The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection

Live Virtual Auction, 20 September 2022

The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection
About the Session

Strauss & Co is pleased to present this extraordinary collection as the featured session this September Live Virtual Auction. An established insolvency practitioner with a passion for the arts, Oliver Powell's principal focus has been collecting South African painting, sculpture and works on paper made since 1950. Colour, graphic ingenuity and emotional weight are all attributes in an artwork that Powell is drawn to. Powell also emphasises the importance of his many encounters with artists. “There is so much value in meeting an artist,” says Powell. “Aspects and details of their life are reflected in what and how they paint.”

Sold for

Lot 50
  • Richard Mudariki; Laundry Day
  • Richard Mudariki; Laundry Day
  • Richard Mudariki; Laundry Day

Lot Estimate
ZAR 60 000 - 80 000
Selling Price

About this Item

Zimbabwean/South African 1985-
Laundry Day

signed and dated 2012

acrylic on canvas
73 by 89cm excluding frame; 77 by 94 by 4,5cm including frame


"This artwork is inspired by Édouard Manet’s 1863 painting ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ or Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, originally titled Le Bain (The Bath). In the original, a scene from the Parisian bohemian lifestyle is captured in harsh contrast to the puritan morals of that time. It was a controversial piece not only because it broke away from the Academic tradition of the day, portrayed stark nudity, and even featured recognizable models, but mostly due to the contemporary theme which referenced the rampant prostitution in Paris at the time. ‘Laundry Day’ portrays a washing day; the female nude and the scantily dressed female bather from the original painting are dehumanized by the addition of chicken heads, symbolising them as objects manipulated by big business and powerful politicians. Have their soiled feathers been removed, washed and hung out to dry? The two men in suits, although appearing relaxed, are still in control, one holding the scissors used to cut the feathers. The women are both subservient, one washing, the other a naked object in obedience to her male counterparts. Have the politician and the business man conspired to clean up the mess?"1

1., accessed 29 July 2022.


Johans Borman Fine Art, Cape Town, 6 July 2012.

The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection.

View all Richard Mudariki lots for sale in this auction

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