A Spaniard in Africa: A life well lived presented at UJ Art Gallery

The University of Johannesburg’s Art Gallery is honoured to announce its first forthcoming exhibition for 2024. ‘A Spaniard in Africa: A life well lived’ commemorates the life and artistic legacy of the esteemed Spanish abstract painter, Pascual Tarazona. The late Tarazona, whose art has graced the UJ Art Gallery on multiple occasions, will be honoured with an exhibition from 15 February to 8 March 2024. 

The exhibition showcases Tarazona’s diverse works, including a range of paintings, drawings, and unframed works on paper, which will be available for purchase. There will also be an auction administered by Aspire Auctioneers of selected pieces from the exhibition later this year. The funds raised from the exhibition and auction will go toward the Pascual Tarazona Art Bursary Trust Fund to support UJ visual art students.  

Tarazona’s dedication to art and support for emerging artists has made a lasting impact on the art community. Five years ago, before leaving for Spain, he demonstrated his commitment to nurturing talent by generously donating art materials, books, and drawings to students. 

After the artist’s passing last year, Prof Elfriede Dreyer from UNISA, alongside Tarazona’s benefactors Charles and Lillian Loys-Ellis, and Gordon Froud, are working to honour his memory by curating his diverse works, including paintings, drawings, and photomontage prints. 

Gordon Froud, curator and also Head of Department for UJ Visual Art says, “The exhibition is an opportunity to pay homage to a great abstract painter and friend. It is also a chance to raise much needed funds for Visual Art students in need. People can expect a large show of complex works spanning from the last 20 years of his prolific career in South Africa.” 

The University of Johannesburg cordially invites art enthusiasts, collectors, and the wider public to partake in the vibrant celebration and auction of Tarazona’s enduring legacy. Immerse yourself in this exciting exhibition, open to the public from 15 February to 8 March 2024, at the UJ Art Gallery. 

For more information, contact the UJ Art Gallery on 011 559 2256 or bonganis@uj.ac.za  

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About UJ Arts & Culture 

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. 

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education. 

About UJ Art Gallery 

Nestled at the heart of the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, the UJ Art Gallery has been a dynamic platform for showcasing emerging and established artists for over three decades. With a mission centered on promoting artistic expression, fostering critical engagement with contemporary art, and nurturing Johannesburg’s arts ecosystem, the gallery’s permanent collection of over 2,000 diverse artworks reflects South African vibrancy. Through curated exhibitions, educational programs, and public events, the UJ Art gallery cultivates a space for dialogue, reflection, and inspiration. 

Gallery hours: Mon–Fri: 09:00 – 15:00
Closed weekends and public holidays 

Location: APK Campus, Cor. Kingsway/University Rd, Auckland Park
Contact:  011 559 2099 


About Pascual Tarazona 

Having spent over four decades in South Africa, Pascual Tarazona transitioned from a dress designer to becoming a renowned artist. He briefly studied for 2 years at Wits for non-degree purposes under Karel Nel. Five years ago, upon leaving for Spain, he donated art materials, books, and drawings to students. Pascual’s artistic legacy and contributions are enduringly remembered.