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Four masterclasses on art and collecting during Art Month at Welgemeend

  26 July 2018     Archived

Art Month at Welgemeend is an important event on Cape Town’s winter arts calendar that every year features a harvest of artistic talent drawn from collectors Frank and Lizelle Kilbourn’s personal collection. This year’s exhibition, Shifting Boundaries: A Selection of Works showcasing South African Women Artists of the Past 100 Years, highlights how successive generations of women artists have been at the vanguard of South African art.

Penny Siopis
Gravity's Wave

Strauss & Co, Frank and Lizelle Kilbourn, The Friends of Welgemeend, Delaire Graff and others, are once again collaborating to preserve the historic home of Welgemeend and its collections and have come up with an exciting social and educational programme.

Strauss & Co is delighted to announce that Penny Siopis, one of South Africa’s foremost painters, has agreed to lead a masterclass on Saturday, 4 August at 11am. The presentation will focus on the role of colour, materiality and process in her recent work. Attendees will be able to view Hunting and Nature Scene, an important pastel triptych created by Siopis in the 1980s.

Shifting Boundaries features a treasure trove of over 80 works by more than 60 artists. The exhibition covers three pivotal periods over the last century and includes work by pioneer modernists like Cecil Higgs, Maggie Laubser, Maud Sumner and Irma Stern, mid-century trailblazers Nel Erasmus, Esther Mahlangu and Cecily Sash, and respected contemporary artists like Jane Alexander, Deborah Bell, Marlene Dumas, Helen Sebidi, Mary Sibande, Diane Victor and Sue Williamson.

Lizelle Kilbourn, who is a practising attorney, will talk about her interests and aspirations as a collector with art critic Amanda Botha on Saturday, 18 August at 9.30am. This masterclass will demystify art collecting and connoisseurship, and is an opportunity for an interested public to discuss art appreciation and evaluation with this devoted collector.

Art Month at Welgemeend’s masterclass programme kicks off on Thursday, 2 August at 5.30pm with a presentation by Strauss & Co senior specialist Wilhelm van Rensburg on Irma Stern’s still lifes. Van Rensburg recently curated the exhibition Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, a showcase of 17 Stern still lifes in Strauss & Co’s booth at the 2018 RMB Turbine Art Fair. The exhibition was the biggest public exhibition of Stern’s still lifes since 2003.

Stern produced many still-lifes throughout her career. These genre compositions enabled her to refine her expressionistic use of colour and dynamic detailing of objects. Shifting Boundaries includes the gouache Still Life with Poppies and Fruit (1935). The masterclass is an opportunity to discuss this work with Van Rensburg, who also curated the 2003 exhibition Irma Stern: Expressions of a Journey at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.

The masterclass programme will conclude with an insightful look at the art auction business by Strauss & Co’s joint managing directors, Vanessa Phillips and Bina Genovese. This masterclass will offer a behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of Strauss & Co, South Africa’s leading auction house.

All four masterclass events are individually ticketed with proceeds in aid of the restoration and conservation of Welgemeend and its historical collection of earlier 20th-century masterpieces formerly owned by Afrikaans poet and scholar Izak Wilhelmus “Boerneef” van der Merwe (1897–1967).

Art Month at Welgemeend commences on 1 August with a fundraising gala dinner. Strauss & Co will hold valuation days on Friday 3 and Saturday, 4 August. Booking is essential.

Please consult the programme for a detailed schedule of viewing times and events.

Tickets available online at

Enquiries: | Tel 060 563 2822


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