Deborah Margaret Bell

(1957 - )

  • Memo - Omen

    Mixed Media on Paper
    159.5 x 121cm
    Signed: "Bell" (Lower/Right)
    Dated: 2006

  • To The Other Side

    Oil on Canvas
    149.5 x 71.7cm
    Signed: "D.M. Bell" (Lower/Left)
    Dated: 1986

  • About

    Deborah Bell is one of South Africa´s most acclaimed artists, whose work is created in dialogue with multiple worlds, texts, histories and consciousnesses. She is also widely known for her collaborative projects with William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins.

    Her works possess a kind of ‘mystical godliness’ which comes from deep within her. Her art making is a spiritual practice in which the role of the artist is to ‘co-create the world, to materialise what exists and has existed for all time’. Inspired by museum objects from ancient civilisations, including African, Babylonian and Egyptian, her work incorporates multi-layered references to past and present worlds. Deborah Bell’s work is a highly spiritual and personal experience of mark making. Memory and the role it plays personally, and in society, thematically prevails throughout her body of work from the 1980s to present.

    • Studies

      1975 - 1977

      University of the Witwatersrand, gaining a BA (FA)

      1978

      University of the Witwatersrand, gaining a BA (Hons)

      1981 - 1985

      University of the Witwatersrand, under Robert Hodgins, Giuseppe Cattaneo, PaulStopforth, Professor Alan Crump and Terry King, being awarded an MA (FA)

    • Exhibitions

      2016

      Dreams of Immortality, CIRCA Gallery, London, UK

      Opening Group Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery, London, UK

      Winter Collection, Group Show, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

      2015

      Dreams of Immortality, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town & Johannesburg, South Africa

      Renunciation, David Krut, Johannesburg, South Africa

      Bronze, Steel & Stone, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

      1:54Contemporary African Art Fair, CIRCA Gallery Booth, London, UK

      FNB Jo-burg Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

      2013

      What would wisdom say to you dark heart?, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

      Centenary Exhibition, CIRCA & Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

      2012

      A far country, John Martin Gallery, London & Glydebourne Opera Festival, London, UK

      Rainbow Nation, Group exhibition of South African Sculptors Museum Beelden Aan Zee, Den Haag, Netherlands

      2011

      Presence, CIRCA & Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

      HORSE, 60 South African artists curated by Ricky Burnett, CIRCA & Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

      2010

      Solo Exhibition, Alchemy, David Krut, Johannesburg

      TWENTY, 20 Years of SA Sculpture, Nirox Foundation, South Africa

      2009

      Solo Exhibition,Flux, Goodman Gallery, Cape

      Joint Exhibition,Collaborations, David Krut, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Contemporary Sculpture in the Landscape, Nirox Foundation

      2007

      Solo Exhibition,Objects of Power: memory of metal, memory of wood, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Lift Off II, Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town

      Group Exhibition, David Krut Print Workshop, UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria

      2005 - 2006

      Solo Exhibition,Crossings and Monuments, Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein

      2005

      Solo Exhibition,Crossings and Monuments, Aardklop Festival Potchefstroom University Library Gallery

      Group Exhibition, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach, USA, with Goodman Gallery

      Group Exhibition, Works on Paper, Collaborative prints from David Krut Print Workshop, Franchise Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, David Krut Collaborations: 25 Years of Prints and Multiples, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

      2004

      Solo Exhibition,Sentinels, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Earthworks/Claybodies, Sasol Museum Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch

      2003

      Group Exhibition, Earthworks/Claybodies, Pretoria Art Museum

      Group Exhibition, Earthworks/Claybodies, Standard Bank Centre Gallery, Johannesburg

      2002

      Solo Exhibition,Unearthed, Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town

      2001

      Solo Exhibition,Unearthed, The Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      2000

      Solo Exhibition,The Journey Home, Art First, London

      Group Exhibition, Icons for the Millennium, Atlanta, USA

      1999

      Group Exhibition, The Paper Show, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Emergence, Group Show, National Arts festival, Grahamstown

      Artery, A.V.A Gallery, Cape Town – in conjunction with the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Artists in residence, Standard Bank National Arts Festival, 25th Anniversary, Grahamstown

      1998

      Solo Exhibition,Displacements, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Earth Hues – Contemporary African Art, Group Show, World Space, Washington DC, USA

      1997

      Joint Exhibition,Collaborations 1986-1997 (11 years of collaborative projects between artists Kentridge, Hodgins and Bell), Johannesburg Art Gallery, in association with the FNB Vita Awards

      Joint Exhibition,UB101: A portfolio of etchings done in conjunction with Kentridge and Hodgins.Exhibited at the Grahamstown Festival and at the Gertrude Posel Gallery (Curated by Fiona Rankin-Smith)

      Group Exhibition, Images and Form: Prints, drawings and sculpture from Southern Africa and Nigeria, Brunei Gallery, University of London and Edinburgh College of Art, U.K

      The Gencor Collection, Sandton Art Gallery, and The Grahamstown Festival

      Group Exhibition, Kempton Park Metropolitan Substructure Fine Arts Award Show, Kempton Park

      Group Exhibition, New Art from South Africa, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, U.K

      Group Exhibition, Les Arts de la Resistance, (Fin de Siecle a Johannesburg), Galerie Convergence, Galerie Jean-Christian Fradin; Galerie Michel Luneau and Galerie les Petit Murs, Nantes, France

      Group Exhibition, Not Quite a Christmas Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, CRAM, A.V.A Gallery, Cape Town (in conjunction with The Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg)

      1996

      Group Exhibition, Gay Rights: Rites, Re-writes, Travelling Exhibition, South Africa

      Group Salon, Rose Korber representing artists at the Bay Hotel, Cape Town

      Group Exhibition, Common and Uncommon Ground: South African Art to Atlanta, City Gallery East, Atlanta, USA

      Group Exhibition, Vita Awards, Johannesburg Art Gallery

      Group Exhibition, Tomorrow is Now, First Canadian Place and Knights Galleries International, Toronto, Canada

      Group Exhibition, Barber Signs, The Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Recent Drawings, Gallery on Tyrone, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Ceramics Biennal, Sandton Art Gallery

      1995

      Solo Exhibition,Muses and Lamentations, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, The Bag Factory: The First Five Years, the Civic Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, The Art of Tea, Kim Sacks Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Salon, Rose Korber representing artists at the Bay Hotel, Cape Town

      1994

      Joint Exhibition,Memo, installation with video at the Grahamstown festival in collaboration with William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins

      Joint Exhibition,Lamentations, Art First, Cork Street, London

      Group Show, Newtown, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Anything Boxed, Group Show, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, South African works on Paper, North Western University of Illinois, Chicago, United States

      1993

      Joint Exhibition,Easing the Passing (of the hours),Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Joint Exhibition,Portraits in the round, ceramic exhibition in collaboration with William Kentridge and Retief van Wyk, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Gallery on Tyrone, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Vita Awards, Johannesburg Art Gallery

      Group Exhibition, Momentum Life Exhibition, Pretoria

      Group Exhibition, Internations of Millenium, Newtown Gallery, Johannesburg

      1992

      Joint Exhibition,Easing the Passing (of the hours),Waterfront, Cape Town (Computer Animation, laser prints and drawings) in collaboration with William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins

      Group Exhibition, ICA, 50 Johannesburg Artists, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Paris: The Catalyst, Alliance Francaise, Durban

      Group Exhibition, Looking at Art: Looking at Watercolours, Goodman Gallery,Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Vita Awards, Johannesburg Art Gallery

      Group Exhibition, Works made in August, Newtown Gallery, Johannesburg

      1991

      Joint Exhibition,Little Morals, a portfolio of etchings done in conjunction with Hodginsand Kentridge, Cassierer Gallery, Johannesburg; Gallery International, Cape Town and Taking Liberties, Durban

      Group Exhibition, Cape Town Triennal

      Group Exhibition, Painted People: Painted Spaces, Newtown Galleries, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Hand Coloured Graphics, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Tiny Tapestry Show, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      1990

      Group Exhibition, Women choose Women, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Art from South Africa, MOMA, Oxford, UK

      Group Exhibition, Standard Bank Drawing Competition, Johannesburg

      1989

      Solo Exhibition,Deborah Bell,Potchefstroom Museum

      Volkskas Atelier Award Exhibition, South African Vita Awards, Johannesburg Art Gallery

      Group Exhibition, African Encounters, Dome Gallery, New York and Washington, USA

      Group Exhibition, The Little Big Show, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      1988

      Joint Exhibition, with Jenny Stadler and Nagel, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, CASA (Culture for Another South Africa), conference in Amsterdam, Holland

      Volkskas Atelier Award exhibition, South African Association of the Arts, Pretoria

      Group Exhibition, 100 Artists Protest detention without trial, in aid of DPSC, Market Theatre, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, Artists for Human Rights Exhibition, Durban Exhibition Centre

      1987 - 1988

      Joint Exhibition, Hogarth in Johannesburg, a portfolio of etchings done in conjunction with Hodgins and Kentridge (this exhibition travelled to all the major centres in South Africa)

      1986

      Volkskas Atelier Award Exhibition, South African Association of Arts, Pretoria

      1985

      Joint Exhibition, MAFA exhibition, Rembrandt Gallery, Milner Park, Johannesburg

      Cape Town Triennal New Visions, Market Gallery, Johannesburg

      Group Exhibition, 11 Figurative Artists, Market Gallery, Johannesburg

      1984

      Group Exhibition, UNISA Lecturers, Bloemfontein

      1983 - 1984

      Joint Exhibition, with Hodgins and Sassoon, Carriage House Gallery

      1982

      Solo Exhibition,Deborah Bell, Market Gallery, Johannesburg

    • Collections

      Public Collections– International:

      • Bristol Myers Squibb Corp., USA
      • Hara Museum, Tokyo, Japan
      • Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
      • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, USA
      • Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C, USA

      Public Collections - South Africa:

      • Friends of the National Gallery, Cape Town
      • Johannesburg City Council

      Museums & Galleries- South Africa:

      • Johannesburg Art Gallery
      • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
      • Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein
      • Pretoria Art Museum
      • Roodepoort Museum
      • Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
      • Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

      Corporate Collections- South Africa:

      • BCE, Johannesburg
      • Bell, Dewar and Hall, Johannesburg
      • Legal Resources Centre, Johannesburg
      • MTN Art Institute, Johannesburg
      • BHP Billiton South Africa Ltd.
      • Sanlam Collection
      • Sasol Collection
      • Standard Bank Investment Corporation, Johannesburg
      • Telkom

      University Collections - South Africa:

      • University of South Africa, Pretoria
      • University of Pietermaritzburg Collection
      • University of the Orange Free State Collection, Bloemfontein
      • University of the Witwatersrand Collection, Johannesburg
    • Commissions

      1999

      Sculpture for Standard Bank

      1994

      Graphics for Weekly Mail Film Festival Poster

      Involvement in movie animation for Arts Alive

      Title sequence for Grass Roots, NNTV

      1993

      Graphics for Weekly Mail Film Festival Poster

      1991

      Large sculpture for Wits Business School

      Artist-in-Residence, Standard Bank National Arts Festival – 25th Anniversary, Grahamstown

      1990

      1 Set of 6 Graphics for First National Bank

    • Awards

      1997

      APSA Award for the best New Signature, Ceramics Biennal

      1991

      Vita Quarterly Award, runner up for Main Award

      Mamba Award for the Most Sustained Artist

      1986

      Merit Prize Winner, Volkskas Atelier