The genesis of Chris Perold’s book The Private World of Normand Dunn stems from the
author’s four-year friendship with the artist, an involvement which has continued to
deepen and grow in the period of more than twenty-five years since the artist’s death.
The prolonged study of Dunn’s painting has convinced the writer that the assessment of
the artist’s work, up to the time of his death, fell short of a true appreciation of its worth.
Critics saw little beyond the anecdotal nature of the paintings, the fun, the ‘naivety’ and
the delight. This was the public face of Dunn’s work: beneath it, the author contends, lies
a private world of even greater significance, a world in which the essential elements of our
being are examined, depicted and, by implication, commented upon – all with a gently
satirical eye. It is this re-assessment which forms the basis of Chris’s book, illustrated with
reproductions and commentaries on more than one hundred of the artist’s paintings.
This book, he hopes, will help to accord to Normand Dunn his rightful place in the
annals of South African art.
‘Chris Perold must be commended for undertaking to enable a wider public to study, enjoy and
admire the art of Normand Dunn … His book is a welcome and an important addition to the
growing literature on art in South Africa. We thank him for that. And we belatedly thank Normand
Dunn for his unique contribution to our art.’
Dr Hans Fransen, Cultural Historian and former Director of the Michaelis Collection, Cape Town