Thu, 30th Sep 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 81
Lot 81 - Georgina Gratrix (South Africa 1982-)


Georgina Gratrix (South Africa 1982-)
Most Beautiful Girl

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2010
Literature: Vice online, Georgina Gratrix, written by Linda Stupart. [Available at: from]

Sold for R398,300
Estimated at R350,000 - R400,000

Condition Report

The overall condition is excellent. The paint is stable and the colours are vibrant.

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: 2010
Literature: Vice online, Georgina Gratrix, written by Linda Stupart. [Available at: from]


110 x 80 cm; framed size: 114 x 84 x 7 cm

Private collection, Johannesburg. WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery, Cape Town.


Sensational and dramatic, striking and expressive, Georgina Gratrix’s thickly painted canvases continue to challenge the limits of painterly representation. Distorting shape and form, she offers a new reality – which often parodies contemporary popular culture.In a recent interview, Gratrix explains: “My work is about understanding painting. It’s about a materiality but also, I think, in its most basic form, it’s still lifes and portraiture and using them as frameworks to understand my frame of reference, whether it’s very personal or a broader worldview. It’s using these frameworks to find an aesthetically pleasing way to understand my own world” [1].In this evocative painting, wryly titled Most Beautiful Girl, the excessive application of oil paint forms the layers of make-up and decoration on her characters’ face, creating an expressiveness that is both compelling and alluring. Here, paint becomes matter as materiality and image collide. Of her portraits, Gratrix says: “Beauty is something that really doesn’t interest me at all. I’m more interested in unpicking beauty and moving it towards something that’s uncomfortable, or it’s so beautiful that it’s not” [2].Georgina Gratrix’s first major solo museum exhibition, The Reunion, is currently on show at Norval Foundation in Cape Town. In 2020, she exhibited at the Armory Show in New York City, following her presentation at artmontecarlo in Monte Carlo, Monaco in 2019 and Miart in Milan in 2017. In 2018, she wasbawarded the Discovery Prize at Art Brussels in Belgium.


[1] [Online] Lifestyling, Georgina Gratrix, painting the now, written by Sarah Jayne Fell, 1 April 2021 [Available at:]

[2] Ibid.

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Thu, 30th Sep 2021

Aspire Art Auctions brings a significant and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art to auction in Cape Town. The sale stars exceptional works by many of South Africa’s big signatures, including, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Penny Siopis, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo and J.H Pierneef, amongst others. Also featured is an exciting collection of contemporary artists from elsewhere in Africa – Patrick Bongoy and Zemba Luzamba from the Congo, Moustapha Baïdi Oumarou from Cameroon and Gerald Chukwuma from Nigeria.

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