Herman van Nazareth (1936 -)

Herman van Nazareth

(1936 -)

Herman van Nazareth was born in Belgium in 1936. After studying Art at the Royal Academy in Ghent, Belgium, van Nazareth did a year at the Royal Academy in Antwerp where he worked as an apprentice for the artist Floris Jespers.

In 1965 van Nazareth immigrated to South Africa, where he studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town. His main focus was on sculpture and because of his strong aversion to any form of abuse of power he was one of the first artists to be called a protest or satirical artist in South Africa in the late 60s. Since this time van Nazareth has concentrated on sculpture and has returned to his longstanding preoccupation with primordial human shapes. His sculptures often appear ungraceful and ugly, that give a sense of loneliness and timelessness in a work that has become dehumanized. These works are powerful, and he purposefully makes them rough and to seem unfinished with the surfaces concealing a very sophisticated technique. van Nazareth is not particularly concerned with what is considered beautiful and pleasing to the eye, but rather he challenges the evolving perceptions of contemporary art. His figures can be seen to be often placed in groups within natural environments, which draws us back to the reality or our origins.

Van Nazareth’s career spans more than five decades, and which includes several awards. He has also exhibited extensively in Europe, South Africa, the United Kingdom, South America and Asia.