One of the central figures of the Impressionist movement, French painter Pierre Auguste Renoir’s late work, “Fruits (Oranges et Citrons),” painted in 1912, will be a key highlight in “Transcending Boundaries,” a fine art auction by Strauss & Co. This live-virtual auction of modern and contemporary international art is scheduled for October 25 at 6pm at Strauss & Co’s premises in Brickfield Canvas, an innovation hub on the slopes of Table Mountain in Woodstock. The auction will also be accessible online at https://www.straussart.co.za.
In the world of art auctions, Strauss & Co is making history as the first auction house on the African continent to unveil a masterpiece by the renowned Renoir, an artist with an enduring appeal among collectors even a century after his death in 1919.
The extraordinary piece, “Fruits (Oranges et Citrons),” a late-period masterpiece bursting with vibrant colours, which Renoir painted at his estate of Les Collettes in the south of France was acquired by a Johannesburg collector in the 1970s.
Recently, the Wildenstein Plattner Institute in Paris authenticated the painting, responding to Strauss & Co's request. Now, as it graces the auction stage, “Fruits (Oranges et Citrons)” is expected to command the attention of art connoisseurs and collectors alike, with an estimated value in the range of R2m-R3m or $106,287-$159,430.
Prior to the sale of the Renoir will be a fine interior study of the London home of the émigré SA artist, Edward Wolfe, presented by Enslin du Plessis — a fellow expat who left an indelible mark on the art scene in London. The auction includes five works by Du Plessis; other SA artists featured in this auction whose output was influenced by their European training and travels are Albert Adams, Tinus de Jongh, Jack Heath, Jane Tully Heath and Terence McCaw.
“Transcending Boundaries” features a collection of 111 artworks contributed by artists from the Americas, Asia Pacific, British Isles and Europe. The pieces have been sourced from various SA collections, reflecting the evolving tastes of generations of SA collectors who acquired international works of art from local dealers or during their travels.
“Starting in the 1950s, dealers such as Matthew Whippman and Henry Lidchi in Johannesburg and Joseph Wolpe in Cape Town acquired top international artists for their SA clients. They serviced the market with fresh and exciting British and European studio lithographs and etchings by the likes of Chadwick, Chagall, Miro, Moore, Nicholson, Picasso, Piper and Tilson, and US artists such as Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol and Wesselmann. Many of these artists appear in Transcending Boundaries,” said senior art specialist at Strauss & Co, Ian Hunter.
Alongside Renoir, the impressive line-up of A-list artists include Mr Brainwash, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Chagall, Tracey Emin, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Takashi Murakami and Andy Warhol.
Additionally, the auction includes a diverse array of art, ranging from editioned works on paper by Chagall, Miro, Moore and Chadwick to high-value paintings by John Piper, Edward Seago, Joža Uprka and William Wyllie. This extends to photography with a captivating piece by Fluxist pioneer Nam June Paik and a small but significant consignment of sculpture, including a Jeff Koons ceramic.
Leigh Leyde, the art researcher and cataloguer at Strauss & Co, said, “for the first time in the history of the company we are offering a modern and contemporary art auction that focuses internationally. This stands to show how Strauss & Co continues to grow its reach abroad. It's amazing to see how much continental work can be found on SA soils and we hope to offer an auction like this one every year.”
This auction not only promises to showcase exceptional art but also invites you on a journey through time, exploring artistic legacies that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to bear witness to this event.
The in-person preview at Strauss & Co’s Cape Town premises is available from October 19-24, except Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, and continues on the auction day, October 25, during the same hours.