- Dec 01. Chairman's Review 2010
- Dec 01. Voorsitters Oorsig
- Nov 12. A sparkling array
- Nov 01. Art market grabs investor's imagination and opens pockets at Strauss & Co Auction
- Oct 19. Millions for South African Paintings
- Oct 18. Strauss & Co set a new record for South African art
- Oct 11. New record for South African art
- Sep 23. Top South African Paintings at Strauss & Co's October Auction
- Aug 31. Pierneef attracts wide interest
- Aug 30. Ruth First and Lilian Ngoyi Celebrated in Artwork at Auction
- Aug 03. Jewellery Week at Strauss & Co
- Jul 23. Another Irma Stern Still Life Poised to Break Auction Records
- Jul 23. Valuation Day at The Marine, Hermanus
- Jun 26. Stanley Pinker's, The Wheel of Life, 1974, to be offered for sale in Cape Town on 11 October 2010
- Jun 25. Forthcoming Cape Town Auction
- May 30. Rhodes statue led Welz to success
- May 25. Four South African Still Lifes sell for R22 million
- May 18. Auction of Important South African, British and Continental Paintings and Sculpture
- May 10. Maud Sumner – "a sound investment"
- May 03. Important work by Deborah Bell on auction at Strauss & Co, Johannesburg, 24 May 2010
- May 02. Artists with a passion for Africa
- Mar 25. Irma Stern - Still Life with Dahlias and Fruit
- Mar 16. "Bad News" proves to be good news
- Feb 08. Anton Van Wouw - Bad News
- Feb 08. Jane Alexander - Racework
- Feb 01. Edith Dodo Estate Collection
Local art in full flower at major sale
May 9, 2010 [ Archived ]
Irma Stern's still lifes will take pride of place, and sculpture gets a showing, writes Christina Kennedy
Stephen A Welz says there is an interesting conundrum about South African art on auction. Welz, who heads up fine art auction house Strauss & Co, says: "It is easier to sell a R1-million painting than a run-of-the-mill R10000 painting - unless the latter is a remarkable example of the artist's work. The lower market is feeling the pinch, but you'll find that those who could afford to pay R1-million can still afford to pay that."
This would suggest that entry-level collectors could pick up some bargains at the Johannesburg Country Club in Woodmead on May 24, if they have the cash available. That is when Strauss & Co's next fine art auction takes places. Welz describes it as "undoubtedly the largest number of major paintings to come on to the market for a long time".
A selection of prime Irma Stern still lifes from different periods of the artist's career will take pride of place. Still Life with Gladioli
Still Life with Gladioli and Fruit is estimated to fetch R4.5-million, and Welz says Still Life With Dahlias and Fruit could set a collector back R6-million.
Also going under the hammer is JH Pierneef's 1949 painting Barberton, which should fetch up to R1-million. "It's one of Pierneef's more painterly landscapes," says Welz.
There are also a number of works by the likes of Alexis Preller, Maggie Laubser, Maurice van Essche and Maud Sumner up for auction, with Welz advising that Sumner is an "underpriced" South African artist whose work should make a sound investment - especially her The Thames at Sunset. Preller's major work, The Flower King is a noteworthy addition to the auction palette.
Other major artists whose work can be snapped up are William Kentridge, Colbert Mashile, Robert Hodgins, Helen Sebidi and Gregoire Boonzaier.
A fascinating feature of the auction is a number of sculptures by a loose association of artists known as the Amadlozi Group - Edoardo Villa, Cecil Skotnes, Sydney Kumalo, Giuseppe Cattaneo and Cecily Sash. Amadlozi - meaning "spirit of the ancestors" - held their first exhibition, co-curated by art dealer Egon Guenther, in his Johannesburg gallery in October 1963. The exhibition also toured Italy, but they never exhibited again together as the Amadlozi Group. Despite this, the influence of these pioneering artists' on the development of South African art is regarded as profound.
Welz talks about the "last-chance syndrome" of auctions, when a collector who has been waiting years for a particular work will "beg, borrow or steal" the money to purchase it. "Most art collectors buy with their hearts," he says. "The investment aspect is there, but is relatively low." He says that "in the 40 years I've been in the industry, South African art has held up remarkably well, and now people who had confidence in it are reaping the rewards.