Important South African and International Art

Live Auction, 4 June 2018

Session One

Sold for

ZAR 79 660
Lot 121
  • Cecily Sash; Diagonal Drama

Lot Estimate
ZAR 70 000 - 100 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 79 660

About this Item

South African 1924-2019
Diagonal Drama
signed and dated 84; inscribed with the artist's name, the date and the title on a Karen McKerron gallery label on the reverse
oil on canvas
89 by 89cm excluding frame


Cecily Sash resided in South Africa until 1974, thereafter in Herefordshire, England. In 1983 Sash commenced work on a sequence of brightly coloured abstract paintings that began as an exercise in organising pictorial space, and culminated in a series of paintings called Envelopes. With this body of work Sash aimed to achieve maximum spatial tension by using diagonal lines to divide the format. All three works presented on this auction, Diagonal Drama (1984), Abstract (1984), and Chalice (1985), form part of her Envelope series. She developed these works by manipulating triangles based on the back of the uncomplicated envelope-like composition. The diagonal cross provides the basic structural prop onto which a range of associated properties could be projected. It is as if Sash folded, bent, tucked and wrapped her forms into what became new shapes and forms. These in turn began to suggest other imaginative qualities, as if she were playing with the envelope metaphorically to wrap up her own personal time past. Sash devoted her life to teaching in South Africa and England, most notably as a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she began teaching art and design part time in 1955, becoming a full-time lecturer from 1960 until her departure for England. In 1963 she became a founder member of the Amadlozi Group. 


See Charles MacCarthy (ed.) (2013). Cecily Sash, Artist and Teacher, Presteigne, United Kingdom: Studio Sash. Page 37–8.

View all Cecily Sash lots for sale in this auction

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