Irma Stern “Nudes 1916 – 1965”

Artwork collection coming soon…

An exhibition of painting, drawing and prints tracing Irma Stern’s treatment of nude over her long working life.

Curator: Emeritus Professor Michael Godby
Venue: Sanlam Art Gallery, Sanlam HO, 2 Strand Road, Bellville.
Dates: 26 April – 15 July 2022 – Monday – Friday 09:00 – 16:30


Ubiquitous in every art school until the end of the previous millennium the Nude was a key subject in the curriculum. Combined with a 1000-year blast of art history from 4th century BC Greece to 1950’s Pop Art, a fine arts student would have been confronted with the subject repeatedly. For Irma Stern this would have been so too. As Emeritus Professor Michael Godby writes:

“Tracing the evolution of the Irma Stern’s treatment of the nude over her long career is also a journey into the artist’s imagination”.

The current exhibition at the Sanlam Art Gallery curated by Godby present an opportunity to do just that. Showcasing a selection of paintings, drawing and prints from the archives of the Irma Stern Museum and some stellar pieces from private collections, this is a must-see exhibition.

Beginning with Stern’s academic drawings, following her encounter with German Expressionism, explorations in Africa and her late life immersion in the freedom of the beaches of French Riviera, Godby compiles a visual feast that reveal much about Stern’s art and personality.

“Over her long life, Irma Stern viewed the naked female body through many lenses, all inherited from the various traditions of European art. By engaging with each lens at different times, Stern not only extended the tradition, and affirmed her place within it, but also found a means to express her own vivid interior life. For Stern, the nude was not simply a celebration of the naked human body. It was certainly that. But it was also the quintessence of art, the ultimate vehicle of visual poetry and the highest form of the expression, of sensual fulfilment, of freedom and of life.”

A book accompanying the exhibition by Prof Godby, Irma Stern Nudes, 1916 – 1965, is for sale at the gallery.

The exhibition is on show at the Sanlam Art Gallery from 26 April to 15 July 2022. Viewing hours are weekdays 09:00 to 16:30. 


Guided of the exhibition are presented by the curator of the Sanlam Art Collection on Tuesdays at 11:00:

The duration of the tour is approximately 60 minutes


Participation in the guided tours is by appointment only.

To reserve your place and for more information e-mail or call 021 947 3359.