Ephraim Mojalefa Ngatane (South African, 1938-1971)
'Honeymoon' signed and dated ''68 / E. Ngatane' (lower right) and bears inscription 'Honeymoon / '68 / E. Ngatane' (to verso) oil on board 122 x 75.5cm (48 1/16 x 29 3/4in).
Ephraim Ngatane was an artist who deftly "navigated the unchartered territory of abstraction" in the representation of township life, setting himself apart from most of his Polly Street Art Centre contemporaries. While many of his compositions are busy, crowded with activity, the current lot has an unusual stillness and intimacy about it. In Honeymoon, the artist renders the nude, recently-wed couple locked in each other's gaze in "colourful, kaleidoscopic" vividness, with rigorous paintwork that conjures up an intensity of mood.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Berman, Painting in South Africa, (Pretoria, 1993), p.263 R. Bester (ed.), Ephraim Ngatane: A Setting Apart, (Johannesburg, 2009), p.9