Trevor Coleman : ARTISTS : Die Kunskamer

Trevor Coleman



Two Figures (Morocco)



Trevor Coleman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa 1936. He briefly studied Geology and Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand. Geology has had a great influence in his work, particularly the structure, colours and texture of landscape strata. There after he enrolled for a course in Graphic Design and Advertising at the Witwatersrand Technical College. In 1959 two of his works were accepted in the first “Artists of Fame and Promise Exhibition”.

In 1960, Trevor left for London to enrol part time at the Central School of Art, to study Lithography, Textile Design and Painting.

Trevor held his first mixed exhibition in London at the Lincoln Gallery, Knightsbridge in 1961.

Between 1961 and 1965 Coleman held seven exhibitions, which consisted of five solos and two group exhibitions.

Trevor held his first South African solo exhibition in 1963, his second solo exhibition was held in 1964. Since 1966 till 2006 Trevor has thirty four solo exhibitions, and four group exhibitions.

Trevor’s works are influenced by his ventures around the globe. He has been to places such as India, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Australia, Seychelles, Comores, USA, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Madagascar, Kenya, Ghana, Zanzibar, Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia – Mali, Malaysia – Bali, Greek Isles, Mexico, Bahamas, India – Vietnam, North Africa, and Sumatra – Fiji. The thing that has most impressed him from his many travels is the Moslem architecture of Morocco. India too, was an unforgettable experience.

Coleman spends time observing and absorbing the textures, shapes and colours around him. He takes sufficient photographs, and does basic preparatory sketches. He then returns to his studio in South Africa to create and reflect his travels. The foundation of Coleman’s works is colour. Colour is a living entity; it acts on mind and mood via the eye. A universal force informing the landscape, expressing the serenity of daily travail, in which he depicts sunlight, cloth, fruit, market places, architecture, fish, and boats.

The figures are faceless, there are no definable characteristics: no anatomical precision or physiological details. This abstraction is deliberate it defocuses the wholeness of the picture. He wants the eye to have the freedom to travel, to explore, not to break down areas and group them into various collections of meaning.

He has spent the last 17 years of his life perfecting his technique, painting wet on wet and a drop spilt anywhere is a disaster. Working with thick bold strokes of his palette knife (he does not paint with the conventional paint brush), monochromatic blocks of color are created searing the eye with rich, sensuous and seductive colours. A continual sense of motion unfolds, one is aware of a renewed sense of the richness and cheer of life. Trevor’s works need to be observed first hand to experience the interactivity of his art works between the observer and the subject – colour itself, it simply lives and breathes.

Coleman describes himself as a ‘colour expressionist’ influenced by the likes of Gauguin, Van Gogh, Matisse, and the Fauves – all artists for whom colour had been predominant.

Trevor Coleman’s paintings are investment pieces which are reasonably priced.