Lithographs (2002)

Claudette Schreuders - Third Person
Third Person 
seven colour lithograph
76 x 56.5 cm
Edition 40
Claudette Schreuders - The Three Sisters and Critic
The Three Sisters and Critic
single colour lithograph
34 x 46.2 cm
Edition 40

In Third Person, Claudette makes use of one her favourite ways to tell a story. Having been associated with Bitter Comix since its inception she is more than familiar with comics as an art form. The mermaid figure and the two women in Third person are themes that she has used before in her Sculptures, the prints allow her to convey her bitter sweet tales in a more graphic and narrative way.

In Three Sisters and the Critic, Claudette works around her personal family relationships in print form, again after she has explored this in her three dimensional work. The prints have become a way of recording the sculptures once they have been completed.

Claudette Schreuders creates carved and painted wooden figures that reflect the ambiguities of the search for an 'African' identity in the post-apartheid 21st century. The domain of woodcarving is a contested one for a young, white, Afrikaans woman, but the subtractive process of carving offers a certain lack of control that she enjoys. Her figures demonstrate a hybrid canon influenced by the blolo and colon figures of West Africa, as well as other stylistic input from medieval church sculpture, Spanish portraiture and Egyptian woodcarving. Their stocky bodies, solid stance and staring eyes 'own' space in a very particular way, partly indebted to the shape of the block of wood from which they emerge. Narrative and story telling are fundamental to the reading of her figures, which is why Schreuders opts to show small bodies of work as sculptural installations, after which the figures are available to be bought individually.

Schreuders' figures are essentially modern deities for modern problems, taking with them the blolo figures' potential to 'cure', as well as engaging with issues around foreignness and hostility and the means we use to create a space for ourselves in a perceived 'alien' environment.


"I think what I'm interested in is telling stories. It's portraiture, but it's a vehicle for telling a particular story, or the way in which society makes people who they are, or the group against the individual. As soon as you make a figure, it has an identity, and it's immediately a white person or a black person. To me, things aren't that simple in South Africa. Everyone has an identity. And I made three white figures at first. The first one was Lokke and then the Housewife, which was fibreglass, and then the Dominee, which was of my grandfather. And then you start thinking, "but they're all white". That was before I even looked at the colon. And that provided a connection for me in Africa. I like to think of it as desire in a way that makes you want to make things. I don't look for 'authentic African art' to collect. I find that relationship of 'taking' very hard. My whole outlook is obviously western, but if you do research about art, or your own art, you have a whole different way of looking at it. Then you can get back to very basic questions. It's interesting for me to look at portraiture as something where you try and make a person with the idea you have of them, and try and bring in abstract elements, like in African art where they say "this is a beautiful person because he [sic] is complete." So I am interested in making things that are beautiful, and how beauty works."

Schreuders describes herself as something of a perfectionist, working slowly and indulging in her labour-intensive process, which she sees is quite revelatory in terms of understanding one's intentions and desires.


Make a purchase enquiry for Claudette Schreuders's prints.



Claudette SchreudersBORN February 6, 1973 in Pretoria, South Africa.


1990 Matric, Linden High School, Jhb

1994 BA (FA) University of Stellenbosch in 1994

1997 M.F.A. University of Cape Town


1998 Civic Gallery, Jhb

2001 "Burnt by the Sun" Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA

2002 "Six Stories" ,KKNK, Oudtshoorn, RSA
"The Critic" Project Room, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA
"Crying in Public", Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA


1993 'South African Environments', University of Stellenbosch Gallery, Stellenbosch

1994 'Graduandi Exhibition', University of Stellenbosch Gallery, Stellenbosch

1995 'Kaping', Newtown Artspace, Biennale Fringe, Jhb 'International Student Exhibition, Hiroshima', Hiroshima, Japan

1996 'Unplugged II', Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery, Jhb

1997 'Lifetimes: An exhibition of South African Art', Out of 1Africa Festival, Munich, Germany
'Michaelis Final Year Exhibition'', Michealis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

1997 'Bringing Up Baby: Artists Survey the Reproductive Body', Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. Toured Cape Town and Johannesburg.

1996 'The Art of Describing', Open Window Art Gallery, Pretoria
'Lake Naivasha International Artists', National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya

1999 'Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa', The Museum for African Art, New York.

2000 'Voices of South Africa', The British Museum, London
'A.r.e.a. 2000' Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland
'FNB Vita Art Prize 2000', Sandton Civic Gallery, Jhb

2001 'DaimlerCrysler Award for South African Sculpture 2002', JAG, Jhb

2002 'Sasol Public Sculpture', KKNK, Oudtshoorn
'Tracing the Rainbow - Art and Literature from the New South Africa' Raum Sylt-Quelle, Germany
'Group Portrait South Africa- Nine Family Histories' Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland.

2003 'Coexistence- Contemporary Cultural Production in South African' Rose Art Museum, USA
'Teken' Drawing Exhibition, Art on Paper, Jhb
'Contact Zones- Colonial and Contemporary' Michael Stevenson Contemporary, Cape Town.


1998 Two month residency in Kenya

1996 Two month residency at Gasworks Studios, London

1999 Aftershave International Artists' Workshop, Jos, Nigeria

2001 Art Omi Residency, New York, USA


Make a purchase enquiry for Claudette Schreuders's prints.




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