Lot 1022 William Joseph Kentridge | THE DOVE
Kentridge’s artwork is thematically concerned with exploring the human condition, the role of vulnerability, the socio-political landscape of South Africa both during Apartheid and post-apartheid and colonialism. He grew up in a family of anti-apartheid activists and his father, Sydney Kentridge, was a renowned anti-apartheid lawyer hence the influence shown in his art.
He is known for using a multitude of mediums such as printmaking, drawing, painting, animation, sculpture, and performance art. This versatility aids the notion of Kentridge being one of the most prolific contemporary artists to this day.
Kentridge’s most recognizable stylistic artistic elements are his use of charcoal and ink on paper and printmaking. He has used these mediums to create animated films, often drawing and erasing images to create a sense of movement and evolution. His films and artworks often incorporate historical references, political commentaries and personal inuendo, creating a rich and complex narrative that reflects the nuanced and complex socio-political landscape that is South Africa.
Kentridge has specifically chosen the medium of printmaking as it aids his artistic and thematical process. He often combines his printmaking technique with other mediums creating a complex and layered composition. The layering process of prints is the most significant element of printmaking for Kentridge as it gives him the room to adjust and temper each artwork through various stages.
The versatility of his artwork and undeniably recognizable artistic style is what makes Kentridge one of South Africa’s most renowned artists.
Lot 1033 Andrzej Urbanski | A060 07/08/15, FREQUENCY 2 SERIES
Andrzej Urbanski employs the unconventional medium of spray paint in his paintings to produce intense colour palettes and compositions imbued with a sense of raw energy. The smooth, flat colour fields remove any trace of the ‘artist’s hand’ and the precise, hard-edged compositions appear to be digitally generated. Urbanski’s focus on this illusion is driven by his interest in digitally produced art, the digital tools used to plot his compositions, and the relationship between lived experience and virtual reality.
The bold shards of colour characterising his art draws inspiration from the likes of Mark Rothko and Piet Mondrian. It recalls the artist’s sensory and spatial encounters, memory, emotions, and the mysteries of the subconscious mind. Urbanksi classifies his art as either “high frequency” or “low frequency”. The former refers to his more bold and intricate compositions, while the latter compositions are simpler in form and subdued in colour palette.
Through his works, Urbanski seeks to evoke a sense of introspection and provoke a dialogue between the artist, the artwork, and the audience, encouraging a deeper understanding of the human condition.
Lot 1041 Jacob Hendrik Pierneef | ROCK ART
Pierneef was a frequent traveller and developed a keen eye. It is believed that Pierneef travelled to the Western Cape for the first time in 1916 to observe the original tracings of San rock art made by geologist and ethnologist George Stow. In Pierneef’s works, one can observe his meticulous attention to detail, precise geometric composition, and stylized forms. These elements can be reminiscent of the simplicity and symbolism found in rock art. These geometrical elements found within rock art inspired Pierneef and helped him form an aesthetic which holistically encapsulated the rich artistic heritage of South Africa.
The range of Pierneef’s on offer at Stephan Welz & Co’s Premium July auction are an intricate example of the artistic range Pierneef had to offer as an artist, and it also shows the varying sources of inspiration Pierneef drew on.
Lot 1057 Adriaan Hendrik Boshoff | DINNER SCENE
Adriaan Boshoff, who was a self-taught artist, is known for his stylistic and expressive brushstrokes which have often been compared to the techniques associated with the impressionist art movement. His artworks subject matter often consisted of scenes from everyday life, and he aimed to perpetuate a sense of nostalgia within his works. His intent was to evoke a sense of emotion which would transport his viewer to a different time and ultimately a different life where joy is derived from mundane moments.
Lot 1068 Norman Clive Catherine | FEATHERHEAD
Norman Clive Catherine was born in South Africa, East London in 1949. He attended EL Technical College Art School from 1967 to 1968 and beyond his educational training, he is primarily a self-taught artist. Catherine is skilled in a wide range of mediums such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, tapestry and mixed media.
As an artist, Catherine draws inspiration from his personal life experiences and upbringing during Apartheid, with his works often described as a depiction of a surrealist dystopia. Catherine’s works often showcase the turmoil and violence evident within South Africa’s turbulent socio-political landscape both during and post-Apartheid. His work also portrays the nuanced and complex issues of power relationships within this era and the lasting effects of a power imbalance.
Catherine’s art explores the inner conflicts of the human psyche and as an extension of this motif, emotions such as anger, fear and suffering are often depicted in his works as he believes that the human experience embodies a degree of violence and suffering which ties into his exploration of the human condition. Catherine intentionally projects a sense of discomfort and unease to his onlookers and intends for his artwork to act as a form of psychological self-introspection for his audience. His work is often seen as a perfect balance between the macabre and the comical, acting as a perfect representation of the South African zeitgeist.
Catherine has become a revered artist in South Africa, and he has exhibited extensively both locally and internationally. His work has been incorporated in multiple corporate collections as well as in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Lot 1069 Maggie (Maria Magdalena) Laubser | STILL LIFE WITH VASE AND SUNFLOWERS
Maggie Laubser was a renowned artist within the oeuvre of South African art history and was a key figure within the modernist movement within South Africa. Her artistic journey developed from landscape paintings to portraits to more experimental abstract artworks. She often strived to depict a sense of authentic individuality within her portraits and perpetuated a sense of introspection which encapsulate the complexity of the human psyche. Her still lives were often concerned with the notion of harmony between texture, colour and form and she believed that the mundane represented a sense of synchronicity which holistically spoke to bigger motifs such as the nuanced concept of beauty.
Lot 1097 Tienie Pritchard PREGNANT WOMAN
Throughout his career Tienie Pritchard explored the human form, especially the nude or semi-nude female form. He is considered one of South Africa’s foremost sculptors of the nude human form despite his struggle for recognition. Initially, Pritchard’s nude sculptures were considered detrimental to social morality and were criticised for being inappropriate to display publicly as they deviated from the themes and subject matter of his predecessors, the Volksbeeldhouers, which included the likes of Anton van Wouw. This controversial overtone his works were branded with lasted throughout most of his career.
Pritchard believed that the human body was able to express a vast range of concepts when it is turned into art. While his earlier nudes were rich in symbolism, they lacked cultural identity. As Pritchard furthered his creative explorations, he wished to portray more than just the human emotion and anatomy in his pieces and turned towards portraying man beyond the tangible world. This sparked an interest in ancient civilisations and the mythological nature of these cultures. He was able to represent a range of mythic subjects in his sculptures, often representing the female nude as priestess, sorceress, goddess. His sculptures often evoke a sense of reverence and transcendence, as if they exist in a realm beyond the physical.
Pritchard’s sculptures stylistically exemplify small-scale Renaissance and 19th Century bronze figural sculptural cannons and traditions. This was characterised by skilled and refined surface modelling, fine details and a rich patina. Many of his sculptures were modelled from live subjects as he believed working from them imbued a soul into the sculpture that would not be present otherwise. Each piece exudes a sense of introspection and invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of the human condition.
Lot 1098 Nic Bladen | FIVE STAPELIADS
Nic Bladen’s botanical sculptures offer a mesmerizing exploration of nature’s intricate beauty and delicate balance. By using careful attention to detail, Bladen meticulously recreates plant forms using a variety of materials such as bronze, silver, and gold. His sculptures capture the essence of botanical specimens, from the delicate curves of petals to the intricate patterns of leaves and stems. Through his art, Bladen invites viewers to contemplate the fragility and resilience of the natural world, highlighting the interdependence between humans and plants. These sculptures serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving biodiversity and nurturing our environment. Bladen’s botanical sculptures are not merely artistic creations; they are powerful expressions of reverence for nature’s wonders and an invitation to reconnect with the awe-inspiring beauty of the plant kingdom.
Lot 1105 Bambo Sibiya | WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS SKIN
Bambo Sibiya’s artworks embodies a profound exploration of identity, heritage, and cultural resilience. As an artist he uses meticulous attention to detail to create captivating visual narratives that speak to the complex experiences of the African diaspora. His pieces often feature vibrant colours and intricate patterns, seamlessly blending traditional and contemporary elements. Each brushstroke and carefully crafted symbol serve as a reflection of his deep connection to his roots and a testament to the strength and beauty of African cultures. Through his art, Sibiya seeks to challenge stereotypes, celebrate diversity, and reclaim the narratives of marginalized communities. Sibiya’s artworks are a testament to the power of art to inspire dialogue, foster understanding, and ignite a sense of pride in one’s heritage.
Lot 1112 Jacob Hendrik Pierneef | LANDSCAPE
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef is one of the most prolific and collectable South African artists of the 20th century. He gained his generational legacy by revolutionizing and redefining the concept of truly genuine South African art. It was his belief that South Africans had a unique aesthetical style and this notion stemmed into the thematical concerns of Pierneef’s earlier works. He simplified his landscapes using geometric structures, flat planes, lines, and colour to represent the harmony, order and overall uniqueness found in nature. It is the perpetuation of finding a truly genuine South African aesthetic which aided Pierneef in redefining the cannon of South African art. It is the primary reason why he is so collectable amongst serious art investors.
Pierneef’s Dutch connections enabled him to exploit the Northern European tradition of landscape painting, while addressing the Nationalist’s nostalgia for the land. Pierneef’s love for the country and its people drove his desire to promote everything that was truly South African in terms of art, music, and architecture, and in turn formed his philosophy of life. It was characteristic of Pierneef to reduce his landscapes to their most fundamental form, omitting unimportant details and emphasising only the key features in his paintings. He simplified his landscapes using geometric structures, flat planes, lines, and colour to represent the harmony and order in nature. This produced structured and immense views of the uninhabited South African landscape, with dramatic contrasts between natural light and shaded areas. The colours emphasise the geometrical outline and separate the various levels and planes from one another, creating the illusion of the expansive South African landscape.
Lot 1119 Jacob Hendrik Pierneef | LANDSCAPE WITH BILLOWING CLOUDS
Pierneef was skilled in depicting clouds as a result of the multiple studies he conducted. At times, these masses are highly stylised or form a stylistic unity with the landscape. The white curves undulate and billow within the composition or are intensified with a blaze of colour bursting open after a rainstorm, hovering over the landscape, creating dramatic tension to what would have ordinarily been a rather static scene. There are softer, less dramatic landscapes that are more subdued in palette, reflecting the colours and tones of the dry bushveld.