Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 20 May 2019

Day Sale

Sold for

ZAR 51 210
Lot 110
  • Brian Bradshaw; Granite and Bush
  • Brian Bradshaw; Granite and Bush
  • Brian Bradshaw; Granite and Bush
  • Brian Bradshaw; Granite and Bush
  • Brian Bradshaw; Granite and Bush

Lot Estimate
ZAR 25 000 - 40 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 51 210

About this Item

South African 1923-2016
Granite and Bush
signed and indistinctly dated; inscribed with the title on the reverse; inscribed with the artist's name, the title and the medium on an Everard Read gallery label adhered to the reverse
acrylic on canvas
92 by 137cm excluding frame


Bradshaw was appointed professor of Fine Art at Rhodes University in 1960, taking over from Walter Battiss, who left the university in 1959. His inaugural lecture, titled The Culture Plan: World Techniques in Uniformity, criticised the reigning orthodoxy of social realism in the UK at the time, and proposed replacing it in South Africa with a strident expressionism.

“As a teacher Brian Bradshaw radiated a personal magnetism which imprinted itself upon his students. In 1964 he founded the Grahamstown Group as a vehicle for the artistic attitude which he shared with several of his graduates. Many of the young artists who clustered around Bradshaw in the Group subsequently became teachers themselves, and aspects of their mentor’s approach were inevitably perpetuated both in their own work and in their teaching. Although he departed from South Africa in 1980, Bradshaw left his imprint on the art of the country.”1

Bradshaw’s use of thick impasto, and his aggressive forms, were weighted with the dignified atmosphere specific to a place, engulfed in sunlight, and surrounded by opulent, vibrating colour. One of his most renowned students, Penny Siopis, embraced the use of thick impasto, especially in her early cake paintings. His influence was apparent in the work of the artists of the Grahamstown Group, and it can still be seen in the work of other artists who studied under him, including Robert Brooks; David Champion; Hilary Graham; Noel Hodnett, Wendy Malan; Thomas Matthews; Joss Nell; Neil Rodger and Christopher Till.

1. Esmé Berman (1983) Art and Artists of South Africa, Cape Town: AA Balkema, page 74.


Everard Read, Johannesburg.

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