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MORNING REPORT

November 08, 1989|ALEENE MacMINN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

He Won't Go Home: A major retrospective of the work of Gerard Sekoto, South Africa's leading black artist, has opened to critical acclaim at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, but Sekoto, who has been in self-imposed exile for four decades, still refuses to go home. The 75-year-old mission teacher's son has lived in France since 1947 and says he is happy to let his oils and watercolors of black township life speak for themselves. "I am very pleased about the exhibition, but I have no plans to come back home," said Sekoto, who lives in a home for retired artists on the outskirts of Paris. Sekoto said his decision to leave his homeland was not purely political. "I felt a little out of place being the only well-known black artist. I had to come to Europe, where I could be together with other artists and where there was no color bar." His works include colorful and sometimes idealized depictions of life in the poor black areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria.

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