Archive for October, 2009

Musing for October : Some of the old snobbery is fading…

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Bonham’s in London are holding a specialist South African auction over two days later this month with a wide and interesting selection of works from the great and the good (and indeed predominantly deceased) of the South African art world.

With around 300 lots in all there is quite a mixture of styles and, if the estimates are anything to go by (though some of them seem to be chosen very oddly!), prices.

The first day concerns itself mainly with earlier works but has some interesting items from George Boys and Errol Boyley On Day 2 there are some very fine Pembas on offer and also some quite appealing works from lesser known artists. There are a number of pieces from Francois Krige including the Rousseau-esque "Krisjan Sleeping" and a selection of his landscapes. The more contemporary items on offer include some distinctive works from Norman Catherine (with fairly modest estimates attached to them) and some acid house Mary-Ann Orrs. There’s an estimate of around $8,000 on a signed Nelson Mandela lithograph depicting Table Mountain from his cell window on Robben Island – it may not be the most accomplished work of art but it clearly has a powerful message. Dylan Lewis has some fine bronzes in the sale which may draw some attention.

It’s encouraging to see this event which appears to be attracting considerable interest and it will be interesting to see quite how the hammer falls on the day. By the way, should we be surprised that there’s not a Petrie to be seen anywhere in the listings!

– Mark Hayhurst


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It isn’t intended to be irreverent but the Bonham’s event does bring to mind the Monty Python song "The Decomposing Composers" – there’s less of them every year. Every one of the following artists is, we are delighted to confirm, still above ground and producing some of their best works to date:


"Galloping zebra"
by Doreen Straarup
As a self-taught artist, Doreen’s work in oils is well accomplished and this and a number of her other works demonstrate a good eye for composition and an ability to adapt to different subjects.
There is a real delight in Gary’s works and it is evident from the titles and meaning he places on these pieces that they really are works that come from his heart.
"Earth meets sky"
by Gary Frier

"Modern Landscape"
by Richard Rennie
Employing an interesting palette of color, especially for works in oils, Richard’s landscapes are calm and beautiful with delicate brushstrokes and a good measure of detail.
Nikodemis’s lively pieces are always popular and this quirky mixed media piece portrays mischief as well as creativity.
"The angel of heaven and earth"
by Nikodemis van Rensburg

"Desert Storm/Cedar Mountains"
by Freda Hayward
Equally capable with portaiture and landscapes, Freda’s most recent works, including this atmospheric country scene, are  attracting a lot of attention.
I’m sure we’re going to see lot more from Rene. She tells a story with skill and sensitivity in this work and in her portfolio has a number of really striking pieces.
"Where is My Children"
by Rene Snyman

" Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. "
- René Magritte

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:

" If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all. "
- Michelangelo