Bettie Cilliers-Barnard

Born: 1914, Rustenburg, South Africa
Died: 2010, Pretoria, South Africa Betties Cilliers-Barnard, born in 1914 began her exploration of non-figurative forms in 1957. Before then, she had been concerned at first with descriptive delineation of her subjects, later with analysis of the formal values of obejective images.Bettie was an artist who searched ceaselessly for creative ways to express her sense of the underlying, intangible harmony of life. Coming from a literary background and trained as a teacher, she decided to pursue art studies seriously when she was in her early thirties, travelling to both Antwerp and Paris, where she studied under Andre Lhote. Since then, she held 53 solo exhibitions in 41 years. Cilliers-Barnard was one of the first South African Artists to abandon representation for a totally non-figurative or abstract idiom, along with Nel Erasmus and Douglas Owen Portway.
Artist CV 
- 1937 - BA Degree at the University of Pretoria
- 1940 - BA-fine arts degree at the University of South Africa
- 1948 -Study and work in Belgium and France.
- 1946 - First solo-exhibition in Pretoria.
- 1952 - Group Exhibition in Cape Town.
- During her life she worked and studied in Paris, Switzerland, USA. and the U.K. and also took part in various Biennials all over the world. The number of exhibitions are too numerous to list.
- She was also honored many times for her achievements and in 1990 the University of Potchefstroom presented her with the degree, D Phil ( Honores Causa).
- Ann Bryant Art Museum, East London
- Nearly all the Universities of South Africa
- Hester Rupert Artmuseum, Graaff Reinet
- Johannesburg Art Museum
- King George VI Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
- Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
- Potchefstroom Art Museum
- Pretoria Art MuseumSandton Art Museum
- South African National Art Museum, Cape Town
- Taipei Fine Arts Museum ( Republic van China )
- Willem Annandale Art Museum, Lichtenburg
- William Humpreys Art Museum, Kimberley
- Cape Provincial Administration
- Provincial Administration of the Orange Free State
- Kitty Collection, New York (USA)
- Art Foundation Rembrandt van Rijn, Stellenbosch
- Legal and General Volkskas Collection Ltd., Johannesburg
- Jan Smuts International Airport, Johannesburg
- Nedbank Art Collection, Johannesburg
- Development Bank of South Africa, Johannesburg\
- Department of Foreign Affairs, Pretoria
- South African Embassies and Missions.
- Roger Hauert Collection, Paris (France)
- SA Academy of Science and Arts, Pretoria
- SANLAM Collection, Bellville
- SASOL Collection, Johannesburg
- Schlesinger Collection, Johannesburg
- South African Reserve Bank, Pretoria and Cape Town
- South African Broadcasting Cooperation, Johannesburg
- Department of Defense: South African Navy
- Volkskas Bank Collection Pretoria and London (England)
Bettie Cilliers-Barnard is one of South Africa's most under estimated artists. If one looks at our History of Art and the role that she played in establishing and helping various young artists and her overall worldwide exposure during a time when only a few of our artists ventured outside the country, one can not help but to place her between the top achievers. She has worked consistently all this time and is part of an unique group of artists who even in 1959 had an exhibition of non-figurative art which was rather progressive for the time. She comes from the same era as some of our greatest old masters but was so futuristic in her style that she never got the recognition she deserved.
" For Bettie painting becomes a glorious adventure of something that takes place under the guidance of the inner impulse. This process of painting resembles the organic growth of a plant. It is a process of slow growth, which begins from the first line or touch of colour put down on the canvas. " G.P.J. Trumplemann, Opening of exhibition 17-05-1965.