Boonzaier, Gregoire (1909 – 2005)
Gregoire was born in 1909 in Cape Town and passed away in 2005.Few South African viewers can fail to Gregoire
Boonzaier landscape, the nervous outlines, the flat planes and the dark, accenting form of trees, all reminiscent
of Wenning’s structural devices. Gregoire referred to himself as a “house painter” with a fondness for making
compositions out of jumbles of houses and walls.
Although he displayed highly precocious talent as a boy and enjoyed a career of singular artistic popularity ever
since, his most valuable contribution to South African art was undoubtedly his driving effort as chairman of
the New Group during the years when South Africa’s younger, forward looking artists needed an energetic and
progressive spokesman to organize them into an influential force.
In his wake have followed a large number of popular Cape painters, secure in the market for “Cape
Impressionism” created by Gregoire Boonzaier’s crusading effort.
Reference: Art and Artists of South Africa – Esme Berman
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