Strauss & Co presents four works on paper spanning William Kentridge’s prolific career

By CityLife Arts Writer

In advance of William Kentridge’s large-scale exhibition at London’s Royal Academy (RA) later on this month, Strauss & Co is delighted to present four major works on paper by this internationally celebrated artist from Johannesburg. Spanning the period 1988 to 2020, the four works will be presented to collectors at Cape Town Auction Week, a multi-day series of auctions featuring collectable art, design, jewellery and wine (18 – 21 September 2022).

Three of the works being offered depict trees and flowers, major subjects of Kentridge’s Royal Academy exhibition. Strauss & Co is thrilled to be offering a proof of Kentridge’s acclaimed 1994 etching Dutch Iris (estimate R800 000 – 1.2 million). This highly sought-after proof print, published by English master printmaker Jack Shirreff, extends on formal experiments introduced in Kentridge’s iconic mixed-media drawing Iris (1991). Strauss & Co sold this drawing in 2019 for R4.2 million.

Kentridge’s RA exhibition, which opens on 24 September 2022, includes an entire gallery devoted to his Indian ink drawings of trees. Reminiscent of South African modernist painter J. H. Pierneef’s prized linocuts of indigenous trees, Kentridge’s silhouetted tree studies are, comparatively speaking, far more audacious in scale and technique. Published by Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg, the linocut Hope in the Green Leaves (estimate R250 000 – 350 000) measures nearly two metres in length and is dated 2013. Kentridge began his on-going tree series in 2012.

The most recent work on offer is the aquatint Lilies from 2020 (estimate R300 000 – 400 000). Flowers appear throughout Kentridge’s archive, but are particularly prominent in his recent work. The flower studies of French painter Édouard Manet are a particular reference for Kentridge. LilliesDutch Iris and Hope in the Green Leaves will be auctioned on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 7pm.

On the preceding evening, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 at 7pm, Strauss & Co will present the highly important screenprint Art in a State of Siege: 100 Years of Easy Living (estimate R400 000 – 600 000). Published in 1988, three years after Kentridge’s return to making art, the work was printed on brown paper by Malcolm Christian of Caversham Press. This screenprint is part of a triptych that has been widely feted by critics and curators. 

Strauss & Co is a leading reseller of works by William Kentridge. More than 85% of the Kentridge lots consigned by Strauss & Co since 2009 have found buyers. The company has earned a collective total of R145 million ($8.5 million) from 649 Kentridge lots sold.

View upcoming highlights here.  and. \

Video PremiereWilliam Kentridge – In Print

The Warehouse Art Museum, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has one of the largest privately owned Kentridge collections in the Unites States. Strauss & Co are proud to have collaborated with them in the first of a series of talks about the artist, William Kentridge. 

The goal of this collaboration is to build digital bridges between USA, South Africa and Europe, and to foster connections over three continents. Here printmaking specialists in the USA and South Africa discuss the challenges of this speciality in their local markets. Kentridge, See for Yourself runs at WAM from now until December 16.

Please share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *