New book celebrates 30 years of the L’Atelier art competition


Basa CEO Michelle Constant and Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa’s art and museum curator

A BOOK commemorating all the winners of the prestigious L’Atelier art competition was launched in Johannesburg last week.

Titled Barclays L’Atelier – 30 Years of Introspection, the book features over 40 artists, more than 200 pieces of artworks and 30 years of artistic heritage.

“The book aptly depicts how, for the past 30 years, L’Atelier has nurtured, promoted and sponsored these artists’ works through the Absa Gallery as well as through art professionalism courses, mentorship programmes and international art residencies,” said Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa’s Art and Museum Curator.

“We have seen so many of these artists become renowned both locally and internationally and it is with great pleasure that we celebrate their success and contribution to the art world with this book.

“L’Atelier is widely celebrated as an African art competition that has a far-reaching and sustainable impact on the careers of young artists.”

Once open only to South African artists, L’Atelier has now become a highly prestigious pan-African competition that has included young artists from Zambia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles, Uganda and Tanzania in this year’s competition.

 Barclays L’Atelier – 30 Years of Introspection depicts some of the most momentous milestones in our continent over the past three decades as seen through the eyes of various artists, many of whom were relatively unknown at the time.

“L’Atelier has been a catalyst for their success in the arts fraternity. The book documents how L’Atelier has served as a springboard for many successful arts careers,” said Bayliss, adding that many of these artists were now imparting the skills and expertise they have been exposed to through the L’Atelier, by tutoring and mentoring other young artists.

Barclays L’Atelier – 30 Years of Introspection will become a real collector’s item. People from all walks of life, not just art connoisseurs, will find it inspirational.”

The book is published by Black Africa Group and an electronic version of Barclays L’Atelier – 30 Years of Introspection will be available on the L’Atelier website (



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