Mon, 27th Mar 2017 15:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

 
Lot 134
 
Lot 134 - Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef (South Africa 1906-1982)

134

Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef (South Africa 1906-1982)
A view across Fisherman's Cove, Seychelles

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 1955
Signature details: signed and dated

(1)

76 x 91.5 cm

Notes:

Pierneef’s first major exhibition comprising fifty works opened in May 1925 at the Sales Rooms of Lezard’s in Johannesburg where his work was well received by the public. Soon after, this exhibition was followed by an initiative of his friends back in Pretoria, advocate Gordon Price and his wife, who organised another exhibition at their home at Meintjeskop. The sales at these two successful shows enabled Pierneef to leave for Europe on a much anticipated study tour, having worked hard at establishing his career as a foremost painter with his distinctive vision and interpretation of the sun-drenched South African bushveld landscape.In January 1926, Pierneef and his wife returned on the freighter S.S. Toba via Port Said down the east coast of Africa. As the freighter docked in every port for a few days at a time, there was ample opportunity for the artist to disembark and wander about to draw and paint exotic harbour scenes and the lush tropical vegetation which he found exhilarating. As with Irma Stern and Walter Battiss, the east coast of Africa with its exotic islands in the Indian Ocean, captivated Pierneef’s creative imagination. He was back on African soil and eager to work again in the bright sun as can be seen in his depictions of Zanzibar (1926) and Mozambique (1926).During the nineteen fifties, at the very pinnacle of his career, Pierneef was acknowledged, amongst others, with two honorary doctorate degrees from the universities of Natal and Pretoria; two major retrospective exhibitions in Johannesburg and Potchefstroom; as well as further exhibitions which were to follow in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. Owing to his steadily declining health, regular travels to the eastern Transvaal bushveld became more frequent, affording him time to rest and paint at leisure. However, more pressure was brought to bear on him with the centenary celebrations of Pretoria in 1955 fast approaching and the City Council commissioning a large painting for its Chambers. Due to other commitments, Pierneef requested an extension but eventually completed this commission in July 1954.Exhausted, Pierneef and his wife, May, left in August for a four-month stay in the Seychelles where they spent quality time with close friends, relaxing and fishing, and where he could paint at will. Unlike the subdued palette of his more familiar wintery South African bushveld scenes, he was introduced here to a variety of new compositional features plus the intensity of the ‘tropical greens’ of the vegetation.At the request of one of the friends who spent time on the island with Pierneef, the artist painted this exact scene as depicted in the black and white photograph. Back home, Pierneef completed the painting in 1955. In this painting, compositional elements such as his well-known monumentally stacked cloud formations (evident as early as 1926 in his paintings Zanzibar and Mozambique), and the so-called ‘Pierneef trees’, made way for the striking presence of cocoa nut palms along the beachfront in the foreground. Here, Pierneef applied his superb creative skills by utilising the dramatic diagonals of the palms to divide the composition into a distinct fore- and background, creating exquisite smaller cameos and drawing the eye directly into the exotic scenery of the background, beyond the boats on the shore to a smaller distant island and, beyond that, retreating into the haze on the horizon. The subtle trees, clouds and mountainous horizon in the background form a backdrop for this visually striking island scene.Pierneef experienced the vastly diverse verdant scenery of the island as intellectually and creatively challenging. He routinely went for long walks, discovering paintable scenes along the way. This can be seen in Sawmill, Seychelles (1954), where he used the same compositional device by placing huge palm trees in the foreground to lead the eye across a pond into the background, towards the bright red buildings of the sawmill.

Eunice Basson

Sources:

Ahlers, G.H. (1952). J.H. Pierneef - ‘n Kort Waardering. Lantern, Desember.

Anonymous (1957). Tributes to Pierneef, doyen of S.A. artists. Rand Daily Mail, 5 October.

Brander (ps), (1947). Pierneef herhaal homself te veel. Die Suiderstem, 9 Januarie.

Cartwright, A.P. (1960). 1910 – The Union Hall of Fame – 1960. How Pierneef saw his homeland. Portrait of an artist who was a happy man. The Star, May 30.

Currie, R.R. (1957). Boedel van J.H. Pierneef. Uiters belangrike verkoping van 25 Manjifieke Olieverfskilderye en 15 Uitstaande Waterverfskilderye van hierdie beroemde Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaar word te koop aangebied op ’n publieke veiling. Brochure. Richard R Currie Auctioneers. Johannesburg: Auction House.

De Villiers, R. (1986). JH Pierneef, Pretorian, Transvaler, South African. Memorial Exhibition of Works from the Collection of the Pretoria Art Museum. Catalogue. Pretoria: Pretoria Art Museum.

Hendriks, P.A. (1957). Waardering van die werk van J.H. Pierneef. SAUK-uitsending, 8 Oktober.

Kempff, K. (1995). Pierneef: die kragtige tekenaar. Insig, Februarie.

Nel, P.G. (1990). JH Pierneef. His life and work. Johannesburg: Perskor.

Staff Reporter. (1957). Mrs Jansen Buys 3 Works. Pierneef Paintings Back in Pretoria. Pretoria News, 11 December.

Van Rensburg, W (Ed). (2015). A Space for Landscape: The work of JH Pierneef. Catalogue. Exhibition held at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, 8 July to 12 September.

Sold for R4,547,200
Estimated at R2,500,000 - R3,500,000


Condition Report

Get professional report from Julian Gous.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

 

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 1955
Signature details: signed and dated

(1)

76 x 91.5 cm

Notes:

Pierneef’s first major exhibition comprising fifty works opened in May 1925 at the Sales Rooms of Lezard’s in Johannesburg where his work was well received by the public. Soon after, this exhibition was followed by an initiative of his friends back in Pretoria, advocate Gordon Price and his wife, who organised another exhibition at their home at Meintjeskop. The sales at these two successful shows enabled Pierneef to leave for Europe on a much anticipated study tour, having worked hard at establishing his career as a foremost painter with his distinctive vision and interpretation of the sun-drenched South African bushveld landscape.In January 1926, Pierneef and his wife returned on the freighter S.S. Toba via Port Said down the east coast of Africa. As the freighter docked in every port for a few days at a time, there was ample opportunity for the artist to disembark and wander about to draw and paint exotic harbour scenes and the lush tropical vegetation which he found exhilarating. As with Irma Stern and Walter Battiss, the east coast of Africa with its exotic islands in the Indian Ocean, captivated Pierneef’s creative imagination. He was back on African soil and eager to work again in the bright sun as can be seen in his depictions of Zanzibar (1926) and Mozambique (1926).During the nineteen fifties, at the very pinnacle of his career, Pierneef was acknowledged, amongst others, with two honorary doctorate degrees from the universities of Natal and Pretoria; two major retrospective exhibitions in Johannesburg and Potchefstroom; as well as further exhibitions which were to follow in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. Owing to his steadily declining health, regular travels to the eastern Transvaal bushveld became more frequent, affording him time to rest and paint at leisure. However, more pressure was brought to bear on him with the centenary celebrations of Pretoria in 1955 fast approaching and the City Council commissioning a large painting for its Chambers. Due to other commitments, Pierneef requested an extension but eventually completed this commission in July 1954.Exhausted, Pierneef and his wife, May, left in August for a four-month stay in the Seychelles where they spent quality time with close friends, relaxing and fishing, and where he could paint at will. Unlike the subdued palette of his more familiar wintery South African bushveld scenes, he was introduced here to a variety of new compositional features plus the intensity of the ‘tropical greens’ of the vegetation.At the request of one of the friends who spent time on the island with Pierneef, the artist painted this exact scene as depicted in the black and white photograph. Back home, Pierneef completed the painting in 1955. In this painting, compositional elements such as his well-known monumentally stacked cloud formations (evident as early as 1926 in his paintings Zanzibar and Mozambique), and the so-called ‘Pierneef trees’, made way for the striking presence of cocoa nut palms along the beachfront in the foreground. Here, Pierneef applied his superb creative skills by utilising the dramatic diagonals of the palms to divide the composition into a distinct fore- and background, creating exquisite smaller cameos and drawing the eye directly into the exotic scenery of the background, beyond the boats on the shore to a smaller distant island and, beyond that, retreating into the haze on the horizon. The subtle trees, clouds and mountainous horizon in the background form a backdrop for this visually striking island scene.Pierneef experienced the vastly diverse verdant scenery of the island as intellectually and creatively challenging. He routinely went for long walks, discovering paintable scenes along the way. This can be seen in Sawmill, Seychelles (1954), where he used the same compositional device by placing huge palm trees in the foreground to lead the eye across a pond into the background, towards the bright red buildings of the sawmill.

Eunice Basson

Sources:

Ahlers, G.H. (1952). J.H. Pierneef - ‘n Kort Waardering. Lantern, Desember.

Anonymous (1957). Tributes to Pierneef, doyen of S.A. artists. Rand Daily Mail, 5 October.

Brander (ps), (1947). Pierneef herhaal homself te veel. Die Suiderstem, 9 Januarie.

Cartwright, A.P. (1960). 1910 – The Union Hall of Fame – 1960. How Pierneef saw his homeland. Portrait of an artist who was a happy man. The Star, May 30.

Currie, R.R. (1957). Boedel van J.H. Pierneef. Uiters belangrike verkoping van 25 Manjifieke Olieverfskilderye en 15 Uitstaande Waterverfskilderye van hierdie beroemde Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaar word te koop aangebied op ’n publieke veiling. Brochure. Richard R Currie Auctioneers. Johannesburg: Auction House.

De Villiers, R. (1986). JH Pierneef, Pretorian, Transvaler, South African. Memorial Exhibition of Works from the Collection of the Pretoria Art Museum. Catalogue. Pretoria: Pretoria Art Museum.

Hendriks, P.A. (1957). Waardering van die werk van J.H. Pierneef. SAUK-uitsending, 8 Oktober.

Kempff, K. (1995). Pierneef: die kragtige tekenaar. Insig, Februarie.

Nel, P.G. (1990). JH Pierneef. His life and work. Johannesburg: Perskor.

Staff Reporter. (1957). Mrs Jansen Buys 3 Works. Pierneef Paintings Back in Pretoria. Pretoria News, 11 December.

Van Rensburg, W (Ed). (2015). A Space for Landscape: The work of JH Pierneef. Catalogue. Exhibition held at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, 8 July to 12 September.

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

In the My Account tab you can also enter telephone bids, or email bids@aspireart.net to log telephone/absentee bids.

Join us on the day of the auction to follow and bid in real-time.

The auction will be live-streamed with an audio-visual feed.

Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Mon, 27th Mar 2017

The Inaugural Cape Auction offed a diverse range of top-quality historic, modern and contemporary works. With a focus on critically engaged art and a curated approach, seasoned and new collectors competed to acquire significant works.

Aspire’s commitment to the growth of the art market saw international records broken in recognition of exiled South African artists. Louis Maqhubela’s Exiled King, a definitive, politically motivated work, sold for R341,040 - three times his previous record, and Albert Adams’ Untitled (Four Figures with Pitchforks), his first appearance at auction, sold for R136,416. Top prices were also achieved for established artists including J.H Pierneef, William Kentridge, and Edoardo Villa, and contemporary artwork fared exceptionally with record prices for David Brown, Steven Cohen, Mohau Modisakeng, Moshekwa Langa, and Mikhael Subotzky.

Viewing

Friday 24 March 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 25 March 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 26 March 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

View all lots in this sale

Images *

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.


IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Please note that we do not accept post-sale offers on Timed-Online lots.