Property of a Johannesburg Book Designer

Online-Only Auction, 1 - 8 March 2021

Property of a Johannesburg Book Designer
  • Joni Brenner; Ground (Al)
  • Joni Brenner; Ground (Al)
  • Joni Brenner; Ground (Al)
  • Joni Brenner; Ground (Al)
  • Joni Brenner; Ground (Al)

Lot Estimate
ZAR 15 000 - 20 000

About this Item

Zimbabwean/South African 1969-
Ground (Al)

signed with the artist's initials and dated 2000 on the reverse

oil and metal shavings on canvas with aluminium-clad shelf and sheet of glass
38,5cm including base; width: 38cm; depth: 8cm


The present lot and lot 157 are two small portraits. Their titles, Ground (Cu) and Ground (Al), refer to the dissolution of the traditional figure-ground relationship that would ordinarily foreground the figure, or sitter in the case of portraiture. In these portraits, the material surface shifts and slips between giving shape to an image of the sitter and denying any such definition, asserting the paint and mineral surface as the viewing ground. The tension between figure and ground and the interplay between them also alludes to the polarities in portraiture between life-like representation and post-death commemoration, of physical body reduced to dust. These two works are both portraits of Wilson Mootane. Two other paintings from the artist's Infra-red exhibition at the Gertrude Posel Gallery in 2002, also using metal shavings, are in the Johannesburg Art Gallery collection.


Standard Bank Gallery, No. 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Wits staff group exhibition, 2001.

Everard Read, group exhibition, 2008.

View all Joni Brenner lots for sale in this auction

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