Izidro Duarte
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African Narratives
Izidro Duarte’s childhood years living in the outskirts of Lourenco Marques in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s left an indelible impression. For a young pupil of the Sao José de Lhanguene Mission School the surrounding village life of the Shangaan people became fi rmly and visually imprinted – imagery of people living close to nature.

Izidro Duarte’s subsequent move to South Africa in 1952 has not dimmed his love for Africa, it has dominated his subject matter throughout his professional career.

Duarte’s work has over time undergone many exploratory changes in technique and idiom but the depiction of the human figure has always remained constant. Exploring fresh methods of expression keeps him from stagnation – his two and three dimensional sculptures are a reflection of this.

Duarte’s reclusive nature and his aversion to city life has left his work underexposed, but there is no extracting him out of trying to capture an Africa that is rapidly changing gear into world assimilation.

Izidro Duarte was born in Ortiga / Portugal. He arrived in South Africa in 1953. He studied art at the Witwatersrand Technical College in Johannesburg from 1959-1961, under the tutelage of Professor Robert Bain, Phil Botha, George Boys, Joyce Leonard, Phil Kolbe and Anna Vorster. In 1962 and 1963 he worked as a free-lance illustrator before travelling to the UK and Europe in 1964 for three years to further his own art studies. He returned to South Africa, embarking on his present art career in 1970.
Duarte has had solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, Durban, Lisbon, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Sydney, Bern and Gaborone. His work is represented in Johannesburg and Durban’s CCMA Government Offices, Springs Municipality, S.A. Chamber of Mines, University of Botswana, Reserve Bank of Botswana and the Margate Art Museum.


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