CT ARt Fair Red Room ArtBhfsTGtIQAAvTMBA new venue for the 2014 Cape Town Art Fair took some getting used to, but The Pavilion in the V&A Waterfront surprised with the volume of space it offered on two levels, every room and area used to set up the work of a host of art galleries in Cape Town, and the artists which they represent.  There is no doubt that the top exhibition space by far was that representing Delaire Graff, Condé Nast House & Garden, and Strauss & Co.

A total of 44 exhibitors present the work of artists at the Cape Town Art Fair, which runs until tomorrow.  Professor Andrew Lamprecht curated the Cape Town Art Fair. Some of the spaces and artists that attracted my attention were the following:

*   Ebony:  within 10 minutes of the Preview opening on Thursday, the Erik Laubscher painting ‘Red Trawler’ was sold for just under R1 million!  They had interesting collections of paper collages by Larita Engelbrecht, as well as aCT Art Fair Paper collages BhfltZFIQAAvhRU collection of gold painted ceramics by Theo Kleynhans, entitled CT Art Fair Theo Kleynhans ceramics BhfmebRIQAAyD6yMemory Banks, at R950 each

*   Esther Mahlangu‘s Proudly South African bust was on display downstairs. In the same space was ‘The Hare’ by Haidee Nel.

*   The smac gallery space was interesting too, and attracted a lot of interest.

*   I met Chris Barnard of the Barnard Gallery with TanyaCT Art Fair Chris Barnard BhfrE-3IIAEc4W_ Mackay-Davidson from Delaire Graff Estate, and photographed him next to ‘Golden Light‘ by whom he described as the up and coming artist Ryan Hewett. Work by photographer Lien Botha, and artists Robert Slingsby, Alexia Vogel, and Alastair Whitton are on show.

*    CT Art Fair Caryn Whale Cottage Portfolio I was fascinated by the work of Caryn Scrimgeour, which can be viewed downstairs in the Everard Read gallery.  Her style is described as ‘trompe l’oeil‘ painting, deceiving the viewer into believing that the two-dimensional work is in fact three-dimensional.

*   I loved the quirky chairs at the Red Room Art (main photograph)

*   The William Kentridge series of eleven Rebus linocut prints (at R20000CT Art Fair William Kentridge Bhfj_1jIMAA4ybr each) at the Artist Proof Studio were interesting, but it is a pity that the staff member at the stand had such a poor command of English and had little or no knowledge about the artist, and the background to the print collection!

*  The highlight was the Condé Nast House & Garden curated room which houses the Chinese CT Art Fair Chinese Girl BhfpEqIIQAAvT4hGirl‘ by Vladimir Tretchikoff, which is now the proud property of the Delaire Graff Estate, and which was officially unveiled there in November, its owner Laurence Graff having paid R13 million for it.  In the room too was the most expensive paintings ever sold in South Africa by Strauss & Co on auction, at about R 30 million, the Two Arabs by Irma Stern.  Two other Sterns (‘Dakar Woman’, and ‘Arab Man, Dakar‘) were also in the room.  Further Strauss & Co March auction items used to decorate the room were a pair of monumental Venetian blackamoors in the manner of Valentino Besarel, a pair of Empire mahogany commodes, and a 17th/18th century Dutch cabinet.

The wines were served by waiters but food was in very short supply, Caviar’s catering being a severe disappointment relative to the fabulous catering which Opulent Living organised with top chefs last year.

A number of talks and presentations have been scheduled throughout the day for today and tomorrow. Book signings are also scheduled, the most interesting being that by controversial ‘Spear‘ painter Brett Murray at 14h30 today.

Lana Marten of Wired Communications must be commended for her excellent flow of information, with daily media releases received from her by e-mail.  Nothing was too much trouble in providing additional information, even at the Art Fair.

 Cape Town Art Fair, The Pavilion, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. www.artfaircapetown.co.za  Ends Sunday 2 March, 10h00 – 20h00 (Saturday), 10h00 – 18h00 (Sunday)  Entrance R75, book at Computicket or at door.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage