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Impact of Modernism Demonstrated in Seminal Painting

  3 January 2013     Archived

This exceptional painting by one of South Africas most sought-after artists is made all the more rare by the fact that Wolf Kibels career was cut short in 1938 due to ill health. Like Pinkers "Castagniers", estimated at R30 000 40 000 and finally sold for R105 830 after fierce bidding at Strauss & Cos October 2010 sale, this is a key work in South African art history and belongs in a major public or serious private collection.


Houses with Red Roofs evokes the paintings produced by Cézanne, Braque and Picasso in L’Estaque, in the south of France, which were to become the cornerstones of early Analytical Cubism. In these paintings, the landscape and houses are treated alike as flat planes to be articulated across the canvas, the better to emphasise the flatness of the picture plane and art’s independence from perceived reality.

While Kibel demonstrates his awareness of these proto-Cubist developments, his painting is infused with emotion that imbues the houses with life and conveys passion through the swirling movement of the trees. Such a seminal painting that so clearly demonstrates the impact of Modernism on South African art, re-confirms what connoisseurs know – that Wolf Kibel is a major artist.

Text by Emma Bedford, Senior Paintings Specialist

Lot 505
Wolf Kibel
Houses with Red Roofs
Oil on canvas laid down on board
29,5 x 44,5cm
R300 000 – 400 000

2013 Press Archive

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