South Africa’s art market continues to show off its insatiable appetite with the latest exciting auction at Strauss & Co this October. Over 100 artworks from the likes of Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, and French master Renoir are set to celebrate the convergence of tastes as generations of South Africa collectors in the Transcending Boundaries sale. This also makes Strauss & Co. the first auction house on the African continent to offer a work by Renoir, an artist with enduring appeal among collectors more than a century after his death in 1919.
On the slopes of Table Mountain in Woodstock, Transcending Boundaries is set to be an incredibly unique opportunity to see these 111 works by artists from the Americas, Asia Pacific, British Isles and Europe consigned from various South African collections.
Transcending boundaries and generations
Once you start filling your home with beautiful works of art, it’s hard to stop. This is clear with in the shifting tastes of generations of South African collectors who acquired international works of art by some of the world’s most influential artists, from local dealers Mr Brainwash Madonna or during their travels. Major artists represented in Transcending Boundaries include Mr Brainwash, Lynn Chadwick, Tracey Emin, Takashi Murakami and Andy Warhol, plus a small consignment of sculpture, including a Jeff Koons edition.
Not only does Transcending Boundaries contain a plethora of stunning impressionist artwork, but divine collection of contemporary art that spans aesthetics, mediums, and personal collectors’ tastes. The autobiographical photoligraph piece titled Tattoo by London artist Tracy Emin juxtaposes the lithograph by Andy Warhol titled Tattooed Woman Holding Rose from 1955. On the one hand, Emit’s work is estimated to sell for R12 000 - R18 000, and may speak to younger collector interested in biographical female artists. On the other hand, Tattooed Woman Holding Rose, which is set to start at R250 000, uses a tattoo motif of well-known brands to attract potential clients.
“Notably [Warhol] included his contact phone number prominently scrawled across the front of her outfit. The artwork served a dual purpose, functioning both as a business card and a fine art creation, exemplifying Warhol’s unapologetic fusion of art and commerce,” read Strauss & Co’s Transcending Boundaries catalogue.
A rediscovered Renoir
A Johannesburg collector acquired Fruits (Oranges et Citrons) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir a late-period triumph of colour and painterly energy, in the 1970s. As one of the leading artists during the impressionist movement, this piece powerfully creates a sensory experience out of the beauty of everyday. Short and vital brush strokes, lush forms, and the ephemeral feeling of Fruits (Oranges et Citrons) is incredibly compelling. The painting’s joyful and zesty scents exudes from the canvas portraying these lemons and oranges painted in 1912.
A certifying authority in Paris recently authenticated the painting for Strauss & Co. Fruits (Oranges et Citrons) is estimated to fetch R2 – 3 million. Not only is the lore of the Renoir and interesting consideration for the painting’s value and mystique, but its provenance too. In 1919, the painting lived in Paris before travelling to New York with French art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel in 1921. The painting only landed in South Africa in 1977 by virtue of Collectors Gallery and was part of two private collections in Pretoria and Benoni.
Many of the artists in Transcending Boundaries have impeccable auction histories, including in South Africa. This extends to street artists like Banksy and Mr Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta. In 2021, Strauss & Co sold French-born Los Angeles-based Mr Brainwash’s 2009 painting of pop icon Madonna for R1.024 million.