To shake up the 2017 Strauss & Co Johannesburg sale, the fine art auctioneers are doing a few things differently.
The most apparent changes are the inclusion of thematically selected works, with the most obvious containing 59 lots from historical and contemporary artists from KwaZulu-Natal.
Head of Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg art department Alastair Meredith says what makes the theme great is that you are able to see what different artists were doing at the same time or in the same area.
The focus on KwaZulu-Natal is especially enthralling since many of the lots feature strong British modernism influences. “It can actually be traced to modernists who came to South Africa before or after world wars. Many of these artists landed in teaching roles at schools or universities, which led to the same modernists’ influences passed down to students.
“But there’s also regional Zulu influence with motifs, vernacular patterns and colours not confined by western tradition,” says Meredith.
The way the same artistic influences were passed down becomes excitingly apparent with gifted artist-families from the area. “The generations of Everard women needs no introduction, but there are also family connections in Jack and Jane Heath and Linda and Mike Taylor,” continues Meredith.
Continuing with the idea of themes, included in the auction is a collection of highveld landscapes and South African artworks during wartime.
Contemporary art is a cornerstone feature at every Strauss & Co sale and it’s especially a collection of Karel Nel drawings Wayfarer, Mudif and Johannesburg, as well as a pieced titled Inventory that will gain particular interest.
The 391 lots include important pieces from artists like Gerard Sekato, Irma Stern, William Kentridge and JH Pierneef.
When and where
• Previews are from November 10 to 12.
• The auction takes place on November 13 at The Wanderers Club.
• Lots 1 to 170 are under the hammer from 2pm.
• The action for lots 171 to 300 are from 5pm.
• Lots 301 to 391 are on auction from 8pm.