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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Roelof Petrus van Wyk’s Jong Afrikaner Series To Be Exhibited in London

Jong Afrikaner: A Self-Portrait Roelof Petrus van Wyk’s Jong Afrikaners series will be exhibited at the Jack Bell Gallery in London in March.

Van Wyk will be at the exhibition on 3 March for a book signing:

Jong Afrikaner

Book details

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Works by Gerald Sekoto, William Kentridge and Others at The Art of Banking Until Tomorrow

Gerard SekotoBrett MurrayJohannes PhokelaWilliam KentridgeWilliam Kentridge Prints

The exhibition The Art of Banking: celebrating through collections, which has been on at the Standard Bank Gallery since 16 October, includes works by renowned artists such as Gerard Sekoto, Pierneef, William Kentridge, Brett Murray, Johannes Phokela, Alexis Preller, David Goldblatt and Penny Siopis. If you hurry, you still have a chance to see their works that are drawn from the Standard Bank corporate art collection. The exhibition ends tomorrow, 1 December.

South Africa: The Structure Of Things ThenDavid Goldblatt: PhotographsAlexis PrellerPenny Siopis

In an interview with Chris Thurman, gallery curator Barabara Freemantle said that the exhibition celebrates the past 150 years that Standard Bank has been in business, as well as their long-standing involvement in the arts and that the artworks on display are linked to certain points in history:

IF I had a dollar for every time I’ve written the words “Standard Bank” and “art” in the same sentence, at current exchange rates, I could probably cover my minimum monthly credit card payment. The Standard Bank Group has received a lot of positive publicity from its substantial arts sponsorship portfolio: the National Arts Festival, the Young Artist Awards, jazz festivals and of course its gallery and visual art collections. The arts sector tends to look appreciatively on this patronage.

It is fair to say, however, that Joe Public is sceptical about banks nowadays. So how can Standard Bank commemorate its 150th year without alienating clients? And how can it leverage its involvement in the arts to achieve this? This was the challenge faced by Standard Bank Gallery curator Barbara Freemantle in assembling The Art of Banking: Celebrating through Collections, an exhibition to show selected works, to tell the Standard Bank story and articulate something about South African history. “We wanted to avoid ‘bragging’ about the 150-year mark,” says Freemantle. The Art of Banking “reminds people the bank is a stable, longstanding entity — safe to invest in — but that it is not staid.”

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The Beauty of the Line: The Life and Times of Dumile Feni by Chabani Manganyi

The Beauty of the LineNew from David Krut Publishing:

There are many voices in The Beauty of the Line. One is that of the writer and editor of the book, N Chabani Manganyi. In telling the remarkable story of Dumile Feni’s life, the author is joined by a distinguished cast of art historians, lifelong friends and admirers of Dumile Feni.

Among many themes, the book captures the intimate recollections of South Africans and contributors from around the world whose lives intersected with Dumile’s in Johannesburg, London and New York City. They tell their own stories of the life and times of the artist. Here, in this book, is confirmation of what one South African Said, namely that ‘everyone had a story to tell’ about Dumile.

As an artist, Dumile’s talent was groundbreaking; he had the tenacity to endure in the face of severe obstacles; a quality which enabled him to persist in creating his ‘precious monsters’.

He was steadfast in his pursuit of ‘the beauty of the line’, and dedicated through his drawings and sculptures to the exposure of the pain of the people in the land of his birth.

Book details

  • The Beauty of the Line: The Life and Times of Dumile Feni by Chabani Manganyi
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9780620510135

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Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto and Alexis Preller Artworks Break Records at London Auction

irma stern

Journeys to the InteriorAlexis PrellerGerard Sekoto

The works of artists Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto and Alexis Preller fetched tidy sums at an auction in London on Wednesday. Stern’s Arab Priest sold for a record R34 million. Bonhams director of South African art, Giles Peppiatt, said that the recent hike in Irma Stern sales are indicative of a “growing appetite” for the artist’s works. Your wallet would be hurt less by obtaining the works in the books, Journeys to the Interior: Unseen works by Irma Stern 1923-1939, Alexis Preller: Africa, the Sun and Shadows and Gerard Sekoto: My Life and Work by David Krut Publishing.

South African paintings broke three records at an auction in London on Wednesday, said auctioneers Bonhams.

A painting by Irma Stern was sold for R34 million, one by Alexis Preller for R8,4m and another by Gerard Sekoto for R6.7m.

“The Stern was above her last record made at Bonhams’ October 2010 sale, where a painting titled ‘Bahora Girl’ sold for R26.6 million,” Bonhams director of South African art Giles Peppiatt said in a statement.

Read a report on the London auction:

Seated Nude with Oranges by South African artist Irma Stern and a birthday card by another South African artist, Marlene Dumas, are to be auctioned in Bonham’s South African Art sale today for an estimated price of between £800,000 and £1,200,000.

Irma Stern was born in the Transvaal but spent much of her childhood in Germany where she studied art in Berlin and Weimar. In 1917 she met Pechstein and exhibited in the Berlin Sezession exhibitions in 1918 and 1920 , the year in which she returned to South Africa.

Lin Sampson is a “slave to humbug” when it comes to contemplating the art world and is scathing about the exorbitant cost of art:

Riding on the record-breaking Irma Stern painting, Bahora Girl, pulling in R26.6-million, London auction house Bonhams is holding an all-South African sale next week where startling prices are expected.

Contemplating the art world, I feel a slave to humbug and there is nothing I can do about it. If a painting goes for R35-million, that is what it is worth, and by saying I can’t believe that hideous picture/pile of bricks/crack in the wall fetched so much money one is simply showing oneself up as someone who is art-ignorant.

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SA Art Continues to Fetch Top Dollar at Home


Alexis PrellerAuctioneer Strauss & Co claim that art prices are often higher in South Africa than elsewhere in the world – including than in London. For example, last Monday an Alexis Preller intaglio titled Kouros (pictured) sold for R2.1-million – purportedly more than double what it would have fetched in the UK.

You can, of course, get in touch with Preller’s works for a fraction of either price, through the beautiful Alexis Preller: Africa, The Sun And Shadows, which captures the artist’s cryptic and enigmatic work and provides a detailed account of his life and artistic journey.

More on the prices that art fetches in SA, and around the world, here:

South African art sells best on home turf. That claim by fine art auctioneer Strauss & Co is hard to challenge – no two creations are identical, as there are few ways of comparing like with like. And, one supposes, it depends largely on whether you are a buyer or a seller.

Last Monday, an Alexis Preller intaglio titled Kouros , inspired, the Strauss catalogue said, by the Greek god Apollo, fetched R2.1-million. That, more or less, worked out at R700 a square centimetre.

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Image courtesy StraussArt

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