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Freida Lock

South Africa (1902 -  1962 )
LOCK Freida View Through An Alley

James D. Julia
Aug 29, 2018
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Artworks in Arcadja
59

Some works of Freida Lock

Extracted between 59 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Freida Lock - View Through An Alley

Freida Lock - View Through An Alley

Original
Estimate:
Starting price:

Price:

Lot number: 88
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Freida Lock (1902 - 1962) Lot 88: In The Manner Of Freida Lock. Description: Original dry painted surface with subdued palette. Very good overall. Dates: (African, 1902 - 1962) .Frame: Molded Paint Rubbed Wood.Medium: Oil on Canvas on Board.Signature: Unsigned.Title: "View Through an Alley". Condition: Dimensions: 29-1/4" x 21-1/2".
Freida Lock - Dhows In Harbour

Freida Lock - Dhows In Harbour

Original 1947
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 18
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Freida Lock (South African, 1902-1962)

'Dhows in Harbour'
signed and dated 'Freida Lock '47' (lower right); inscribed with title (verso)
oil on canvas
51 x 61cm (20 1/16 x 24in).

Footnotes

Following in the footsteps of fellow artist Irma Stern, Freida Lock travelled to Zanzibar in 1947 looking for fresh inspiration. She resided there for eighteen months, immersing herself in the culture of the Arab community. The 'exotic' nature of the island excited Lock's artistic passions, so different from her experiences in South Africa and London.

This was a highly prolific period for the artist; visits to the bustling markets and the dhow harbours fuelled her creative fire. The blues and greens of the Indian Ocean and tropical vegetation offered her the perfect opportunity to experiment with a vibrant palette. Dated 1947,
Dhows in Harbour
was painted within the first few months of her arrival. The billowing sails of the dhows are depicted in broad, energetic brushstrokes. The liberal application of white paint is characteristic of Lock; as Esme Berman observes, "She seemed to enjoy particularly the chalky tone and texture obtained from zinc-white applied in thick impasto".

The clouds are rendered in a similarly textured fashion. Lock's interest in the weather is partially a result of her training at the Heatherley School of Art in London. It was here that she and fellow South Africans, Terence McCaw and Gregoire Boonzaier, were exposed to European Impressionist artists. Inspired by the works of Cezanne, Utrillo and Braque, Lock returned to South Africa determined to paint directly from life, capturing the fleeting moment on canvas. The raw brushstrokes and dynamic composition of
Dhows in Harbour
reveals her reputation as a 'Cape Impressionist' to be well-deserved.

Bibliography
S. Shoolman, (ed.),
The Modern Palimpsest: Envisioning South African Modernity
, Graham's Fine Art Gallery exhibition catalogue (Johannesburg, 2008), pp. 78-85.
E. Berman,
Art & Artists of South Africa
, (Cape Town, 1983) p. 268.
Freida Lock - At Work At Westoe

Freida Lock - At Work At Westoe

Original 1951
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 35
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Freida Lock (South African, 1902-1962)

'At work at Westoe'
signed and dated 'Freida Lock 51' (lower left); bears label with title, signature and 'Price 30GNS' (verso)
oil on canvas
61.5 x 51cm (24 3/16 x 20 1/16in).

Footnotes

Provenance
Purchased Cape Town, 1950s/60s.
Thence by descent to current owner.

At work at Westoe
depicts a lady sewing by an open window in the artist's historic 18th-century home 'Westoe' in West Mowbray, Cape Town. Freida Lock was an artist predominantly known for her studies of interiors and still-life, of which the present lot is an excellent example. She had recently returned from her eighteen month sojourn to Zanzibar in 1949, where she drew comparisons to her contemporary Irma Stern with her portraits of the Arab population. However her homecoming to South Africa was short lived. Westoe would be Lock's last home in South Africa before she emigrated to Portugal in 1952, and then London, where she died in poverty in 1962.

The present lot stands out through Lock's distinctive use of dark, meandering outlines to delineate form, and her preference, as art historian Esmé Berman points out, for intense areas of pale grey, cream and oyster pink, and above all a fondness for "the chalky tone and texture obtained from zinc-white applied in thick impasto". In this instance, the pearlescent white of the chair legs in the centre of the room is heighted by the colourful hues of the yellow table and green fabric, adding an air of drama in an otherwise inoffensive domestic setting.

Born in Cheadle Hume, England, Lock initially studied agriculture at Reading University at her parents' persuasion. Her studies were cut short when the family moved to Stellenbosch in 1921 to establish a fruit farm, where she assisted with cattle maintenance and fruit packing. However, Lock was determined to become an artist and finally, at the age of 30, she returned to England to take up art studies at the Heatherley School of Art. Notably, Heatherley was the first school to admit women and men on an equal footing.

At Heatherley, Lock encountered the work of Cézanne, Van Gogh and Braque; it was also here that she met Terence McCaw and Gregoire Boonzaier, with whom she would co-found The New Group in 1938. The New Group consisted of a number of young, independent artists united in their desire to expose a conservative South African art world to European modernism. The group would later disband in 1953 after a few final tumultuous years.
At work at Westoe
is therefore one of the final works Lock completed before she left for Europe, and is a total combination of all the skills that she had developed; reflecting Berman's observation that 'there is no lack of personality in Freida Lock's painting', by this late stage in her career Lock's handling of colour was sure, and her figures drawn with unique vigour.

A similar work,
Interior: Woman Sewing, 1947
, was included in the 'Exhibition of Contemporary South African Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture' at the Tate in London, 1948-9, and 'Transformations' at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in August 2010.

Bibliography
E. Berman,
Art and Artists of South Africa
, (Cape Town, 1983).
E. Bedford, 'Freida Lock' in
Our Art 4
, (Pretoria, 1993).
Freida Lock - The Mosque, Bo-kaap

Freida Lock - The Mosque, Bo-kaap

Original 1941
Estimate:

Price:

Net Price
Lot number: 511
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Description:
Freida Lock THE MOSQUE, BO-KAAP signed and dated 41 oil on artist\`\`\`\`s board Freida Lock’s career as artist was always a tumultuous one – from the start, her parents were opposed to her studying art and becoming an artist. Unusually for the time, she then began an agricultural degree, which was cut short as the family moved from England to South Africa in 1920. After unsuccessfully trying her hand...
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Freida Lock THE MOSQUE, BO-KAAP signed and dated 41 oil on artist\`\`\`\`s board Freida Lock’s career as artist was always a tumultuous one – from the start, her parents were opposed to her studying art and becoming an artist. Unusually for the time, she then began an agricultural degree, which was cut short as the family moved from England to South Africa in 1920. After unsuccessfully trying her hand at various other career paths, she eventually followed her desire and went to England to study art at the age of 30 on the advice of friend Gregoire Boonzaier. During her art studies in London in the early 1930’s she focused on painting and printmaking and was able to frequent the great museums and galleries where the works of the Post-Impressionists, in particular Van Gogh and Cezanne, left a lasting impression on her. She returned to South Africa and became a founding member of the \`\`\`\`New Group\`\`\`\` in 1938. This group was dedicated to raising artistic standards, facilitating artistic expression and improving the marketing of their works at sale. It was a great success, and for fifteen years it organised successful exhibitions and fostered enviable standards of work. But by 1953 dissent was prevalent among its members and the grouping disbanded. Gregoire Boonzaier said at that time: ""It is not presumptuous to state that virtually every prominent artist owes his or her position today largely to the \`\`\`\`New Group\`\`\`\`, and that younger artists owe a debt of gratitude to the members of that courageous group of artists who made art history in South Africa during these few years."" Lock, through her founding of the \`\`\`\`New Group\`\`\`\` was very much at the centre of the artistic community in Cape Town, and her house at 71 Bree Street was used by Maurice van Essche as a school for life classes that attracted artists such as Lippy Lipschitz, Gregoire Boonzaier, Cecil Higgs, George Enslin and Piet van Heerden. Although the classes were moved to Long Street after about six months, artists continued to use the house as a place to meet and socialise. Freida Lock’s vitality and sympathetic nature drew people to her, and the parties she held at Bree Street, particularly during the war years, were legendary and attracted a broad cross section of society. I.L. Edited from: Bedford, E, ‘Freida Lock’, in Our Art 4, 1993, The Foundation of Education, Science and Technology, Pretoria, pages 35 – 40 1 29,5 by 39cm no condition report
Freida Lock - Portrait Of A Sheikh, Zanzibar

Freida Lock - Portrait Of A Sheikh, Zanzibar

Original
Estimate:

Price:

Net Price
Lot number: 345
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Freida Lock (South African, 1902-1962)

Portrait of a sheikh, Zanzibar

oil on canvas laid to board

71 x 54cm (27 15/16 x 21 1/4in).

within original Zanzibar frame

Although predominantly known for her interior and still life paintings, in 1948 Freida Lock travelled to Zanzibar, producing some of her most famous portraits and street scenes. Among these are her portraits of Arab sitters, composed with a great sense of vigour in both colour and brushwork. The

Portrait of a sheikh, Zanzibar

was a personal favourite of Lock's, to the extent that she hung it above her bed. The portrait's pride of place is immortalised in the artist's painting of her bedroom, completed in 1949:

Interior with Green Hat

(sold at Stephan Welz & Co, Cape Town, 18 October 2011, lot 514). In

Interior with Green Hat

, the portrait is merely a faceless swirl of dark beard, white turban, and a green and yellow background, but its composition is unmistakeably the present lot.

The sitter was not, in fact, a sheikh (in the sense of formal nobility), but rather a distinguished Arab man in traditional dress from the Tabora region of Tanzania, whom Lock met during a visit to the island of Pemba (about 80km from the island of Zanzibar). He returned to Zanzibar with Lock, who was so delighted with the resulting painting that she insisted on taking a photograph of the sitter with his portrait (reproduced here with permission from Lock's family). In the photograph, the sitter's gaze does not directly meet the viewer's: instead, our eyes are locked on those of the portrait subject, who seems to regard us intently.

Like Irma Stern, Lock used carved Zanzibari door frame strips to frame these works, resulting in a measure of tension between the two artists, as Stern asserted unique authorship over their use. However, the present lot stands out through Lock's characteristic use of dark, meandering outlines to delineate form, her preference, as art historian Esmé Berman points out, for intense areas of pale grey, cream and oyster pink, and, above all, a fondness for "the chalky tone and texture obtained from zinc-white applied in thick impasto". These more pearlescent tones are highlighted by dramatic background hues: green, yellow and red.

Born in Cheadle Hume, England, Lock initially studied agriculture at Reading University at her parents' persuasion. Her studies were cut short when the family moved to Stellenbosch in 1921 to establish a fruit farm, where she assisted with cattle maintenance and fruit packing. However, Lock was determined to become an artist and finally, at the age of 30, she returned to England to take up art studies at the Heatherley School of Art. Notably, Heatherley was the first school to admit women and men on an equal footing.

At Heatherley, Lock encountered the work of Cézanne, Van Gogh and Braque; it was also here that she met Terence McCaw and Gregoire Boonzaier, with whom she would co-found The New Group in 1938. The New Group consisted of a number of young, independent artists united in their desire to expose a conservative South African art world to European modernism. Lock's

Portrait of a sheikh, Zanzibar

reflects an innovative, self-assured artist who has achieved these broader aims, while simultaneously conveying something of her own unique and vital personality.

We are grateful to Miss Claire Espiner, niece of the artist, for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

E. Berman,

Art and Artists of South Africa

, (Cape Town, 1983), p.268
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