Dumile Feni Retrospective: Johannesburg Art Gallery

Dumile Feni was one of Africa's greatest 20th century artists - painter, sculptor, poet, and nascent filmmaker too. He left South Africa in his mid-twenties, already successful as an artist, and lived in exile in London and New York, exhibiting his paintings and sculptures widely, in both solo and group exhibitions. Dumile travelled and exhibited in China, Nigeria, the US and the UK. His work often conveyed human emotion - suffering and pain, including people contorted with anguish, as well as great tenderness and dignity. His death in exile was a great loss to African art and ill-timed, as he never returned to South Africa to experience its freedom. This lavishly illustrated, full-colour book is the most comprehensive collection of Dumile's work to date. It pays tribute to the retrospective exhibition run by the Johannesburg Art Gallery, from January to April 2005, which toured South Africa and stems from years of thorough research. It honours the artist's work, sketches, paintings and sculptures, and provides intimate, quirky photographs of Dumile himself, essays about him by great contemporary thinkers in the art world, poetry about him and poetry by him. The work pays tribute to five periods of his life: Before Exile; the London Period, which represents a major turning point in his career; the USA Period, highlighting further development of his technique, including his sculpture; the Johannesburg Art Gallery Collection, which consists of over 100 of Dumile's drawings and two bronze sculptures; and the Erotica period, which conveys his intense exploration of anatomy and sexuality.