Willie Bester

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Willie Bester nasce nel 1956 a Montagu, in Sud Africa. Diventa artista a tempo pieno nel 1991, dopo aver frequentato dei corsi d’arte alla Community Art Cape Town. Egli è riconosciuto come uno degli artisti attivisti più significativi del Sud Africa: il suo lavoro è caratterizzato dagli sviluppi drammatici a livello sociale e politico nel Sud Africa post-apartheid, affrontando questioni scomode quali criminalità, povertà, corruzione e responsabilità del governo. Bester grazie ai suoi dipinti, assemblaggi e sculture, incorporati a materiale di riciclo, punta proprio ad alimentare consapevolezza e discussioni in merito Bester vive e lavora a Kuilsrivier, un quartiere di Città del Capo.

Willie Bester was born in 1956 Montagu, Cape Town. In 1991 he attended art classes at the Community Art in Cape Town. He is regarded as one of South Africa’s most significant activist artists. His work is characterized by dramatic social and political developments in post-apartheid South Africa, discussing uncomfortable issues such as crime, poverty, corruption and government responsibility. Thanks to his paintings, assemblages and sculptures combined with recycled material, Bester comments the political injustice and the human rights issues. Bester currently works and lives in Kuilsrivier, a district of Cape Town.




“Willie Bester’s social engineering”, The Melrose Gallery,Johannesburg, South Africa

“Transformation”, Fynarts Festival, Space Gallery, Hermanus, South Africa


“Comprehensive”, Art B, Bellville Sout Africa


“Sculptures”, Imibala Trust Gallery, Somerset West, South Africa


“Community”, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

“Backyard”. Bernard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


“Hourglass Black. Africa In The Collection of Caam”, Casa Africa, Las Palmas di Gran Canaria


Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

Sasol Art Gallery, Stellenbosch

Investec Private Bank & US Wordfest Artist, 2009


Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town


Montagu Museum


Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town


Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town


SASOL Museum, Stellenbosch


Centre D’Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium. Grahamstown featured Artist. Goodman Gallery Johannesburg


Arte Assertite, Torino


“Opere Recenti”, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy Archivio Della Scuola Romana, Introdotto da Achille Bonito Oliva, Roma, Italy


Emporian, Dakar


Goodman Gallery Johannesburg


South African Association of Art, Cape Town & Goodman Gallery Johannesburg


Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Milpark Port Elizabeth


Gallery International, Cape Town


Forum, Cavendish Square, Cape Town


2019 “GrowBox Art Project”, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa 2015 “Portraits and Still Lifes”, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA 2014 “Cruce de colecciones”, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas di Gran Canaria 2012 “Forma Sculture”, Galleria L’ariete, Bologna 2011 “Implemented Environments”, Brundyn+Gonsalves, Città del Capo 2010 19th Annual Salon, Rose Korber Art, Città del Capo “100 Prozent Afriks”, Dany Keller Galerie, Monaco di Baviera “Divisions”, Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary (SMAC), Stellenbosch “Divisions: Aspects of South African Art 1948-2010”, De Wet Centre, Stellenbosch “Streghts & Convinctions”, Nobel Peace Center, Oslo


34 LONG FINE ART, Cape Town


Rocca di Castagnoli, Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Italy


Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, June – September 2006


Hayward Gallery, London, 10 February – 17 April 2005

Centre Pompidou, Paris, 15 May – 20 August 2005

Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy


Dublin Exhibition

10 Years – Klein Karoo Arts Festival, Outshoorn, South Africa

Milk Can Project, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town

“Africa Remix – Düsseldorf”, Museum Kunst Palast: 24 July – 7 November 2004


Suidoos Festival, Peninsula Technikon

“Coexistence – Contemporary Cultural Production in South African” Rose Art Museum, USA


“Passport to South Africa”, Centro Culturale “Trevi”, Bolzano, Italy

Sculpture Biennale, Spier Estate, Stellenbosch

National Art Gallery of Malaysia

King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth


Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

“Project Conflux”, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town


Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

Project Conflux, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town


Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town

“Rewind/Fast Forward”, Van Reekum Museum of Modern Art, Appeldoorn, Netherlands

Claiming Art Reclaiming Space, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.

Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy

“Artery”, Joao Ferreira Fine Art, Cape Town


Biennale de l’Art Contemporain, Dakar, Senegal

“The Edge of Awareness”, World Health Organization, Geneve, Switzerland, New York, Soa Paulo, New Delhi

“Still our Land” with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

“Project Conflux”, Tendances Mikado Gallery, Luxembourg

“Project Conflux”, Hotel de Ville, Dijon, France

Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town


Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di San Marino, San Marino

“Lift Off”, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

“South Africa”, Kohn Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

“Not Quite a Xmas Show”, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

Art Salon, The Bay Hotel, Caps Bay


Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, USA

Basel Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland

Simunye (we are one) exhibition, Adelson Gallery, New York

Tradition in Tradition, October Gallery, London

Contemporary Art from South Africa, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Contemporary S.A. Art 85 – 95, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

South African Art to Atlanta, City Gallery East, Atlanta, USA

“OTRO PAIS : ESCALAS AFRICANAS”, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona

“The other journey (Africa and the Diaspora)”, Kunsthalle, Krems, Austria

“Seven Artists from South Africa”, Boumani Gallery, San Francisco


“DIALOGUES OF PEACE”, Exhibition for the UN’s 50th Anniversary, Palaise Des Nations, Geneva

Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London

Africa ’95 Festival, London

Art Salon at The Bay, Camps Bay, Cape

De Kleur van Verandering Exhibition, The Hague, Netherlands


Galerie De L’Esplanade, La Defence, Paris

“UN ART CONTEMPORIAN D’AFRIQUE DU SUD”, Galerie De Ballens, Ballens, Switzerland

“HEIMAT PROJECT”, Grahamstown Art Festival

Stallion Gallery, Kentucky, USA

5th Havana Biennale, Cuba

Art Salon at The Bay, Camps Bay, Cape

Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany


1993 – 1994

“INCROCI DEL SUD”, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam


“INCROCI DEL SUD: An exhibition of works by 27 contemporary South African Artists”, Biennale di Venezia

“INCROCI DEL SUD”, Roma, Italy


Primart Gallery, Cape Town

1991 – 1992

ZABALAZA FESTIVAL, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (This exhibition traveled to London and other British centres and was subsequently shown in South Africa at the S.A. National Gallery, Cape Town)


Operation Hunger Exhibition, Cape Town

Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch

Gallery International, Cape Town

Cape Town Triennial Exhibition, Touring Exhibition


Gallery International, Cape Town

Institute for African Studies, University of Cape Town

Jacobs & Liknaitsky Gallery, Cape Town


Baxter Gallery, Cape Town




Johnny Walker artist award


Order of the Disa, Members Class, Government of South Africa


Honorary medal for promotion of Fine Arts: Suid Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns


Prix De L’Aigle, 4th Grand Prix International D’Arts Plastiques de la Vlille de Nice, France


Merit Prize : Cape Triennial

{tab=Biblio} CATALOGUES Monographs 2006 D. LEE, “Willie Bester – Art as a weapon”, Awareness Publishing Group 2001 Y. KONATE, “Willie Bester”, Bruxelles: Centre d’art contemporain Group exhibitions 2018 “9 New York”, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento 2008 H. PROUD, “Revisions + Expanding the narrative of South African Art, Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery 2000 H. BOGATZKE, R. Brockmann, C. Ludszuweit,  “Ondambo – African art forum”, Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers, pp. 30 – 49, pp. 174 – 177 1999 H. FRANK & M. D’AMATO, “Liberated voices”, Contemporary Art from South Africa, New York – London – Munich: The museum of african art, p. 27. S. KASFIR LITTLEFIELD, “Contemporary African Art”, London: Thames & Hudson, pp. 159 – 161 1996 S. WILLIAMSON & A. JAMAL, “Art in South Africa – the future present”, Claremont, South Africa: David Philip Publishers, pp. 134-139 A. MAGNIN & J. SOULILLOU, “Contemporary Art of Africa”, New York & London: Thames a Hudson, pp. 155 – 156, p. 158 1994 E. RANKIN, “Images of metal, post-war sculptures and assemblages in South Africa”, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, University of Witwatersrand Art Galleries, pp. 89 – 92 1993 E. BERMAN, “Painting in South Africa”, Halfway House, Transvaal: Southern Book Publishers, p. 363 {tab=Exhibitions} 2018

9 New York

08.02 – 30.05.2018
opening 08.02.2018 – 18:30

Artists from the rainbow nation

29.04 – 03.06.2009
opening 29.04.2009 – 10:00

Opere recenti

05.03 – 24.04.2009
opening 05.03.2009 – 18:30



Willie Bester

Art as a Social Document 2003

Willie Bester

Opere Recenti 1999