Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

Online-Only Auction, 14 - 25 April 2022

South African Art at the Venice Biennale
About the Session

This Venice Biennale-themed session in Strauss & Co's April online-only auction is timed to coincide with the launch of the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale in late April, and Strauss & Co’s sponsorship of the African Art in Venice Forum 2022 at Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal on 20 and 21 April. This session divulges the history of the Venice Biennale and South African art, as the art world converges on Venice. South Africa first became part of the Venice Biennale more than seventy years ago. The cordial relationship between Italy and South Africa over this period has nurtured international support for artists and art organisations in this country and continues to develop today.


  • Peter Clarke; Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)
  • Peter Clarke; Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)
  • Peter Clarke; Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)
  • Peter Clarke; Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)
  • Peter Clarke; Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)


Lot Estimate
ZAR 150 000 - 200 000

About this Item

South African 1929-2014
Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal (sic)

signed and dated 24.7.1964; inscribed with the title on a label on the reverse

oil on canvas laid down on board
16 by 19,5cm excluding frame; 18 by 22 by 2,5cm including frame

Notes

The current lot was painted on 24.7.1964, the day after Harvesters, Teslaarsdal, lot 621 which sold at Strauss & Co, on 10 October 2020, for R 569 000.

In 1964 Peter Clarke's work was represented at the Venice Biennale. It was also the year he returned to painting in oil, revisiting rural subjects from Tesselaarsdal. These were painted retrospectively from drawings and watercolours he had made there before going to Amsterdam. "Despite the stressful political developments of later 1964, the rural world beyond the mountains seems to have been a place whose mood Clarke could reach imaginatively and relive at will - a creative refuge for a 'coloured' artist living under apartheid."1

Evident in Landskap met Kleinhuisie, Teslaarsdal "the figures that appear in Clarke's landscapes of 1964 are workers seemingly in harmony with the land, often shown in profile or rearview, a non-intrusive mode often adopted by Clarke."2

1Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin (2011) Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke, Johannesburg: Standard Bank of South Africa, page 105.
2Ibid, page 106.

Provenance

Mr and Mrs Himan (Himie) Bernadt, Cape Town.

Mr Abram Kesler, Cape Town, the current owner's uncle, and thence by descent.

Mr Himan Bernadt, a prominent attorney who protected Nelson Mandela from the vicious prison regime on Robben Island, supported young and upcoming artists at the time, including Peter Clarke. Mr Abram Kesler, the current owner's uncle, and Mr Bernadt were great friends.

View all Peter Clarke lots for sale in this auction



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