Wed, 14th Sep 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 42
 
Lot 42 - Walter Battiss (South Africa 1906-1982)

42

Walter Battiss (South Africa 1906-1982)
Last Supper / African Wall

oil on canvas

Artwork date: circa: 1973
Signature details: signed bottom right
Exhibited: Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, ‘A Retrospective of the Works of Walter Whall Battiss (1906 - 1982)’, 20 October to 3 December 2005. Antwerpen, 2014; Le Bal, Paris, 2014..; Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, 'Walter Battiss: Comprehensive Exhibition', 26 September to 28 October 1979.
Literature: Skawran, K. (2005). 'Walter Battiss: Gentle Anarchist', Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery, illustrated in colour on p. 94; Schoonraad, M. & Duminy, P. (1981). 'Battiss 75'. Pietermaritzburg: D & S Publishers, illustrated in colour on p. 12.; Werth, A. J. (Foreword). (1980). 'Walter Battiss: Comprehensive Exhibition'. [Exhibition catalogue], Pretoria: Heer, referenced on p.17.

Sold for R273,120
Estimated at R200,000 - R300,000


Condition Report

The overall condition of the work is very good.

The condition of the frame is good. There are minor chips and scratches along the edges and corners of the frame.

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: circa: 1973
Signature details: signed bottom right
Exhibited: Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, ‘A Retrospective of the Works of Walter Whall Battiss (1906 - 1982)’, 20 October to 3 December 2005. Antwerpen, 2014; Le Bal, Paris, 2014..; Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, 'Walter Battiss: Comprehensive Exhibition', 26 September to 28 October 1979.
Literature: Skawran, K. (2005). 'Walter Battiss: Gentle Anarchist', Johannesburg: Standard Bank Gallery, illustrated in colour on p. 94; Schoonraad, M. & Duminy, P. (1981). 'Battiss 75'. Pietermaritzburg: D & S Publishers, illustrated in colour on p. 12.; Werth, A. J. (Foreword). (1980). 'Walter Battiss: Comprehensive Exhibition'. [Exhibition catalogue], Pretoria: Heer, referenced on p.17.

(1)

50 x 60 cm; framed size: 61.5 x 71.5 x 4 cm

Provenance:

The Murray Schoonraad collection.

Private collection, Cape Town.

Notes:

In Last Supper, alternatively titled African Wall, Walter Battiss depicts, in his own exuberant and playful way, the scene of the Last Supper. Traditionally, a dramatic and psychologically complex moment portraying the last supper Jesus had with the 12 apostles, and specifically the moment after he announced that one of his apostles would betray him.

Most often associated with Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural painting at the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, depictions of The Last Supper in Christian art in fact date back to early Christianity and can be seen in the Catacombs of Rome.

In modern times, countless artists have studied, referenced and reinterpreted The Last Supper in ways that communicate a myriad of attitudes towards religion, art and society. In 1955, surrealist Salvador Dalí painted The Sacrament of the Last Supper, in 1972 feminist Mary Beth Edelson appropriated Da Vinci’s work by collaging the heads of notable women artists over the apostles in Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper and pop-artist Andy Warhol used The Last Supper to create his last and largest series of paintings from 1986–87. More recently, in 2013, postcolonial contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare drew on Da Vinci’s work in Last Supper (after Leonardo) and The Last Supper Exploded.

Battiss is certainly in good company when delving into this centuries old subject. But what set him apart from many of his contemporaries in South Africa, is that his art was deeply rooted in Africa and he combines the western Christian image with his personal distinctive visual language to create a vibrant and unique work.

Well-known for his study of San rock art, Battiss often directly referenced their imagery. But the artistic practices he studied also acted as a catalyst for pictorial elements such as a two dimensional approach, use of flat surfaces and colour and erasure of detail – which he came to use widely and are masterfully employed in Last Supper.

At the very center of the composition, a bizarre figure, half zebra, half man – and quite possibly inspired by San imagery – appears to feed five long-legged white birds. Behind him only 9 figures (not the normal 13, 12 apostles and Jesus) are seated at a table as Battiss depicts his own assortment of simplified flat imagery of animals, animal-like figures, men and women – one an even a slightly daring nude – in this fantastical, and playful painting.

Sarah Sinisi

Collections:

The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.; Johannesburg Art Gallery.; Javett Art Centre, Pretoria.; Cincinnati Gallery, Cincinnati and Wits Art Museum and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Wed, 14th Sep 2022

 

Aspire Art will impress collectors with this focused, boutique-style auction. Including 81 carefully selected lots the sale boasts impressive examples by many of South Africa’s most celebrated artists. A fine selection of William Kentridge works, including two original drawings, Eduardo Villa sculptures, painting by Robert Hodgins and Walter Battiss and a wonderful early Penny Siopis drawing are on offer.

Also featured are two special sections – Black Modernism and Photography. Aspire has firmly cemented itself as a champion of both these collecting segments and collectors will be spoilt for choice with a rare drawing by Dumile Feni as well as works by other modernists including Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba and Lucas Sithole and photographs by David Goldblatt, Mohau Modisakeng and Simphiwe Ndzube amongst others.

Viewing

The exhibition preview is open to the public.

Viewing is from Friday 9 to Wednesday 14 September.

Weekdays from 09h30 to 16h30, Saturdays from 09h30 to 14h00, and Sundays by appointment.

View all lots in this sale

Images *

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


 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:


 

Logistics

While we endeavour to assist our Clients as much as possible, we require artwork(s) to be delivered and/or collected from our premises by the Client. In instances where a Client is unable to deliver or collect artwork(s), Aspire staff is available to assist in this process by outsourcing the services to one of our preferred Service Providers. The cost for this will be for the Client’s account, with an additional Handling Fee of 15% charged on top of the Service Provider’s invoice.

Aspire Art provides inter-company transfer services for its Clients between Johannesburg and Cape Town branches. These are based on the size of the artwork(s), and charged as follows:

Small (≤60x90x10 cm): R400

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R800

Large (≤120x150x20 cm): R1,200

Over-size: Special quote

 

Should artwork(s) be collected or delivered to/from Clients by Aspire Art directly, the following charges will apply:

Collection/delivery ≤20km: R400

Collection/delivery 20km>R800≤50km

Collection/delivery >50km: Special quote

 

Packaging

A flat fee of R100 will be added to the invoice for packaging of unframed works on paper.

 


International Collectors Shipping Package

For collectors based outside South Africa who purchase regularly from Aspire Art’s auctions in South Africa, it does not make sense to ship artworks individually or per auction and pay shipping every time you buy another work. Consequently, we have developed a special collectors’ shipping package to assist in reducing shipping costs and the constant demands of logistics arrangements.

For buyers from outside South Africa, we will keep the artworks you have purchased in storage during the year and then ship all the works you have acquired during the year together, so the shipping costs are reduced. At the end of the annual period, we will source various quotes to get you the best price, and ship all your artworks to your desired address at once.

Aspire Art will arrange suitable storage during, and cost-effective shipping at the end, of the annual period.

 


Collections

Collections are by appointment, with 24-hours’ notice

Clients are requested to contact the relevant office and inform Aspire Art of which artwork(s) they would like to collect, and allow a 24-hour window for Aspire Art’s logistics department to retrieve the artwork(s) and prepare them for collection.

 


Handling Fee

Aspire Art charges a 15% Handling Fee on all Logistics, Framing, Restoration and Conservation arranged by Aspire.