Line | Colour | Shape | Form

Timed Online Auction, 17 - 27 November 2023

  • Robert Slingsby; WP Rugby
  • Robert Slingsby; WP Rugby
  • Robert Slingsby; WP Rugby

Lot Estimate
ZAR 10 000 - 15 000
VAT is charged on both hammer & premium for daggered lots

About this Item

South African 1955-
WP Rugby

signed and dated 1983

oil and chalk pastel on Arches cotton rag paper
70,5 by 51,5cm excluding frame; 104 by 81,5 by 2,5cm including frame


Lot 213 and Lot 215 were showcased in a solo exhibition at the Gowlett Gallery in Cape Town in 1983. All the paintings featured in this exhibition utilized sporting references as symbols of inequality. These activities, associated with the privileged, served to underscore their parallel world of privilege in the midst of unspeakable suffering, seemingly oblivious to the pain and poverty experienced by most South Africans.

During the early 1980s, contemporary art galleries were relatively scarce. The Gowlett Gallery stood out as one of the prominent art venues in Cape Town, boasting a sizable modern space. It featured exhibitions by renowned artists such as Norman Catherine and Sue Williamson. Interestingly, Thelma Skotnes, Cecil's wife, worked there.

Slingsby returned to South Africa in 1981 after spending five years studying at the Vrije Akademie in Holland. Throughout this period, his art consistently conveyed overt anti-apartheid, political, and social commentary. While this was tolerated in anti-apartheid Holland, the South African art scene lagged behind due to restricted freedom of expression and censorship. Derek Gowlett, the director of the Gowlett Gallery, was one of the leaders in providing a platform for exhibiting art that skirted the boundaries of potential suppression or censorship.

Thanks to Janis Slingsby for the cataloguing of this lot.


Gowlett Gallery, Cape Town, Solo Exhibition, 1983.

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