Artists

From Albert Adams to Portia Zvavahera, Strauss & Co maintains a detailed database of every artist sold at auction since 2009. Whether it is painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, ceramics or new media, this searchable database lists by artist every lot offered and provides aggregated data useful to seasoned collectors. Important blue-chip artists like William Kentridge, JH Pierneef, Alexis Preller and Irma Stern are introduced with helpful biographies.

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Pieter Wenning

South African 1873-1921 


Pieter Wenning was born and grew up in the Netherlands and although he showed early talent as an artist and his father was and art dealer and sold artist’s materials, his parents discouraged him from studying art and he went to work for the national railway company instead. And offer of a job at a book dealer in South Africa brought Wenning and his family to Pretoria in 1905. After some years of frugality and careful savings, he was able to import an etching press, and pioneered the medium in this country, while also drawing incessantly and beginning to experiment with painting in oils.

With JH Pierneef and George Smithard, he was a founder member of the Individualists in 1911, a group of like-minded artists who exhibited their work together in Pretoria. Wenning was always dogged by financial problems but with the help of DC Boonzaier and several other friends who provided the funds, he spent three months in the Cape in 1917, and produced enough paintings to mount a private exhibition at which his work was well-received, with almost all being sold. The art market was depressed as a result of WWI, however and Wenning struggled to achieve good prices.

Esmé Berman described how Wenning ‘found himself’ as an artist in the Cape, not only because he was then painting full-time, but also because the gentler climate and “shades of dampened green” familiar from his homeland suited him better than the “elusive ochres of the Highveld”.1 The artist worked relentlessly ‘en plein air’, regardless of the weather and with little concern for his health, but nevertheless, also managed to produce a significant number of still lifes, which Berman considers as equal to, if not more important than, his landscapes. For Wenning, still lifes were essays in “colour form and composition … governed less by the influence of Dutch precedents than by the lessons gained from Oriental art”.2

Wenning died at the age of 47 of tuberculosis, but despite his relatively short career, he produced over 300 paintings in addition to his drawings and etchings. His work is included in the collections of the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Pretoria Art Museum, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the William Humphreys Gallery in Kimberley, and the Wits Art Museum, among others.

1. Esmé Berman (1983) Art & Artists of South Africa, Cape Town: AA Balkema, page 497.

2. Ibid, page 498.


86 lots offered      67.44% sold      ZAR 22 139 067
 

Including Premium and VAT Results include Buyer's Premium and VAT
Pieter Wenning; Malay Quarter with Sheep
8 Nov 2020
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; Vineyards, Constantia
8 Nov 2020
Sold for ZAR 432 440
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Pomegranates, Bottle and Wine Glass
8 Nov 2020
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; An Eating House
8 Nov 2020
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; Trees
26 Jul 2020
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; Landscape, Pretoria
26 Jul 2020
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; Vase of Crassulas
26 Jul 2020
Sold for ZAR 318 640
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Mine Landscape
14 Apr 2020
Sold for ZAR 2 111
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Willow Trees (Meintjieskop), Pretoria
19 Oct 2019
Unsold
 
Pieter Wenning; Portrait of a Boy
15 Jul 2019
Sold for ZAR 4 104
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Near Pretoria (Bishopscote)
20 May 2019
Sold for ZAR 227 600
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Blue Gums, Pretoria
20 May 2019
Unsold
 

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