DAVID BRITS  

David Brits is an award-winning social impact artist whose experimental métier is dedicated to investigations in public-scale sculpture. Equally energised by material exploration and archival investigation, Brits’ practice spans installation, print-making, drawing and film. 


Recent major public sculpture commissions include the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, the Spier Arts Trust and the Iziko South African National Gallery.

Brits is the winner of the Rupert Foundation’s inaugural Social Impact Arts Prize and a recipient of the Barbara Fairhead Award for Social Responsibility in Art.


Solo Exhibition:


Time is a Flat Circle
15 September —
13 November 2022 MovArt Lisbon.

Current:

Tears Become Rain: Social Impact Arts Prize film launch & immersive exhibition — Latitudes Online  

Red Edge (Ouroboros 1.3.1) Public Sculpture installed at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.


Recent:


Materiality, Group Show at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape TownTown.




CV + Bio
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︎ CV + Bio 

David Brits was born in 1987 in Cape Town and lives there. He graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (Painting) at the University of Cape Town in 2010.

Brits has, over the past four years, devoted his practice to formal investgations in public-scale sculpture. Equally energised by material exploration and archival investigation, Brits’ practice also spans installation, print-making, drawing and film.

Recent major public sculpture commissions include the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, The Speir arts Trust and the Iziko South African National Gallery. He is the winner of the Rupert Art Foundation’s inaugural Social Impact Arts Prize.

Brits’ recent solo exhibitions include Sketches for the Cathedral of Johannesburg, held in 2016 at HAZARD Gallery in Johannesburg, and Snake Man, at SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, in 2015. Snake Man was a meditation on family histories in the context of pre-democratic South Africa and pays homage to the artist’s grandfather, one of the country’s top herpetologists and snake catchers from the 1950ies to the 1970ies.

In 2014 Brits was awarded a residency at the St. Moritz Art Academy, Switzerland, where he was mentored by Marcel van Eden and Daniele Buetti. Recent group shows include Materiality at the IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Words curated by Willem Boshoff at the Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, Nevermind the M*ss at A SPACE, Helsinki, Kindergeburtstag, held at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. His work has featured in the academic journal Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture (2015) and has been named as a “young artist to watch” by the South African Art Times.

Brits made his curatorial debut with Not My War, an exhibition held at the Michaelis Galleries, UCT. This acclaimed show brought together works by significant South African artists that have reflected on their country’s involvement in border wars in Northern Namibia and Southern Angola during the 1960ies to 1980ies.

Brits’ work is housed in public and private collections in both South Africa and abroad. He is a recipient of the Golden Key Society Award for Visual Art, the Irma Stern Scholarship and the Barbara Fairhead Prize.


EDUCATION:
2010︎︎︎Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), UCT Michaelis School of
Fine Art, University of Cape Town

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
2016︎︎︎Sketches for the Cathedral of Johannesburg, HAZARD
Gallery, Johannesburg
2015︎︎︎Snake Man, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town
2013︎︎︎1969, Grande Provance Gallery, Franschoek
2011︎︎︎VICTOR VICTOR, Brundyn +, Cape Town

PUBLIC COMISSIONS:
2020︎︎︎Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2019︎︎︎Spier Arts Trust, Stellenbosch
2019︎︎︎Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Cape Town

AWARDS:
2020︎︎︎Rupert Foundation Social Impact Arts Prize
2011︎︎︎Rhodes Scholarship Finalist
2011︎︎︎Golden Key Chapter Award for Visual Art
2010︎︎︎Humanities Faculty Deans List
2009︎︎︎Irma Stern Scholarship
2009︎︎︎Barbara Fairhead Prize for Social Responsibility in Art
2007︎︎︎Humanities Faculty Scholarship
2007︎︎︎Gold Medal Fine Art Foundation Course

RESIDENCIES:
2020︎︎︎Social Impact Arts Prize Residency, Graaff-Reinet, RSA
2016︎︎︎Hazard Gallery Artist in Residence, Johannesburg, RSA
2014︎︎︎St. Moritz Art Academy, St. Moritz, Switzerland

ART FAIRS:
2019︎︎︎Art Joburg, SMITH Gallery Booth
2019︎︎︎Latitudes Art Fair, Strauss & Co Booth
2019︎︎︎SculptX, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
2017︎︎︎Cape Town Art Fair, 50ty/50ty Booth
Joburg Art Fair, 50ty/50ty Booth

CURATORIAL PROJECTS:
2012︎︎︎Not My War Exhibition, Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
2021︎︎︎Spier Light Art Festival, Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
2020︎︎︎Materiality, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2020︎︎︎Social Impact Exhibition, Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch
2019︎︎︎Spier Light Art Festival, Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
2017︎︎︎Salad, Smith Gallery, Cape Town
2017︎︎︎Cape Town Salon, AVA Gallery, Cape Town
2016︎︎︎Words, Curated by Willem Boshoff, Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
2016︎︎︎Bring Your Own Beamer IV, Gallery Momo, Cape Town
2016︎︎︎1k – 4.0, 1k – 5.0, 1k – 6.0, City Guns, Cape Town
2016︎︎︎From Whence They Came, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town
2016︎︎︎Kindergeburtsdag 2016, Bottrop, Germany
2015︎︎︎Best in Store, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town
2015︎︎︎Nevermind the M*ss, A Space, Helsinki
2015︎︎︎Current, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town
2015︎︎︎Not From Here, 70 Juta Street, Johannesburg
2015︎︎︎Kindergeburtstag 2015, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris
2013︎︎︎Parliament, Roeland Street Studios, Cape Town
2013︎︎︎ Un-bound, Franschoek Literary Festival, Franschoek
2012︎︎︎Our Fathers, , AVA Gallery, Cape Town
2010︎︎︎Amani Festival for Peace Visual Art Exhibition, Look-out Hill, Khayelitscha
2010︎︎︎Time In Our Hands, Clock Tower Precinct, Cape Town
2010︎︎︎Materiality – Ways of Seeing, ORE Gallery, Cape Town
2010︎︎︎Undiscovered Undergrad, Vansa Gallery, Cape Town

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Dias Ramos, A. 2015. ‘Imageless in Angola – Appropriating Photography’. Object 17: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture. Pgs 77-99. Available from: <http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472890> [15 December 2015].

Corrigall, M. 2012. ‘ The Silent War’. 20 July 2012. Incorrigible Corrigall: Blog. Available from: <http://corrigall.blogspot.co.za/2012/07/the-silent-war.html#more> [24 November 2015].

Cowie, A-R. 2013. ‘Featured: David Brits.’ 17 July 2013. Between 10 and 5: Blog. Available from: <http://10and5.com/2013/07/17/featured-david-brits/> [24 November 2015].

Davis, R. 2012. ‘Whose war was it anyway?’ 9 July 2012. The Daily Maverick: Blog. Available from: <http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-07-09-whose-war-was-it-anyway#.VlSBx64rJPM> [24 November 2015].

Pinto, G. 2015. ‘Embracing Inheritance: Snake Man by David Brits’. 19 November 2015. Between 10 and 5: Blog. Available from: <http://10and5.com/2015/11/19/embracing-inheritance-snake-man-by-david-brits/> [24 November 2015].

Rossouw, C. 2015, ‘Art exhibition sheds light on eccentric snake man’, Business Day 23 November. Available from <http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/entertainment/2015/11/23/art-exhibition-sheds-light-on-an-eccentric-snake-man>. [24 November 2015].


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