Live Virtual Auction, 10 - 11 May 2020

Important announcement regarding the terms and conditions of this auction.

This auction is being conducted during a National State of Disaster in South Africa and in accordance with the various Regulations passed by the Government in South Africa in response. Presently, South Africa’s National State of Disaster is at Level 4, which limits certain commercial activity. Read More →

 Terms and Conditions for Online Auctions (517.08 KB)

 Privacy Policy for Online Auctions (198.46 KB)

Sold for

R 5 690 000
Lot 605
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel
  • Alexis Preller; Space Angel

Lot Estimate
R 5 000 000 - 7 000 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 5 690 000

About this Item

South African 1911-1975
Space Angel
signed and dated '71
oil and gesso on canvas
111 by 121cm excluding frame

Notes

Preller's image of a disembodied head in aquiline profile, with sumptuous lips and a large Egyptian-like eye, became the prototype for an extended, seminal series of works to which Space Angel firmly belongs. The left-facing profile, animated by the sleekest, almond eye and stylised teardrops, merges spectacularly with a fragment of turquoise and sunglow skull. A deep, empty eyesocket balances the composition, and the head is edged by a pharaonic beard and golden teeth.

Preller's unique motif appeared initially in a number of related intaglio works such as Angel of the Lord (1969) and Angel King (1971), while in 1970 the same image was transfigured in Two Angels [Figure 1]. The latter work, a large, square oil painting of heads floating in space, remains in the Pretoria Art Museum.

Space Angel shows Preller exploring the translation of this archaic or heiratic head into yet another technique; he used high relief gesso built up in a Tachist manner, and then over-painted to simulate an opulant and textured surface. The piece is testament to Preller’s lifelong and ongoing process of working and reworking images that were significant to his iconographical vocabulary, with each version systematically attempting to release a new and nuanced reading of his original, iconic, and prototypical image.

Provenance

Strauss & Co, Johannesburg, 7 November 2016, lot 234.

Private Collection.


Other lots that might interest you
Alexis Preller; Sun Stele
Alexis Preller
Sun Stele
R 50 000 - 70 000
Alexis Preller; Abstract
Alexis Preller
Abstract
R 30 000 - 50 000
Alexis Preller; The Artist's Palette
Alexis Preller
The Artist's Palette
R 30 000 - 50 000
Alexis Preller; Woman in Blue
Alexis Preller
Woman in Blue
R 200 000 - 300 000
Alexis Preller; The Kraal
Alexis Preller
The Kraal
R 800 000 - 1 200 000
Alexis Preller; The Ship
Alexis Preller
The Ship
R 1 800 000 - 2 000 000