Women in the suburbs bears inscription '12 gns' (verso) oil on canvasboard 40.6 x 30.5cm (16 x 12in).
PROVENANCE: Mrs A. Jacobsohn Abel Private collection Sale, Bonhams London, December 2006, lot 570 Private collection
LITERATURE: Barbara Lindop, Gerard Sekoto, (Johannesburg, 1988), illustrated p. 131
The present lot was painted circa 1945, just as Sekoto arrived in Eastwood near Pretoria. By this point, Sekoto had achieved a marked confidence in his painting: his strong sense of colour and surety of brushwork is made plain in this image of two women in the suburbs. Like a spontaneous snapshot of everyday life, the painterly scene appears cropped and transitory, as if the women have just entered the frame of view, close enough for the viewer to hear a few stolen snippets of conversation. Their shadows draw them onwards up the road, however, and they will shortly disappear from view.
The warm yellows, ochres and russets of Sekoto's palette lend a sense of conviviality to this scene, the companionship of the two women likewise suggested in their matching stride. It is the kind of scene that many other artists may have disregarded, but which for Sekoto communicated something of the dignity of the everyday. As Lesley Spiro elaborates:
"Sekoto's subject matter was essentially the surrounding milieu in which he found himself. However, one of the outstanding features of Sekoto's work was the endless variety within this subject matter... He appreciated the colourful, the anecdotal, the interesting, in what to more jaded eyes might have appeared commonplace and not worthy of an artist's attention." (Spiro 1989, p.42)
We are grateful to Barbara Lindop for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
BIBLIOGRAPHY L. Spiro, Gerard Sekoto: Unsevered Ties, (Johannesburg, 1989)