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Strauss & Co to sell the late Peter and Regina Strack collection in South Africa

Strauss & Co to sell the late Peter and Regina Strack collection in South Africa

Strauss & Co, South Africa recently presented 20 works in various media from the Namibia-based collection of the late Peter and Regina Strack.

The Strack collection (lots 514 to 533) sale will take place on 15 October at 19:00 at the Vineyard Hotel Capetown.

The Strack collection includes three oils one of them, Schafrevier (estimate R500,000 to 700,000) left by Dorothee von Funcke to the Stracks. Painted in Jentsch’s muted colour palette, the work depicts the Schaf River near Windhoek.

In addition the rare Adolph Jentsch oils and a major Fritz Krampe oil, will be offered in a dedicated segment at the auction house.

A senior art specialist at Strauss & Co who handled the consignment of the Strack collection said,“This serene work highlights the importance of quality and provenance as the cornerstone of building a successful collection”.

The other oil works on offer are Vlei on Farm Teufelsbach (estimate R600,000 to 800,000) an unusually verdant view of the Otjihavera River, and Ibenstein, SW Afrika (R600,000 to 700,000), a masterfully achieved night scene in grey that was purchased from the artist’s estate by Peter Strack in 1983.

The Strack collection consignment includes a Jentsch acrylic titled Schafrevier Ufer (estimate R200,000 to 300,000) that was exhibited at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town in 1969. Arid Landscape with Trees (estimate R5000 to 7000) is one of four watercolours on offer and was gifted to the Stracks by Dorothee von Funcke.

The Fritz Krampe offerings are no less uspicious and include one of this Berlin-born artist’s major works, a double-sided oil on canvas from 1958, Village Scene with Woman smoking pipe/fishing Boat (estimate R250,000 to 350,000). This work is a deviation from Krampe’s usual animal studies and depicts an east African village and its occupant..

Krampe’s Cattle Frieze from 1959 (R200,000 – 300,000) is a preliminary study for the artist’s acclaimed 10-meter long Otjitambi Frieze. The frieze and preliminary works are extensively discussed in Timeless Encounters, a 2007 book on Krampe authored by Peter Strack. (In 2003 Strack also published a book on Jentsch.)

Peter Strack’s work as an artist is also acknowledged in the Strauss & Co sale, which features two undated sculptural pieces made with palm wood. The Strack Collection offering further includes pieces by South African artists, notably Alexis Preller’s Pondo Girl (estimate R80 000 – 120 000), an early charcoal drawing from 1938.

The Strack Collection offers an opportunity to reflect on the kinship between Namibian and South African landscape painters. In 1923, South African J.H. Pierneef visited Namibia, then a protectorate of its southern neighbour. Pierneef exhibited in Windhoek and met with local artists like Axel Eriksson, whose Kleine Spitzkoppe from 1921 (estimate R30,000 – 40,000) shares many affinities with his South African contemporary’s rapturous mountain studies.

German-born Peter Strack immigrated to Namibia in 1950 and was a partner in the architectural firm Stauch & Partners. He began honing his skills as an artist and collector under the tutelage of painter Adolph Jentsch. The collection he assembled with his wife, Regina, is striking for its focus on earlier 20th-century Namibian artists such as Jentsch and Krampe, also Axel Eriksson and Carl Ossmann.

Additionally, Dresden-born jentsch moved to Namibia in 1983 is a key figure in the art history of hi adopted country. Jentsch’s work has been a fixture of South African auctions, in November 2017 Strauss & Co sold an oil on canvas from 1940 painted near the Swakop River for R1.6 million.

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