/ / / / Ephraim Ngatane – A Setting Apart

Ephraim Ngatane – A Setting Apart


This first comprehensive introduction to Ngatane’s oeuvre offers an intimate reflection on the artist’s tragically short life and showcases more than 80 of his most important works in public and private collections.

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Ephraim Ngatane was just 32 years old when he collapsed and died of tuberculosis-related complications at Baragwanath Hospital in March 1971. Yet this student of Polly Street, who became a prolific painter and teacher from the mid-1950s onwards, left an indelible impression on subsequent generations of South African artists.

As a personality in the cultural life of Soweto in the 1960s, Ngatane was a man for all seasons, playing the pennywhistle in jazz bands and boxing with the authority of a registration certificate from the Boxing Control Board, when not producing his technically innovative watercolours and acutely observed oil paintings of township life.