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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Century of African art

“South Africa has a wonderful history of abstract art-making, but it often feels like a little-known and sometimes under- appreciated genre within the market,” says senior art specialist and head of Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg art department, Alastair Meredith.


Strauss & Co’s current online sale View/Re/ View, which spans a century of Southern African art, closed on Monday.

The online auction provided a fantastic cross-section of Southern African art from the last century, ranging from Pre-War to Contemporary. Featuring over 150 lots, the month-long sale allowed collectors to browse the sale at their leisure.

An array of South African abstraction is available, from works by Christo Coetzee, who embraced the avant-garde approach of artists such as the Japanese Gutai Group, through to contemporary artists like Marcus Neustetter, now living and working in Vienna, Austria.

ALSO READ: Rare abstract and ceramic works up for grabs in month-long sale

“South Africa has a wonderful history of abstract art-making, but it often feels like a little-known and sometimes under- appreciated genre within the market,” says senior art specialist and head of Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg art department, Alastair Meredith.

“This sale offers several notable abstract works.”

Kenneth Bakker’s Composition with Jasper

Among these were Kenneth Bakker’s Composition with Jasper (estimate R5 000 – R7 000), Coetzee’s striking Red and Black Tubular Forms (estimate R8 000 – R12 000), and Lionel Abrams’ Abstract Composition (estimate R2 000 – R3 000) and Abstract Composition in Red (estimate R4 000 – R6 000).

ALSO READ: Half a century of South African ceramic art covered in online sale

Juliette Armstrong’s pregnancy aprons Ingcayi

A strong selection of ceramic works was also evident in View/Re/ View. One of Juliette Armstrong’s pregnancy aprons Ingcayi (estimate R10 000 – R15 000) was on offer.

Armstrong, who lived and worked as an artist and teacher in KwaZulu-Natal, was deeply influenced by the ceramic traditions of the region and is best known for her experiments with bone china.

There’s also a particularly rare ceramic by Dorothy Kay titled Flora (estimate R4 000 – R6 000) which presents a unique opportunity for collectors of her work.

ALSO READ: Interest in contemporary art continues to grow on a global level

Robert Hodgins’ Skullpiece no. 5

A stand-out ceramic work is one of Robert Hodgins’ painted plates Skullpiece No 5 (estimate R10 000 – R15 000). “Hodgins loved painting on ceramics. It’s a subgenre of his output that is little- known,” says Meredith.

“This is essentially a small Hodgins painting and presents brilliant value.”

Other highlights of the sale included Surreal Space Composition (estimate R100 000 – R150 000) by Walter Meyer.

Typically known for his Cape landscape works, this early career painting details the artist’s experimentation not only with gestural and expressionist painting, but with surrealist elements, too.

ALSO READ: An impressive offering at Johannesburg Auction Week

There is a large-scale abstract work (estimate R20 000 – R30 000) by abstract painter Thakor Patel.

Born in India, he relocated to Zimbabwe in the 1980s before moving to the US in 2017. In 2018, Patel’s work was included in Zeitz Mocaa’s exhibition of contemporary painting from Zimbabwe called Five Bhobh.

The striking mixed-media on board work Abstract Composition (estimate R20 000 – R30 000), by Armando Baldinelli, is another exceptional lot. Born in Italy, he immigrated to SA in 1953.

To register, browse, bid or buy please visit: www.straussart. co.za

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