The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Aspire Art Auctions to offer two 'fresh to the market' Irma Stern paintings
Maileshi Setti, Art Cataloguer at Aspire Art Auctions with the paintings.


JOHANNESBURG.- Aspire Art Auctions, the South African auction house, is offering two ‘fresh to the market’ Irma Stern paintings which beautifully capture her vision of Africa as the home and melting pot of cultures – African, European, Arab and Chinese – and which pay tribute to all these influences.

The paintings are part of a sale of Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art on June 17th at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, in Johannesburg.

Emma Bedford, a director of Aspire Art Auctions, says: “Given the international interest in Irma Stern we are delighted to bring these two beautiful works to the market. They both embody her style and her philosophy which was such a rich mélange of the cultures we are heir to here at the southern tip of Africa. What is particularly interesting in the one painting is the presence of a Chinese pot and an Arab influenced table cover. The most valuable Stern ever sold, ‘Arab Priest’, bought by the Qatari Government for £ 3,044,000 (US$ 4,109,209) in 2011, also has this mix of elements.”

Contemporary African art is having a long overdue moment in the spotlight of international interest and prices for a number of top artists from Africa, including Stern, have performed strongly over the past decade. This long overlooked continent and its artists are being discovered afresh, and the influence they have had on Modern and Contemporary European artists is realized once more.

Leading South African artist Irma Stern was ahead of her time in her appreciation of the ‘melting-pot’ nature of culture in South Africa as this painting of magnolias shows. In it are clues to the multi-ethnic nature of society in the region.

She shows the evidence of human creativity that have enriched the local cultural mix – the martaban in which the flowers are placed, and a small post-Sung period Chinese celadon bowl. The martaban, a Chinese storage commonly used on trading vessels, is listed in the Irma Stern Museum catalogue as Southern Chinese, provincial prototype Yüan or later. Then there is the linear patterns of a large, woven Zanzibari mat on which everything is placed, evidence of the Arab Muslim influence. This artful construction evokes a long history of human cultures in southern Africa, and one that is mixed, not a story of racial purity which a decade later would lead to such political unrest in the country.

Stern scholar, Dr Marion Arnold, of Loughborough University, United Kingdom, says: “Stern produced still life paintings throughout her career, invariably depicting natural and cultural forms. Flowering plants and fruits, often from her garden at The Firs in Rosebank, feature prominently as do artefacts she collected. Comments by Stern’s friends affirm her love of gardening (issuing orders rather than digging holes one suspects) and vases of flowers adorned her home and studio. Mona Berman in Remembering Irma: Cape Town: Double Storey Books, 2003, recalls being invited to lunch with Stern and notes, ‘Pink and white magnolias, fresh from the tree, were placed informally in the centre of the table’.

Magnolias are an ancient genus pollinated by beetles before the evolution of bees. To avoid damage from pollinating beetles, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are extremely tough. Used as a botanical term ‘primitive’ carries none of the derogatory connotations conferred on ‘primitive’ in references to people; Magnolias are primitive, beautiful survivors. In Stern’s painting the cut flowers, removed from their natural environment, will last only briefly but they establish a dialogue between the procreative life force of flowering plants and evidence of human creativity. “

The second Stern work on offer is also a still life featuring flowers, a great passion of the artist.

Titles can silence the evocative power of paintings and inhibit a search for meaning beyond the picture frame. This painting is auctioned with a descriptive title because the only evidence of what may have been Stern’s title is a 1980 exhibition catalogue entry: ‘Chrysanth(a)mums (sic)’.

We can see that chrysanthemums provided Stern’s source material but she chose not to portray these flowers in the realist-expressionist style she developed successfully throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

The descriptive title provides a reason for her decision; this is a painting with ‘the artist’s handmade jug’. The artist’s creative practice as painter and ceramist suggests that the painting represents Stern using pictorial language to reflect on her complex artistic identity in 1950. Her handmade ceramic jug, dated 1949, features the back view of a nude woman against white drapery, and Stern’s signature and date are prominent images in the upper right space. The dates are relevant. Stern remained in Africa during WW2, and on her return to Europe in 1946 and 1950 she reconnected with her European heritage and studied current European painting. This still life painting is about Stern, woman and artist in a post-war era, confronting change. This boldly simplified painting asserts pictorial language and evokes the issues of how different cultural contexts influence art practice, and whether artists embrace or reject change in their physical and cultural environments.

Professor Sandra Klopper, Art historian and former deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town, commenting on these paintings, says: “As Irma Stern’s Still life with Magnolias (1949) and Still Life with Chrysanthemums (1950) attest, her paintings almost invariably include not only fruit and flowers, but objets d’art from her collection and, in some cases, her own ceramics. A highly inventive painter, she repeatedly transcends the constraints imposed by traditional genres to produce works that are often exuberantly energetic, but always carefully composed. While most of her still life paintings are intensely voluptuous, celebrating the lyrical potential of colour and the organic lushness of impasto oils, some also pay homage to the more constrained, geometric abstractions associated with the work of her local and international contemporaries.”





Today's News

May 28, 2018

Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

France weighs how to return Africa's plundered art

Dino-killing asteroid shaped tree of life, modern birds

Troubled exhibits: five disputed museum treasures

Artcurial announces highlights from its Post-War & Contemporary Art sale

Collections from Neolithic to Modern provide depth and choice in Gianguan Auctions' June 9 sale

Flashback to Roman Catholic times and iconoclasm in a red church

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens a solo exhibition of new work by Sheila Hicks

A swarm of muslin and steel locusts fills the Crocker Art Museum's third floor galleries

LOVE, CECIL: A documentary film by Lisa Immordino Vreeland to premiere in Los Angeles in July

Art, humour, politics and history: How the pictorial map has helped shape our view of the world

Original Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols on rare public display

Malmö Konsthall opens the largest solo exhibition so far for the Norwegian sculptor Siri Aurdal

Exhibition at The Approach combines the works of Patrick Procktor with drawings by Neil Haas

Waddesdon Manor opens exhibition of works by Michael Eden

Exhibition of new work by British figurative painter Claerwen James on view at Flowers Gallery

Finn Juhl furniture skyrockets past expectations setting new US auction record at Clars May 2018 Sale

Ketterer Kunst's Auction of 19th Century Art totals almost €800,000

A solo exhibition by the painter Bobbie Russon opens at bo.lee gallery

Aspire Art Auctions to offer two 'fresh to the market' Irma Stern paintings

Foam Talent: Exhibition at Frankfurter Kunstverein offers a unique look at current artistic trends

Luce Meunier's third solo exhibition at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran on view in Montreal

Australian Pavilion in Venice transformed into a field of vegetation

National Pavilion UAE's exhibition explores the interplay of architecture and social life

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful