Stephan Welz & Co
While the world is still adjusting to the “new normal” that came post-lockdown, Stephan Welz & Co. has made all the necessary adjustments to ensure that our clients can attend our auction safely, or experience live bidding from the comfort of their own homes.
Starting off our very versatile selection of items on auction would be the wide variety of art and art books on offer. We can confidently say there is something for every art lover on our upcoming September auction.
Our doors will be open for viewing by appointment from Tuesday, 15 September, until Sunday, 20 September. Our live auction will start on Monday, 21 September at 5h00pm and end on Wednesday, 23 September at 3h00pm
South African and International art books on offer:
For those who would prefer to read more about the very talented South African and International artists we have on offer, here are a few sneak peaks:
ALEXIS PRELLER: AFRICA SUN AND SHADOWS
Editor’s note: This book fills a significant vacuum. Alexis Preller, major South African artist, was born in Pretoria in 1911 and died there in 1975. In all that time and ever since, only one small book – published in 1947 – was devoted to his art… In the course of his forty year career, Alexis Preller achieved national recognition and critical acclaim. Loyal admirers flocked every exhibition by the master artist. Yet, there were also those who were disturbed by his frequently cryptic themes and who denounced his flouting of pictorial convention. Preller’s art is indeed unconventional, distinctly independent, often enigmatic, but it is not impenetrable.
(Valued between R2 000 and R3 000)
JH PIERNEEF: HIS LIFE AND HIS WORK
Although Pierneef has always been honoured as one of South Africa’s most talented and loved artists, there has never been a complete and comprehensive publication on his life and work. From old letters and tributes, many of which are now disclosed for the first time, it becomes obvious that he was a man of many facets.
He was born and lived for the greater part of his life in Pretoria. In 1957 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pretoria and it is therefore not surprising that the initiative for this work came from Prof. D.M. Joubert, vice-chancellor and rector of the University, himself a great art lover and admirer of Pierneef.
(Valued between R 1750 and R2 000)
Preface: As a teacher [Battiss] inspired a great many young people, although no one has really imitated him: he inspires through his personal contact rather than through his style. And he never stops “doing”. Perhaps the most outstanding quality of his personality is his zest for work. His mind and hands are never idle. He has proved to be one of the most versatile artists that this country has ever produced and he never wavers from using any kind of art form.
(Valued between R 1 750 and R 2 000)
IRMA STERN: A FEAST FOR THE EYE
Opposite the title page: Irma Stern was the first South African artist whom the Rembrandt Van Rijn Art Foundation singled out to honour with a countrywide exhibition in 1968, two years after her death. This publication by the Foundation commemorates the centenary of Irma Stern’s birth and is a celebration of her creativity. At the same time it is a fitting tribute to the Foundation’s 30 years of promoting the visual arts.
(Valued between R350 and R500)
VINCENT VAN GOGH: THE SKETCHBOOKS
Van Gogh is perhaps considered one of art history’s most tortured artists, and while many people have been exposed to his exceptional, skilfully created works of art, accounts of Van Gogh’s state of mind and views of the world remain largely untold. The Van Gogh Sketchbooks in Facsimile on offer on the Stephan Welz & Co. September auction offer a unique opportunity to hold the artist’s thoughts in your hands. Only four sketchbooks from the span of the artist’s career have stood the test of time, and this lot acts as a snapshot of fleeting images through the artist’s eyes that now mark moments of historical art ingenuity.
(Valued between R7 000 and R10 000)
Monumental artworks on the September Stephan Welz & Co Auction:
Stephan Welz & Co is working towards their September sale and with that we are very excited that we are able to offer a selection of prints and works on paper by one of South Africa’s premier print makers, Diane Victor.
Leading this selection is the monumental Baited. This breath-taking work combines accomplished and layered classical printmaking techniques with digital printing to create a haunting image of an apocalyptic horse soaring over a devastated landscape, as an image of the artist lurks within the body of the beast.
In Let Sleeping Crocs Lie, the artist again depicts herself within the image, this time lying atop the back of a symbolic crocodile with human hands and bound jaws. This artwork was created at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York in April 2012 during the artist’s two-month stay in New York to create a body of work for her successful exhibition, Reap and Sow, at David Krut Projects.
Alexzandra Seene Near Johannesburg North (sic) offers a captivating example of one of Helen Sebidi’s earlier works, showing a more naturalistic scene, while still showcasing her immediately-recognisable use of fragmented, juxtaposed colour, as well as the use of characteristic impasto and spirited brushstrokes to create a vibrant surface.
The symbolization of tradition is clear in Sebidi’s work, connecting her imagery to her community and the values that endure there. In this way, Sebidi uses her works as objects of connection between concepts, generations and ideologies, traversing the traditional and contemporary, the spiritual and animalistic, and the man-made and natural world.
It is through the navigation of these boundaries that the artist helps us to make sense of the world by appreciating our positions within these areas.
In the early 1950s, the Italian government commissioned Surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí, to illustrate a commemorative edition for the 700th anniversary of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. Dalí was an unusual choice to illustrate what was considered one of Italy’s national treasures; some even considered it a crime against the state. As a result of severe backlash, the government decided to terminate their contract with Dalí, and the exhibition of his watercolours of The Divine Comedy, which should have taken place in Rome, was cancelled.
Undaunted, and driven by his fascination with Dante’s works, Dalí approached French publisher, Joseph Forêt, to undertake the project. Forêt purchased Dalí’s watercolours and the copyrights for the publication of The Divine Comedy, and, together they worked to complete and publish 100 wood engravings (one for each of The Divine Comedy’s verses) made after his own watercolours.
As one of the 20th Century’s most ground-breaking and anti-establishment artists, even after his death, Warhol is considered one of the greats within the art world.
Volcano (Vesuvius), part of a series of vibrant acrylic on canvas paintings and silkscreens depicting Mount Vesuvius at its sublime moment of eruption, encapsulates Warhol’s renowned Pop vernacular. Vesuvius is illustrated in a manner that it is renowned for, a vicious, erupting volcano, spewing its contents of molten lava and plumes of ash into the air. The entire composition is imbued with the threat of impending catastrophe. The size of the piece paired with a palette of dense blacks, garish crimson layered above golden accents is awe-inducing.
In addition to works by many of South Africa’s most prolific artists, the carved and incised panel by Cecil Skotnes offers a wonderful play on a two-dimensional depiction of a three-dimensional object, completed using a three-dimensional medium and technique. The work is further enhanced by a detailed, hand-carved, wooden frame.
One of Pablo Picasso’s first words was “pencil”, which was perhaps the earliest indication of just how influential the artist would become in the years to follow. Despite extremely humble beginnings, Picasso turned out to be one of the greatest names in the art world and his contribution to modern art was unparalleled.
It is with great pride that Stephan Welz & Co. showcases one of the artist’s works on our upcoming September auction.