Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 261 740
Lot 33
  • Georgina Gratrix; Bride Dressed as Cake
  • Georgina Gratrix; Bride Dressed as Cake

Lot Estimate
ZAR 100 000 - 150 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 261 740

About this Item

South African 1982-
Bride Dressed as Cake
signed and dated 2017 on the reverse
oil on canvas
100 by 75cm excluding frame


Georgina Gratrix’s sumptuous paintings are recognisable by their energetic colours and richly textured surfaces, as well as her expressionist proclivity for figural distortion. Painted in her former Barron Street studio in Woodstock, a photo in a 1990s bridal magazine provided the inspiration for this bride with calla lilies. Gratrix often uses photographs as a starting point, only to pursue intuitions suggested by the emerging painting itself. The floral detailing is integral to the composition. ‘I like the thing of people drowning in floral excess, which brides often tend to do,’ says Gratrix, whose concealed human subject is described with the minimum of fuss, as pearly teeth framed by garish red lips and knitted pink hands with red fingernails. Christo Coetzee’s bridal portraits from the 1940s onwards are an important reference for Gratrix. ‘I like Coetzee’s story in general, and adore his brides in particular. I love the ambiguity and kitschness of them.’1

Sean O’Toole

  1. Georgina Gratrix, pers. comm., telephone interview with Sean O’Toole, Cape Town, 28 November 2018.


SMAC Gallery Booth, Cape Town Art Fair, 17 to 19 February 2017.

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