Strauss & Co explores a century of watercolor in its latest online sale – Germiston City News

Curated by Marion Dixon, Senior Art Specialist at Strauss & Co, the sale is titled Watercolour: Choreography of chance and control and features striking works by, among others, Walter Battiss, Joni Brenner, Alan Crump, Alice Elahi, David Mogano, JH Pierneef, Durant Sihlali, Maud Sumner and William Timlin.

“Watercolor is a serious and challenging medium, not an amateur medium,” says Marion Dixon. “To master watercolor painting requires exceptional skill and technique. Joni Brenner, contemporary master of the medium, speaks of watercolor as a living medium. The watercolor session is made up of nearly 60 works produced since 1925 by more than twenty artists. The range of works on offer highlights the multiple possibilities of watercolour, a risky medium that reconciles control and collapse.

The watercolor session follows shortly after Strauss & Co’s R233 290 R233 290 sale of a 1978 watercolor by Walter Battiss depicting Tahiti. Battiss has eight works in Watercolour: Choreography of chance and controlincluding exemplary parts two nudes (estimate R30,000 – 50,000) and Seagulls (estimate R20,000 – 30,000).

Grace Anderson, renowned art pedagogue who married Battiss in 1940, makes her auction debut at Strauss & Co with four watercolors from 1925. The watercolor session also includes works by Wayne Barker, Gregoire Boonzaier, Giuseppe Cattaneo, Sidney Goldblatt, Clare Menck, Senzo Shabangu, Penny Siopis and Anna Vorster.

The title of the sale comes from a 2009 interview in which Siopis talks about pouring and pooling in paint. This exciting session is supported by an online education program and includes a short film featuring Joni Brenner at work. Brenner also wrote an illuminating essay to contextualize the watercolor session.

Strauss & Co’s May online auction features a total of seven sessions, two of which are devoted to works from the estate of renowned public artist Danie de Jager. There is a lot of 12 animal bronzes by De Jager, including a 1989 model of Shawu the elephant in Sun City (estimate R20,000 – R30,000). Presented in a stand-alone session, the 36 drawings by Alexis Preller were acquired by De Jager from Preller’s lover, Guna Massyn. The shipment includes preparatory sketches for well-known paintings like Flower King I, The Poet Prince and Hieratic women. Executed with refined confidence, estimates for these smaller jobs range from R1,000 to R5,000.

Pieter Hugo, a photographer with a solid international record at auction, has three works in this sale. They include an early portrait from 2003, Sam, Klein Karoo, South Africa (estimate R90,000 – 120,000), and a 2007 work by his famous Hyena Men series (estimate R 18,000 – 24,000). The online-only sale also includes a significant batch of works on paper, including a complete set of 10 prints by Sam Nhlengethwa jazz legends (estimate R50,000 – 70,000) and four abstract heads by influential Dutch painter Karel Appel (estimate R7,000 – 10,000).

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