SYDNEY ALEX KUMALO
Sydney Kumalo was born in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Cecil Skotnes and Edoardo Villa played an influential early role in teaching Kumalo. His talent and promise as a sculptor was brought to the fore by the influential Johannesburg gallerist Egon Guenther, under whom he produced some of South Africa’s most beautiful and evocative sculptures. Kumalo won international acclaim through high-profile exhibitions during the mid-1960s, notably at the Grosvenor Gallery in London and New York. From 1973 until his death Kumalo was represented by the Goodman Gallery, a period marked by greater productivity and commercial success.
EGON GUENTHER GALLERY
Egon Guenther emigrated from Germany to Johannesburg in 1951. Prior to this he had owned a prestigious art gallery in Mannheim, Germany. In 1957 he established the Egon Guenther Gallery in Johannesburg in Connaught Mansions in Bree Street. In 1965 Guenther relocated to a Donald Turgel designed gallery at his house at Krans Street, Linksfield, Johannesburg. Guenther represented and mentored, inter alia, Cecil Skotnes, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo, Ezrom Legae, Peter Haden and Hannes Harrs. The Egon Guenther Gallery represented Kumalo from 1960–1972 and Legae from 1965–1972.
Eric Estorick opened the Grosvenor Gallery in Davies Street, London in October 1960. He represented emerging artists such as Chagall, Archipenko and Souza. He first visited South Africa in December 1964, thereafter in June 1965 and May 1966, principally to select a number of artists, including Kumalo and Skotnes, for upcoming exhibitions at his gallery in London in 1965 and 1966. In the mid-sixties, Linda Goodman (Givon) acted as Estorick’s representative in South Africa.
Linda Goodman (Givon) worked at the Grosvenor Gallery in London in the mid-1960s. After her return to South Africa, she represented Eric Estorick in South Africa. She established the Goodman Gallery in November 1966. From 1973 onwards the Goodman Gallery represented Kumalo and Legae after they parted company with Guenther; Kumalo until 1988, and Legae until 1999.