Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art


3:00pm Mon 20 May 2019


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Lot 299

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

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"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’."


Estimate: R 200 000 - 300 000 

Sold for R 200 000
Which is R 227 600 incl Buyer's Premium and VAT

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