Willem Boshoff

About Willem Boshoff

Prof Willem Boshoff, the recipient of numerous awards, research opportunities and residencies is a valued and respected South African artist; unfailingly pushing the boundaries of conceptual art to warm acclaim of local and international audiences as well as the academic fraternity. He has exhibited at the UJ Art Gallery on numerous occasions and UJ, his alma mater, has bestowed an honorary doctorate on him in 2008.

His prowess as artist, philosopher, academic and lately as wandering druid is underpinned by an extraordinary intelligence, a remarkable memory, the ability to relentlessly develop new projects, a keen sense of discipline and dedication to his craft. His works are carefully planned, researched and pristinely executed and his concepts are thus embodied as aesthetically pleasing objects projecting powerful messages relating to hegemonic relationships.

Fascinated by words, taxonomies and coding, he reveres his numerous dictionaries and painstakingly creates new ones. To him language is the vehicle of knowledge and information, but also, ambivalently, an instrument in the service of power agencies, the symbol of the transient nature of knowledge and the loss of shared myths.

His interest in the morphology of words, letters and language systems is intrinsically interwoven in the conceptualisation and execution of his installation works, visual poetry and sculpture. Text never gets translated literally into visual form but becomes part of the form to strategically comment on socio-political issues such as colonialism, key global events and ecological conservation.

Link to Willem Boshoff’s CV