Mon, 31st Oct 2016 20:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 51
Lot 51 - Erik Laubscher (South Africa 1927-2013)


Erik Laubscher (South Africa 1927-2013)
Extensive landscape

acrylic on canvas

Artwork date: 1967
Signature details: signed and dated

Sold for R181,888
Estimated at R180,000 - R240,000

Condition Report

Minor retouching and some overpainting, otherwise good.

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.


acrylic on canvas

Artwork date: 1967
Signature details: signed and dated


54 x 91.5 cm


In 1966 Erik Laubscher was the first South African artist to receive the Carnegie Grant, allowing him to spend three months on a tour of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Washington, studying art movements in the USA. One of the developments that followed from this study trip was the “substantiation of the ‘hard-edge’ tendencies of his style with an accompanying elimination of all texture” (Berman 1983:251). Another was the use of acrylic, paint that dries faster and creates the impression of movement in the texture of the paint surface (Gray 1978:108). These developments suited Laubscher’s intention to establish movement, volume, perspective by means of colour, and tension created by contrasting elements as the dominant features of his work.

Extensive Landscape, painted in acrylic the year after his return from the USA, is a celebration of all these features. The landscape is rendered in four nuanced colour fields, flowing across the canvas without any form of vegetation or human presence to determine scale. The sheer volume of the Western Cape landscape is unlike any other, Laubscher remarked in an interview in 1967: “There is a heroic majesty about everything pertaining to Africa…. The artist must have a definite oneness with this magnitude” (Gray 1978:108). Instead of being a mere cerebral exercise, this abstraction is indicative of Laubscher’s intimate relationship with nature.

Johan Myburg


Berman, E. (1983). Art & Artists of South Africa. Cape Town & Rotterdam: A A Balkema.

Gray, S. (1978). Erik Laubscher and his environment. In: Our Art III, Pretoria: Lantern.

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Mon, 31st Oct 2016

The line-up for our inaugural sale included an extraordinary selection of art. Works ranged from JH Pierneef’s breathtaking Karoo near Hofmeyer, painted in 1930, to Dan Halter’s 2006, ultraviolet light, Pefection. 

Sculptures varied from Edoardo Villa’s acknowledgment of French artist, Aristide Maillol to Wim Botha’s heads that draw on classical and contemporary sources and Ed Young’s cheeky nude self-portrait. Also included were impressive photographs by award-winners, David Goldblatt and Pieter Hugo.

The auction set an impressive standard, with an outstanding sell-through rate of over 75% across 121 lots. The top lot of the sale was Alexis Preller’s exceptional Profile Figures (Mirrored Image), selling for over  R7-million. Record sales were achieved for Villa, Goldblatt, and Hugo, amongst others.


Friday 28 October 2016 | 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 28 October 2016 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 28 October 2016 | 10 am – 4 pm


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