Own a Peter Clarke original
Peter Clarke (1929 – 2014) was considered one of the leading artists in South Africa. Clarke was a master of many media but will be remembered for his paintings, graphic prints, illustrations and woodcuts.
His remarkable SANDY BAY painting is a perfect example of art imitating life as it was painted in 1969, three years prior to Clarke’s family being victims of forced removal from Simon’s Town to Ocean View under the Group Areas Act. Clarke depicts four people of colour sunbathing at Cape Town’s Sandy Bay. One male figure looks out towards a boat at sea while three other figures sunbathe at ease on the beach.
The painting was a wedding gift from Peter Clarke to a close friend in the early 1970s and was subsequently sold to the current owner. It has never been exhibited or viewed by the general public before and now makes its first appearance on the open market.
SANDY BAY is monumental in medium, size, subject matter and style – a rare oil and sand on board – the same medium as Clarke’s iconic LISTENING TO DISTANT THUNDER which was painted in 1970 and forms part of the Johannesburg Art Gallery collection. In both paintings, Clarke’s familiar abstract forms and geometric lines are strongly evident. With bold brushstrokes and the use of contrasting colour and line, the artist once again proves his strong Cubist influence; a style which Picasso and Braque developed in the early 1900s in Paris.
The precise location of the nude bathers in LOT 519 has recently been confirmed by Richard Clarke, the brother of the late artist. Upon viewing it, he remembered it immediately and commented, “definitely Sandy Bay”. Once Simon’s Town had become an ‘affected area’ under the Group Areas Act, Clarke went on to comment on how groups of people would gather and head down to Sandy Bay. As the path was a lovely yet long walk, the police would seldom bother to take the time to walk down to this beach (as opposed to the beaches in the Simon’s Town surrounds which were easier to access and thereby monitored under Apartheid law). He recalled how people would gather there in groups and express themselves in an open environment without threat.
SANDY BAY will be on auction at our next Cape Town auction on Tuesday 18 October 2016 at 19:00. Register today to bid on this remarkable piece from one of South Africa’s greats.
Peter Clarke (South African 1929 – 2014)
Estimate: R 1 000 000 – R 1 600 000