Final live art sale of 2022

Strauss & Co’s final live sale of 2022 honours the legacy of art collector, Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom

Strauss & Co is honoured to present an impressive holding of 20th century South African art from the Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection in a timed-online auction (Day Sale) and a standalone live-virtual sale (Evening Sale). Passionate and knowledgeable collectors are the foundation of a vibrant art market, and Matthys Strydom (1935-2022) possessed these virtues in abundance. A medical doctor, entrepreneur, cattle breeder and art dealer based in George, Matthys Strydom was also an enthusiastic collector who published two books telling the stories behind the works in his large collection.

Composed of nearly 300 lots of modern, post-war and contemporary art, the Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection will be presented in two instalments. Strauss & Co will introduce 190 works with broad collector appeal in a timed-online sale starting at 2pm on Tuesday, 22 November 2022. At 7pm on the same day, Strauss & Co will host a live-virtual sale in Cape Town of high-value works by Walter Battiss, Gregoire Boonzaier, Erik Laubscher, Maggie Laubser, J. H. Pierneef, Stanley Pinker, Irma Stern and Maud Sumner, among others.

“Matthys was a true connoisseur who honed his passion for art when he fatefully acquired his father’s furniture business in George in the 1960s and began hosting annual art exhibitions in its showroom,” says Frank Kilbourn, Chairperson, Strauss & Co. “The art business flourished, despite warnings by his friend Gregoire Boonzaier that it wouldn’t. It ultimately led to the establishment of the Strydom Gallery, a much-loved gallery where I first ventured as a young collector. Matthys was an important mentor in my own journey as an art collector, a privilege I share with many art lovers. While this sale is marked by a note of sadness due to Matthys’s passing, I am proud that Strauss & Co was entrusted to handle the sale and can contribute to honouring his important legacy.”

Painted in 1952, Irma Stern’s Pondo Woman with Pipe (estimate R2.5 – 3.5 million/$140 000 – 196 000) is the highest-value lot. It portrays an AmaMpondo woman drawing smoke from a traditional long-stemmed pipe, a privilege of motherhood. The work’s original owner, a church minister who lived next door to Strydom in Heidelberg near Johannesburg, acquired the work on terms from the artist. The portrait was proudly displayed in the parsonage’s lounge, much to the consternation of some of the dominee’s more conservative congregants.

The Strydom Collection includes two bushveld landscapes by J. H. Pierneef from the 1940s: Bushveld Trees (estimate R2 – 3 million/$112 000 – 168 000) and Bushveld Landscape with Trees (estimate R1.8– 2.4 million/$100 000 – 134 000). Both works were acquired from private sellers, one of them Strydom’s former English teacher at Hoërskool Outeniqua. Alexis Preller’s The Rider (estimate R1 – 1.5 million/$56 000- 84 000) quotes a horseman in Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490 – 1500). Strydom delighted in Preller’s enigmatic work and acquired this piece at auction in Cape Town.

Gregoire Boonzaier was the first living artist of consequence that Strydom met during his journey as a collector. In 1967, Strydom’s son, Ludwig, now an artist with works in this sale, was hospitalised in Cape Town. During their parental vigil, Matthys and his wife, Helene, attended a nearby exhibition of Boonzaier’s work. They shortly began collecting his work. The Strydom Collection includes 14 oils and a number of watercolours representing Boonzaier’s major subjects, including still lifes, self-portraits and old Cape scenes such as Yellow Neighbourhood, Bo-Kaap (estimate R250 000 – 300 000/$14000 – 19000).

The works on offer encompass a range of styles and media, including works on paper and ceramics. The overall price points for the works will be attractive to both new and established collectors. The Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection is accompanied by a detailed e-catalogue. There are a limited number of print catalogues for the premier evening sale available.

Register, Browse and Bid:

Catalogue: Click Here

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