Mon, 31st Oct 2016 20:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 70
Lot 70 - Claudette Schreuders (South Africa 1973-)


Claudette Schreuders (South Africa 1973-)
Third Person

colour pencil

Artwork date: 2003
Signature details: signed, dated and inscribed with the title

Sold for R102,312
Estimated at R90,000 - R120,000

Condition Report

Floated to the backing mount, 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.


colour pencil

Artwork date: 2003
Signature details: signed, dated and inscribed with the title


36.5 x 25.5 cm


Born in 1973 in Pretoria, Claudette Schreuders lives and works in Cape Town, where she graduated with a master's degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art. In 2004, Schreuders was commissioned to produce four life size bronzes of South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli and F.W. de Klerk for the Waterfront in Cape Town. Her first solo museum exhibition toured the United States in 2004/5. She has shown extensively on group exhibitions, including Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2011.

Best known as a sculptor, she has developed a distinctive style of stocky figures with large heads that echo the proportions of traditional African art as well as drawing on African colon sculptures, originally intended to represent colonial figures. As Rory Bester points out, “Schreuders has established a style whose formal elements reiterate a sense of ambiguity and anxiety: small solitary figures with the aura of invisible or indeterminable narrative silences, the generally expressionless faces that mask any overt or strong feelings” (Bester 2012).

Her method generally starts with drawings, often in pencil crayon, largely to remember an idea. Melancholy Boy depicts a young boy, disarmingly dressed in only his underwear, who points to a message inscribed in red capitals on his torso which, translated from Swahili, reads ‘The one who wants you to leave will not tell you so’. Made during a residency in Kenya, the work alludes to the anxieties around comprehension or the lack thereof, belonging or not, that emphasis the sense of vulnerability so central to her work. Melancholy is also the title of Albrecht Dürer’s self-portrait, highlighting the strong introspective nature of these works.

Third Person depicts two girls intensely bound together, evoking associations of intimacy as well as suffocation. Two’s company, three’s a crowd? Derde wiel aan die wa? Third Person (2005), from a body of work entitled Crying in Public, is one of 10 lithographs by Schreuders in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. It is rare to see pencil drawings such as these at auction by an artist whose sculptures are so sought after that lengthy waiting lists exist.

Emma Bedford


Bester, R. (2012). Claudette Schreuders and the Autobiography of Complexity. [Accessed 5 September 2016]

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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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