Sun, 3rd Nov 2019 10:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
Lot 37
 
Lot 37 - Walter Whall Battiss (South Africa 1906-1982)

37

Walter Whall Battiss (South Africa 1906-1982)
Figures and houses

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 1967
Signature details: signed bottom left; signed, dated 1.12.1967 and inscribed 'All happiness for Joy and Joe' on the reverse

(1)

40.5 x 50.5 cm

Notes:

Throughout his life, the boundaries of Walter Battiss’ creativity, his unique approach to painting and the choice of his subject matter stretched as far as the distances he travelled. The 1960s in particular was a decade of discovery for Battiss, as he undertook many trips up the East Coast of Africa and to the Middle East, Southern Arabia, Greece and the island of Crete. During these voyages he made numerous pen and ink sketches of the places he visited. Many of these scenes were also translated into oil on canvas.Battiss was a subjective observer and he was interested in the various ways he could uniquely capture and visually interpret a particular place, its landscape, culture and spirit, and his own impressions thereof. This resulted in interesting shifts in his use of colour and the iconography of his work.[1] Village scene presents one such captivating and personal record by the artist. It is an exceptionally charming work in which the pictured rural setting is rendered with a sense of loose spontaneity, showing Battiss’ distinctive use of a pallet knife when liberally applying thick layers of paint in different colours and the creation of palimpsests by the addition of sgraffito-like drawings. The composition is crammed with stacked structures and some figures which add life to the scene. A rooster, amusingly positioned on the roof of a structure draws attention – a teasing reminder of the playful and good-humoured nature of the artist.The most striking aspect of this painting is the artist’s predominant use of blue. During his travels through the East Coast of Africa in 1964, Battiss was stunned by the clarity and distinctive nature of the blue African sky that he encountered in places like Zanzibar, Mombasa, Lamu and the Bajun Islands in particular. This was an important source of inspiration, and many of the paintings Battiss produced during this period can be recognized by the distinct presence of blue.[2] Village scene forms part of this extensive body of work, considered today as the artist’s finest.

Marelize van Zyl

Sources:

[1] Siebrits, W (ed). (2016). Walter Battiss: I Invented Myself. Johannesburg: Ampersand Foundation. p. 58

[2] Ibid p. 60.

Sold for R227,600
Estimated at R200,000 - R300,000


Condition Report

The overall condition is good. Paint is vibrant, minor stable cracking in areas, small area of unstable craquelure right portion.

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: 1967
Signature details: signed bottom left; signed, dated 1.12.1967 and inscribed 'All happiness for Joy and Joe' on the reverse

(1)

40.5 x 50.5 cm

Notes:

Throughout his life, the boundaries of Walter Battiss’ creativity, his unique approach to painting and the choice of his subject matter stretched as far as the distances he travelled. The 1960s in particular was a decade of discovery for Battiss, as he undertook many trips up the East Coast of Africa and to the Middle East, Southern Arabia, Greece and the island of Crete. During these voyages he made numerous pen and ink sketches of the places he visited. Many of these scenes were also translated into oil on canvas.Battiss was a subjective observer and he was interested in the various ways he could uniquely capture and visually interpret a particular place, its landscape, culture and spirit, and his own impressions thereof. This resulted in interesting shifts in his use of colour and the iconography of his work.[1] Village scene presents one such captivating and personal record by the artist. It is an exceptionally charming work in which the pictured rural setting is rendered with a sense of loose spontaneity, showing Battiss’ distinctive use of a pallet knife when liberally applying thick layers of paint in different colours and the creation of palimpsests by the addition of sgraffito-like drawings. The composition is crammed with stacked structures and some figures which add life to the scene. A rooster, amusingly positioned on the roof of a structure draws attention – a teasing reminder of the playful and good-humoured nature of the artist.The most striking aspect of this painting is the artist’s predominant use of blue. During his travels through the East Coast of Africa in 1964, Battiss was stunned by the clarity and distinctive nature of the blue African sky that he encountered in places like Zanzibar, Mombasa, Lamu and the Bajun Islands in particular. This was an important source of inspiration, and many of the paintings Battiss produced during this period can be recognized by the distinct presence of blue.[2] Village scene forms part of this extensive body of work, considered today as the artist’s finest.

Marelize van Zyl

Sources:

[1] Siebrits, W (ed). (2016). Walter Battiss: I Invented Myself. Johannesburg: Ampersand Foundation. p. 58

[2] Ibid p. 60.

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