Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection, Day Sale

Timed Online Auction, 10 - 22 November 2022

Paintings
About the Session

Matthys Strydom was a true connoisseur of South African art. As director of the well-known Strydom Gallery in George for more than 30 years, he was responsible for the selection of a wide variety of prime artworks from all over the country for the annual exhibitions. The Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection offered by Strauss & Co gives collectors and art lovers the chance to become part of this great selection from the art history of our country.

The Timed Online auction offering is open from Thursday 10 November to Tuesday 22 November, closing in one-minute intervals from 2pm.


Sold for

ZAR 18 760
Lot 3
  • Gregoire Boonzaier; Huise anderkant 'n Wit Muur (Houses beyond a White Wall)
  • Gregoire Boonzaier; Huise anderkant 'n Wit Muur (Houses beyond a White Wall)
  • Gregoire Boonzaier; Huise anderkant 'n Wit Muur (Houses beyond a White Wall)


Lot Estimate
ZAR 30 000 - 50 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 18 760

About this Item

South African 1909-2005
Huise anderkant 'n Wit Muur (Houses beyond a White Wall)

signed and dated 1946

oil on panel
17,5 by 25,5cm excluding frame; 40 by 47,5 by 1cm including frame

Notes

Gregoire Boonzaier was the first living artist of consequence that Matthys Strydom met during his journey as a collector. In 1967, Strydom’s son, Ludwig, was hospitalised in Cape Town. During their parental vigil, Matthys and his wife, Helene, attended an exhibition of Boonzaier’s work. Impressed, they looked up the artist’s name in the telephone directory and called the number. The ensuing meeting in Kenilworth led to the purchase of their first important painting, a wintery Cape landscape with a bare oak tree in front of whitewashed homesteads at Suurbraak, a former mission station in the Overberg. Produced a year earlier, the work (not included in this sale) cost R400.

The Strydom Collection includes 14 oils and a number of watercolours, all by Boonzaier’s hand. Most of the works date from the 1960s and 70s, a period of increasing national acclaim for Boonzaier, and reflect the warm relationship between artist and collector. However, the offering includes two oils from the 1940s that provide insight into Boonzaier’s earlier painterly style and diverse subject matter. Lot 259 is a gorgeous flower study from 1941 that mixes precise mark making with showy brushwork and superfluous decorative details. Showmanship and painterly delight are hallmarks of Boonzaier’s still lifes. This is evident in the rich surface treatment the artist lavishes on the sectioned melons appearing in lot 261. Painted in 1969, this impressive still life is an ancestor to Penny Siopis’ extravagant banquet paintings of the  1980s, which feature similarly vigorous depictions of melons.

Boonzaier’s interest in Cape vernacular architecture led him to frequently portray street scenes from Bo-Kaap and District Six. Works describing these central suburbs of Cape Town are now highly sought after. In 2015, Strauss & Co sold a Bo-Kaap scene for R1,136 million. Lot 263, which generously depicts a ziggurat of yellow homes in Bo-Kaap, stands capably next to this record-earning work. Lot 256, a view of Table Mountain from Hanover Street in District Six, is typical of Boonzaier’s architectural scenes. See for example lot 258, which shows a mosque in District Six. “The impression of ephemerality and spontaneity it creates particularly struck me,” writes Strydom in reference to the latter work.1

Among the many artists discussed in Strydom’s two books, Boonzaier emerges as an important friend and mentor. Strydom was selective in following the artist’s advice, notably ignoring Boonzaier’s attempts to dissuade him from opening an art gallery in George. “No man, that place is just full of art philistines!” remarked Boonzaier, who starting in 1946 regularly exhibited and lectured in small towns across South Africa.2 In Strydom’s view, Boonzaier’s contributions to building interest in art among ordinary folk ranks alongside his efforts founding the New Group and South African Association of Arts. Fittingly, the Strydom Collection includes one of the artist’s many self-portraits, lot 257, made before the arrival of his white beard.

1. Matthys J. Strydom (2016) Stories teen my muur, Eversdal: Inset Uitgewers, page 25.
2. Ibid, page 33.

Provenance

Dr Matthys Johannes Strydom Family Collection.

View all Gregoire Boonzaier lots for sale in this auction



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