Important South African and International Art

Live Auction, 7 November 2016

Evening Sale

Sold for

ZAR 65 935
Lot 278
  • Karel Nel; Edge Piece

Lot Estimate
ZAR 60 000 - 80 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 65 935

About this Item

South African 1955-
Edge Piece
bronze and steel
width: 52cm


Karel Nel has made a number of large and important site specific sculptures such as Trembling Field (2010) at Circa, Reflective Field (2011) on Water, the [Delicate] Thread of Life exhibition in 2011, and Forest Veil (2014) on the the exhibition Exact Imagination, both at Standard Bank Gallery. This rare, early small bronze and steel sculpture, entitled Edge Piece, was awarded the national Afrox Metalart Award in 1977 in the student category. At the time Nel was majoring in sculpture in the Wits Fine Arts Department under Neels Coetzee and Malcolm Payne.

The constructed aesthetic of Edge Piece and its conceptual engagement with the relationship of sculpture to base, and the base’s relationship to the surface it was placed on, was significant. These concerns in the genesis of the sculpture related it to the work of internationally renowned steel sculptor, Anthony Caro. This led in the following year,1978, to Nel going to study under Caro at one of the most famous sculpture schools at the time, St Martin’s School of Art, London. That same year Nel was awarded the overall Afrox Metalart award in the open category back in South Africa. The second award-winning work was illustrated in Berman's enlarged edition of Art and Artist's in South Africa, which included sculpture for the first time. The work had evolved directly from Edge Piece.

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