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  • Irma Stern's Composition could make up to $1.2m in Cape Town
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CompositioncouldIrmaStern's

Irma Stern's Composition could make up to $1.2m in Cape Town

Composition (1923), a painting by leading South African artist Irma Stern, is set to auction at Strauss & Co's October 21 sale in Cape Town with an estimate of $896,526-1.2m.

The piece shows the early influence of the German expressionists, whom Stern met and exhibited with around 1913-1920. It was produced 3 years before The Hunt, an iconic work that explores similar visual ground.

Irma Stern Composition
The painting displays the influence of German expressionism on Stern's painting

Magnolias and Fruit (1947), valued at $796,912-996,140 is another highlight.

Painted in the 1940s, a time when Stern is widely regarded to have been at the height of her abilities, the still life features the vibrant and sensual combinations of colour and texture for which the artist is best known.

Buli Stool with Fruit (1952), another still life, also features with an estimate of $398,456-498,070.

Work by Stern has performed exceptionally well in recent months. A sale of South African Art at Bonhams London on October 2 saw the Malay Bride (1942) achieve £1.2m ($1.9m).

The auction will also feature a double-sided Maggie Laubser painting with an estimate of $49,807-69,729.

The work dates to 1922 and features Portrait of an Old Man with Hat and Landscape with Trees and Sheep in the Background.

Maggie Laubser double painting
The painting is double sided, featuring a landscape on the reverse

The landscape painting is described by Emma Bedman, art specialist at Strauss & Co, as a key painting in the development of South African modernism.

Liz Demont, an art historian, commented: "there is a definite shift from the descriptive picturesque interpretation practised up until this time, to a more abstracted decorative style, in which there is a simplification of form, reduction of detail and intensification of hues".

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CompositioncouldIrmaStern's