A N T O N S M I T The Life and Times of a South African Sculptor.
Anton collects sayings about the relationship between art and the individual artist’s experience of reality. “Art is not to render the visible but to render visible,” he asserts, and his art achieves this in many ways.
An inspiring raconteur, Anton enjoys relating tales of his struggles as a young artist. The secret to his success could be attributed to his courage
and determination to forge ahead in the face of great difficulty.
History | Exhibitions |
A N T O N S M I T The Life and Times of a South African Sculptor
Anton achieved his first artistic breakthroughs in 1977, he received special mention in the South African Art Association’s New Signatures
competition in Pretoria. Two years later he had a great boost when he won first prize in the New Signatures competition.
He was the “Artist of the month” in 1982 at the Pretoria Art Museum this was followed in 1987 with his first one man exhibition in the Beuster Skolimowski Gallery in Pretoria and in 1989 another one man exhibition at the SAAA.
Since then he has held numerous exhibitions of his sculptures throughout South Africa, in Witrivier, Nelspruit, Pietersburg, Johannesburg,
Potchefstroom, Durban, Cape Town, in leading galleries such as the Crake, Kraft, Olivetti, Michaelatos, Beuster Skolimowski, Everard Read and many others. His work has been exhibited in Rome and Milan, Italy. The M-Net Head Office bought large sculptures, and he completed commissioned works for BMW’s head office in Midrand.
In 1994 he put 35 sculptures on exhibition in New York at the Grand Central Station as part of the Strengthening the Link initiative
to boost trade between South Africa and The United States, organized by SATOUR in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry,
represented by former president Nelson Mandela. He considers one of the highlights of his career The Age of Grace,
an eight foot high bronze sculpture at the Grand Central Station, which celebrated South African Heritage and was displayed on the front
page of The New York Times.
Anton Rupert bought one of Smit’s works for the Rembrandt Foundation. A collection of his work was exhibited during the inauguration
of President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1994. Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and ex minister Pik Botha bought
some of his sculptures. Anton Smit’s work has been shown and lauded internationally in places as diverse as Rome and Milan,
Italy (1991), the Sweeguan Art Gallery in Singapore (1993), Bonn and Wolfsburg in Germany (1994), the SA Embassy in Bonn (1998),
Amsterdam (2004) and Cologne (2014).
In 2000 work was commissioned by The University of Pretoria. In 2001 his works were purchased by the Rembrandt Foundation in Stellenbosch
and a large work was commissioned by MNT Developers for the Boardwalk Meander.
In 2003 Smit opened his own sculpture garden, at the spectacular Anton Smit Sculpture Park in Aqua Vista, with a breathtaking view of
Bronkhorstspruit Dam. In the same year he created the enormous Sandstone Head (2 X 3 meter) for a European art collector.
Other landmark exhibitions and art commissions he completed include the Public Commission National library of Tshwane in Pretoria (2007);
No Second Death exhibition in Franchhoek at the Grande Provance Wine Estate and Gallery (2009); a large sandstone head and other art
commissioned by Graff-Delaire Wine Estate (2009);
Facets exhibition and Angels exhibition at the Anton Smit Gallery (2010); Transitions at Anton Smit Gallery and Faith at the
Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel and Golf Estate Oubaai (2011); Transcendental Head/Kungwini public sculpture on the R25, a symbol of the
new SA (2012); Metal work exhibition in Stellenbosch and The Continuous Redemption of Man at the Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein,
Innibos festival in Nelspruit (2013); Art Affair at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg (2014),
Transections in the Young Blood gallery in Cape Town and a monumental commission for Menlyn Maine (2014).
Anton Smit’s much-anticipated solo sculpture exhibition Reverberating Time was shown at the Youngblood Gallery
in Cape Town in March 2014. Half of the pieces in this solo exhibition were displayed for three days, then sent to Germany,
where Youngblood Europe was presenting them as part of the world-renowned contemporary art fair, Art Cologne.
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