Fine Art & Collectables Auction:
21- 22 April
at Stephan Welz and Co., Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton
Viewing: 15 – 20 April (10:00 – 17:00)
Lot 525: William Joseph Kentridge (South African 1955-), DRAWING FOR HOT[E]L, 1997/1998. Estimated: R 700 000 – 900 000
Sekoto, Street Art and Surrealism:
With works from the great Gerard Sekoto, satirical street artist Banksy and left-wing Romanian painter Jules Perahim, you could say that ‘diversity’ is the operative word for the collection of quality artworks to be auctioned at the Stephan Welz & Co. Fine Arts and Collectable Sale in Johannesburg on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 April.
‘The Donkey Cart/The Water Boy’ is an early Sekoto work which was painted around 1940. It was exhibited at Johannesburg Art Gallery’s first retrospective on the artist (1989 – 1990) and has an estimated value of R1,4 – R1,8 million. Other classic South African works on offer include Pierneef’s ‘Rustenburg Kloof’, valued at R1.2 – R1.6 million, and two Alexis Preller works valued at R100 000 – R150 000 each.
From Europe to Johannesburg:
Collectors of international art need look no further than Johannesburg to add to their collections. For the first time, Stephan Welz & Co. will be offering works from Paul Klee and Jules Perahim. Born in 1879, Swiss German painter Paul Klee became involved with the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), founded by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Klee’s ‘Four Drawings’ is valued at R100 000 – R150 000.
Jules Perahim was a leading member of the Surrealist group in Bucharest. When race laws were enacted in 1940 and Perahim was threatened because of his left-wing sympathies, he fled to the Soviet Union. There he was sent on to the Caucasus and Armenia, where he had to perform unskilled labour. After his return to Bucharest in 1944, he devoted himself to Socialist Realism, book illustrations and theatrical set designs. ‘Amitie Par Mimetisme’, valued at R50 000 – R80 000, is an intriguing surreal work by the artist.
Satirical British street and graffiti artist, Banksy provides a more contemporary edgy work to the sale. “Like most of this elusive artist’s work, it’s a piece that really speaks for itself,” said Imre Lamprecht. ‘Think Tank’ has an estimated value of R160 000 –R200 000. Last year, Stephan Welz & Co. auctioned the first ever Banksy in South Africa for R200 000 and this work is only the second work by the artist to go on auction locally.
Up with Braamfontein:
Part of this auction will be a charity benefit. In an effort to uplift Braamfontein and developing artists, Kalashnikovv Gallery has started Creative Projects, an in-house art fund aimed at providing capital for public artworks, workshops and exhibitions by emerging artists. Twenty-seven artworks have been donated by the gallery’s exhibiting artists– all money raised from these works will go towards the fund. These works include pieces from relatively unknown artists to well-known names such as Maja Malevich, Jessica Webster, Craig Smith, Zwelethu Machepa, Bevan De Wet and MJ Turpin.
More Contemporary South African:
With local and international interest in South African contemporary art continuing to grow, Stephan Welz & Co. is now regularly offering a greater range of late 20th century and early 21st century works, many of which are now just coming on the secondary market.
William Kentridge’s films owe their distinctive appearance to the artist’s home-made animation technique, which he describes as “stone-age filmmaking.” On offer is ‘Drawing for HOT[E]L’ , a rare and unusual drawing/collage for the 1997 film of the same name, which was a collaboration with artists Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins. The value of the work has been estimated at R700 000 – R900 000.
Also on offer by Hodgins is an early work titled ‘Family Group Portrait’ The painting, which is signed and dated 1988-89 on the reverse, has been estimated at R200 000 – R300 000. ‘The Unswept Floor’ is a painting by Matthew Hindley. According to art critic and lecturer Lloyd Pollack, “Traditional paintings of recumbent women are lusciously indulgent visual poetry, whereas Hindley subverts the genre. The artist strips the setting of luxury and ease, and envelops the model in a problematic atmosphere of tension and mystery.” The artwork has an estimated value of R80 000 – R120 000.
No matter how one feels about his style, Vladimir Tretchikoff has been one of South Africa’s most popular artists of the last few decades. Stephan Welz & Co. will be offering his ‘Ndebele Warrior’, valued at R600 000 – R900 000. The sale of Tretchikoff’s most recognized painting, ‘Miss Wong’, for R3,5 million at a Stephan Welz & Co. Decorative and Fine Arts Auction in 2013 set a South African record for highest price fetched on auction by a Tretchikoff work. The previous record, also set by the auction house in 2008, was for the sale of ‘Fruits of Bali’ for a phenomenal R3,4 million, nearly 12 times the painting’s estimate, kick-starting local and international interest in Tretchikoff, resulting in skyrocketing values of the artist’s work.