(b. 1949, East London, South Africa)

Norman Catherine's prodigious career spans more than 50 years and has straddled the most formative periods in South African contemporary art, from the '70's through the end of the last millennium and into the youth of this one. His oeuvre includes painting sculpture, printmaking and mixed media.His nutrients have, at times, included the cultural equivalent of junk food: pop culture, comic books, cartoons, sci-fi movies, pulp fiction; and, whether deliberatley or inadvertenly, like all South Africans, he has subsisted on a daily diet of news reports reflecting the violence, brutality, corruption, and dandified revelry of an empire dangling on the edge of the precipice. In short, his art has both depicted and mitigated South Africa's growing pains and it fractured psyche.

Hazel Friedman, Norman Catherine, Incognito at Everard Read Johannesburg, 2013

Since that 1969 solo exhibition consisting of oil paintings on wood, bone, wire and an assortment of found objects, Norman Catherine's art has since undergone "several metamorphoses, from the pristine airbrush paintings of the 70s to the frenzied, ritualistic mixed media works of the early and mid 80s; the wire sculptures and tin can works of the late 80s, and the primitive-futuristic paintings of the early 90s which provided the seeds for his pre-millennial menagerie of anthropomorphic beasts. In the years spanning his past and present output, Catherine's visual trademarks have included rough-edged comical and nightmarish forms, rendered in brash cartoon colours. His idiosyncratic vision - a combination of dark cynicism and exuberant humour, as well as his innovative use of everyday materials, has secured his place at the forefront of South African contemporary art." *

Norman Catherine’s art imbibes a dystopian vision of the socio-political landscape that informs his psyche. History, horror, crime, conflict, psychoses, politics & pathologies serve as stimuli for his creative output that vacillates between the macabre and the comic, between a gasp and a giggle. He conveys his cynical vision through a juxtaposition of dark and light sensibilities veering between an internal hallucinatory realm and literal commentary on the material world. There are no easy classifications for the genre of his work suffice to say that he rebels against any dogma or rigid definition.

Catherine has exhibited extensively in South Africa and internationally. His work is included in public and corporate collections in South Africa and internationally including the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.

* Hazel Friedman


Bronze, Steel, Stone & Bone, Everard Read, London, UK

Incognito, CIRCA on Jellicoe, Johannesburg, South Africa

Now & Then Retrospective, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa
Dualities, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Now & Then Retrospective, Stellenbosch Art Gallery, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Nelson Mandela Metro Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Polokwane Art Gallery, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Durban Art Gallery, South Africa

Urban Mutations, Moba Art Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Now & Then Retrospective, Pretoria Art Museum, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Espace XL, Luxembourg

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Spot-On Gallery, Windhoek, Namibia

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

S.A. Association of Arts, Pretoria, South Africa
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (Fook Island-Walter Battiss Commemoration Exhibition), South Africa
Gallery 21, Johannesburg (100 works from Pelmama Collection), South Africa
Area-X Gallery, New York, USA

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

S.A. Association of Arts, Windhoek, Namibia

Gowlett Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, South Africa

Kunsthandel SIAU,Amsterdam, Holland
Gallery 21, Johannesburg, South Africa

No 13 Abel Road Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gallery 21, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman-Wolman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa

Motif Gallery, East London

Herbert Evans Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa


Art South Africa Today, Durban (Cambridge Shirt Award)

Republic Festival Arts Exhibition, Durban (lst prize for Graphic Art)

AA Life Vita Art Now 3rd Quarterly Award (Shared with Andries Botha)

SA Academy of Science & Art: Award for Visual Arts.

Public  Collections

SA National Gallery, Cape Town
Johannesburg Municipal Art Gallery, Johannesburg
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
Durban Art Gallery, Durban
Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London
Sandton Municipal Art Gallery, Sandton
Oliwenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
The Haenggi Foundation Inc, Switzerland
Pelmama Permanent Art Collection, Johannesburg
University of South Africa, Pretoria
Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
University of Natal, Durban
Walter Battiss Museum, Somerset East
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
Roodepoort Public Library, Roodepoort
Department of National Education
Carnegie Art Gallery, Newcastle
Gauteng Legislature, Johannesburg
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
Constitutional Court of SA, Johannesburg
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (MOMA)
Reserve Bank of South Africa
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA 

Corporate  Collections

Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, USA
Mobil Court Art Collection, Cape Town
Volkskas Bank, Pretoria
Everite Ltd, Johannesburg
Premier Milling Co, Johannesburg
Trust Bank, Johannesburg
Bankorp, Johannesburg
Standard Bank, Johannesburg
Sasol Art Collection
World Bank, Johannesburg
BHP Billiton, Johannesburg
World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
Union Bank of Switzerland, Sandton
Telkom, Johannesburg
Absa, Johannesburg
Saronsberg Wine Estate Collection, Tulbagh
Vodacom, Cape Town
Berardo Foundation, Portugal
Sanlam Ltd., Bellville
Fortis Circustheatre, Scheveningen, Holland