Thoughts for June

by Kath Dawson

Brett Kebble Auction Results

Two months ago we wrote about the expectations that were being set around the auctioning of the fine art collection left by Brett Kebble. In a climate where estimates were coming under fire for being unrealistic it was quite surprising to see a significant portion of the catalogue selling at world record prices and indeed nearly 95% of the collection sold during the event which was attended by over 600 people (the remainder have been sold privately subsequent to the auction).

Nearly $7m was raised during the sale which, while it may still be only a small portion of the deficit standing on the disgraced magnate’s insolvency, is still an impressive measurement of the esteem and regard in which South African art has come to be regarded by collectors from around the world.

Notable was Alexis Preller’s "Christ Head" which yielded $480,000 and works by Volschenk, Stern and Pemba. Portway’s "Abstract Landscape" reached $53,000 and Pinker’s "Trapeze in the Sky" went for $63,000. The high-profile event may be just one chapter in the Kebble story but has certainly helped to raise the profile of South African art and the demand from investors and collectors has increased significantly.

- Mark Hayhurst

LAST WEEK! Come to see

Painting a Wall
at the Finborough Theatre, London

Painting a Wall

We are delighted to be the main sponsor of a brand new production of David Lan’s acclaimed play Painting a Wall which completes a four-week run at the Finborough Theatre in London on June 6th.

Set in Cape Town in 1970, Painting a Wall follows a day in the life of four Cape Coloured South African painters, living under apartheid. It follows them in their task of painting public walls government-regulation white. They’ve got one hour to do it and they’ve got to hurry up about it, or risk no pay and harsh punishment. The only thing is… they’ve been given the wrong colour paint.

Stephen Daldry called Painting a Wall a "hugely effective, deeply emotional attack on a political system" but avoiding political debate, it focuses simply on the painters – Henry, Peter, Willy and Samson – and their jokes, dreams and vivid storytelling as they work together to triumph over the struggles and frustrations of their lives.

There’s still time to catch it and you can book directly with the theatre:

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652
Times and ticket prices are available online at

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Here’s a selection of works from our artists with number of pieces that deserve your attention:

"Living Under Brickmaker’s Kloof"
by Lez Dor

From Brickmaker’s Bridge one looks up at a Port Elizabeth landmark, Fort Frederick. Under the bridge, a clammy and cold area, live three homeless men who preferred the peace and privacy they found there to the noise and crime of the squatter camps.

Tree stump silhouettes, figures, in a Free State veld, reminiscent of Stonehenge, yet as African as can be.

"African stonehenge"
by Nico Van Rensburg

"In Europe"
by Lola Di Paolo Dunston

Lola’s training and classical roots shine through in this piece. Her talent is well developed and this work illustrates a typical European greeting. Decoupage is an artform in which a picture is created by gluing pieced of coloured paper, cut to various shapes and sizes to a background.

Tension and texture are in abundance in this oil on canvas work in which Johan has captured the conflict beautifully.

Who do you think will come out on top?

"The fight"
by Johan Strauss

" What I am looking for is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term "mute music". "
- Joan Miró

New Artists

We have talented new artists coming on the site all the time and in recent weeks we have welcomed the following who have already listed a number of excellent works:

" I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around. "
- Chuck Close

Tell us how we’re doing!

As ever we would welcome any feedback and comments you might have. Feel free to drop us a line ( ) with any comments or ideas you might have for promoting these superb artists even more widely. We also welcome art-themed submissions for our regular newsletters of short stories or anecdotes about art, your experiences, what inspired you or anything that you think may be of interest.

Yours in inspiration,

All the team at
The very best of South African art online

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