MIMI VAN DER MERWE 

Van der Merwe was born in 1934 and grew up in Malmesbury, Cape Town. She completed her degree in literature from the University of Stellenbosch and did a three-year diploma in Fine Art under Edith ten Kate, through the Stellenbosch Technical College. 

 

Van der Merwe furthered her art studies in the 1960s, studied painting and etching at the Academy Royale in Brussels. She specialized in etching under Prof. Jean E. Bersier from 1961-62 at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The French government awarded her with an art bursary after which she received a Prix de I’Atelier.

Van der Merwe opened Mimi’s studio (based in Pretoria) in 1983 and its doors are currently still open to amateur artists and students learning and specializing in printmaking, drawing and painting as well as new disciplines which are learned through the skills, techniques and secrets shared by Van der Merwe. Established artists also drop by for expert advice once in a while. The success of Mimi’s studio shows in the results of her students opening their own studios and regular exhibitions such as Alliance Francaise de Pretoria at Pierneef Museum and Cafe Palette at the Pretoria Art Museum, the Centurion Art Gallery and the Tait Gallery.

 

During 1997 she spent three months at the Cite Internasionale des Arts, in Paris, as well as working at the Atelier Conterpoint and the Atelier Francais Bricaut.

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As an artist, Van der Merwe places her focus on things that interest her like human beings, their body and facial reactions/reflections of mental and spiritual attitudes, interactions amongst people and their environmental relationship. When looking at Van der Merwe’s work it is evident that she is fascinated with the power colour presents as well as what shapes and textures can visually express.
 
Van der Merwe is a member of Soroptimist International Pretoria, a service club with amongst other activities, a strong interest in the Winterveld. She has also dedicated her time to write a handbook on printmaking. 

 

Publications that featured Mimi van der Merwe:
- Contrast
- Die Suid-Afrikaan
- South African Graphic Arts and Techniques by FL Alexander
- The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors by G.Ogilvie

Solo exhibitions include:
- Exhibitions through the South African Association of Arts in: 
  Cape Town, Bellville (two exhibitions), Durban, Worcester and Pretoria (six exhibitions)
- Edrich Gallery, Stellenbosch
- Café Paletta, Pretoria Art Museum

- Vanderbjilpark Library Gallery
- Member of Artist Gallery, Cape Town
- Arte et Empreintes Gallery, Paris, France (1997)

Collective/group exhibitions include:
- Durban Exhibition (1981)
- Sand du Plessis exhibition, Bloemfontein
- Women’s Exhibition, South African National Gallery, Cape Town (1960s)
- Gallery III, Harstad, Norway (with Lucas Bambo)

© 1998 Artvark Gallery • Telephone (021) 788 5584 • artvark@iafrica.com • Copyright 2013 | Kalk Bay | Cape Town | South Africa

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