At the end of January 1961 Christo had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Stadler, and then, immediately after, travelled back to Johannesburg to have his first exhibition in 10 years on home soil. He spent most of the next three years in Paris, and his second solo exhibition at the Galerie Stadler took place in 1963.
In 1975, the day after the opening of a solo exhibition of Coetzee’s work in Cape Town, the artist went back to the gallery and cut up 23 of his paintings in what he called an act of ‘construction’ rather than ‘destruction’. The press labelled him sensationalist and angry, but Christo lectured that there was a cycle of destruction and recreation in his creative approach. Four months after this ‘protest exhibition’, as Coetzee called it, he restructured (or ‘re-imaged’, in his own words) these same works by combining the fragments and pieces of the original artworks creating new pieces to be shown at the Rand Afrikaans University’s Gencor Gallery in Johannesburg. This process of destruction and recreation was consistent throughout most of Coetzee’s oeuvre, and was largely a result of his contact with Michel Tapié (who was, in turn, inspired by Nietzsche and Bataille), as well as the time he spent with the Gutai group in Japan. He wrote two formal texts on the subject during the 1970s (van Rensburg in Ballot, 1999).