Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 12 October 2021
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About this Item
'I had seen an image of these two elderly figures in the mid-1980s in, I think, a French magazine, and I was very taken with it. In fact, the whole painting revolves around these two figures in their old age. I have placed a baboon on the woman's lap; white, so that it is included in the overall shape of the woman. Similarly with the man and the dog Boo, who is sitting on his lap. Boo is based on a little fox terrier we had many years ago whose markings I liked. As with all my paintings, the issues of line, shape and colour determine the composition, and hence a black dot on Boo functions as a dark riveting shape which separates the two white figures. The woman sits holding a green-lined parasol, waiting for the storm, so to speak - there is a streak of lightning in the sky. The various objects, figures and insects which surround the couple amplify the tension in the situation. The locust - a symbol of death or destruction - rests on the woman's shoulder. A gold bar signifies the folly of placing all our faith in bullion and forgetting all else. The bricks supporting the bar are suggestive of a wide rift between the precious and the functional. The ominous figure dressed in black and the harpy are symbols of death, part of the waiting process. In the bleak landscape a tiny cactus blooms and a snake is curled in the foreground. On the horizon is a typical farm gate which leads nowhere other than further into the bland landscape with its grey sky.' 1
1. Stanley Pinker in Michael Stevenson (2004) Stanley Pinker, Cape Town: Michael Stevenson, page 62.
The Late Stuart and Anita Saunders Collection.
Michael Stevenson (2004) Stanley Pinker, Cape Town: Michael Stevenson, illustrated in colour on page 62, figure 43.
Lucy Alexander and Evelyn Cohen (1990), 150 South African Paintings Past and Present, Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers, illustrated in colour on page 116, plate 92.