Eris Silke (1947 – )

Eris Silke

(1947 – )

Eris Silke was born in Hungary in 1947, and grew up in Israel. She studied Hebrew Literature and Law at Jerusalem University, but later majored in Psychology for her BA from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1974 after moving to South Africa when her then husband was positioned as a rabbi in Germiston. It was then, in 1975, that Silke began her career as a self-taught artist. She now lives in Cape Town.

Silke has been described as being an established and highly respected artist; she has held more than twenty five solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout South Africa. Over the years that she has been making art; her primary dealer has been Louis Schachat of Die Kunskamer in Cape Town. However she has exhibited in many venues which include Primart, Everard Read in Johannesburg, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, the SA Association of Arts, AVA, the Stellenbosch Museum, the Irma Stern Museum and the Sanlam gallery. And in 2005 Die Kunskamer hosted a mini-retrospective of her work.

Her last solo exhibition was at the AVA in 2004, it was entitled Darkly and comprised small works which investigated her ongoing interest in reality/myth and illusion/allusion which have been topics she has continuously been concerned with.

Silke has been described as a gifted, but erratic, ‘outsider’ artist of Hungarian extraction and Israeli upbringing. She is mostly concerned with Gothic fantasy that then often casts a compulsive stranglehold over the viewer. She works predominantly in black and white.

She is represented in the public and corporate art collections of the SA National Gallery, the Stellenbosch Museum, the Constitutional Court, SASOL, UCT Library, UCT School of Music and the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, as well as in scores of private collections, both in this country and abroad.