Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine

Live Virtual Auction, 8 - 11 November 2020

Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art Part II
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych
  • Alexis Preller; Iliad, triptych


Lot Estimate
ZAR 450 000 - 550 000

About this Item

South African 1911-1975
Iliad, triptych

each signed and dated '68; each inscribed with the artist's name and the title on a Pretoria Art Museum Alexis Preller Retrospective label adhered to the reverse

oil and gold leaf on board
1) 12 by 12,5cm excluding frame; 37 by 32 by 2cm including frame; 2) 12,5 by 11cm excluding frame; 37,5 by 30,5 by 2cm including frame; 3) 13,5 by 11,5cm excluding frame; 38,5 by 31 by 2,5cm including frame;

Notes

Alexis Preller owned a much-loved volume of the epic tales of Greek mythology from childhood and his work references these exciting narratives throughout his life. This series of three, small, jewel-like works, is named after Homer’s ancient Greek epic poem, The Iliad, which tells of the adventures of the kings, warriors, gods and heroes of the Trojan War. The city of Troy, under King Priam, is besieged by the Greek army commanded by Agamemnon, and the epic poem is a chaotic melee of pitched battles, bloodshed, bravery, plague, treachery, betrayal, fickle gods, feats of heroism on the part of the famed Greek warrior Achilles and the valiant Hector, Prince of Troy, and perfidy on the part of weak Paris, Hector’s brother. Preller’s panels are all but abstract – there is a fragment of a war horse in the right-hand-panel and the suggestion of a swishing tale and rump of a horse in the left. But this perhaps conveys the sense of the conflict better than more representational means, which might show little more than a single event, a moment frozen in time. Instead, the accent colours that Preller uses – his favourite turquoise, perhaps standing here for both the ocean and the realm of the gods (for paradise in near-Eastern belief systems), and his much-used coral red, perhaps referencing the burning Greek ships set alight by the Trojans, the watchfires of the Greek soldiers’ encampments on the plain outside the city walls, and the blood and gore of the seemingly interminable battles and gruesome deaths – evoke more completely the heat, dust, sweat and noise that the epic poem narrates.

Exhibited

Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, Alexis Preller Retrospective, 24 October – 26 November 1972.

Literature

Esmé Berman (1972) Alexis Preller Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Pretoria: Pretoria Art Museum, illustrated in black and white on page 38 as figure 141a, c and c.

View all Alexis Preller lots for sale in this auction



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