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Mark Hipper 1960-2010

Mark Hipper Memorial held at Rhodes University Chapel,


Grahamstown Today 18 August 2010 at 3 pm

A memorial service for internationally acclaimed Grahamstown artist Mark Hipper, whose risqué art
exhibitions at times caused public outrage, will be held today at 3 pm.

Hipper, aged just 49, died unexpectedly of natural causes at his Grahamstown home last week.

In 1998 Child Welfare and some other organisations slated Hipper’s National Arts Festival exhibition,
Viscera, billed as an exploration of child sexuality and featuring line studies of nude children.

It sparked a national debate about artistic freedom and pornography.

Cabinet minister Lindiwe Sisulu called it child pornography and, controversially, threatened to ban
the exhibit. However, the Film and Publication Board dubbed the exhibit “bona fide artwork” and
gave it the thumbs up.

The Director of Public Prosecutions took its cue from the board and refused to prosecute the artist.

At the time of his death, the Rhodes University fine art department lecturer was on sabbatical,
preparing for a new exhibition titled “Doppelgänger/Double” to be held at the Erdmann
Contemporary in Cape Town this September.

Rhodes University said yesterday that Hipper was concluding a new series of work comprising three
large canvas paintings and several smaller canvases for “Doppelgänger/Double”.

“In eschewing representational art, and yet embracing the figure as the truth of art, Hipper was
often misconstrued as courting controversy for controversy’s sake,” the university said.

Hipper exhibited extensively both internationally and in South Africa and his work is represented in
numerous important collections both locally and abroad. He has received numerous art awards.

The statement said his “fidelity to great art forced him to confront the tired, hackneyed ruses of
representation by investigating ways of luring the viewer into confronting the ambiguity of images in
contemporary society”.

Rhodes said Hipper was much loved as a kind, thoughtful, generous teacher and friend. “His
reserved demeanour, intelligence and generosity of spirit benefited all who had the privilege of
knowing him.”

He is survived by his mother Nena, sister Marie-Louise, brother Gerd, his nieces Thandiwe and
Caitlin, and nephew Matthias.
First appeared in The EC Daily Dispatch
Mark Hipper, The Inquisitors (2002) Painted jacaranda, Installation view João Ferreira Gallery
In Flight (2008) Oil on canvas
Interim Series: Blume, 2001.
Watercolour on BFK Rives paper.
Interim Series: Blume, 2001.
Watercolour on BFK Rives paper.
Youth (2008) Oil on canvas
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Shadow from the exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Handstand (2008) Oil on canvas
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Interim Series: Blume, 2001.
Watercolour on BFK Rives paper.
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Interim Series: Lovers, 2001.
Watercolour on BFK Rives paper.
Interim Series: Blume, 2001.
Watercolour on BFK Rives paper.
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
On the Bar, 2007.
Oil on canvas
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery
Over the Top (2008) Oil on canvas
Works from his exhibition End of an Era which took place at The Erdmann Contemporary Gallery

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