A rare Robert Hodgins print, Three Chandeliers, several shaped canvases by Sipho Ndlovu and a selection of Judith Mason prints are among the many highlights of a Strauss & Co online auction.
The sale of South African and international art opens at 8am on Monday and closes at 8pm on March 4.
It offers new, emerging and established collectors the opportunity to browse and bid in a relaxed and secure digital environment.
The online-only auction follows on the heels of Strauss & Co’s recent ground-breaking contemporary art auction in Cape Town, which set several new records.
Among these were South African records for Marlene Dumas (Naked Man, R1 593 200) and David Goldblatt (On the Farm Rooinek, Seweweekpoort, Western Cape, 18 February 2006, R341 300) as well as world records for AthiPatra Ruga (The Knight of the Long Knives, R1 707 000) and Mustafa Maluka (You Say the Things You Think You Have to Say, R477 960).
This emphasis on contemporary art continues in the upcoming online sale with the chance to bid on the rare, early Hodgins lithograph, Three Chandeliers, of an interior with two figures clad in formal evening dress beneath a dramatic central chandelier.
The image is included in the Robert Hodgins Print Archive catalogue, Lasting Impression, issued by Wits Art Museum (WAM) at the time of the acclaimed Hodgins print retrospective exhibition in 2013.
Also on offer are a selection of works by Strydom van der Merwe that see the land artist comment wryly using Cape traditional furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Collectors of prints are further well served with a fascinating selection of folios from Mason’s artist’s book, A Dante’s Bestiary (1989). The Mason prints powerfully underscore the notion of the artist’s book as an alternative means of expression – a form also used by the likes of William Kentridge, who is also represented on the online sale, by etchings from the Give & Take series.
This online sale puts the spotlight on works by relatively unknown artists who are set to claim a space in the secondary market. Among these is Wopko Jensma, better known as a poet in the ’70s, whose anthologies were frequently banned by the apartheid government. Jensma’s prints and drawings have arresting imagery that captures the monstrous nature of that political dispensation.
Another is Wilfred Delporte, better known as a sculptor, who worked at the Polly Street Art Centre, founded by Cecil Skotnes and Fred Schimmel, in the ’60s. The two Delporte lots on auction are large-scale paintings in an abstract expressionist style.
Not to be missed are a selection of shaped canvases by Sipho Ndlovu in which the flat surface appears to be a three-dimensional box. One of these, where the box seems to contain carved animals, references the wooden sculptures of the artist’s good friend Julius Mfete, and encapsulates the post-structuralist artistic practice of one artist commenting on the work of another.
The sale is further distinguished by works of several artists not often represented on the market, or who are surfacing on the South African secondary market for the first time.
These include Eris Silke, whose work on thin wood panelling suggests a surrealist interest in the psyche of the sitter, and early modernist Charles Gassner, who uses a sweeping brush stroke to create his delicate, mostly abstract, images.
The first series of works by Israeli artist David Gerstein to appear on the South African secondary market are another highlight. Gerstein creates quirky scenes of contemporary life, such as dog-walking, using figures cut out of thin sheets of steel or paper that stand out in 3D from the picture plane.
Other highlights include a trio of works on paper by Sam Nhlengethwa, Tribute to Henri Matisse, Tribute to Ephraim Ngatane and The Grey Door.
Strauss & Co’s online auctions play an important role in the support of novice and emerging buyers since the platform contains a wealth of information about bidding online for novice buyers and those new to the online format.
How to bid online
The online sale features a comprehensive set of tools to enable bidders to make their choices. These include images, lot details and condition reports.
Placing a bid begins with registering for the auction through the “Register to Bid” link and then completing the short online form. This can be done from the moment the sale opens.
Existing Strauss & Co clients are required to register for each individual online auction to receive an online bidding number for that particular sale.
The current online auction can then be browsed by lot, department or artist, with a filter option allowing clients to also search for items based on price or keyword.
Clicking on “Submit your Bid” brings up the bidding popup window, which features a “submit” button that allows clients to accept the next bid value.
Up to the last hour of the auction, clients with an active bid will receive an e-mail and an SMS every time they’re outbid on a lot.
Successful buyers will receive an e-mail after the sale has closed, detailing purchased lots and check out procedures.
When and where
South African and International Art
- February 25 – March 4
- You can browse, bid or buy the unique items for sale online from Strauss & Co by going to straussart.co.za