Eben van der Merwe was born in Bloemfontein, 12 July 1932.
Career as Commercial Artist:
Studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of the Orange Free State. Left before completing degree to concentrate on career in Art. Became Disigner, Lay-out Artist and Typographer, working for the Magazine section of Argus Publishing, Progressed to Hortors in Johannesburg to take up a position as Typographer Disigner.
Also worked as Visualiser- Typographer in Advertising for two years. Returned to Argus Publishing after being offered the position of Art Director for the entire Magazine section. Pursued career in painting in spare time during this period.
Career as Lecturer:
Approached by Pretoria University in 1971 to take up a lectureship in Painting and Applied Design in the newly-formed Department of Fine Arts. Left after 5 years to become fulltime painter and designer. Invited regularly by various institutions to give illustrated lectures on Painting and related subjects.
Career as Painter:
Entirely self-taught as painter, started at the age of nine. Exhibited in group-exhibitions from age fourteen. Founder member of the Bloemfontein Group in 1958.
1958: Bloemfontein Group, Bloemfontein
1959: Bloemfontein Group, Johannesburg
1960: Bloemfontein Group, Kimberley
1963: Modern Contemporaries, Pretoria
1964: South African Quadrenniale
1965: Art South Africa Today
1966: Republic Festival, Pretoria
1970: National Gallery, Bulawayo
1971: Festival Exhibition, Cape Town
1972: Transvaal Academy
(List continues into eighties and nineties)
1963: Sao Paolo Biennale and New Orleans
1964: Venice Biennale
1965: Sao Paolo Biennale
1968: Venice Biennale (Featured South African Painter with Cecil Scotnes, Graphics and Lucas Sithole : Sculptor)
Paintings in Collections
Pretoria Municipal Gallery
Hester Rupert Collection
William Humphries Museum
Olienhuis Museum Bloemfontein
Cape Town National Gallery
Private Collections in South Africa, Europe, USA and Japan.
Career as Designer & Builder of Coloured Glass Windows
Won competition for the design of a large Coloured Glass (Dalle-de-Verre) window for the Provincial Administration Building in Bloemfontein.
Largest façade of coloured glass ever built. Subsequently designed and built works in this medium for a number of windows throughtout South Africa.
Completed a number of commissions for institutions and private individuals. Amongst others for:
Landscapes for the Delville Wood Memorial Museum (SA), France
Landscapes for the War Museum, Bloemfontein
Landscapes for the firm CFG, Ceres
Seven portraits of South African Composers for SAMRO
Portrait of the Chairman of the Council, University of the OFS
Landscapes and Portraits for private Collections.
Undertook two study tours to Europe and UK in 1966 and 1976.
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