first_img22 March 2013“Chinese Girl”, the iconic 1950 painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff, a Russian who settled in South Africa in 1946, was sold for a record £982 050 (R13.8-million) at Bonhams’ South African art sale in London on Wednesday.This exceeded the £300 000 to £500 000 the painting was expected to go for following worldwide interest in the sale, and is a record price both for a Tretchikoff work and for any South African artist.“Chinese Girl” was bought by British businessman and jeweler Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds International, who owns the Delaire Graff Estate near Stellenbosch, where the painting will go on public display with the rest of his art collection.“This was an exceptional price for a work which really does merit the word ‘iconic’,” Giles Peppiatt, director of South African Art at Bonhams, said in a statement on Wednesday. “And it’s very happy news to hear that it is going home.”The highest-selling art print in history, in the 1950s and ’60s “Chinese Girl” captured imaginations “and pride of place above mantelpieces –across the globe, from South Africa to Australia, Britain to America,” according to Bonhams’ auction catalogue.The painting had been an unprecedented success during Tretchikoff’s tour of the US in 1953-4 and Canada in 1955, prompting him to reproduce it in the form of the large-scale lithographic print with which he would become synonymous.Unseen for many years, the original painting was once again exhibited in the landmark exhibition “Tretchikoff: The People’s Painter” at the South African National Gallery in 2011.Significantly, Tretchikoff out-performed the two long-time market leaders in South African art, Irma Stern and Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, at Wednesday’s auction. “Landscape Stellenbosch” by Pierneef made £713 250, while “Congolese Beauty” by Irma Stern was sold for £541 250. The whole sale of some 150 pictures by South African artists made £4.5-million.According to Bonhams, Tretchikoff’s value has risen exponentially in the art market, due both to the re-evaluation of his legacy in exhibitions and his appearances at recent auctions at Bonhams.Tretchikoff’s semi-nude “Portrait of Lenka (Red Jacket)”, featuring his lover and muse, recently sold for £337 250 (R4.7-million).“Just over 100 Tretchikoff works have appeared at auction, a 20-year trajectory which charts a remarkable resurgence in the artist’s popularity,” Bonhams noted.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

first_imgIt is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win,,It is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win, we make fun of the other guy.”For the Indian cricket team, fun has pretty much fled the building and the jokes are coming back at them with all the sweet intent of a Makhaya Ntini opening spell. There’s the batting order jokes (“think of a number, yaar… arre, any number…”) the process jokes, the flexibility jokes. The only unfunny element here are the numbers-two ODI wins from 10 matches (seven of those against the resolutely flaky West Indians).BREACHED WALL: DravidWithin a week, the Champions Trophy, cricket’s biggest event outside the World Cup, will sweep into our living rooms and the world’s best bowlers and batsmen will be asking questions of India. The logical question to ask in turn is: Are the men in blue going to be, like… er… embarrassing? Unlikely because at home, India are a force multiplied.But the graph of this reforged team has taken its first dive, most inconveniently, when the world has come knocking. The first year of the Dravid-Greg Chappell combine was marked by heady success and high altitude vocabulary-the latter only makes for a barrelful of cheap shots today. It may not be the moment for a full-throated chrous of rhetoric and condemnation. But a raising of the eyebrows? Surely.Click here to EnlargeThe Indian team must question its assumptions of not so long ago or it will have them questioned by its adversaries. That its batting line-up can chase speeding bullets anywhere, anytime, that all problems could be solved by drafting in a slew of young players and shunting out fusty grey beards with bad attitudes, bad knees and long memories.Solutions work in their own time and space. Old ones are rarely the answer to new problems. Today, India’s new problems in the middle are plain to see-not enough runs from outside the old fortresses of Tendulkar and Dravid, the unravelling of performances from Irfan Pathan and M.S. Dhoni (two players key to plans) and the search for stability in the bowling attack.The reasons these issues have come to exist amongst the young men who play for India, how they have been handled and the dynamic that exists inside a team. On the outside though, the professional interpreters of maladies judge by the evidence of their eyes. For a team hardsold as being based on ‘youth’, India’s last six Man of the Match awards have been shared between Dravid, Yuvraj Singh (twice each) and Harbhajan Singh, the sixth going to S. Sreesanth, who is not in the Champions Trophy team. Former India bowler Javagal Srinath has pointed out that 10 bowlers had been tried in a year without a core of even three being identified. Former Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wrote after watching the younger Indian batsmen in the West Indies, “Is there a rush to become a dashing match-winner as against merely a humble servant of Indian cricket?” Former India keeper Saba Karim has noticed a trend where players are failing to deliver on what jargon would call their “main skill”- batting and bowling. He says, “Talent, fielding and eagerness to learn is fine, but as a batsman you have to be willing to stay at the wicket, deliver the match-winning score.”More the reason to find and cement in the ‘glue’ players. None of the younger bunch have quite Dravid’s accomplishment. Even the most experienced among them, Mohammed Kaif, it appears, is adrift. Karim is most disappointed about the failure of most of the batsmen to adjust to wickets that ask for a plan B involving shot selection. Given Chappell’s encyclopaedic and microscopic grasp of batting, Karim said he expected the Aussie’s deepest impact to show here.Many look back to the second ODI in Kingston earlier this year, when Yuvraj Singh was bowled by Dwayne Bravo with two runs to win, as the moment India’s ODI team lost its mojo. Dravid’s men have won only one of nine matches since, now unable to shake off poor early season batting form. There is no telling though whether that intangible called ‘form’ feeds into confidence or if the process actually works the other way round.A former member of the team says, “It’s not about form, it’s about getting results. If you’re not careful, you can turn ‘form’ into an excuse… and that feeling can go through a team. When you are struggling, it is more important to remember you have a job to do and then try to do it -ugly if you have to.”At the start of a season that will define this team, India has not narrowed the gap between planning and execution to Australian-style efficiency but has widened it. The Champions Trophy may bring India back to where they were early in 2006. But the clock is ticking and the rest of the world has no intention of standing still.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more