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Seminal works from Jane Alexander's masters show destined for auction

  30 October 2013     Archived

The November 11th 2013 Strauss & Co Evening Sale of South African and International Art promises to be a landmark moment for contemporary art in the context of a South African auction.

Jane Alexander’s Untitled, pre-sale estimate R2 000 000 – 3 000 000, and West Coast African Angel pre-sale estimate, R600 000 – 900 000, are scheduled for this sale. Credited by the jurors of the 2002 DaimlerChrysler Award to giving “form to the fragility of a multi-cultural society”, Alexander’s work incorporates “exquisite and excruciating details that compel, invade, disturb and complicate perceptions”. Bought directly from Alexander’s Masters Show, these masterworks languished in relative obscurity until now.

“It is a privilege to be dealing with works of such consummate quality and historical importance,” says Ruarc Peffers, Senior Painting Specialist at Strauss & Co.

Completed as part of Alexander’s 1988 Masters in Fine Arts degree show, Untitled is the companion work to her seminal Butcher Boys, widely considered the most popular acquisition in the Iziko National Gallery’s collection in Cape Town. Humanoid in form, the figure’s gaze challenges whilst the viewer is made painfully aware of the diseased state of his flesh – large livid patches offset by his chalk-white cadaveric flesh. Like the Butcher Boys, this work underpins the brutal dehumanised forces of Apartheid South Africa.

West Coast African Angel depicts a child-sized figure transposed with the head of a flamingo and wings of a goose. The lurid pink legs of the figure and its petite form in no way compromises the duality of the piece – rather its size demands closer inspection thus drawing you further into its personal story.

“To own these works immediately positions the buyer alongside the very top public collections in the world and the rare opportunity to transform a collection to an unparalleled level of greatness,” Phillippa Duncan, Senior Painting Specialist at Strauss & Co.

The auction is scheduled for 11 November at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg. For further enquiries please contact 011-728-8246.


Media enquiries
Bina Genovese (083 680 9944 /

See auction details below
Important South African and International Art

Monday 11 November 2013
4 pm Day Sale
8 pm Evening Sale

The Wanderers Club Ballroom, 21 North Street, Illovo, Johannesburg

Friday 8 November to Sunday 10 November from 10 am to 5 pm

Sunday 10 November at 11 am

Enquiries and catalogues office: +27 (0) 11 728 8246 Fax: +27 (0) 11 728 8247

Contact numbers during viewing and auction
Mobile +27 (0) 79 407 5140 and +27 (0) 79 367 0637 Fax: +27 (0) 11 728 8247 i

Illustrated catalogue R150.00

2013 Press Archive

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