Modern & Contemporary African Art Online / Gregoire Johannes Boonzaier (South African, 1909-2005) A Spanish Street (unframed)
£2,000 - £3,000
A private collection, UK (acquired in London, 1992);
By direct descent to the present owner in the 1930s;
A private collection, UK.
In 1935, South African artist Gregoire Johannes Boonzaier (1909-2005) left Cape Town for Britain. He pursued study at the Heatherley Art School in London. Using the city as a base, he travelled to several countries including France, Spain, and Russia, before returning to South Africa in 1937. Inspired by the work of the Impressionist artists he encountered in Europe, Boonzaier captured his travels in paint.
In 1936, the year the present work was created, he spent significant time in Spain. Here, he produced stylistically comparable street scenes of Malaga and Torres Molinos. The works from this period demonstrate the artist's impressionistic handling of paint in the earth-toned buildings and historic fortresses. These architectural structures tower over the figures passing along the winding streets of the picturesque cities. This experimentation in painterly style was subsequently developed by the artist in his later depictions of rural and urban South African landscapes upon his return from Europe.