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Kumalo, Sydney Alex

Kumalo, Sydney Alex 

Sydney Kumalo was born in Johannesburg, in 1935. He was educated at Madibane High School, in Diepkloof. Kumalo enrolled at the Polly Street Art Centre in 1952, working under Cecil Skotnes whom introduced a basic training programme with modeling as a component. Skotnes encouraged him to become a professional artist. He became an instructor at the Polly Street Art Centre. Skotnes arranged for Kumalo to continue his art training by working in Edoardo Villa’s studio, until 1964.

Kumalo’s professional relationship with Skotnes extended in this time to collaborations on public commissions, like murals in the Catholic Church in Kroonstad. Alongside Skotnes, Villa, Cecily Sash, Guiseppe Cattaneo and Ezrom Legae, Kumalo became part of the Amadlozi group.Guenther organized for the Amadlozi group to hold exhibitions around Italy, in Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence, in 1964.

Sydney Kumalo also represented South Africa at the Venice Biennale in1966, and in 1967 participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale. Kumalo received a number of awards throughout his career; he was invited to the Artist of Fame and Promise Exhibition in 1960 and in 1967won a bursary form the Transvaal Academy, travelling to Europe in 1967 and to the USA in 1985.

After a brief illness Sydney Kumalo died, in 1988,Soweto.

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