South African auction house Aspire Art Auctions is offering two ‘fresh to the market’ Irma Stern paintings valued at £300,000 & £550,000 (R5m –R9m).
Experts say the paintings 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.
Maileshi Setti, Art Cataloguer at Aspire Art Auctions with the paintings
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, said: “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.”
Experts told GBI Magazine that 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.