1 June 2017 *Archived
On Monday night a previously unseen painting by JH Pieneef, Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch, will go under the hammer at Strauss & Co's June auction at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg.
Painted in 1928 as a precursor to his Stellenbosch panel (which forms part of his famous Station Panels, originally installed at the Johannesburg Railway Station), the work, estimated to fetch between R6 000 000 and R8 000 000, marks the beginning of Pierneef's most celebrated period of 'discovery and mastery'.
Collectors with a taste for Pierneef should also look out for lots 220, 228, 232 and 233 which feature painted variations on the landscape theme with Extensive Landscape with Mountains (lot 228) estimated at between R500 000 - R700 000, standing out as an example of supreme technical proficiency.
Other highlights of this mammoth sale include a 4 meter long carved kist (lot 254) and accompanying tapestry (lot 253) by Cecil Skotnes, originally commissioned for the President Hotel in Johannesburg. Woven by Marguerite Stephens, the tapestry is estimated to fetch between R200 000 - R300 000, whilst the kist carries a low estimate of R500 000 and a high of R700 000.
The darling of the secondary market, Irma Stern, is also featured on the sale with an enigmatic portrait in oil titled Malay Woman (lot 216), estimated to fetch between R3 000 000 - R4 000 000. On the back of strong performances by Alexis Preller at previous Strauss & Co auctions, is lot 238 titled Still Life with Thangka and Pomegranates, estimated to fetch between R4 000 000 - R5 000 000.
Photography lovers should take note of lot 288 that features ten black and white prints from Billy Monk's Catacombs Series taken in Cape Town in the early 1960s, with an estimate of R80 000 - 120 000. Another photographic portfolio (lot 260) comprising 41 prints by Greg Marinovich and titled Dead Zone, estimated at between R250 000 and R350 000, will be sure to attract vigorous bidding.
Those with an eye for the contemporary must look out for William Kentridge's epic scaled charcoal drawing Untitled Drawing towards Responsible Hedonism (lot 265) dated 1988 and estimated between R3 500 000 and R5 000 000. Collectors of Robert Hodgins will also be spoilt for choice with a total of six lots set to go under the hammer, with Dancer and her Admirer (lot 290) standing out at a low estimate of R500 000.
Should one be looking for notable examples of contemporary painting, Penny Siopis and Johannes Phokela offer some of the most cutting edge work available on auction. Titled Allsorts and carrying a low estimate of R300 000, lot 264 features an early example of Siopis painted in 1986 which references her seminal work Melancholia that saw her win the Atelier award and subsequently take up residence in Paris for six months. Finally, in a contemporary nod to history, is Phokela's Ghost of Maximillian, painted in reference to Edouard Manet's The Execution of Maximillian (1867) and estimated to fetch between R80 000 and R120 000.
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