Mohl’s position as an influential early modernist painter in the South African tradition of artists like Pemba, Sekoto, Mancoba and others, rests in part on his ability to aesthetically transcribe the social, lived experience of ordinary people and on the facility with which he renders both urban and rural scenes. This scene, of a now long-demolished street corner in Sophiatown, where he lived in the 1940s, resonates with life and character.
The work draws the viewer into the street where the buildings are rendered in clean, crisp lines. The play of light and shadow in the foreground readily evokes the Witwatersrand of the time.
Artwork courtesy of Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection.
John K. Mohl
Sophiatown Corner Rey and Edward Street
Oil on board
65 x 46 cm