Karl Gietl is known to be an adept draftsman and painter within his generation and has been uncompromisingly building his own opus over the years. An astute observer and hard worker, Gietl’s works detail the subtle folds of poetic expression and visceral satire. Both documentary and chronicle, his canvases convey an animated, vigorous presence. The artist is a prolific storyteller and social commentator. Often sardonic, Gietl’s corrosive compositions scrutinise the varied terrain of history and political corruption, the platitudes of canonical philosophies, and social dynamics in order to better consider the individual at length.
With increasing recognition beginning in 1994, he won the Absa L’Atelier Award in 1998 which gave him the opportunity to live and work in Paris. Between 1999 and 2002 he lived, travelled and exhibited in France, Holland and Belgium, before returning to South Africa in 2003. Recent exhibitions include the solo presentation Un Autre Monde at La Chapelle du Quartier Haut, a historical chapel in Sète, in 2013.