Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Timed Online Auction, 13 - 28 February 2023

Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Including Property of Collectors and The Harry Kantor Collection.

Harry Kantor (1934-2019), a Capetonian, moved to Harare in the late 1950s. He supported local art institutions such as the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and Gallery Delta, serving as Chairman of both institutions. He promoted Zimbabwe's artists globally and amassed over 300 works, including European and indigenous African painters, Victorian and Chinese pieces. His collection includes significant roots of early Zimbabwean painting. Five paintings from his collection are on display at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts' exhibition "When We See Us", featuring African figurative art.

Lots 51-62 can be viewed on our current Timed Online Auction, and lot 75 in our Curatorial Voices Auction, both taking place on the 28th of February.


Sold for

ZAR 49 245
Lot 35
  • Cecil Skotnes; Cat
  • Cecil Skotnes; Cat
  • Cecil Skotnes; Cat


Lot Estimate
ZAR 30 000 - 40 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 49 245

About this Item

South African 1926-2009
Cat
1960

signed in pencil in the margin

colour woodblock on paper
image size: 40 by 72cm; sheet size: 51 by 76,5cm; 64 by 95cm including frame

Notes

In Pippa Skotnes' monograph on her father's work titled At the Cutting Edge: Cecil Skotnes as Printmaker she talks about the origins of Cat: "The image I remember most clearly from my early childhood...was a large cat, roughly cut in wood and printed by hand...It was apparently a portrait of a friend's one-eyed cat which hunted for its dinner and gave its name to my own, more gentle pet, Kotchka."1

1. Frieda Harmsen (ed) (1996) Cecil Skotnes, exhibition catalogue, Cape Town: South African National Gallery, page 84.

Known as an artist, mentor, and teacher, Cecil Skotnes believed in nurturing talent and encouraging creativity. Born in East London, the son of Norwegian missionaries, Skotnes studied Fine Arts at Wits University after WWII. In 1952, he was employed to run the Polly Street recreation centre, which became the only art school available to black students in South Africa; training Sydney Kumalo and Ephraim Ngatane, among others. Encouraged by friend and mentor Egon Guenther, Skotnes turned his hand to woodcarving and produced many ground-breaking coloured carved panels and woodcut prints, often with images of neglected South African histories. He carried out significant public commissions, sometimes in collaboration with other artists such as Sydney Kumalo. Skotnes is remembered for his artistic innovation and major contribution to the diversity of South African art.

Provenance

Strauss & Co, Online, 11 June 2018, lot 15.

Property of Collectors.

Literature

Frieda Harmsen (ed) (1996) Cecil Skotnes, exhibition catalogue, Cape Town: South African National Gallery, another example of the edition is illustrated in black and white on page 84.

Elza Miles (2004) Polly Street: The Story of an Art Centre, The Ampersand Foundation, another example of the edition is illustrated on page 106, figure 125.

View all Cecil Skotnes lots for sale in this auction



Other lots that might interest you
Walter Oltmann; Cricket
Walter Oltmann
Cricket
ZAR 3 000 - 5 000
Pierre Fouché; Portrait of Guy Nardy
Pierre Fouché
Portrait of Guy Nardy
ZAR 2 000 - 3 000
William Kentridge; Why Should I Hesitate Putting Drawings to Work, exhibition poster I
William Kentridge
Why Should I Hesitate Putting Drawings to Work, exhibition poster I
ZAR 8 000 - 12 000
Walter Battiss; Curiosity Birds
Walter Battiss
Curiosity Birds
ZAR 8 000 - 12 000
Norman Catherine; Wolfman
Norman Catherine
Wolfman
ZAR 2 000 - 3 000
Cecil Skotnes; The Island of Death, Baudelaire's Voyage series
Cecil Skotnes
The Island of Death, Baudelaire's Voyage series
ZAR 2 000 - 3 000