Victor has established herself as a major figure in the South African and International art communities and is renowned for her expert printmaking and draughtsmanship. Her prints and drawings are known not only for their technical skill and compulsive linear detail, but also for their sharp political and social commentary and satire. Her works, although often drawn from global historical and mythological references, speak of the social and political inequalities and complexities of South Africa. Violence, racial anxiety and sexual repression are common ideas represented in the works. Combining both thematic and technical skill, Victor impresses powerful ideas on the viewer, never shying away from controversial or taboo subject matter.
Diane Victor received her BA Fine Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a major in Printmaking. In addition to graduating with distinction and winning various awards, Victor also became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Volkskas Atelier Award in 1988. The Volkskas Award granted Victor a ten-month stay at the Cité International des Artes in Paris, allowing her time to work collaboratively with other experienced printmakers and to observe and reflect on a society very different from her own.
From 1990 to 2007, Victor was a part-time lecturer, teaching drawing and printmaking, at various South African institutions including the University of Pretoria, Wits Technikon, Pretoria Technikon, Open Window Academy, Vaal Triangle Technikon, the University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.
In 2009, in a change to her usual methods of working, Victor originated and editioned a series of drypoints at David Krut Print Workshop, called Birth of a Nation. She exhibited these works along with a series of smoke drawing portraits at David Krut Projects, New York in 2010 and returned in January 2011 to show at Grinnell College in Iowa.
Victor was the subject of TAXI-013 from the David Krut Publishing TAXI Art Book series. This publication was followed in January 2012 by Burning the Candle at Both Ends, published to co-incide with Victor’s two-part exhibition Ashes to Ashes and Smoke to Dust at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery. The exhibition ran from November 2011 until the end of January 2012.
In March 2012, Victor returned to work in the US for two months which culminated in a second solo exhibition at David Krut Projects, New York. In April, Burning the Candle at Both Ends, the recently released monograph on Victor’s work, was presented at an artist talk at the New York Public Library, with Victor in conversation with Judith Hecker, Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA, and David Krut.
Victor's works are included in many collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Museum of Modern Art, NY, New York Public Library, NY, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN among others.
- Click here to view works by Diane Victor
- Click here to read Maxwell Heller's review of Victor's 2012 exhibition, Reap and Sow
- Click here to purchase Burning the Candle at Both Ends
- Watch Diane Victor in the Studio Creating Smoke Portraits
- read the press release for victor's show at the University of Johannesburg