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ARTIST OF THE MONTH :  April - May 2008

J O H N    K R A M E R

Artist's statement:

At first sight, Cape Town artist, John Kramer's paintings resemble those of the American photorealist painters of the 1970s, who also often used photographs as sources for their large, non-committal paintings. They concentrated on mundane, familiar subjects, such as cars, diners and shop windows, rendering details witn uncanny realism While Kramer is equally skilled at creating such illusions on canvas, he has a very difrerent approach to his subject matter, and his paintings are never altogether neutral.

Kramer is endlessly fascinated by the small towns of the Western Cape - its tasteless, nondescript houses, its banal shop-fronts, with their eccentric and naive signs, the seedy, corner cafes and general dealer stores from a pre-supermarket era.

'The kind of paintings I make', he adds, 'are not about architecture as such - structures that have been designed by particular people. Rather, they have to do with buildings that have grown and matured over time, that show the ravages of alteration, with all their little quirks and peculiarities, and the funny bits and pieces that get stuck on'.

'My first step is to see and compose through the eye of the camera: that can be a very satisfying process, for the photographic image has its own reality. If no one else recorded that image,it's as if it no longer exists. In a sense then, it's the photograph that becomes the real subject of the painting, and not the actual reality out there'.

'For me, this is the only approach that can convey the message I want to put across. With realism, you have to be very calculated - you can't just work from the heart or the imagination - because the weight of every element counts. For, ultimately, my aim is to create a painting that is a comment about a certain place that existed at a specific and unique moment in time'.

Excerpts from : Rose Korber: Leadership Magazine, Vol.10, August/September 1991

Reviews:

Kramer's World by Rose Korber
Kramer vs Kramer The Property Magazine September 2004 by Hilary Prendini Toffoli
John Kramer UCT News December 1999
Brother of the more famous David by Maureen Barnes, Fairlady, 18 August 1999
Interview with John Kramer by Philip Kramer, 2002


Biography:

Born Worcester, Cape Province, South Africa in 1946
Received tuition at the Hugo Naude Art Centre, Worcester at school and majored in painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town (Diploma Fine Art, 1969)
Worked as a junior finished artist at van Zijl and Robinson advertising agency in Cape Town
Joined South African Museum in Cape Town as an exhibition designer in 1970
Head of Exhibitions at the South African Museum in Cape Town until April 2002
Full time artist since May 2002
Lives in the Gardens, Cape Town

Solo Exhibitions

1981
South African Association of Arts, Western Cape

1988
South African Association of Arts, Western Cape

Selected Group Exhibitions

1971
Art South Africa Today, Durban

1973
Art South Africa Today, Durban

1975
Art South Africa Today, Durban
New Cape Art, S. A. Association of Arts, W Cape
1976
Group Exhibition, S.A. Association of Arts, W Cape

1977
Festival Art '77, S.A. Association of Arts, W Cape
Selected Works, Wolpe Gallery, Cape Town

1979
Cape Town Biennial

1981
Republic Festival Arts Exhibition, Durban

1982
Cape Town Triennial

1983
South African Contemporary Realism, Pretoria Art Museum
Group Show, Hugo Naude House, Worcester
Group Show, Gallery International, Cape Town

1984
Cape Artists, University of the Orange Free State Art Gallery
Artists' Guild Cape Town Festival Exhibition, S.A.Association of Arts, W. Cape
Masterworks on Paper, South African National Gallery

1985
Works on Paper, S.A.Association of Arts, W. Cape

1986
Visions of the Cape: Three Decades, S.A.Association of Arts

1987
Streets Exhibition, Forum Gallery, Green Point

1990
Critics Choice, S.A. Association of Arts, W. Cape
Different Views: Looking at Landscapes, Primart, Claremont
Second Gala Summer Exhibition, Edrich, Stellenbosch
Group Exhibition, Jacobs Liknaitzky Gallery, Cape Town

1991
Cape Town Triennial
Art 1991, Baxter Gallery of Art
Art-on-the-Box, Primart

1992
Friends' choice, S.A.National Gallery
The Real Thing, Primart, Claremont
Quintessentially South African, Primart, Claremont

1993
Images of the Western Cape, Grahamstown & S.A. National Gallery
Momentum Art, Pretoria Art Museum
Icons, Oude Pastorie Museum, Paarl
Art Salon on the Bay

1994
Art Salon on the Bay
Looking at Table Mountain, Primart

1995
De Kleur van Verandering - Aparte Kunst uit Zuid-Afrika, Grote Kerk te den Haag, Netherlands
Art Salon on the Bay

1996
Kunst uit Zuid-Africa Cultureel Centrum, Mechelen, Belguim (April - May 1996)
Naive and Beyond, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
False Bay Coast - Labia Museum
Contemporary South African Art 1985-1995 South African National Gallery Permanent Collection
Art Salon on the Bay

1997
Freedom Flight - Westfries Museum, Hoorn, Netherlands
Art into Architecture - South African National Gallery
Art Salon on the Bay

1998
The Landscape: Unity and Diversity, Klein Karoo National Arts Festival
Art Salon on the Bay

1999
Cape Artists, Group Show - South African Association of Arts, Pretoria and Dorp Street Gallery Stellenbosch
Art Salon on the Bay

2000 -2004
Art Salon on the Bay

Public Collections

Iziko: South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Durban Art Gallery
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
University of the Free State, Bloemfontein

Corporate Collections

Wooltru, Cape Town
Engen
Retco
Metropolitan Life
Public Works Department
Sanlam
Telkom
Sasol
South African Breweries
Investec
Caltex
Rand Merchant Bank
Perm Bank
Nationale Pers
Old Mutual

Articles about John Kramer

Ogilvie, Grania. Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors
L.Alexander and E.Cohen. 150 South African Paintings, Past and Present
ADA no.8
Fransen Hans. Three Centuries of South African Art
Sasol Art Collection volume 111
Kramer's World Leadership, Volume 10 August/September 1991 by Rose Korber
UCT Alumini Magazine - December 1999   'Profiles: John Kramer'
KapKunst Cape Art 12 portraits of South African artists by Christina Blum published by Murman 2005
South African National Gallery "Current exhibitions' leaflet "Architecture into Art"
Fair Lady - August 1999 'Brother of the more famous David' by Maureen Barnes
Cape Review - July 2001 Conversations in Art with John Kramer' by Sam Woulidge
Property Magazine - September 2004 Kramer vs Kramer by Hilary Prendini Toffoli

Television Slots

KunsKafee (DSTV) - July 2005
Pasella (TV2) July 2005

Selection of works

Click on the links below the thumbnails to view the full image with cataloguing



JOHN KRAMER
Stop Kafee, Jagersfontein


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JOHN KRAMER
Take-Aways, Koffiefontein


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JOHN KRAMER
Huysers, Petrusville


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JOHN KRAMER
Karoo Houses, Carnarvon


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JOHN KRAMER
Hoekwinkel, Riviersonderend


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JOHN KRAMER
G.M. Super Shop, Aberdeen


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JOHN KRAMER
DV Handelaars, Jagersfontein


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JOHN KRAMER
Delivery Bike, Grahamstown


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JOHN KRAMER
Bicycle, Carnarvon


JOHN KRAMER
General Store, Albertinia


JOHN KRAMER
Hoekwinkel, Porterville


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JOHN KRAMER
Vol-Moed Winkel, (Oudtshoorn Area)


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JOHN KRAMER
Handelshuis Aurora (with bike)


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
Gable House, Franschhoek


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
General Store, Palesheuwel


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
Winkel Langvlei


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JOHN KRAMER
The Gable House, Aurora


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JOHN KRAMER
Die Handelshuis, Calitsdorp


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JOHN KRAMER
Snax, Long Street, Cape Town


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JOHN KRAMER
Mike's Steynrus


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JOHN KRAMER
Art Snippets


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
East End Cash Store, Aberdeen


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
Sandveld Algemene Handelaar, Redlinghuis


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JOHN KRAMER
Hanet Superette, Paarl


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JOHN KRAMER
Meubels, Riversdale


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JOHN KRAMER
Fauresmith Bargain Centre


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JOHN KRAMER
Corner Store Greyton


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JOHN KRAMER
Kamieskroon Kafee


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JOHN KRAMER
Kambro Groothandel, Hopetown


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JOHN KRAMER
Melville's Café, Oudtshoorn


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JOHN KRAMER
D.P. Van Tonder, Algemene Handelaar


Not available


JOHN KRAMER
General Store, VanWyksdorp


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JOHN KRAMER
General Store, Grenspos


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JOHN KRAMER
Lucky Trading Store, Middledrift


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JOHN KRAMER
Hoekwinkel, Greyton


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JOHN KRAMER
Veranda With Bicycle, Genadendal


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JOHN KRAMER
Lucky 7, A.D. Stores, Klapmuts


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JOHN KRAMER
A B Handelaars


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JOHN KRAMER
Delivery Bike, Garies


JOHN KRAMER
Uitspan Kafee, Montaqu


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JOHN KRAMER
Algemene Handelaar, Leipoltville


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JOHN KRAMER
Huis, Graaf Reinett


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JOHN KRAMER
Rank Cash and Carry, Murraysburg


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