Strauss & Co heralds summer with a curated programme of Johannesburg sales
11 Oct 2022
Strauss & Co is pleased to announce details of its major summer auction of art and wine in Johannesburg (3-9 November 2022).
Responding to collector interest in smaller, thematic sales, Strauss & Co will host four curated sales of art, all scheduled in the evening. They include a dedicated sculpture sale with focuses on Josephine Ghesa and Job Kekana and a single-artist sale of fresh-to-market works from the Estate of the Late Robert Hodgins. This sale is the first ever such event wholly devoted to the much-loved artist, teacher and critic, Robert Hodgins.
Irma Stern’s remarkable portrait of an urbanised sitter, African Woman (estimate R5 – 6 million), painted in 1940, forms part of an impressive consignment of oils and a ceramic by this blue-chip artist. Leading the selection of two-dozen collectable works on paper by William Kentridge is a process drawing from his 2011 animated film Other Faces (estimate 3 – 4 million). Strauss & Co is pleased to be offering the woodcut Mantegna (estimate R800 000 – 1.2 million), another edition of which is currently on view in Kentridge’s Royal Academy survey in London. Alongside major works by Walter Battiss, Dumile Feni, John Meyer, Alexis Preller J.H. Pierneef and Andrew Verster, the catalogue includes pieces by international artists Marina Abramović and Yinka Shonibare.
“Recent successes at market with our single-artist sales and in-session artist focuses, coupled with a return to post-pandemic normal, has prompted us to innovate with our November programme,” says Alastair Meredith, Head of the Art Department, Strauss & Co. “The curated presentation of our four sales aims to provide collectors with generous insights into important historical and contemporary artists – from modernist wood sculptor Job Kekana and post-war painter Sydney Goldblatt to Robert Hodgins, whose diverse work and influence is explored in a dedicated sale”.
Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg season of art and wine sales commences on Thursday, 3 November 2022, with a 100-lot consolidated catalogue of modern, post-war and contemporary art. Notable painters to feature include Keith Alexander, Gregoire Boonzaier, Adolph Jentsch, Walter Meyer, John Mohl, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Frans Oerder and Larry Scully. The lot arrangement includes collector focuses on Walter Battiss, Sydney Golblatt and François Krige.
Following on from Strauss & Co’s wine sale the day before, IN/FORM: Exploring South African Sculpture (Monday, 7 November 2022) includes seven woodcarvings by Job Kekana. The selection of figurative pieces reflects Kekana’s secular and religious interests as an artist. Ardmore-trained Josephine Ghesa, one of the highlights of Norval Foundation’s current survey of black women artists, When Rain Clouds Gather, has three examples of her zoomorphic figures in the sale. Other notable sculptors to feature are Frances Goodman, Sydney Kumalo, Ezrom Legae, Dylan Lewis, Henry Moore, Walter Oltmann, Edoardo Villa and Anton van Wouw.
Three site-specific commissions by Walter Battiss, Irma Stern and Andrew Verster form part of a vibrant medley of high-value works being offered on Tuesday, 8 November 2022. Originally created for a double-volume modernist house in Kimberley, Battiss’s Spirit of Africa (estimate R3 – 4 million) is a vertiginous depiction of African figures set against an abstract background. Measuring over 6 metres in length, Verster’s multi-panelled floral mural (estimate R400 000 – 600 000) was originally on display in the late Judge Alan and Brenda Magid’s upper-floor dining room in Berea, Durban.
Strauss & Co’s summer sale concludes with the Three Robs: Artist, Collaborator, Friend (Wednesday, 9 November 2022), a single-artist sale of oils, watercolours, monotypes, pastels and drawings by Robert Hodgins. The sale will additionally include works that Hodgins made in collaboration with artists Sarah Ballam, Deborah Bell, Kendell Geers, William Kentridge, Jan Neethling and Sam Nhlengethwa. Wilhelm van Rensburg, Senior Art Specialist and Head Curator, Strauss & Co, who organised the sale, will lead a live talk and video première on Tuesday, 18 October 2022 at 6pm.
Strauss & Co will present a comprehensive education and social programme in the build-up to the summer auction. A preview exhibition will open to the public on 18 October 2022 and run until 3 November. Strauss & Co experts will offer walkabouts on 28 and 29 October, and again on 5 and 6 November. On 19 October, Strauss & Co will launch an online documentary film exploring William Kentridge’s print output. The film is part of a long-term collaboration with the Warehouse Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is currently hosting an exhibition of work by William Kentridge. Comprehensive e-catalogues with details of all the works on sale are available online at www.straussart.co.za.
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