Showpiece Renoir leads Strauss & Co’s 111-lot sale of international modern and contemporary art

19 Oct 2023

• Sale presents 111 works by artists from more than 20 countries
• Late-period Renoir expected to sell for R2 – 3 million / $106 287 – 159 430
• High-value works by Mr Brainwash, Jeff Koons, John Piper, Edward Seago, Joža Uprka, Andy Warhol and William Wylie
• Enslin du Plessis leads cohort of South African artists including Albert Adams

Celebrated impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s late work, Fruits (Oranges et Citrons), painted in 1912, will be a leading highlight of Transcending Boundaries, Strauss & Co’s live virtual auction of modern and contemporary international art on 25 October 2023 in Cape Town. Transcending Boundaries presents 111 works by artists from the Americas, Asia Pacific, British Isles and Europe consigned from various South African collections.

The catalogue for Transcending Boundaries reflects the shifting tastes of generations of South African collectors who acquired international works of art from local dealers or during their travels. The auction includes editioned works on paper, high-value paintings by John Piper, Edward Seago, Joža Uprka and William Wyllie, a photograph by Fluxist pioneer Nam June Paik and a small consignment of sculpture, including a Jeff Koons edition. Other major artists represented in Transcending Boundaries include Mr Brainwash, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Chagall, Tracey Emin, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Takashi Murakami and Andy Warhol.

Strauss & Co is the first auction house on the African continent to offer a work by Renoir, an artist with enduring appeal among collectors more than a century after his death in 1919. A Johannesburg collector acquired Fruits (Oranges et Citrons), a late-period triumph of colour and painterly energy, in the 1970s. A certifying authority in Paris recently authenticated the painting at Strauss & Co’s request. Fruits (Oranges et Citrons) is estimated to fetch R2 – 3 million / $106 287 – 159 430. The Renoir will go on sale immediately after a fine interior study of the London home of émigré South African artist Edward Wolfe by Enslin du Plessis, another expat who made an impact in London. Transcending Boundaries includes five works by Du Plessis, who began exhibiting with the London Group in 1925 and formed part of inter-war vanguard alongside figures like Henry Moore. Other South African artists featured in this auction whose output was influenced by their European training and travels are Albert Adams, Tinus de Jongh, Jack Heath, Jane Tully Heath and Terence McCaw.

Many of the artists in Transcending Boundaries have impeccable auction histories, including in South Africa. This extends to street artists like Banksy and Mr Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta. In 2021, Strauss & Co sold French-born Los Angeles-based Mr Brainwash’s 2009 painting of pop icon Madonna for R1.024 million. Transcending Boundaries includes three works by Mr Brainwash, whose work builds on the achievements of pop artists like Koons, Warhol and Tom Wesselmann, also represented in this auction.

The preview and auction will take place at Strauss & Co’s premises in Brickfield Canvas, an innovation hub on the slopes of Table Mountain in Woodstock, on Thursday, 19 October 2023, 6 – 8pm.

The preview is open from Thursday 19 October to Wednesday 25 October excluding Sunday.

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