19th century, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts and Jewellery

including highly important paintings from The Shill Collection and The Late Sol Munitz Collection, The Dr Johan Bolt Collection of Cape Furniture and The Dr JR and Mary Strong Collection of Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art

Cape Town  |  10:00am Mon 18 Mar 2019

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Georgina Gratrix; Sunday Painting
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Lot 487

South African 1982-
Sunday Painting
signed and dated 2017 on the reverse
oil on board
70 by 50cm excluding frame

Sold for R 140 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 159 320

Estimate R 50 000 - 70 000


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When she was awarded the 2018 Discovery Prize at Art Brussels, Belgium, the jury commended Georgina Gratrix for her "painterly take" on sculpture, and "sculptural approach to painting".1 This recent still life, a gift from the artist to a writer friend, bears out this approach. Gratrix’s expressionist paintings are defined by their richly articulated surfaces. The artist honed her style through successive solo exhibitions, starting in 2008 with Master Copy, a joyously flippant re-assessment of painting as a materialist practice bounded by pictorial conventions. But it was her 2012 solo exhibition My Show that marked a key technical breakthrough for the artist, in particular, the four-panel work Jungle (2012), which features crudely delineated floral and avian elements painted with industrial brushes. “With this move to large-scale materials the painting became more tactile and sculptural,” noted critic Matthew Partridge.2 This technical innovation has been matched by Gratrix’s mounting interest in floral subjects. As is her manner, this colour-drenched presentation of cut flowers is laconically described. While it is possible to discern a flamingo flower (anthurium) and ornamental pincushion in the arrangement, spontaneity and energised wonder – rather than classificatory exactness – are the defining hallmarks of Gratrix’s flamboyant still lifes.

1. 'Winner Discovery Prize', Art Brussels website, 19 April 2018: https://www.artbrussels.com/en/News/2018/DISCOVERY%20winner.

2. Matthew Partridge (2012) 'Different strokes for different folks', Mail & Guardian, 13 April 2012: https://mg.co.za/article/2012-04-13-different-strokes-for-folks.



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