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Live Virtual Auction, 8 - 11 November 2020

The Tasso Foundation Collection
  • Walter Battiss; Township
  • Walter Battiss; Township
  • Walter Battiss; Township
  • Walter Battiss; Township
  • Walter Battiss; Township

Lot Estimate
ZAR 200 000 - 300 000

About this Item

South African 1906-1982


oil on board
39 by 49cm excluding frame; 47,5 by 58 by 3,5cm including frame


An adaptable painter with a gregarious outlook, Walter Battiss emphasised the plural over the singular. His canvases often teem with organic life presented in multiple. Typically these abundant scenes either describe places observed during the artist’s travels, be it an Ndebele or Congolese village or marketplace in Seychelles, or else propose a mythical space of commonality of animal and human life, as in Symbol of Life (1967) owned by the Pretoria Art Museum. This lot falls into the former category, describing places seen, and forms part of a small subset of Battiss paintings focusing on townships. Eschewing the social realism of his contemporaries, in particular Pemba, Sekoto or Sihlali, Battiss portrays the township in similarly romantic terms as his rural villages. The artist’s energetic handling of form, colour and texture in this lot is typical. Battiss often applied thick paint treatments using brush and palette knife. The variegated surface he achieved through this technique here enables him to evoke abstractedly a congested urban habitat with the minimum of detailing.


Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 13 October 2014, lot 635.

The Tasso Foundation Collection of Important South African Art assembled by the Late Giulio Bertrand of Morgenster Estate.

View all Walter Battiss lots for sale in this auction

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