Strauss & Co takes you on a journey through abstraction…
Cubist abstraction is an art form that many South African artists implement in their practice. This type of artistic creation uses geometric and stylized forms to combine non-objective compositions or produce figurative representations. Initiated by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1907 and ending with the geometric abstraction of Josef Albers, who died in 1976, the style is extremely broad. A particular characteristic of this movement is the influence of African material culture on the stylization of the figure, clearly visible in abstract figure by Cecil Skotnes (estimates R 7,000 – 9,000) or Ezrom Legae’s Torso (estimates R 4,000 – 6,000).
Abstract Expressionism is a particular term attributed to the new forms of abstract art developed by American artists Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning working in the 1940s and 1950s. It is often characterized by gestural brushstrokes or marks and the impression of spontaneity is evident in the work of George Boys, entitled To touch (estimates R 8,000 – 12,000).
Tachisme is a related term used to describe the non-geometric abstract art that developed in Europe during the same period. The auction features a particular focus on artist Christo Coetzee, who was hugely influenced by the European abstract tachism movement, seen referenced in his work El Cordobes (estimate R 5,000- 7,000), plus additional influences from the Japanese Gutai Art Association, including his work yellow baroque shape (estimates R 80,000 – 120,000) is a striking example.
These styles continue to impact artistic creation in South Africa as contemporary artists continue this trend, visible in the unique geometric compositions of Esther Mahlangu. Untitled (2007) (estimates R 15,000 – 20,000), and Maja Marx black block (estimates R 30,000 – 50,000); the spontaneous markings of Zander Blom in 1.269 [Untitled] (estimates R 40,000 – 60,000); gluing and assembling in White flag (burst) by Julia Rosa Clarke (estimates R 10,000 – 15,000); and meticulously hand-drawn abstract shapes Tone 6 and Tone 9 by Paul Edmunds (each with estimates R 15,000 – 20,000).
To close the sale, Strauss & Co is proud to support established artist Jill Trappler’s latest initiative, The Orange Art Project (OAP). OAP introduces children and young people in foster homes across the Western Cape to creativity, arts and crafts through a network of diverse professional artists to help with educational and social development. Local artists and organizations such as Sam Nhlengethwa, LL Editions, Lwando Dlamini and Pat Mautloa have donated artwork to raise funds for this worthy cause.
Strauss & Co’s Virtual Live Auction Week will kick off with a Bordeaux theme Auction of fine wines on Sunday June 26 at 11 a.m.followed by Decorative art concentrate Auction on Monday, June 27 celebrating collectible design by modern and contemporary designers, and end Tuesday, June 28 with the sale of 19e Art of the century, modern, post-war and contemporary.
Register, browse and bid on the June Strauss & Co Live Virtual Auctions: