Vivienne Koorland

Born in 1957 in Cape Town, South Africa, Vivienne began painting at an early age. Educated under Apartheid, studying Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, she was politically engaged and illustrated the Xhosa-language dockworkers’ newspaper ABASEBENZI (worker). Her ideas and work practice were also powerfully influenced by the philosophy of Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School. Her layering of content and material invests her work with meaning beyond its historic and narrative sources.

After graduating in 1978 from the University of Cape Town, Vivienne was awarded grants to study at the Universität der Künste Berlin (MFA 1981), the École des Beaux-Arts Paris (Médaille de la Ville de Paris 1982), Columbia University in New York (MFA 1984) and the Skowhegan School in Maine (Summer 1983).

Her work has been discussed in terms of its relationship to history and growing up in South Africa and then leaving. Her paintings have been the subject of solo and group exhibitions, including the 2nd Johannesburg Biennial 1997, Freud Museum London, REISEMALHEURS, 2007, and Haunch of Venison London, HOME LANDS – LAND MARKS: Contemporary Art From South Africa, 2008.

Vivienne Koorland currently lives and works in New York City.

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