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After matriculating from Krugersdorp High School in 1966 Ricky spent some years at the University of the Witwatersrand, firstly at medical and then later in the humanities. A chance encounter at the “right time” with the paintings of Cezanne put paid to this restlessness and set him on his life-long path.
He worked for many years with the late Bill Ainslie, helping to establish an alternative art school, The Johannesburg Art Foundation. During this time he exhibited at the Market Theatre. Later, as arts advisor to BMW South Africa he curated two ground-breaking exhibitions, Tributaries (1984) and a retrospective of the late Jackson Hlungwani (1989). Between these two projects he spent some time in England where he, amongst other things, collaborated with a dealer in African fine art. In 1991 he opened Newtown Galleries on the Market Theatre precinct where for some six years he curated many exhibitions of artists from around the country and the southern African region.
In 2000 he moved to the USA where he started a private teaching studio and began to re-focus on his own work as a painter. He held several exhibitions during this time and held residencies at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg and the Vermont Studio Centre. In 2008 he returned to South Africa and again started a private teaching studio. Since his return he has curated the exhibition, Horse, for the Everard Read Gallery. He has also exhibited with Smac Gallery in Stellenbosch, Fried Gallery in Pretoria, but most frequently (and regularly) with the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg. In 2016 Palimpsest published a book of his series, Troubled with Goya.
For more please see www.rickyburnett.com
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