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Lot 6: Oil painting "Abstract Composition", by Christo Coetzee, 1974
December 7, 2012
Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Oil on canvas
South Africa, 1974
Christo Coetzee (1929-2001) - South African painter
Paintings by Christo Coetzee fetch up to 58,000 Euros at international auctions
Signed and dated lower right „Christo Coetzee 74"
Overall dimensions, framed: 83.5 x 70.5 cm
Very good condition
Coetzee, born in 1929, is one of the best-known South African artists of the 20th century. Thanks to his many stays abroad, during which he formed friendships with European artists, Coetzee's art shows influences of both European and African traditions and forms a completely distinct and unique language of forms. This painting is one of only a few completely abstract compositions in Coetzee's oeuvre. In front of a background of brown, black, beige and blue dashes, we find a large colour field framed by white stripes and consisting of black and yellowish areas. Though its silhouette slightly resembles an African tribal mask, there is no clear connection to any real object. Thick, nearly three dimensional brush strokes have been splashed across the colour field. The composition seems to have been created in layers, starting from the flat background up to the thick colour strokes on top. The flat background surrounds the composition, creating a visual consistency; the painting looks well-balanced, despite the seemingly spontaneous colour application.
The painting is in very good condition and so is the original period frame. The overall dimensions, framed, measure 83.5 x 70.5 cm; the dimensions of the canvas measure 73 x 60 cm. The painting is signed lower right, "Christo Coetzee 74".
Christo COETZEE (1929-2001)
Christo Coetzee was born in Johannesburg in South Africa. He visited the University of Witwatersrand between 1946 and 1950 and formed part of the so called Wit-Group, an informal artists group. Coetzee had his first exhibition in 1951 and was then able to go to London with a scholarship. He went to Rome and Paris as well, where he exhibited together with famous artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Alexander Calder. He won several awards and medals and his former house has been turned into the Christo Coetzee House Museum and Gallery. Works by Coetzee can be seen in museums all around the world, in Canada, France, Italy, Taiwan and The Netherlands and of course in South Africa.