Art Insure

Ebrahim Badsha


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Under the Umdoni Tree: The Art of Ebrahim and Omar Badsha

Omar Badsha and Ebrahim Badsha at Durban Art Gallery

Ebrahim Badsha was a member of a little-recognized pioneer generation of black artists in South Africa whose work explored questions of home, modernity, and the challenge of seeing the country in ways that transcended the imposed optic of white domination. Excluded from the commercial galleries and largely overlooked in South African art history, Ebrahim and his peers had a significant influence on the generation of black artists who came to the fore in the 1960s. The pieces in this exhibition were chosen from a collection of drawings, woodcuts and mono prints that Omar Badsha found after his father’s death in 2003. None of them have been seen for more than forty years.

Although best known as a social documentary photographer and public historian, Omar also began his career as a visual artist and was one of the first prize recipients in the non-racial Art South Africa Today exhibitions. A member of the post-Sharpeville generation of protest artists, Omar played a central role in the debates over the relationship between art and politics that developed in Durban during the mid-1960s.

'Under the Umdoni Tree', the title of which references a tree in the family's backyard, is a critical reminder that the rewriting of South African art history and the full recognition of black South Africans’ contributions remains an unfinished task.


27 January 2010 - 19 March 2010