Arthur Goldreich (South African, 1929-2011) 'Mantle for Nelson'
Lot 114
Arthur Goldreich
(South African, 1929-2011)
'Mantle for Nelson'
£4,000 - 6,000
US$ 6,300 - 9,400

Lot Details
Arthur Goldreich (South African, 1929-2011)
'Mantle for Nelson'
signed and dated 'Arthur Goldreich 1983' (on label verso)
painted collage and raffia hanging
104 x 102cm (40 15/16 x 40 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Acquired directly from the artist
    A private collection


    As opposition shifted from peaceful protest to violence in the 1960s, artist and designer Arthur Goldreich became a leading ANC planner. He travelled widely overseas, seeking military aid and information on making weapons, in East Germany, Russia and China. He wrote a detailed plan for the overthrow of South Africa based on blowing up key industrial targets.

    Goldreich and his family lived on Lilliesleaf Farm, ten miles north of Johannesburg, which became the centre of planning for the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, Spear of the Nation. On July 11 1963 the police raided the farm and took Goldreich and Walter Sisulu, the ANC's Secretary General, plus 15 others captive. Nelson Mandela had been arrested the year before.

    Unlike Mandela, Goldreich managed to escape prison with another colleague Harold Wolpe, a lawyer and ANC activist, by bribing a guard and dressing up as a priests. During one of the tensest periods of the anti-apartheid struggle, a single-winged Cessna aircraft carrying two priests in dog collars took off from an airstrip in Swaziland and flew across South African territory to British Bechuanaland. The "clerics" stepped out to a rapturous welcome from the local African National Congress. The escape of the freedom fighter Arthur Goldreich had been accomplished.

    Nelson Mandela valued Goldreich because of his experience fighting in Israel during and after the War of Independence in 1948.

    Goldreich went on to head the design department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In 1994 he returned briefly to South Africa to attend a reunion at Lilliesleaf which has since been turned into a Museum.

    Goldreich produced the present lot, dedicated to Nelson Mandela, in 1983, when Mandela was still incarcerated.
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  1. Elizabeth Callinicos
    Auction Administration - South African Art
    Bonhams
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