Fred Schimmel at 80
A Retrospective Exhibition
27 November 2008 – 15 January 2009
Fred Schimmel at 80: A Retrospective Exhibition pays tribute to the artist Fred Schimmel on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. SMAC Art Gallery is proud to have taken this initiative to show and document the output of this artist – who still actively works in his studio. Looking back at more than five decades of artistic and creative productivity, and numerous solo exhibitions locally and internationally, Fred Schimmel’s oeuvre and the value of his artistic contribution deserves renewed consideration, recognition and appreciation.
Fred Schimmel’s work epitomizes twentieth-century abstract and informal art within the South African context. Schimmel is not bound by the dictates of style, genre or medium. His strength as an artist resides in a versatility of styles, techniques and mediums employed over many years. His work reflects an integrated, continuous process of creativity – a freedom of expression. During the 1960s, Schimmel was amongst South Africa’s foremost hard-edge abstract artists and in 1971 he started the infamous Graphics Club of South Africa.
With more than a hundred works on show, the retrospective is accompanied by a fully illustrated book and covers the expanse of Schimmel’s career in South Africa after emigrating from Amsterdam in 1948. Included are paintings from the periods marked by hard-edge compositions, expressive figuration, silk-screens, calligraphic abstractions, handmade paper drawings as well as his latest experimental ‘carborundum’ prints.