12 February 2018

The illustrated biography of Jack Lugg titled, The House That Jack Built

The public of Nelson Mandela Bay are invited to attend the inaugural opening of the JACK LUGG RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION and BOOK LAUNCH on Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 17:30 for 18:00. 


The exhibition will be opened by the Director of the Pretoria Art Museum, Dirk Oegema. Live music will be performed by Joe van der Linden and John Edwards and refreshments will be served. 


The exhibition, hosted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, will comprise works spanning seven decades from the 1950s, when Lugg’s professional career began. All the artworks on display will be for sale.


A coffee-table book, The House that Jack Built, has recently been completed and copies of this sumptuous showcase of his work will be on sale at the Art Museum during the opening.


Jack Lugg (1924-2013) was head of the East London Technical College School of Art for 35 years, from 1953. He was also a prolific painter, sculptor and graphic artist who exhibited widely.


His love of African art was first inculcated in him as a schoolboy when he studied under Walter Battiss at Pretoria Boys’ High. On returning home from World War II, Jack Lugg studied art at the Durban Technical College, where he won a scholarship to further his studies in London, and later in Paris.


Back home in South Africa, he combined what he had learnt from his exposure to the latest developments in Western art with the inspiration generated by living in Africa. This was particularly so when he settled in East London, in the heartland of the Xhosa people.


He left an indelible mark on the art world in South Africa. Many students who went on to have stellar careers passed through his hands, including Norman Catherine and cartoonists Tony Grogan and the late Derek Bauer.


The exhibition is inspired by the biography, The House that Jack Built.


Sandy Shoolman, writing in the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 edition of Art Times, says:


The House that Jack Built is a magnificent and highly informative biography of Jack Lugg, influential South African artist and educator.”

“This substantial and entertaining art book is unique in many ways. It is a touching tribute to a man who made an enormous impact on many lives. It is a valuable historical record of seven decades of exceptional art production by a seminal South African artist in a changing international landscape. It is an inspiring record of the versatile career of an artist and educator.”


“Above all, it is the fascinating life story of a man with formidable talent, extraordinary tenacity, creativity, and captivating wit.”


The exhibition runs until 6 April 2018.