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Gradwell, Margaret

Margaret Gradwell graduated from the University of Pretoria in 1977 and is currently associate professor and head of Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria.

Between 1983 and 2007 she has held twelve solo exhibitions in Pretoria and Cape Town. Her work is represented in several private, corporate, public, and diplomatic collections such as: Pretoria Art Museum, SASOL, ABSA, Telkom, Saambou and Lifegrow Collections, as well as the National Museum for Women in Art, Washington DC.

She can be considered as an artist of an aesthetic sensibility because she views the world as an important resource, as it provides raw material for entering a painterly state, rather than using socio-political events that comment on the world.

Landscapes are based on subdued aridity and accompanying melancholy of the dryer regions of South Africa. She favours strong horizons that are suggestive of vast distances. Emphasis is often placed on the relationship of contrasting shapes and strong gestural brush marks.

Margaret often experiments with other subject matter such as still lifes and interiors. Like the landscapes, the mood created is quiet, yet there is always the presence of movement within the stillness.