CityLife Arts

Details of Strauss &Co.’s forthcoming Impression/Expression sale unveiled

By City Life Arts Writer

Strauss & Co is has unveiled advance details of its forthcoming live virtual sale, Impression/Expression: from Hugo Naudé to Georgina Gratrix, due to be held on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 at 6pm. The 90-lot sale, which will be livestreamed from Johannesburg, broadly explores the legacies of impressionism and expressionism, two important western art movements, in South African art.

The single-session auction will include a tailored selection of art lots, including two lots apiece by auction trailblazers JH Pierneef and Irma Stern, as well as five icon wines, among them an 1821 vintage of Grand Constance, South Africa’s oldest and most illustrious wine brand. The sale is expected to earn up to R14 million and includes Stern’s Bathers at Nice, a 1965 oil portraying three naked bathers on the French Riviera (estimate R1.5 – 2 million).

“The sale, which is exclusively composed of works by South African artists, helps make sense of some of the many stylistic and conceptual shifts that have taken place in this country over the past century,” says Alastair Meredith, who heads up Strauss & Co’s art department. “Many of the works in Impression/Expression, whether painted or sculpted, mid-century or contemporary, can sit comfortably in the impressionism or expressionism categories. Works from each school, however, can still be tied together by theme, tone, impulse or style. Impressionist pictures, for instance, can capture the transience of light, can be stirred by modernity, and in pursuit of atmospheric sensation. Many expressionist works, moreover, are made with instinct, are defined by intimacy, and drawn to visual anarchy. The works in Impression/Expression are presented with these often overlapping attributes in mind.” 

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