This February at the Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, Sotheby’s will host an exhibition of works charting the journey of one of South Africa’s most important artists. Irma Stern: A Life Well Travelled will feature nine outstanding pieces which together chronicle the artist’s lifelong quest for inspiration across Africa, Europe and beyond. Each bearing testament to Stern’s unique vision and unrivalled artistic skill, the works will be exhibited at the Irma Stern Museum from 11-15 February, before they are offered in Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary African Art Auctions in London over the course of 2020. None of the works have been seen in public for over ten, or in some cases twenty, years.
Speaking about the exhibition, Sotheby’s Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art, Hannah O’Leary, said:
“Stern was at the top of her game from the very beginning. Although her personal life was often affected by low self-esteem, she never doubted her artistic ability. A radical force to be reckoned with, as a young avant-garde artist Stern contested and criticised traditional aesthetics, creating a visual language all her own. Today, with a truly international collector base and a presence in public museums across the globe – not to mention the inclusion of her work in the collection of Queen Elizabeth II – she is one of the most valued artists from the entire African continent and one of just a handful of African artists whose works achieve prices in the many millions of pounds. It is an honour to showcase these works in the artist’s South African home and studio, the wonderful Irma Stern Museum”.
To coincide with the exhibition, Sotheby’s specialists will be offering free and confidential valuations in Cape Town by appointment between 11-14 February. To arrange an appointment, or to speak to our specialists about the exhibition, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
IRMA STERN 1894-1966 Madeiran Man signed and dated 1931 (upper right) oil on canvas 58.5 by 43cm., 23 by 17in. PROVENANCE Sotheby’s, Stephan Welz & Co., Johannesburg, 8November 1999, lot 586, titled Man with a Blue Jack.