Live Auction, 7 October 2019
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About this Item
“The ubiquitous circle shape, or orb-like form, characterises much of Christo Coetzee’s Neo-Baroque work of the early 1960s. The circle (clearly evident in the present lot) is the symbol of perfection, of a completely closed unity. It symbolises the very source of energy and the dynamics of a flowing, continuous creation of infinite shapes and forms. The circle evokes not only cosmic philosophies, but also planetary constellations and space travel. Coetzee had always been fascinated by the dynamics of spatial projection – the sun, the moon, the whirling planets, the astral emancipation of space travel.”1 Coetzee could well have first encountered this kind of use of the circle when he studied at the Gutai Art Association in Japan in 1959/60. The founder of the association, Jiro Yoshihara, is best known for his use of an ethereal circular shape, executed in one deft broad brush stroke, on large-scale picture planes, which must have made a lasting impression on Coetzee.
1. Wilhelm van Rensburg (2018) The Safest Place is the Knife’s Edge: Christo Coetzee (1929–2000). Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery, page 99.
Acquired from the artist by the current owner's mother.
Pretoria Art Museum, Arcadia Park, Pretoria, Christo Coetzee, 1 December 1965 to 2 January 1966, catalogue number 39.