Minister Alan Winde Urges Capetonians to Visit the Tretchikoff Exhibition
Last night, Western Cape Minister Alan Winde attended the opening of the Tretchikoff Exhibition at the South African National Gallery. Minister Winde's Department of Economic Development and Tourism assisted the organisers to put the exhibition together by, amongst others, arranging that, for the first time ever, SARS allowed the works into the country without charging import duties.
Speaking at the event, which attracted three times the number of people than what was expected, Minister Winde applauded the organisers, which included Tretchikoff's granddaughter Natasha Swift, Curator Andrew Lamprecht, Riason Naidoo and Marianne Fassler: "This exhibition took over three years to put together, and in what must be a record, artworks were loaned from over 80 private collectors. This is the first time that Mr Tretchikoff's works are being exhibited in a gallery of this stature, and I would like to urge all Capetonians to grasp the opportunity of coming to see them in the flesh".
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has a special programme to grow the commercialisation of the Western Cape arts sector. "Although he didn't win any friends in the art fraternity for it, Tretchikoff changed the landscape of commercial arts forever by producing prints of his works for widespread consumption. He proved that it is entirely possible to forge a living as an artist. Our programme aims to provide the platform for our local emerging talent to follow in his footsteps," said Winde.
At the event, Minister Winde met and spoke with the woman who sat for Tretchikoff's most famous painting, the Chinese Girl. "Monika Sing-Lee is as vibrant and beautiful today as she was when she sat for Tretchikoff in 1950. I was especially honoured to meet the face that launched a 'million' prints."