(b. 1949, East London, South Africa)

In 1969 Catherine held his first solo exhibition consisting of oil paintings on wood, bone, wire and an assortment of found objects. His art has since undergone several metamorphoses, from the pristine airbrush paintings of the 70s to the frenzied, ritualistic mixed media works of the early and mid 80s; the wire sculptures and tin can works of the late 80s, and the primitive-futuristic paintings of the early 90s which provided the seeds for his pre-millennial menagerie of anthropomorphic beasts. In the thirty years spanning his past and present output, Catherine s visual trademarks have included rough-edged comical and nightmarish forms, rendered in brash cartoon colours. His idiosyncratic vision - a combination of dark cynicism and exuberant humour, as well as his innovative use of everyday materials, has secured his place at the forefront of South African contemporary art.

 - Hazel Friedman

Norman Catherine was born in 1949 in East London, South Africa. He attended the EL Technical College Art School from 1967-1968 where he completed an art matric. Other than these 2 years at the Tech, he is for the most part self-taught. He currently lives at the Hartbeespoort Dam where he has been since 1975. During the 1980’s he spent time living in Los Angeles and New York. He works in various media including painting, sculpture, mixed media, printmaking, wall hangings and bronze and has been an influence on many younger artists.

His prodigious output has been engaging art enthusiasts since 1969 when he held his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg. He has exhibited extensively in South Africa and internationally. His work is included in most South African Art Museums and Corporate collections as well as in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and the Brooklyn Museum, both in NYC, USA.

Catherine’s art imbibes a dystopian vision of the socio-political landscape that informs his psyche. History, horror, crime, conflict, psychoses, politics & pathologies serve as stimuli for his creative output that vacillates between the macabre and the comic, between a gasp and a giggle. He conveys his cynical vision through a juxtaposition of dark and light sensibilities veering between an internal hallucinatory realm and literal commentary on the material world. There are no easy classifications for the genre of his work suffice to say that he rebels against any dogma or rigid definition.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Incognito, CIRCA on Jellicoe, Johannesburg, South Africa

Now & Then Retrospective, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa
Dualities, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Now & Then Retrospective, Stellenbosch Art Gallery, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Nelson Mandela Metro Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Polokwane Art Gallery, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Durban Art Gallery, South Africa

Urban Mutations, Moba Art Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Now & Then Retrospective, Pretoria Art Museum, South Africa
Now & Then Retrospective, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Espace XL, Luxembourg

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Spot-On Gallery, Windhoek, Namibia

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

S.A. Association of Arts, Pretoria, South Africa
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (Fook Island-Walter Battiss Commemoration Exhibition), South Africa
Gallery 21, Johannesburg (100 works from Pelmama Collection), South Africa
Area-X Gallery, New York, USA

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

S.A. Association of Arts, Windhoek, Namibia

Gowlett Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, South Africa

Kunsthandel SIAU,Amsterdam, Holland
Gallery 21, Johannesburg, South Africa

No 13 Abel Road Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gallery 21, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman-Wolman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa

Motif Gallery, East London

Herbert Evans Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa


Art South Africa Today, Durban (Cambridge Shirt Award)

Republic Festival Arts Exhibition, Durban (lst prize for Graphic Art)

AA Life Vita Art Now 3rd Quarterly Award (Shared with Andries Botha)

SA Academy of Science & Art: Award for Visual Arts.

Public  Collections

SA National Gallery, Cape Town
Johannesburg Municipal Art Gallery, Johannesburg
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
Durban Art Gallery, Durban
Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London
Sandton Municipal Art Gallery, Sandton
Oliwenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
The Haenggi Foundation Inc, Switzerland
Pelmama Permanent Art Collection, Johannesburg
University of South Africa, Pretoria
Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
University of Natal, Durban
Walter Battiss Museum, Somerset East
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
Roodepoort Public Library, Roodepoort
Department of National Education
Carnegie Art Gallery, Newcastle
Gauteng Legislature, Johannesburg
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
Constitutional Court of SA, Johannesburg
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (MOMA)
Reserve Bank of South Africa
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA 

Corporate  Collections

Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, USA
Mobil Court Art Collection, Cape Town
Volkskas Bank, Pretoria
Everite Ltd, Johannesburg
Premier Milling Co, Johannesburg
Trust Bank, Johannesburg
Bankorp, Johannesburg
Standard Bank, Johannesburg
Sasol Art Collection
World Bank, Johannesburg
BHP Billiton, Johannesburg
World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
Union Bank of Switzerland, Sandton
Telkom, Johannesburg
Absa, Johannesburg
Saronsberg Wine Estate Collection, Tulbagh
Vodacom, Cape Town
Berardo Foundation, Portugal
Sanlam Ltd., Bellville
Fortis Circustheatre, Scheveningen, Holland