Walter Battiss was born in the Karoo town of Somerset East.
Battiss was a founder of what is known as the “New Group”, which was a way for contemporary European and American artists to form loose friendships. Battiss was considered unique because he in fact, did not study in Europe or North America.
In 1949, he met and befriended Picasso who would have an influence on his artistic style. In all, Battiss published nine books, wrote articles, and founded the periodical called “De Arte”. He taught art for about 30 years at both the Pretoria Boys High School and Pretoria Art Center.
He was also a professor of Fine Art at UNISA and finally retired in 1971. Walter Battiss died in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal in August of 1982.
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