Tue, 30th Nov 2021 18:00

Modern & Contemporary Art | Johannesburg

 
  Lot 22
 
Lot 22 - Simon Stone (South Africa 1952-)

22

Simon Stone (South Africa 1952-)
A History of Bushfires

oil on canvas

Signature details: signed top right; inscribed with the artist's name, the title, medium and dimensions on a Knysna Fine Art gallery label on the reverse
Literature: Pollak, L. (2013). Simon Stone: Collected Works. Stellenbosch: SMAC Art Publishing, illustrated in colour on p.131.

(Qty: 1)

106 x 183 cm; framed size: 107.5 x 185 x 4 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Knysna Fine Art, Knysna.

Notes:

In the artist monograph Simon Stone: Collected Works (2013), art historian and writer Lloyd Pollak describes the impressive large-scale painting A History of Bush Fires from 2006 as “one of Stone’s most captivating works”. Pollak further elaborates that “the looseness, freedom and spontaneity of Stone’s cloyingly beautiful evocations of colour, light and atmosphere are virtually unrivalled by any other contemporary South African artist”.

He further analyses the painting as follows: “As the eye travels from left to right, so it journeys from light into darkness. The painting divides vertically into two: one half is misty, but bright and light-filled; the other is dark, tenebrous and macabre. To left, a figure coalesces out of swirling sunlit clouds and mist like a ghostly apparition. The vaporous haze fudges line and contour, endowing the scene with a wispy fragility that contrasts with the solidity of the figures to right, where the lights dims, and the mood becomes ominous and threatening. There, firmly planted on terra firma, a seductress in black lingerie and high heels raises her arms to adjust her hair, thereby exposing her ample cleavage. By her side, stands a thuggish man. His weapon, a lethal sawfish snout, and the metal helmet concealing his face, both suggest the dangerous criminal.

A History of Bushfires seemingly consists of shards that refuse to cohere. In the critical literature on postmodernism, this absence of meaning is frequently justified, as reflecting the postmodern breakdown of any coherent world view, the collapse of the ‘grand narratives’ upon which our understanding of life and society were posited. Such a theory would assert that Stone’s enigmatic figures, standing on the shore, are castaways from the cultural shipwreck which drained meaning from the world.

Such an interpretation is supported by Stone’s account of a dream he once had, and which casts light on his use of juxtaposition [in his paintings]. ‘How are you connected to the rest of the world’, Stone asks vis-à-vis the dream. ‘I have always had a sense of apartness … a feeling of not belonging, not knowing and not understanding. I have always had it since my childhood, and I still have it today. I have always tried to make sense of the world, and in a way, I think that is why I paint. I think my primary urge is to put things together and see how they connect, and I think that is what my work is about.’

The apparently unrelated figures in A History of Bushfires transform the painting into a visual metaphor that communicates the mystery and bafflement that the artist claims existence has always provoked in him. The painting reflects its creator’s bewilderment, and mirrors his feelings of ‘not belonging, not knowing and not understanding’”.[1]

Marelize van Zyl

[1] Pollak, L. (2013). Simon Stone: Collected Works. Stellenbosch: SMAC Art Publishing, pp 130 – 131.

Sold for R136,560
Estimated at R100,000 - R150,000


Condition report

The overall condition is good. The paint is clean, vibrant and stable.

The frame has minor abrasions along the edges in areas.

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

Signature details: signed top right; inscribed with the artist's name, the title, medium and dimensions on a Knysna Fine Art gallery label on the reverse
Literature: Pollak, L. (2013). Simon Stone: Collected Works. Stellenbosch: SMAC Art Publishing, illustrated in colour on p.131.

(Qty: 1)

106 x 183 cm; framed size: 107.5 x 185 x 4 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Knysna Fine Art, Knysna.

Notes:

In the artist monograph Simon Stone: Collected Works (2013), art historian and writer Lloyd Pollak describes the impressive large-scale painting A History of Bush Fires from 2006 as “one of Stone’s most captivating works”. Pollak further elaborates that “the looseness, freedom and spontaneity of Stone’s cloyingly beautiful evocations of colour, light and atmosphere are virtually unrivalled by any other contemporary South African artist”.

He further analyses the painting as follows: “As the eye travels from left to right, so it journeys from light into darkness. The painting divides vertically into two: one half is misty, but bright and light-filled; the other is dark, tenebrous and macabre. To left, a figure coalesces out of swirling sunlit clouds and mist like a ghostly apparition. The vaporous haze fudges line and contour, endowing the scene with a wispy fragility that contrasts with the solidity of the figures to right, where the lights dims, and the mood becomes ominous and threatening. There, firmly planted on terra firma, a seductress in black lingerie and high heels raises her arms to adjust her hair, thereby exposing her ample cleavage. By her side, stands a thuggish man. His weapon, a lethal sawfish snout, and the metal helmet concealing his face, both suggest the dangerous criminal.

A History of Bushfires seemingly consists of shards that refuse to cohere. In the critical literature on postmodernism, this absence of meaning is frequently justified, as reflecting the postmodern breakdown of any coherent world view, the collapse of the ‘grand narratives’ upon which our understanding of life and society were posited. Such a theory would assert that Stone’s enigmatic figures, standing on the shore, are castaways from the cultural shipwreck which drained meaning from the world.

Such an interpretation is supported by Stone’s account of a dream he once had, and which casts light on his use of juxtaposition [in his paintings]. ‘How are you connected to the rest of the world’, Stone asks vis-à-vis the dream. ‘I have always had a sense of apartness … a feeling of not belonging, not knowing and not understanding. I have always had it since my childhood, and I still have it today. I have always tried to make sense of the world, and in a way, I think that is why I paint. I think my primary urge is to put things together and see how they connect, and I think that is what my work is about.’

The apparently unrelated figures in A History of Bushfires transform the painting into a visual metaphor that communicates the mystery and bafflement that the artist claims existence has always provoked in him. The painting reflects its creator’s bewilderment, and mirrors his feelings of ‘not belonging, not knowing and not understanding’”.[1]

Marelize van Zyl

[1] Pollak, L. (2013). Simon Stone: Collected Works. Stellenbosch: SMAC Art Publishing, pp 130 – 131.

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

In the My Account tab you can also enter telephone bids, or email bids@aspireart.net to log telephone/absentee bids.

Join us on the day of the auction to follow and bid in real-time.

The auction will be live-streamed with an audio-visual feed.

Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art | Johannesburg, Tue, 30th Nov 2021

 

A focused collection of top historical, modern and contemporary artworks, this boutique-style sale presents impressive examples of South Africa’s best-known artists at auction. Included is a wonderful oil on canvas still-life by Irma Stern painted in 1936, an exquisite equestrian painting by Tretchikoff, 4 early watercolours by George Pemba, a monumental Villa from 1976 and 6 superb lots by William Kentridge. Also on offer are impressive contemporary works by Kate Gottgens, Phillemon Hlungwani, Wim Botha and Banele Khoza, amongst others.

Notably, the sale also includes works from the collection of the world-renowned Handspring Puppet Company. This collection maps much of the company’s creative, personal and professional journey and includes works by Kentridge, Pemba, Simon Stone and Zanele Muholi, amongst others.

The Live Auction is the first to be held at Aspire’s new premises in Johannesburg, located in the heart of the city’s art district, in Bolton Road, Parkwood.

Viewing

Viewing will be open from Wednesday 24 to Tuesday 30 November from 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: 32 Bolton Road, Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193

View all lots in this sale

Images *

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.