Love sold for R3.4m at Cape Town auction

2014-03-18 12:37

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The hotly contested painting Love was sold for a record R3.4 million at a posh auction in Cape Town last night.

An abstract painting of a woman taking a drag of a cigarette by late South African artist Stanley Pinker was the toast of an auction by Strauss & Co at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town last night. The undocumented painting is entitled Love and bears the word in bold letters.

R3.4 million is a personal record for Pinker, who died at the age of 87 in Cape Town in 2012.

At the time of his death, the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town credited him with negotiating the “angst-ridden landscape of apartheid through the use of humour, metaphor and subversive allusion”. His previous record was for The Wheel of Life, which sold for R2.4 million in 2010.

Born in Windhoek, Pinker studied in Cape Town. He lived in Europe for several years and started painting after World War 2 while travelling in Italy as an 18-year-old soldier.

He was a lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town until 1986.

Strauss & Co spokesperson Bina Genovese said Love had been “hotly contested between 10 telephone bidders and buyers in the packed auction room”.

Other auction highlights included Irma Stern’s 1938 oil painting Dakar Woman, which sold for R6.6 million.

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