Amid Uproar, Graphic Painting of South African President Is Removed From Gallery

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JOHANNESBURG — To the artist and a gallery director, it was a scathing piece of satire — a riff on Soviet-style propaganda aimed at a powerful president with a controversial sexual history who presides over a liberation movement-turned-political party that many here feel has lost its revolutionary appeal.

But to that party, the African National Congress; many black South Africans; and, most of all, the man it depicted, President Jacob Zuma, the painting — which portrayed Mr. Zuma in a Leninesque pose with his genitals exposed — was a reminder of the pain and humiliation frequently visited on black bodies by white hands under apartheid.

On Wednesday, both sides agreed to disagree on the merits of the painting, “The Spear,” by the Cape Town artist Brett Murray, which was part of an exhibit at the Goodman Gallery here. But they agreed on one thing: It would no longer be on display. In exchange for the A.N.C.’s agreeing to drop a lawsuit, the gallery agreed to remove the work, which had already been vandalized, from the exhibition....

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