Norman Catherine was born in 1949 in East London, South Africa. He attended the EL Technical College Art School from 1967-1968 where he completed an art matric. Other than these 2 years at the Tech, he is for the most part self-taught. He currently lives at the Hartbeespoort Dam where he has been since 1975. During the 1980’s he spent time living in Los Angeles and New York. He works in various media including painting, sculpture, mixed media, printmaking, wall hangings and bronze and has been an influence on many younger artists.
His prodigious output has been engaging art enthusiasts since 1969 when he held his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg. He has exhibited extensively in South Africa and internationally. His work is included in most South African Art Museums and Corporate collections as well as in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and the Brooklyn Museum, both in NYC, USA.
Catherine’s art imbibes a dystopian vision of the socio-political landscape that informs his psyche. History, horror, crime, conflict, psychoses, politics & pathologies serve as stimuli for his creative output that vacillates between the macabre and the comic, between a gasp and a giggle. He conveys his cynical vision through a juxtaposition of dark and light sensibilities veering between an internal hallucinatory realm and literal commentary on the material world. There are no easy classifications for the genre of his work suffice to say that he rebels against any dogma or rigid definition.