Born in 1940 in Pretoria, South Africa, Martin Koch studied Commercial Art under Professor Robert Bain at Linden High School between 1958 and 1958. He is a self taught painter of landscapes and wildlife. He mainly works in oil and watercolour and started painting at the age of 10.
He had his first public exhibition at the tender age of 14 on the 18th of September 1955 at a venue in Johannesburg. That same year he went on to obtain Diplomas at the University Art Festival in Johannesburg. In 1956, he held another exhibition in Linden, Johannesburg. He was aged 16. 1960 saw an exhibition of landscapes and wildlife at the Johannesburg Library. He was also commissioned to paint scenes of the Gold Mining Industry-Africa Museum for the City Council of Johannesburg. His first large exhibition in 1962, contained 35 pieces, was opened by the Wife of the Minister of Information, Mrs. Joyce Waring at the Greenwich Gallery, in Rosebank, Johannesburg. In 1970, he became the first South African artist to exhibit at the Kennedy Gallery in New York. Between 1970 and 1992, he painted a series of commissions both in America and South Africa. Some of the more memorable being; the exhibition of African Wildlife at the Sportman’s Edge Gallery (New York City 1973), murals for the Southern Sun Group in 1984, designs for SA monetary coins by the SA reserve bank in 1989, paintings for various embassies in 1991, and a large canvas for American Broadway stars, Mr and Mrs. Jeff Fenholt.
Martin Koch is a lifetime member of the Rhino and Elephant Foundation in South Africa.
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