Bruce Murray Arnott: Into the Megatext opened on 22 April 2023 at the Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture providing the first comprehensive overview of Arnott’s life and work.
In partnership with TAF’23, artist Bruce Arnott presented a scaled-down iteration of the exhibition at the Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture.
Bruce Murray Arnott: Into the Megatext, was launched at an intimate gathering of about 50 people in Irma Stern’s lounge on 20 July.
Work on Bruce Arnott’s book has begun. Edited by Mari Lecanides-Arnott and with Sven Christian assisting with design and production, the book aims to paint a rich, varied and complex picture of Bruce’s life and work. There will be a section in the Bruce Arnott book that will include Bruce’s own writings about his artwork.
Marilyn Martin’s book Between Dreams and Realities includes information about Bruce’s important contribution when he worked at the SA National Gallery and information about his Numinous Beast sculpture, which is featured on the back cover of the book.
Some of Bruce’s works have featured on the front and/or back covers of books or have been adapted for corporate branding such as the logo of the Baxter theatre.
In a small way, my experience reflects Bruce’s particular brilliance – an experience many others, too, have shared – his provocative, challenging insights, at once providing critique, and the means to rethink one’s position in often surprising new ways.
Emeritus Professor Bruce Murray Arnott passed away in Cape Town on Friday 20 July, just short of his 80th birthday. He was a formidable sculptor and academic, who taught at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT between 1978 and his retirement in 2003, and continued his association as a postgraduate supervisor and examiner.
Iziko Museums of South Africa salutes the memory of Bruce Arnott – a great South African sculptor, curator and mentor in the fine arts – who was a key figure in the history of the Iziko South African National Gallery. He was an influential sculptor who made an impression on generations of students at UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art.
News about the death of one of South Africa’s foremost sculptors, Bruce Arnott, sent me straight to his Alma Mater, a goddess-like Caryatid figure atop a tall column. But the telling detail – and in Arnott’s work, there is always a telling detail – is the chameleon perched triumphantly atop her headdress.
Bruce will be sorely missed but his extraordinary legacy remains. His far-sighted vision for art on and of the African continent affirm him as an advocate of change, ahead of his time.
Bruce Arnott’s bronze The Citizen completes the JAG Centenary Commemorative medallions set, which is a collaboration between the Friends of JAG and the South African Mint where a percentage of the proceeds from the medallions will help bolster the Friends’ fundraising initiatives, and help supporting the Gallery.
Colleagues and friends remember Bruce Arnott and share how he had touched their lives professionally or personally; and sometimes even both.
Bruce has authored three books about artists Lippy Lipshitz, John Muafangejo and Claude Bouscharain and has curated SANG catalogues for African Art in Metal and Art of Rorke’s Drift during the 1970s.