Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 77 384
Lot 53
  • Alexandra Karakashian; Passing Series XVII

Lot Estimate
ZAR 20 000 - 30 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 77 384

About this Item

South African 1988-
Passing Series XVII
oil on paper
75 by 103cm excluding frame


Alexandra Karakashian is best known for her use of unconventional painting materials, like engine oil and salt, and reduced colour palette of black, white and grey. Winner of the Judy Steinberg Painting Prize and the Simon Gerson Distinction Award, this painting was produced a year after she graduated in 2011. Part of an open series of works started in her final undergraduate year and colloquially referred to as ‘blur paintings’,Karakashian exhibited these works at Stevenson, Salon 91 and dealer Charl Bezuidenhout’s shortlived Black Box space. The work evolved out of Karakashian’s earlier landscape paintings. Many of the blur paintings featured horizon lines and indistinct subjects. Uncertain of their value at first, thinking of them merely as sketches (hence the rough, taped edges), Karakashian was encouraged to continue with these works by artist and theorist Colin Richards. Sensuous and hazy, these abstracted works are an important bridge to Karakashian’s more recent abstract paintings.

Sean O’Toole


The Black Box, Cape Town, Passages,  December 2012.

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