Live Auction, 12 November 2018

Sold for

ZAR 34 140
Lot 199
  • Breyten Breytenbach; Boekdoek Lappesait 2
  • Breyten Breytenbach; Boekdoek Lappesait 2
  • Breyten Breytenbach; Boekdoek Lappesait 2
  • Breyten Breytenbach; Boekdoek Lappesait 2
  • Breyten Breytenbach; Boekdoek Lappesait 2

Lot Estimate
ZAR 30 000 - 50 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
ZAR 34 140

About this Item

South African 1939-
Boekdoek Lappesait 2
signed, dated 2/2/2000, numbered 2 and stamped with the artist's monogram
mixed media on canvas
316 by 110cm excluding frame


‘These scrolls/flags/banners/cloths/ shrouds originated at a retrospective exhibition of my paintings at the Frans Hals Museum in Harlem, the Netherlands, a couple of years ago. The curators wanted to exhibit the “written” part of
my art as well, not only the “visual” and I suggested a series of long banners with words/poems and images on them. At the back of my mind were the examples of Tibetan prayer rugs with mandalas containing formulas and figures used for meditation; also, Chinese scrolls, often of landscapes (suggesting journeys) with calligraphic poems written on them – objects, in other words, that one could roll up and carry with you from place to place, serving as text book, or map, or diary of one’s travels. As soon as one starts painting words, they turn into images. Sound, in other words, turns into colour, and the relationships between words create their meaning, compelling one to express the meaning in images. These images are rhythms – precursors (“voorbeelde”, in Afrikaans) of the primordial urge in the human consciousness to make sense of the unknown in terms of sound and colour – that repeat one another in a constant exchange of associations. Consciousness is sound in space. And that is when I started dreaming of these book cloths.’1

1 Breyten Breytenbach (2001). Boekdoek/Lappesait, New York: Besteblaar, page 1.


Breyten Breytenbach (2001). Boekdoek Lappesait. New York: Besteblaar, illustrated in colour on page 4.

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