Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 20 May 2019

Evening Sale

Sold for

ZAR 227 600
Lot 299
  • Willem Boshoff; Homage to Kurt Schwitters
  • Willem Boshoff; Homage to Kurt Schwitters
  • Willem Boshoff; Homage to Kurt Schwitters

Lot Estimate
ZAR 200 000 - 300 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 227 600

About this Item

South African 1951-
Homage to Kurt Schwitters
wood and various sands
244 by 122cm excluding frame


"Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters (20 June 1887 – 8 January 1948) was one of the historical mainstays of DADA, the avant-garde European art movement of the early twentieth century. Schwitters believed his Merzbau installations to be the major contribution of his life's work. They consisted of jumbled interiors assembled haphazardly using rather voluminous everyday objects.

The word merz derives from the second syllable of the German word Kommerz (Commerce), and it is strongly revered by Dadaists for its close relation to the French merde! (shit!). Raoul Hausmann concluded that merde is the Dada attack on society values.

The DADA movement deified coincidental inconsistencies: Tristan Tzara, one of its leaders proclaimed seriously:

Dada is this; Dada is that; Dada is this;

Dada is that; Dada is nevertheless shit.

Yes, DADA stood in awe before the ‘shit’ of life, and especially before the havoc that such ‘shit’ might cause. It should also be noted that Sterculius, the Roman god of excrement, presides over all stercoraneous issues – in Latin stercus is ‘dung’. In this spirit of reverence, I refer to Kurt Schwitter’s ‘shit’ as ‘holy shit’."


View all Willem Boshoff lots for sale in this auction

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