1976 | Pretoria Bank Gallery | Pretoria South Africa

One Man Exhibition

Translated from an Africaans Newspaper, 1976, “Spontaneous Sobriety” .

MARSHALL BARON, a very promising young Artist from Bulawayo, is now exhibiting 32 works in oil and acrylic in the Bank Gallery, S.A. Arts Association of Pretoria. A few exceptionally large works are on canvas, and those of a smaller dimension are on paper.

In 1966 and 1968 Baron studied at the Skowhegan Art School in the U.S.A. The influence of the American Artists, Jackson Pollock and Mark Tobey, and abstract expressionism in general, is clearly evidenced in his joyous and colourful work.

At first sight the uninhibited approach (loose fine brush strokes or the paint which freely drop runs over the canvas) seems completely spontaneous. However, on a closer examination, it is evident how much sobriety and repeated work here is in each of his canvases. His colour choice is on occasions bright, as in “Sunday Afternoon” with its blue, green, yellow and red, whilst “Allegro Giocose” consists of, in part, an unbelievable variation of rose colour and lilac.

On closer examination, his work is not completely abstract and the observer is able, with the help of titles, to distinguish a theme, as in “Mlimo’s Hideaway”. His “Self Portrait at 11:30” evidences his original insight.

Translated from an Africaans Newspaper, 1976, “Baron Works Powerful and Intense”.

Exhibition: Paintings in oil with magna and acrylic by Marshall Baron.

Place: Bank Gallery, S.A. Arts Association of Pretoria.

With an intense directness these huge panels express themselves above all through their colour. The expressionist value of the colour is underlined by the use of the paints – oil or acrylic – thin flowing or heave impaste, whereby the texture is enhanced.

Some of the oil paintings are monochrome, and the colour arrangements fuse together in moving abstract.

The broad colour levels of intense blue or deep green again compete in powerful dissonance with yellow and red and sometimes black. These colour levels are then reduced to the most primitive of forms. The works convey in a mystical fashion the soul of Africa by their pulsating rythms and almost wild intensity.

Like gigantic hieroglphics the figures are placed next to each other behind a shower of paint drops.

The smaller pencil and acrylic works evidence a deep sensitivity. At places the observer is entranced with the child-like naiveness behind which a subtle and warm irony is hidden away.


The world of Marshall Baron is powerful and intense. However, it is sometimes overdone in a too emotional or a too blatant judgment.

Marshall Baron is a Rhodesian who resides in Bulawayo where he is practicing as an Attorney, and also acts as the local Music Critic.

He completed his art training in America, where in 1966 and 1968, with the help of a bursary he obtained from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, he studied in Maine.

Some of his work has been taken up permanently by the Rhodesian National Art Museums.

He has previously exhibited in South Africa. However, this is the first occasion on which he is exhibiting in Pretoria.