Jan Neethling was born in London in 1938. He studied at the School of Art, Pretoria Technical collage 1958 and 1960 where he met his lifelong mentor Robert Hodgins, one of his teachers at the College.
Jan Neethling has, over the years, made a name for himself as a distinguished artist, for some fifty years he has creatively collaborated with one of South Africa’s formost artist, Robert Hodgins. Until recently, Jan was little known outside Johannesburg. This, I believe, was partly due to his own modest and introvert nature, as well as to the generous attitude with which he unconditionally welcomed and supported each and every success Robert Hodgins achieved with his art. There is no doubt, however, that from the moment they met, Robert became Jan’s mentor an Muse.
Due to his retiring nature perhaps, Jan has hardly kept any documentary evidence of his own exhibitions and artistic achievements. This was one of the reasons why his last solo exhibitions at Erdmann contemporary in Cape Town in 2013, lead to Heid Erdmann’s decision to produce a book on Jan Neethling work and to get to know him better as a painter, graphic artist and sculptor, and to try and fill in some of the many existing gaps in his artistic artist career.- Heidi Erdmann on Jan Neethling.