News Brief

Legendary South African Visual Artist David Koloane Has Passed Away

The acclaimed visual artist, art critic and activist was 81.

David Koloane, whose art and activism spanned over four decades and brought political injustices as well as human rights issues into the spotlight, has passed away at his home in Johannesburg, IOL reports.


In 1977, Koloane became the head of the Fine Art section of the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA). He became aware of the lack of access to work space for Black artists and so close to two decades later, the talented artist teamed up with Robert Loder and Ricky Burnett and founded The Bag Factory in Johannesburg—the first permanent studio space for Black artists.

Over the years, Koloane went on to produce exquisite artworks using various media and form including Mirror and The Three Sisters in 1999 which depicts the sex workers of inner-city Johannesburg and Bree Street III in 2008 which spoke to how the Apartheid government and its "politics of space" restricted the movements of Black people.

In 2008, Koloane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the prestigious Arts and Culture Trust. These awards are held annually in recognition and celebration of South Africans who have shown excellence in the arts, culture and creative space.

Since the news of the legendary artist's passing emerged, tributes have been pouring in on social media:





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Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

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