John Kramer at The Cape Gallery

The exhibition will be opened by Patricia Schonstein, who will be giving a recitation of her poetry.
it will run from Sunday the 2nd of February at 4:30 pm until 27 February.

John Kramer: I am endlessly fascinated by the South African small-town especially in the Western Cape and Karoo. 

“In the early 1970’s I began to record the shop-fronts, corner cafe’s, bioscopes and general dealer stores in Worcester with my 35mm camera, fearing they may soon disappear. The supermarket was coming to town. Television was still to make its presence felt. I wanted to hold onto the memory. 

Trying to establish my voice as a painter and searching for a subject I realised that these ordinary buildings that I had grown up with meshed with my idea of doing something essentially South African. This idea clarified after my first overseas trip to Europe in 1974. On my return, I suddenly realised how bizarre and extraordinary the local townscape was.  Influenced by the neo or photo-realism movement at the time I began to use my photos as a subject for my deadpan realist works. I eliminated any presence living beings from my paintings as I wanted the viewer to concentrate on the man-made details and advertisements and lettering. 

I tried to comment on a particular kind of building which expresses something of the people who created it or who live and work in it, but who, themselves, are not conscious of the image which it projects.” 

About the artist 

John Kramer was born in Worcester, Western Cape in 1946.  
 At school, he received tuition at the Hugo Naude Art Centre, Worcester, and majored in painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, where he graduated with a diploma in Fine Art. In 1968 he won the coveted Michaelis prize. He joined the South African Museum in 1970, where he was head of the Exhibitions division for many years. During his museum career, he and his team put together many remarkable displays and exhibitions.

John has also had the opportunity to visit most major museums and galleries in Canada, USA, Israel, Paris and  London, further broadening his artistic horizons. 

Although he had a fulltime job he continued to paint at night and on weekends. During this time he participated in many group shows and  In the 1980’s he had two successful one-man exhibitions. In 2002 he left the museum to pursue a full-time painting career.  His work is represented in many private, corporate and, public collections. These include the South African National Gallery, Durban Art Gallery and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. He is married and has two sons. He currently lives in  Gardens, Cape Town