Claudette Schreuders, african identity

Claudette Schreuders was born in Pretoria (South-Africa) in 1973. She lives and works in Cape Town, where she graduated with a master’s degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1998. Claudette Schreuders is a South African sculptor. She’s best known for her wooden human figures. Her work reflects about the ambiguities of the search for an ‘African’ identity in the post-apartheid era.



In Autobiography of Complexity by Rory Bester, Schreuders reveals,“The human figure is quite easy to identify with and become sentimental about. So I avoid images that are too comfortable or familiar.”

Claudette Schreuders describes herself as something of a perfectionist, working slowly and indulging in her labour-intensive process, in which she comes to understand her subjects. “I start off by making thumbnail sketches, very loose simple drawings of what I want to make. And I usually draw my sculptures in groups. Or on small pieces of paper, or in my books. The drawings I do for my sculptures are very informal. And the prints I do are much more finished products. My first series of etchings was a record of some of my favourite existing sculpture. And after that I decided what I would like to do is to keep a record of my own work seeing as it’s something that leaves me.”





In 2004, Schreuders was commissioned to do four life size bronzes of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli and F.W. de Klerk for the Waterfront in Cape Town.


Claudette Schreuders is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2001.

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