Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 113 800
Lot 46
  • Norman Catherine; The Chairman

Lot Estimate
ZAR 100 000 - 120 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 113 800

About this Item

South African 1949-
The Chairman
signed and dated '88
acrylic on canvas, wood and metal
height: 98cm


In the mid-1980s, following a year in the United States, Norman Catherine began making painted sculptures using flattened tin. Some, like Boss (1986), a precursor to this lot, featured suit-wearing archetypes of power seated on wire chairs; others portrayed musicians and characters associated with folk art traditions. Polka dots were commonplace and here enliven the dark suit worn by this cigar-chugging chairman. In a 1990 interview Catherine spoke of how his studio process had shifted from creating precise finishes to the more rough-and-ready aesthetic evidenced in this lot: ‘I am no longer concerned with that clinical, crisp, flat, clean look, it’s now cruder, more handmade and playful too … I am now using a lot of tins, wood and wire, things from our throw-away society, so my work has become very textured, more three dimensional.’1

Sean O’Toole

  1. Jennifer Sorrell. (1990) ‘Catherine,’ in ADA,No. 8, January-June. Page 34.


Purchased from the artist in 2006 by the current owner.


Sue Williamson. (1989) Resistance Art in South Africa, Cape Town & Johannesburg: David Philip. Illustrated in colour on page 128.

Hazel Friedman. (2000) Norman Catherine, Johannesburg: Goodman Gallery Editions. Illustrated in colour on page 66.


View all Norman Catherine lots for sale in this auction

Other lots that might interest you
Ledelle Moe; Congregation
Ledelle Moe
ZAR 100 000 - 150 000
Willem Boshoff; Fallen 2-Letter Words
Willem Boshoff
Fallen 2-Letter Words
ZAR 90 000 - 120 000
David Brown; Untitled I
David Brown
Untitled I
ZAR 80 000 - 120 000
David Brown; Untitled III
David Brown
Untitled III
ZAR 70 000 - 100 000
Conrad Botes and Brett Murray; The Voodoo
Conrad Botes and Brett Murray
The Voodoo
ZAR 80 000 - 120 000
Brett Murray; Africa Maquette
Brett Murray
Africa Maquette
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000