Walter Battiss: “I invented myself”

For more than 40 years, well-known art collector and philanthropist Jack Ginsberg has assembled an extraordinary collection of more than 700 artworks, books and ephemera by esteemed South African artist Walter Battiss. Warren Siebrits, the curator of Walter Battiss: “I invented myself” specially selected 120 of these works for the current Rupert Museum exhibition. The exhibition has been enhanced with the inclusion of 9 further works from the Rupert Museum and private collections in the Cape. This is the first time since 1980 that a body of work of this stature and importance by Walter Battiss has been seen in the Cape.

While previous Battiss exhibitions were conceived thematically, the current exhibition is organised chronologically. Viewers will have the opportunity to walk step by step through Battiss’ life and gain insight into aspects of his artistic production, including his extensive travels, interest in rock painting, calligraphy, exploration of multiple media and the Fook island of his imagination. The exhibition features works in oil, watercolour, pen and ink, photography and printmaking.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 340-page illustrated book at a cost of R1 500, which has been specially bound in 5 different colours in editions of 300 copies each. Unfortunately, the blue edition is already sold out with the other 4 colours available for sale at the Rupert Museum.

A sister exhibition of Battiss’ works can be viewed at Imibala Gallery, 16 Bright Street, Somerset West. All items are for sale with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity.

For additional information, please contact: Robyn-Leigh Cedras on or call 021 888 3306

Rupert Museum
Address: Stellentia Avenue, Stellenbosch
Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays 10h00 – 16h00.
Tel (Mon – Sat): 021 888 3344

Image: Walter Battiss with Bull X (1946), given to him by Pablo Picasso in Paris on 3 June 1949.