, as featured in the right hand side of the photograph was bought by Tonic Design from Pierre Rabie Antiques in Cape Town who in turn bought the piece on auction from Stephan Weltz. Trevor Coleman, who is known almost exclusively for his brightly coloured, geometric artwork, rarely produces sculptural pieces. That rarity is what makes this piece such an extraordinary find.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1936, Coleman’s journey into the artistic sphere was not a predictable one. He studied geology and chemistry at the University of the Witswatersrand and later, enrolled in a course on graphic design and advertising at the Witswatersrand Technical College. A combination that would later serve to influence the aesthetic character of his work.
His work was first shown in the Artists of Fame and Promise Exhibition at the Adler Fielding Gallery in Johannesburg in 1959. His creative influences include the sense of structure, colour and texture of landscape strata – geographical features which he encountered during his early years of study. Later, he would be influenced by his extensive travels – India, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Australia are just some of the destinations which have become the playgrounds of the faceless subjects who are foregrounded in his work. Geometry takes pride of place in his artwork, as does colour. Coleman describes himself as a ‘colour expressionist’ influenced by the likes of Gauguin, Van Gogh, Matisse, and the Fauves.
In his exhibition entitled Abstraction: 1960 – 1977 at the smac gallery, Coleman showcased a curated selection in which he emerged ‘as one of the first and most accomplished South African exponents of geometric, hard-edge abstraction.’ (smac gallery).
Some of these artworks are featured below:
Turn to page 15 of HL November 2016 to see the sculpture produced by Trevor Coleman.