8 October 2018 Archived
Strauss & Co, South Africa’s leading auction house, is honoured to present 20 works in various media from the Namibia-based collection of the Late Peter and Regina Strack. The sale, which includes three rare Adolph Jentsch oils and a major Fritz Krampe oil, will be offered in a dedicated segment at the auction house’s forthcoming sale in Cape Town on 15 October.
German-born Peter Strack immigrated to Namibia in 1950 and was a partner in the architectural firm Stauch & Partners. He began honing his skills as an artist and collector under the tutelage of painter Adolph Jentsch. The collection he assembled with his wife, Regina, is striking for its focus on earlier 20th-century Namibian artists such as Jentsch and Krampe, also Axel Eriksson and Carl Ossmann.
Dresden-born Jentsch, who moved to Namibia in 1938, is a key figure in the art history of his adopted country. His masterful landscapes are imbued with a spiritual calm. Jentsch’s work has been a fixture of South African auctions. In November 2017, Strauss & Co sold an oil on canvas from 1940 painted near the Swakop River for R1.6 million.
Collectors esteem Jentsch’s oils, in part due to their rarity. In 1975, a disastrous fire at a farm owned by Gebhard and Dorothee von Funcke, where the artist stored many of his prized works, destroyed much of his output, which the artist only reluctantly traded.
The Strack Collection includes three oils, one of them, Schafrevier (estimate R500 000 – 700 000), bequeathed by Dorothee von Funcke to the Stracks. Painted in Jentsch’s muted colour palette, the work depicts the Schaf River near Windhoek.
“This serene work highlights the importance of quality and provenance as the cornerstone of building a successful collection,” says Kirsty Colledge, a senior art specialist at Strauss & Co who handled the consignment of the Strack Collection.
The other oil works on offer are Vlei on Farm Teufelsbach (estimate R600 000 – 800 000), an unusually verdant view of the Otjihavera River, and Ibenstein, SW Afrika (estimate R600 000 – 700 000), a masterfully achieved night scene in grey that was purchased from the artist’s estate by Peter Strack in 1983.
The Strack Collection consignment also includes a Jentsch acrylic titled Schafrivier Ufer (estimate R200 000 – 300 000) that was exhibited at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, in 1969. Arid Landscape with Trees (estimate R5 000 – 7 000) is one of four watercolours on offer and was gifted to the Stracks by Dorothee von Funcke.
The Fritz Krampe offerings are no less auspicious and include one of this Berlin-born artist’s major works, a double-sided oil on canvas from 1958, Village Scene with Woman smoking Pipe/ Fishing Boat (estimate R250 000 – 350 000). This work is a deviation from Krampe’s usual animal studies and depicts an East African village and its occupants.
Krampe’s Cattle Frieze from 1959 (R200 000 – 300 000) is a preliminary study for the artist’s acclaimed 10-meter long Otjitambi Frieze. The frieze and preliminary works are extensively discussed in Timeless Encounters, a 2007 book on Krampe authored by Peter Strack. (In 2003 Strack also published a book on Jentsch.)
Peter Strack’s work as an artist is also acknowledged in the Strauss & Co sale, which features two undated sculptural pieces made with palm wood. The Strack Collection offering further includes pieces by South African artists, notably Alexis Preller’s Pondo Girl (estimate R80 000 – 120 000), an early charcoal drawing from 1938.
The Strack Collection offers an opportunity to reflect on the kinship between Namibian and South African landscape painters. In 1923, South African J.H. Pierneef visited Namibia, then a protectorate of its southern neighbour. Pierneef exhibited in Windhoek and met with local artists like Axel Eriksson, whose Kleine Spitzkoppe from 1921 (estimate R30 000 – 40 000) shares many affinities with his South African contemporary’s rapturous mountain studies.
The sale of the Strack Collection (lots 514 to 533) takes place on Monday 15 October at 7pm, in the evening sale at the Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town.
Press enquiries: Bina Genovese, firstname.lastname@example.org
Important South African & International Art, Decorative Arts & Jewellery
including Paintings from the Labia Family Collection and the Late Peter and Regina Strack Collection
Monday 15 October 2018
10.30am: Session One (Lots 1-200)
2.00pm: Session Two (Lots 201-330)
4.00pm: Session Three (Lots 331-490)
7.00pm: Session Four (Lots 491-621)
The Vineyard Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town, Colinton Road (off Protea Road)
GPS Co-ordinates: S 33° 58’ 44.6” E 18° 27’ 31.1”
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Friday 12 October at 12 noon – Decorative Arts Highlights
Saturday 13 October at 2.30pm – The Power of Provenance
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About Strauss & Co:
Strauss & Co is South Africa’s leading auction house and the global leader for South African art. It was founded in 2009 by a consortium of business leaders and industry experts, including the late auctioneer Stephan Welz, Elisabeth Bradley, Dr Conrad Strauss, Vanessa Phillips, Ann Palmer and Bina Genovese. Frank Kilbourn, a respected entrepreneur, philanthropist and art collector, was appointed Executive Chairperson in 2016. Strauss & Co has the highest market share amongst the four leading auction houses specialising in South African art globally. In 2017 the company’s turnover totalled R329 million – a sum unrivalled by any auction house dealing in South African art in a single year. Strauss & Co annually holds five live auctions, three in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg, and up to eight online-only auctions. Strauss & Co was awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Premier Award at the 2018 annual BASA Awards for its sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.
Strauss & Co Board of Directors: Frank Kilbourn (Executive Chairperson), Vanessa Phillips and Bina Genovese (Joint MDs), Elisabeth Bradley, Dr Conrad Strauss, Caro Wiese, Carmen Welz, Susie Goodman