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.


Pieter Wenning

South African 1873-1921  Top Artists


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.


83 lots offered      67.47% sold      R 21 757 837
 

Including Premium and VAT Results include Buyer's Premium and VAT
Pieter Wenning; At Claremont, CP
7 Mar 2011
Sold for R 1 782 400
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; From Grove Road, Claremont, with Devil's Peak
26 Sep 2011
Sold for R 1 559 600
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Keerom Street, Cape Town
7 Mar 2011
Sold for R 1 448 200
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; The Apies River and Union Buildings
1 Nov 2010
Sold for R 1 225 400
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Cottage, Nelspruit
9 Mar 2009
Sold for R 1 002 600
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; A Still Life with Hibiscus and Fuchsias
1 Nov 2010
Sold for R 946 900
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; The Bridge, Rondebosch
26 Sep 2011
Sold for R 891 200
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; The Yellow House (Bishopscourt in Winter)
15 Oct 2018
Sold for R 796 600
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Landscape, Pretoria
1 Nov 2010
Sold for R 724 100
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Narrow Street, Malay Quarter, Cape Town
4 Feb 2013
Sold for R 668 400
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Durban
11 Oct 2010
Sold for R 668 400
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Pieter Wenning; Washday, Malay Quarter, Cape Town
4 Feb 2013
Sold for R 646 120
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT

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