JOHANNES MEINTJES

Artist, Author and Historian


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'…he has retained his status as one of the country's most acclaimed artists ever.'
The Natal Witness, 1979




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'There you have all the loneliness of youth'
Judith Gluckman

'He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger and better light than his perishing and mortal eye can see, does not imagine at all'.
Johannes Meintjes

'My work as a painter… is the condensation, the concentration of the hidden, but ever present, sadness that is in all people'.
Johannes Meintjes

'The actual power of his brush lives and moves in an interrealm between the world of fact and fiction. His point of departure… is the inner world…'.
Trek, 1947

'Meintjes' dream world, his world of things remembered, is hardly less personal than anyone else's. But such is the frankness of the terms in which it is stated that we are compelled to enter it'.
Neville Dubow, The Cape Argus, 1951

'Meintjes seems to be concerned not only with the moment of reality, but the preparation before it, and the length of time that lies beyond it… It is the resulting quality of timelessness that is so strangely moving.'
Neil Sack, The Natal Daily News, 21 October 1954

'Meintjes brings to his work the inner vision of the dreamer. He seems to… explore the very nature of dream worlds of loneliness and illusion'.
The Cape Argus, 21 August 1959

'…a painter of integrity, totally personal and inimitable, with superb draughtsmanship and exceptional emotional and evocative power'.
SA Art News, 6 July 1961

'Few artists have the courage and conviction of Johannes Meintjes'.
Carl Büchner, Die Burger, 1962

'The artist has maintained the general high technical standard… which one has come to expect'.
Cecil Skotness, The Star, 1964

'…an artist whose work will always live and in which it will be possible to find new interest for generations to come'.
HE Winder, Rand Daily Mail, 1971

'Johannes Meintjes… is one of the more articulate South Africans of his generation. A prolific painter, he is also a fluent author in both English and Afrikaans. With unresting curiosity about South African national and regional history, he seems blessedly free from political or racial bias, and when he writes of nations or persons in conflict is alert to what is good or bad on both sides'.
Sir William Plomer, London Sunday Times, June 1970

'The years have not dimmed the… vibrant approach and outlook. His exotic paintings, even still lifes, are the stuff of dreams. His compositions show his particular timeless territory…'.
Richard Cheales, The Star, 1973

'…he has retained his status as one of the country's most acclaimed artists ever…'
The Natal Witness, 1979

'Meintjes is a master at interpreting poetic nostalgia… characterised by technical excellence'.
Alexander Podlashuc, Oosterlig, 1980

'For nearly 40 years Johannes Meintjes has enriched the South African art scene with his personalised works which have the inherent quality of good art - the artist's genuine feelings and moods can be felt in each brush or palette stroke…'
Yvonne Steynberg, Evening Post, 1980

'Johannes was something of a Renaissance man. First of all, artist. Then author, historian, archivist and even sort-of farmer. Above all, he was a thoughtful, loving and loveable human being who thought very deeply about the human condition'.
Tertius Myburgh, Sunday Times (Editor), 1990

'His canvases, painted with the knowledge born out of centuries of European experience, speak with the voice of Africa'.
Dr Hermien McCaul-Dommisse, Opening of Prestige Memorial Exhibition at the Rand Afrikaans University, 1990

'...his mystic surrealism has not lost the power to disturb...'
Financial Mail, June 1990

'Together with Pierneef and Maggie Laubser, Meintjes is considered as one of the most famous artists of his time'.
Sarie, June 1990

'A magical interaction takes place in Meintjes' painting when the seemingly ordinary transforms into the unreal... Meintjes is a phenomenon in South African fine art'.
Elza Miles, Die Beeld, 1990

'[A] literary feat of objective narration by an Afrikaner writer was Sword in the Sand (1969), Johannes Meintjes' narration of Gideon Scheepers' death by summary trial and execution. In Meintjes' hands, history enters the realm of epic narrative'.
Christopher Heywood
A History of South African Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

'...a picture like Johannes Meintjes's glamorous, idealistic image of himself smoking in the Self Portrait of 1954, in which the very oil paint oozes a sensual, seductive awareness and a look-at-me-against-the-world-challenge, is a single and singular piece of evidence to the impact of the brilliantly conceived and made painting'.
Melvyn Minnaar, Cape Times, 2 February 2006

'His art remains a strange exception to his times... it does not settle into the consensus and cold sobriety of the powerful, but remains a perfume of the first decade of the century strangely fresh and subtle so far from its origins'.
Dr Jean-Pierre de la Porte, January 2010

'Circumstances made Meintjes not only a painter but an orchestrator and impresario of painting, fiction, history and broadcasting in his quest to fill an ambiguous present with images and words. It is too early to tell if his vision was a passing shadow in the political cave or a new but much delayed dawn as we are still mapping the contours of Meintjes' world as it appears in our post 1994 light. Preller and Pemba, Battiss and Sekoto seem to be its compass points but Meintjes is in some sense the agitated needle'.
Dr Jean-Pierre de la Porte, January 2010

'An artist who deserves to be regarded alongside Maggie Laubser'
Melvyn Minnaar, Weekend Argus, 18 July 2010































































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