Live Auction, 7 October 2019

Sold for

R 113 800
Lot 647
Kevin Atkinson; Waves and Squares
  • Kevin Atkinson; Waves and Squares
  • Kevin Atkinson; Waves and Squares

Lot Estimate
R 120 000 - 160 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 113 800

About this Item

South African 1939-2007
Waves and Squares
acrylic on canvas
152,5 by 152,5cm excluding frame


Accompanied by a copy of Sotheby Parke Bernet, South Africa, 2 May 1984 catalogue.


“From the 1960s until the early 1970s, Kevin Atkinson’s restless sense of experiment saw him produce a varied body of work that was mainly concerned with then optical effects of light, colour and form. Hard Edge painting, kinetic light boxes and ‘environmental’ paintings, largely in the form of mural commissions, were evidence of his then-concern with technology and optical and retinal effects”.1

As a testament to this Atkinson helped establish the Cape Town Graphic Workshop in 1970, shortly before accepting a lecturing post in design at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at The University of Cape Town in 1972. In the accompanying photograph he can be seen with fellow artist Walter Battiss (who had acquired the present lot) in a studio at Michaelis, engaged in discussion.

As Esmé Berman writes, Atkinson was “a particularly alert and articulate human being, whose lively mind (was) receptive and responsive to contemporary ideas. He is profoundly conscious of the role of science in present-day existence and believes that study of the natural laws known to scientists should be incorporated in the basic training of artists”. 2

  1. Hayden Proud (2016) Reopening Plato’s Cave: The Legacy of Kevin Atkinson. Cape Town, SMAC Gallery, page 4.
  2. Esmé Berman (1983) Art and Artists of South Africa, Cape Town: AA Balkema, page 50.


Collection of Prof. Walter Battiss.

Sotheby Parke Bernet, South Africa, 2 May 1984, lot 334.

Private Collection.

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