Cape Town Office
The yellow hillside, blue and mauve mountains, and rising clouds in the middle and background areas of the present lot are juxtaposed in the foreground by an energised pattern of geometrically stylised camelthorn trees, a popular motif of Pierneef’s. This ascending composition is contained under the camelthorns’ interlocked canopies. The four horizontal colour fields overlaid by the camelthorn trees give this painting its dynamism and strength.
The origins of this simplified and stylised geometry noticeable in the camelthorn trees can be traced to the artist's linocuts produced in the 1930s. Trees were an integral part of his ordered and balanced compositions.
“For Pierneef too a tree was often much more than just a tree. The leadwood tree was a symbol of eternity for him. ‘I like the hardekool tree, it stands forever,’ he once said to the painter Zakkie Eloff. And for him the stately camelthorn symbolised the bushveld”.1