Otto Klar

Born: 1908, Vienna, Austria Died: 1994, Pretoria, South Africa Klar studied at the Vienna Academy of Arts. Klar exhibited in Vienna, Munich and Berlin before coming to South Africa in 1939. Klar settled in Pretoria, where he painted and taught art. He was interested in local landscape and Bantu figure subjects. In 1962 Otto Klar received an Honorary Professorship conferred on him by the President of Austria.
Otto Klar was a painter of confirmed ability, but one who was vacillated in his commitment to aesthetic principles. Soon after his arrival in South Africa he established a reputation by demonstrating command of the oil techniques and skill in descriptive landscape, which were well received. Otto Klar was described as “A painter of energy and strength, he could hurl thunderbolts across his canvasses. His palette – black, white, golds, oranges and reds, suggest furnaces and molten metal. His knowledgeable brush holds promise of powerful constructions, meteoric movement and dynamic clash of forces. Yet, repeatedly a powerful initial composition is reduced to banality by the imposition of forced literary images." Artist CV Resided in SA from 1939. A Painter of landscapes, portraits, figures, religious themes and still life, particularly of flowers. From 1958 to the mid 1960's painted a number of abstract works.


Vienna Academy of Arts, Austria.


Taught art in Pretoria. A number of his works have been reproduced by E Schweickerdt, Pretoria.


Participated in numerous group exhibitions held throughout Europe and in SA; held several solo exhibitions in SA; 1952 Van Riebeeck Tercentenary Exhibition; 1960 Quadrennial Exhibition; 1964 Milan, Italy, solo exhibition; 1966 Republic Festival Exhibition.


1962 awarded Honorary Professorship from the President of Austria on the recommendation of the Vienna Academy of Art.


Ann Bryant Gallery, East London; Durban Art Gallery; Pretoria Art Museum; University of the Witwatersrand.

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