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Hannes van Zyl, a South African artist, was born on 15 May 1947 in Empangeni, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. His work can be described as abstract expressionistic. The philosophy he subscribes to, is that an artwork  does not pre-exist in the mind of the painter, but comes into being through the creative interaction with the medium employed.

“My art strives to operate within the parameters of sound technical skills, art historical precedent and unabashed childlike expression.”

“My work does not attempt to give answers. During the creative process I pose questions, intellectual and emotional, which I translate into personal signs, symbols and form, endeavoring to create a work that acquires its own internal validity and integrity”

“I am greatly influenced by post-WW2 Abstract Expressionism (artists like: Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko and the work of Jasper Johns together with the European movements like Dadaism, Surrealism and German Expressionism; the thinking of Marcel Duchamp, Art Brut (Jean Dubuffet), the art of the Spanish artists, Miro, Picasso and Antoini Tapies. I also harbor a great admiration for prehisoric art and its existential questioning.”

“Having originally been trained as an architect and subsequently as a sculptor, has influenced my approach to painting (which now occupy most of my creative endeavors.) Therefore in my work there prevales a strong sculptural sensibility, especially in the physicality of the surfaces and the predominantly earthiness of the colours.


Bachelor of Architecture, University of Cape Town, 1971                                                                               Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, 1985


Corobrick Premier Award, 1991
Cape Potters Association 1994-1995 (Merit Award); 1997 (Award of Excellence)
Zonnebloem Wine Art Competition, Winner, 1997


Architect, private practice, 1972-1978
Architect, University of Cape Town Planning Unit, 1979-1981
Lecturer, Fine Art, Pietermaritzburg Technical College, 1986-1988
Lecturer, Fine Art and Graphic Design, Boland College Paarl, 1989-2005
Full-time Artist, 2005-currently


In 2005, Hannes retired to paint full-time. Since 1985, he partakes in many solo and group exhibitions in South Africa, both painting and ceramic sculpture. His work is represented in many private collections in South Africa and abroad.


Durban Association of Arts, Durban, 1985
Natal Arts Trust Exhibition, 1987
Hout Street Gallery, Paarl, 1989- 2014
Dorp Street Gallery, Stellenbosch, 1990, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004
Cameo Gallery, Stellenbosch, 1982 and 1990
Strydom Gallery, George, 1991 -2001
Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town, 1995 and 2006
SA Potters Association, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria 1977-2014
Kim Sacks Gallery, Johannesburg, 1999
Rose Korber Salon, Cape Town, 1996-2009
Association of Arts, Pretoria, 1999
Primart Gallery, Cape Town, 1991 and 1995
Zuva Gallery, Johannesburg, 2003-2004
Obert Contemporary, Johannesburg, 2005
Art.b Gallery, Bellville, 2005 and 2017
I-art Gallery, Stellenbosch, 2006
Grande Provence Gallery, Franschhoek 2008
Rust en Vrede Gallery, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 
Isart Franschhoek, 2014 – currently 
Moor Gallery, 2016
Hieronymous Bosch in Africa Exhibition, Stellenbosch Word Festival, 2017
Stellenbosch Word Festival Group Show “Dubblehandig” 2019


Bellville Association of Arts, Cape Town, 1997 and 2005
Zuva Gallery, Johannesburg, 2004
Bi-annual exhibitions at Dawid’s Choice Gallery, Johannesburg, 2006 to 2019



Nelson Mandela Museum, Port Elizabeth
Corobrick Collection, National Art Museum, Pretoria
University of Stellenbosch, Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
Distell Stellenbosch, Western Cape.  
Metropolitan Life, Cape Town
University Kwa-Zulu Natal Permanent Collection, Pietermaritzburg, Kwa –Zulu Natal
Rust en Vrede Clay Museum, Durbanville, Western Cape.
Paarl Post Media, Paarl, Western Cape.
Dimension Data, Johannesburg
Hollard Insurance, Johannesburg
Nandos International, Johannesburg