Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 15 February 2020

Contemporary Art
  • Deborah Bell; Chariot

Lot Estimate
ZAR 800 000 - 1 200 000

About this Item

South African 1957-

signed and numbered 3/5

height: 211cm


“In both my painting and sculpture, I work between will and surrender, creation and destruction. I dream of the Zen mark, the single gesture of absolute presence that stands for the whole, but I never get it in one. My initial uninhabited mark may tempt me for a while, but it does not sustain. When I first started working with plaster, I was seduced by how it formed when throwing it and allowing it to drip. It was alive. I understood Giacometti, and was tempted to leave the work at that stage, yet something didn’t allow me to do that – it felt like imitation. So I started attacking the plaster with an angle grinder. Careful carving seemed too safe. I needed the impression of pushing against an unwieldy surface, of not being in control … The dance of finding beautiful form, but then allowing the gestural mark of accident to bring back a vitality, an imperfection.”1


1. The artist in conversation with Mark Read (2015) cited in Deborah Bell: Dreams of Immortality; Blood and Gold, London: Circa|Everard-Read. Page 35.



Nirox Foundation, Johannesburg, Sources: Contemporary Sculpture in the Landscape, 25 March to 5 June 2009. Illustrated on page 8 of the exhibition catalogue.

Another example from the edition is in the Delaire Graaff Collection.

View all Deborah Bell lots for sale in this auction

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