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(1930 - 20009) Alexander Cecil Podlashuc
Well-known South African artist and art educator Alexander Podlashuc has died in Cape Town at the age of 79.
Born in Pretoria in 1930, he and his late wife Marianne who died 2004, became a famous artistic duo who were founder members of the Bloemfontein Group who exhibited extensively. 'Pod', was a superb graphic artist and painter. His life encompassed separate careers in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. In Pretoria as a youth he moved in the circles of Frans Oerder, Alexis Preller and Walter Battiss. His formal artistic training began when he was only 16 at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. Here, under the conservative and reactionary Melvin Simmers and Edward Roworth, Podlashuc's critical and somewhat rebellious nature, as well as his interest in modern art saw him clash with his mentors and he was expelled from the School. He then went to London where he trained at the Central School of Art under some of the most notable British artists of the day, including Mervyn Peake, the famous author of the Ghormenghast trilogy. His other mentors were the graphic genius Gertrude Hermes, Victor Pasmore, Keith Vaughan and William Roberts. From Roberts he absorbed some of the stylistic aspects of British Vorticism, which became a trademark of his later South African work.
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