Moses Kottler : ARTISTS : Die Kunskamer

Moses Kottler


"Man and Women" (Maquette)



(1896 – 1977)

Born in Lithuania, educated in Jerusalem and in 1915 settled in South Africa – Oudtshoorn, where he began sculpting.  Self-taught as a sculptor, 1911 - painting and drawing at Bezalal School of Art, Jerusalem; 1911 - 1912 – painting and drawing at Munich Academy of Art. 

Moved to Cape Town in 1916, became friendly with DC Boonzaier, he concentrated on painting but began establishing reputation as a sculptor.  Travelled between London and South Africa, in 1932 he received his first public commission – a sculpture for Johannesburg Library and became a member of New Group.  Served as member of advisory committee of Johannesburg Art Gallery and in 1962 awarded South African Akad Medal of Honour for sculpture.

In Cape Town, while establishing himself as a sculptor he produced most of his painted portraits.  The works are faithfully likenesses but executed with elements of expressionism.  A distinctive feature of his style is the portrayal of personal dignity in his models whilst simultaneously exposing the nuances of their feelings.