Sun, 17th Jun 2018 18:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 45
Lot 45 - Zander Blom (South Africa 1982-)


Zander Blom (South Africa 1982-)
Untitled 1.5

oil and graphite on Belgian linen

Artwork date: 2010
Signature details: signed, dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse
Exhibited: Stevenson, Cape Town, Paintings, Drawings, Photos, 9 September to 16 October 2010.
Literature: Blom, Zander. (2013). Paintings: Volume I 2010–2012. Cape Town: Stevenson, colour illustration on p.195.

Sold for R386,920
Estimated at R250,000 - R350,000


oil and graphite on Belgian linen

Artwork date: 2010
Signature details: signed, dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse
Exhibited: Stevenson, Cape Town, Paintings, Drawings, Photos, 9 September to 16 October 2010.
Literature: Blom, Zander. (2013). Paintings: Volume I 2010–2012. Cape Town: Stevenson, colour illustration on p.195.


239 x 144 cm


Since he began exhibiting in the mid 2000s, the idea of the unresolved project of modernism has often been invoked with regard to the work of Zander Blom. Perhaps this is unsurprising for the Pretoria-born artist who grew up “with all the modernist stuff,” and found a “natural inclination to mimic it.”[1] Beginning with the series of installation shows he produced as an artist working with the Rooke Gallery, which combined sculpture, drawings, photographs and music, Blom’s work reflected his feelings during the early part of his career that he “felt like I was studying the masters in a way but from this weird position as a young dude in Johannesburg making this shit in his house.” When Blom moved to the Stevenson Gallery and exhibited his first show of paintings, his fascination and interaction with modernism was still heavily evident in paintings such as this work, Untitled 1.5, which through their heavy daubs and splatters of paint and compositional solutions to the problem of the restrictions of the frame, evoke the work of Jackson Pollock and Francis Bacon. This painting with its swirls of black and white obscuring brighter colours behind and its background figuration of a floating geometrical chair, seems to channel the spirit of Bacon in particular and his famous series of pope portraits. However while Blom’s work may echo the work of his artistic mentor, it remains singularly his own and is perhaps best seen not as mere mimicry but rather the work of an artist who has taken his influences and re-imagined them through his own experiences working in South Africa – one “who through his work…doesn’t steal [but] attacks and devours the legacy of painting.”[2] This work stands as a prime example of that impulse and also serves as a strong early display of the artist’s incorporation of modernist ideas into his work, which have lead to more direct experiments in later works that have made use of collage and drawings in more recognizably direct conversations with the works of modernist masters such as Picasso, Mondrian and Matisse.

Tymon Smith


[1] New Paintings: Zander Blom in conversation with Jason Friedman

[2] Trezzi, N. Paintings Volume II 2013-2016. Stevenson. 2016. p. 17.

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 17th Jun 2018

In a slow and unresponsive market, amid tight economic conditions generally in South Africa, Aspire Art Auctions made impressive statements and set several world records.

Two rare works by Irma Stern achieved sparkling results. The top lot by value: Still life with magnolias, apples and bowl (1949), fetched R6 828 000, the highest price achieved for a work by Stern for over a year. Another significant still life, Still life with chrysanthemums in the artist’s handmade ceramic jug, from 1950, sold for R3 414 000.

A significant, world record was achieved for Peter Clarke – R1 479 400 for Lazy Day, an acrylic and gouache on paper from 1975, and records were also set for contemporary artists, Zander Blom and Paul Stopforth.


Thursday 14 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Friday 15 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 16 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 17 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm

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