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 54
  • Karel Nel; Dish
  • Karel Nel; Dish
  • Karel Nel; Dish

Lot Estimate
ZAR 400 000 - 600 000
Selling Price

About this Item

South African 1955-

signed, dated 2014-2015 and inscribed with the title on the reverse; inscribed with the artist's name, title, date and medium on an Art First label adhered to the reverse

pastel, metallic dust and dry pigment on bonded fibre fabric
164 by 164cm excluding frame; 180,5 by 180 by 5cm including frame


Since 2004, Karel Nel has been the resident artist working with a team of the world’s foremost astronomers on COSMOS, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken to map a two degree field in the universe. Nel spends time with the COSMOS astronomical team viewing the infinite in observatories in remote sites around the world.
He has often commented to astronomers that ‘on returning home my own studio is my observatory, my place of close observation of my surroundings, the finite, the terrestrial and the philosophical.
In this work, Dish, Nel draws an unusual bowl by the Dan in Liberia that stands poised in his studio, its cupped serrated surface emanating its own presence yet simultaneously alluding to the telescopic dishes that capture complex emanations as they point out into the universe.


Art First, London, 7 August 2016.

The Oliver Powell and Timely Investments Trust Collection.


Art First, London, Karel Nel: Observe, 8 October to 14 November 2015, illustrated on pages 24, 25, 36 and 37 of exhibition catalogue.

View all Karel Nel lots for sale in this auction

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