'Three Female Nudes' by Walter Battiss - Lithograph
The artist Walter Battiss (1906 - 1982) needs no introduction. A giant of the South African artistic landscape, as artist, curator and educator, Battiss was one of South Africa's first and eventually most important abstract painters. Although Battiss never studied in Europe, he was a member of a young group of South African artists - the New Group - who brought European ideas to South Africa in the thirties of the 20th century.
Like so many 20th century artists Battiss' quirky and humorous style was profoundly influenced by the work of Pablo Picasso. In later years he met and befriended Picasso. Walter Battiss made no distinction between so-called tribal African art and the masters of the West. He thought San art was an important art form and published several books and articles on the subject.
Art commentator Marisha Flovers had the following to say about this work - "Three Female Nudes" in the Cape Times in 2017: "Three Female Nudes is a lithograph pivoting on the fascination with the naked female body and how censorship and shame can be exchanged for freedom. Many have argued that his artworks, chock full of erotic suggestiveness and crudity, parodied and challenged the censorship of alternative sexuality during the apartheid era."
The work is number four in a series of 79. It is signed in pencil and framed, with a glass cover. The dimensions of the frame are 51,8 x 42 cm, and the mounting in the frame measures 34 x 26,5 cm.