GRAND MASTER AUCTION

GRAND MASTER AUCTION

Pinker’s take on an Old Master is to be auctioned.

One of Stanley Pinker’s personal favourite works, an oil he painted after the famous Pastoral Concert/ Fête Champêtre attributed to Renaissance painter Giorgione, will be auctioned at the Stephan Welz & Co. Decorative and Fine Arts Sale in Cape Town on Tuesday 26 May and Wednesday 27 May.

One of Stanley Pinker’s personal favourite works, an oil he painted after the famous Pastoral Concert/ Fête Champêtre attributed to Renaissance painter Giorgione, will be auctioned at the Stephan Welz & Co. Decorative and Fine Arts Sale in Cape Town on Tuesday 26 May and Wednesday 27 May. “The painting is a close copy of the early 16th century work, although executed in a totally different style, with a few Pinker additions, like a bowler hat,” according to Gary Shean, Head of the Paintings Department at Stephan Welz & Co. in Cape Town. The pre-auction estimate is R600 000 – R800 000.

Pinker’s Fête Champêtre is one of a number of paintings, ceramics and other artworks from the Basil and Sue Robinson collection, who were past owners of Ashbeys Galleries and auction house and well-known art collectors in Cape Town.

According to Shean: “Pinker described the painting in unusual detail, which is one of the reasons we know it was a particular favourite.”

Here are the artist’s comments on this work, as extracted from Michael Stevenson’s book, Stanley Pinker: Once Upon a Time There Was:

This is a personal and idiosyncratic re-interpretation of a favourite painting by Giorgione: Pastoral concert (Fête champêtre), painted in 1508 – 1509, which is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. At the time I was preoccupied with Cezanne’s use of colour and my rather shaky but enthusiastic version of his theory is to be seen throughout this painting, The imagery has been updated: The centrally placed courtier with a lute has been replaced by a man in a bowler hat (I was living in Britain at the time). At his feet is a guitar. One nude plays a flute, another pours the wine – an idyllic and sensual scene. The ‘peasant’ in the straw hat incongruously holds a violin and bow.

Pinker was born in Namibia in 1924 and studied in Cape Town under Maurice Van Essche, and later with Alistair Grant at the Hammersmith School of Art in London. After his studies in Cape Town, Pinker left for Europe in 1951 and spent many years abroad before finally resettling in Cape Town in 1964, where he lived until his death in 2012.

Shean comments: “Pinker’s early teacher Maurice van Essche had links to Henri Matisse that connect Pinker directly to European modernism, which can clearly be seen in his version of Fête Champêtre.”

Calling All Clarke Collectors

Following on the great success of Stephan Welz & Co.’s February auction, when three paintings by Peter Clarke, the Cape Town artist whose works have been escalating in value, sold for over R1,3 million collectively in an intense bidding war, the auction house will be offering four more Clarke paintings in May.

One of the highlights, “Game on the Beach”, is a painting that bears the characteristics of an iconic Clarke work,” says Shean. “The composition is delicately presented through luminous and balanced colours and typical bold lines with a red starfish and Clarke’s recurring ‘driftwood’ in the foreground.” Signed and dated in 1972, “Game on the Beach” is valued at R600 000 – R800 000.
Also on offer is Evening Still life with Rhino Head, a large gouache painting signed and dated 1975 which is valued at R140 000 – R180 000. Says Shean: “As a renowned colourist, Clarke captures the darkness of the evening sky and contrasts it against the lighter foreground where a wooden table is set, whereupon lies the head of a rhino with one eye glaring at the viewer.”

Washerwoman is a quality pastel work completed by Clarke and dated 20.12.1947, which depicts a woman doing her daily chores. Valued at R80 000 – R120 000, “it has the subject matter, colour and lines that are all highly sought-after characteristics within a Peter Clarke work,” said Shean.

Considered one of South Africa’s most important artists, Clarke was born and bred in Simonstown. His family was forcibly relocated to Ocean View, the community adjacent to Kommetjie, which was established in 1968 through the Group Areas Act. In spite of his great international reputation, Clarke lived modestly in Ocean View until his death in 2014.

Bid online

The auction will take place in The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Alphen Drive, Constantia on Tuesday 26 May and Wednesday 27 May 2015. Pre-auction viewing is open to the public from Wednesday 20 May to Sunday 24 May, 10am – 5pm. Catalogues will be available from both the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices as well as the Stephan Welz & Co. websitewww.stephanwelzandco.co.za.

Anyone who can’t attend the auction in person can bid for pieces online viawww.the-saleroom.com, a leading portal for live art and antiques auctions. Users of the website can search catalogues and place their bids over the internet in real-time, with live audio and video from the auction room.

For more information, contact 021-794-6461 or e-mail ct@stephanwelzandco.co.za