Four impressive works by Alexis Preller, including an imaginative 1950 self-portrait, are among the outstanding works on offer at Strauss & Co’s forthcoming live sale in Johannesburg, due to be held at the Wanderers Club on June 4.
Highlights of the sale include, along with Preller, contributions by Walter Battiss, William Kentridge, JH Pierneef and Vladimir Tretchikoff.
Two works by Pierneef , South Africa’s foremost landscape painter, will be on offer, most notably a Lowveld landscape portraying Shingwedzi in the northern part of the Kruger National Park, estimated to fetch between R1.5 and R2.5 million.
Great excitement surrounds Preller’s undated intaglio painting titled Poseidon. This depiction of the mythical Greek god of the sea has been held in the same private collection for decades and carries a competitive pre-sale estimate of between R3 to R5 million.
Charting a wholly different direction in painting, but no less sought aft er at auctions, is Tretchikoff , whose portrait of a traditional healer holding a snake is expected to sell for between R2 to R3 million.
The upcoming sale includes a special focus on abstract painting, and draws together many generations of artists. The offerings include Douglas Portway’s oil on canvas London 62 (estimate R120 000 to R160 000), which is dominated by remnants of his African colour scheme following his self-imposed exile to Europe.
Two important contemporary artists, Kagiso Patrick Mautloa and Sam Nhlengethwa, also feature in the sale.
Mautloa’s vivid green diptych Tribute to Abstraction (2017/18) carries an estimate of between R60 000 to R90 000, and Nhlengethwa’s Image IV (1990), a striking abstract composition from his Thupelo workshop period, is valued at R200 000 to R300 000.
There is a strong focus on contemporary art in Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg sale. Alongside Kentridge, whose colonial landscape drawing, Deep Pool, is likely to sell for between R3 to R4 million, this sale includes works by Conrad Botes, Wim Botha, Dan Halter and Clive van den Berg.
A survey exhibition dedicated to Sydney Kumalo at the Norval Foundation may help push bidding for this important twentieth- century sculptor’s bronze, Figure on a Bull, past the high estimate of R600 000.
Other noteworthy artists represented include Erik Laubscher, Gerard Sekoto and Robert Hodgins.