Wed, 14th Sep 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 46
 
Lot 46 - Fred Page (South Africa 1908-1984)

46

Fred Page (South Africa 1908-1984)
Tomorrow Belongs to Us

acrylic polymer on board

Artwork date: 1973
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right; inscribed with the title on the reverse
Literature: Wright J. and Kerbel, C. (2011). Fred Page Ringmaster of the Imagination. Port Elizabeth: Cecil Kerbel and Jeanne Wright, illustrated in colour on p.vi.

Sold for R170,700
Estimated at R150,000 - R250,000


Condition Report

The overall condition is good.

Paint is slightly dirt. Very Minor surface dirt.

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 polymer on board

Artwork date: 1973
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right; inscribed with the title on the reverse
Literature: Wright J. and Kerbel, C. (2011). Fred Page Ringmaster of the Imagination. Port Elizabeth: Cecil Kerbel and Jeanne Wright, illustrated in colour on p.vi.

(1)

105 x 76.5 cm; framed size: 119.5 x 91.5 x 3.5 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Fred Page’s paintings always challenge the viewer. Working in relative isolation in Port Elizabeth between 1947 and 1980, his works are stylistically and technically unlike anything in South Africa at the time. His compelling and fantastical paintings are marked by a reduced monochromatic palette and dramatic contrast and portray strange, eerie scenes with a sense of oddness and disquiet.

Page has often been pigeon holed as a surrealist and there certainly are similarities between the 20th century avant-garde movement’s illogical, often dream like scenes and Page’s bizarre and irrational juxtaposition of images. The artist, however, resisted labels, dismissing perceptions of himself as deeply intellectual and rather describing himself as “a very normal person” who simply put his thoughts and fantasies “out there where people can see them”.[1]

The artist refused to offer concrete explanations and this, in many ways, is a great gift. Interpretation remains open, each image resonating with possibility as Page invites us to explore and interrogate his pictorial world.In Tomorrow Belongs to Us (1973) a solitary figure cloaked in a white robe appears to hover on a balcony between two wide open ornate doors, while they look out at a coffee cup seemingly floating in the distance and dark clouds on the horizon. Page has been described as very withdrawn, according to art historian Esmé Berman, he lived an “isolated existence as a recluse in a single, darkened room in a Port Elizabeth boarding house”.[2]

Viewed in this light, one may understand the painting as depicting the fraught inner world of a lonely artist? But the title, Tomorrow Belongs to Us may allow or encourage other interpretations of the figure – as contemplative, hopeful or even insightful. As Marion Arnold succinctly noted in her exhibition opening address of Fred Page’s 1992 exhibition at UNISA, “His images are compelling, not because they are macabre but because they resonate with possibility, seeming to contain truths about moments of existence which can be expressed only in visual equations”.[3]

Sarah Sinisi

[1] Wright, J & Kerbel, C. (2011). Fred Page: Ringmaster of the Imagination. Port Elizabeth: Cecil Kerbel and Jeanne Wright. p.xi.

[2] Berman as cited in Schoolman, S (Ed). (2007). Birth of the Modernist Body [Exhibition catalogue]. Johannesburg: Graham’s Fine Art Gallery. p.104.

[3] Wright, J & Kerbel, C. (2011). Fred Page: Ringmaster of the Imagination. Port Elizabeth: Cecil Kerbel and Jeanne Wright. p.128.

Collections:

The artist is represented in numerous local collections, notably, Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch.; University of Cape Town.; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth.; Javett Art Centre, Pretoria and Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.

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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.

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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.

 


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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.

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Handling Fee

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