Paintings from the art collection of South African literary luminary and anti-apartheid activist André P Brink go on auction by Stephan Welz & Co. in Cape Town on June 6.

Brink, who passed away on a flight from Europe to South Africa two years ago , counted among his close friends a number of artists whose works he collected. Adaptations of some works were used as illustrations in some of his books.

Stephan Welz & Co. is off erring 15 paintings from the extensive Brink collection in its fi ne art and collectables auction. The auction also features a limited edition signed copy of Nelson Mandela’s The Illustrated Long Walk to Freedom and works from the Herzberg family African art collection.

Early editions of the cover of Brink’s controversial 1973 novel, Kennis van die Aand, which was banned by the National Party government because it dealt with torture and a passionate relationship between a mixed-race man and white woman, were illustrated with a work he commissioned from the Scottish-born Cape artist Marjorie Wallace (1925-2005).

Two of her paintings in the Brink collection, Reading with the Cat and Woman with Vegetables, are being offered by Stephan Welz & Co., each with an estimated price of between R20 000 and R30 000.

“It is through such treasured objects and works of art that collectors have a tangible means of memorialising the legacy of André Brink,” says Stephan Welz & Co. art specialist Carol Kaufmann. Wallace’s husband, the writer Jan Rabie, and Brink were key figures in the literary movement, Die Sestigers, who were branded by the government as traitors for using Afrikaans as a language to speak against apartheid.

Other works from the Brink collection include what Stephan Welz & Co. describes as three “exquisite” Daniel Sefudi Rakgoathe (1937 – 2004) etchings with an estimated price of R10 000 – R15 000.

“Rakgoathe’s work is rarely available, yet much in demand with the distinction of being included in the national collection at Iziko SANG,” notes Kaufmann.

On auction for the first time in South Africa are works by the Romanian surrealist Georges Mazilu (1951- ). An adaptation of one of these works illustrated the cover of Brink’s novel Duiwelskloof.

Four Mazilu paintings are on offer with estimated prices ranging from R10 000 to R60 000 Other paintings on the auction are Sleeper and Ubu by William Kentridge (1955 -) with an estimated price of R400 000 – R600 000, Bushveldt Landcape by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (R150 000 – R220 000) and The Scholars by Irma Stern (R150 000 – R220 000).

 

While Brink used the pen to expose the heartlessness of apartheid through his writing, two other people who made contributions to the struggle for freedom in their own ways – one as a national liberation leader, the other as a trade union and social activist – feature prominently on the Stephan Welz & Co. auction.

Nelson Mandela’s The Illustrated Long Walk to Freedom is being offered as a rare edition of the statesman’s prize-winning biography, Long Walk to Freedom.

The illustrated deluxe edition was limited to 425 copies of which only 100 were sold in South Africa. With an estimated price of R100 000 – R150 000, the edition on auction includes a laid-in commissioned portrait of Nelson Mandela, and is signed and dated by Madiba.

 

As a German refugee who settled in Cape Town in 1933, Bernhard Herzberg made his mark on South Africa as an anti-apartheid trade unionist and then as an industrialist and African art collector who painstakingly acquired works from many parts of Africa . Stephan Welz & Co. is offerring 14 works from the Herzberg family African art collection. They include carvings, sculptures and artefacts from countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Estimated prices range from R2 000 to R9 000.

When and where

_ The auction is taking place Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7 at Stephan Welz & Co. The Great Cellar, Alphen Dr, Constantia, Cape Town, 7806.

 

For more information

visit stephanwelzandco.co.za or contact 021 794 6461 or e-mail stephanwelz@stephanwelzandco. co.za