- R100 Strauss & Co Masterclass: Contemporary Art from Africa
Strauss & Co is historically bound to the Venice Biennale and, in particular, the South African National Pavilion because between the years 1950 and 1968, when South Africa was invited to participate, the artists who represented the country have come to form the major constituent body of those traded on the secondary market. To name some highlights amongst those sold by Strauss & Co are Irma Stern, Walter Battiss, Alexis Preller, Maud Sumner, Peter Clarke, Cecil Skotnes, Sydney Kumalo among many others.
Fast forward half a century to South Africa’s renewed participation in what has been dubbed the “Artworld’s Olympics”, one can start to notice that the artists who have represented the country at the Venice Biennale since 2011, have come to form the new wave beginning to be traded at auction. By situating this phenomena in the context of heightened global interest in contemporary art from Africa, Matthew Partridge will take a tour of the Venice Biennale then and now, looking at some of the old masters and new talents who have exhibited at this prestigious event.