Wolf Kibel

Born: 1903, Grodziska, Poland Died: 1938, Cape Town, South Africa Kibel was the son of the Jewish Cantor and ritual slaughterer of the village of Groditch (Grodzinska). Music was a priority in his home as well as art, a natural family accomplishment. As a boy he used to carve grotesques from his father’s oil stones. His father’s death brought insecurity into his life in 1911, after which he was apprenticed to a purse maker, in a nearby village of Kutna, which he was dismissed at for daydreaming.

 His decision to paint was determined by the praise of his teacher Appelbaum, who encouraged him while on a holiday visit to Grodzinska. He travelled to Vienna from his native Poland at the age of 20 and thereafter to Palestine where he mixed with artists whose interest in the school of Paris was paramount. In 1929, he accepted his brother’s invitation, who was Cantor at the synagogue in Cape Town, to immigrate to South Africa.

In 1931 Hugo Naude invited Kibel to Worcester where he taught him the art of etching. The years from 1934 – 1938, during which he shared the Palm studio with the sculptor, Lippy Lipshitz, were the most productive of his life.

Wolf Kibel did not live to realize his full maturity. His contribution to South African art must be assessed from the output of 8 short years, by a young man who failed to reach the age of 35 due to tuberculosis.

  wolf kibel wolf kibel wolf kibel