"Requiem for a Friend"

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This painting is one of two paintings Noel Hodnett dedicated to Michael Hallier, a close and long time friend. (see "Harry Dancing") The two artists met when Hallier enrolled at Rhodes University for a Fine Art Masters Degree in 1971. They spent many hours drawing together in the landscape, painting in the studio, discussing "matters art" and often working simultaneously on the same canvas. The artists' early works were inspired by CoBrA, the European group of painters that included among others, Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, Cornielle, Carl-Henning Petersen and Pierre Alechinsky. 

Hodnett's depiction of the lone African Baobab pays homage to his friend who spent much of his latter years exploring Botswana and the Kalahari Desert and frequently camped at Baines Baobabs on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans. The black candles surrounding the "Tree of Life" symbolize the many spirits that passed by these ancient monumental icons over the years.

Michael Hallier died in July 2001 of complications due to lung cancer six months after retiring from academia. He was 59.  

This painting was first exhibited at the Britannia Community Centre Gallery in East Vancouver, Canada, in May 2002 and later the same year in a major solo exhibition at the Ballard Lederer Gallery in Vancouver, BC. The painting forms an important part of the artist's collection.

Signed lower right.  Size:  150 cm. x 165 cm.  -  59 in. x 65 in.

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