HOMESICKNESS A BLINDMAN'S PARADISE
oil on canvas
150 by 150cm., 59 by 59in.
The work appears to be in excellent condition.
Colours are true to catalogue illustration.
Inspection under UV light reveals no signs of restoration or repair.
The work is unframed
Please telephone the department on +44 (0) 207 293 6323 if you have any questions regarding the present work.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
London, Edward Totah Gallery, Gavin Jantjes, 1980
A prolific and reflective artist, Gavin Jantjes is a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. The artist spent much of his career in exile from his home country of South Africa, leaving in 1970 to study at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and returning in 1994, over 20 years later, to participate in the democratic election of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.
Jantjes is perhaps most known for his seminal, yet personal work, A South African Colouring Book, a critical commentary on the period of apartheid in South Africa. The work showed the artist’s skill as master printer and collagist; however, Homesickness a Blindman’s Paradise displays his brilliance as painter - without sacrificing the critical expression for which he is known.
Homesickness a Blindman’s Paradise depicts two figures in a reconfigured Cape Town landscape. Landmarks such as Table Mountain, the Cape Town Castle, Groot Constantia, the Slave Bell and Roeland Street prison have been stitched into a colourful backdrop. The painting was made while the artist was in exile in Hamburg. It inverts the meaning of ‘homesickness' from nostalgic longing into a national illness, a racialized malady of white supremacy. The two men represent the gun carrying, short sighted Afrikaner and the blind, liberal Africanist. Situated in a landscape of their making the painting speaks about land grabbing and colonialism. A visual and political myopia that underpins South African history.
Indeed, much of Jantjes's artistic practice is undoubtedly shaped by his time spent in exile. The artist would spend sixteen years from 1982-1998 in the United Kingdom before moving to Oslo in 1998 and then back to the UK in 2018.
Jantjes's work has been exhibited extensively and can be found in the collections of several renowned institutions such as the Tate, the V&A Museum, the National Museum of African Art Smithsonian, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the South African National Gallery Cape Town, the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, Gothenburg Art Museum, Henie Onstad Art Center, Oslo, Norway, as well as numerous prominent private and corporate collections. The artist has also received several commissions from the United Nations Refugee Council and the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. During his time spent in the UK, Jantjes served as a trustee of the Tate as well as the Whitechapel and Serpentine Galleries and was responsible for the Arts Council of England’s national policy on cultural diversity. Most recently in 2018, Jantjes also took part in the 13th edition of the Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Dak’Art.
With numerous other positions under his belt and having written essays on artists such as Marlene Dumas and Nicholas Hlobo, Jantjes published ‘Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907-2007 Vol I-IV’, a multi volume publication aimed at contextualizing the role of South African artistic production within the country’s broader cultural identity.
We are grateful to Gavin Jantjes for his assistance in cataloguing this work.