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Manfred Zylla (1939-)

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  • W Manfred Zylla (South African / German, born 1939) 'My Own Pool' (triptych) each panel 159 x 150cm (63 x 59 1/16in) (3)

  • Manfred Zylla (South African 1939-) WHY DON'T YOU JOIN ME silkscreen, signe

Manfred Zylla Biography

Manfred Zylla was born in Augsburg, Germany in 1939. He moved to South Africa in 1970. His early experiences of racial hatred and discrimination under Nazi rule made Zylla highly sensitive to the sufferings of South Africa's black population during apartheid. He began to produce paintings that overtly criticised the National Party and their handling of key events, such as the Soweto uprisings of 1976.

Zylla is best known for his series Inter-action, exhibited at the Community Arts Centre in Cape Town in 1982. During the exhibition, visitors were encouraged to draw and write on the artworks, their interpretations and responses becoming a part of the creative process.

The current triptych, My Own Pool, is Zylla's reaction to society's ever increasing consumerism. The title of the work emphasises ownership and possession. However, the pool depicted is in reality a public pool in Augsburg near to the artist's childhood home. The disparity between the truth and perception encourages the viewer to consider the moral ramifications of this sense of entitlement.

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