Blue Friday
by
Michael Sarjeant
14 April 2022
Michael Sarjeant (19 May 1933 - 11 Oct 2014), shown for the first time, posthumously, in 2019 at Art Lovers 1932. The work wistful and moving, and full of longing. The recurring female form, attempting to fill the rent in his world, the their arms unable to hold on. The persistent presence of a diminutive male figure in a suit, often bearing a gift of flowers, sometimes with a long and stretched-out arm, trying to reach the unreachable. The human figures often portrayed as giants lost in a doll's house world too small for them, and yet too large.
Sarjeant experimented with a variety of approaches, the brush strokes often richly applied, but occasionally delicate and clean, many works strongly reminiscent of Chagall and the interiors of Van Gogh. On occasion suggesting a secret surrealist, perhaps an early Mirů, the manipulated scale of Yves Tanguy.
Two hundred and twenty-four paintings left behind and fifty-eight drawings, the only remaining record of his thoughts and yearnings, his solitary and reclusive epilogue, his loneliness complete after the passing of his wife.
As Gustav Klimt said: 'Whoever wants to know something about me... ought to look carefully at my pictures.'
"Hodgins managed to get a grant of £20 a year from the Walls Sausage Trust, which was sufficient to supply paint and equipment for both himself and his friend, Michael Sarjeant, a young student considered by (John) Mansbridge the most brilliant at Goldsmith since Graham Sutherland."
Elizabeth Rankin (1986) 'Biographical Notes Based on Reminiscences of the Artist,' in Robert Hodgins: Images 1953-1986
Michael (Kirkman) Sarjeant was born in London, which is also where he studied at the School of Art at the University of London. He received his National Diploma in Design, with painting, special level, in 1953. According to John Mansbridge, his senior lecturer, 'he proved himself an artist of exceptional ability and achievement'.
It was also in London where he met his South African wife, Mary Gabrielle - Gaby, Gaye or Gub Gub to Michael - a fellow student of the arts. After their marriage they returned to Waterkloof in Pretoria, where Gaby hailed from, and where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Michael lectured at the University of Pretoria for a period of time, 'fully capable of teaching classes in Drawing, Painting, Modelling, The History of Art and Architecture, and allied subjects', as his senior lecturer commended.
Etna Foxcroft met Michael and Gaby Sarjeant in her capacity as financial advisor, and by this time Michael has already become reclusive and agoraphobic, and Etna had to consult with them at their house instead of in her office. When Gaby, still Michael's muse and anchor, his beloved and friend, passed away, he called Etna early in the morning and said: 'I don't know who to call. I don't know what to do.' Etna, with the help of Michael's neighbour, Flip Klopper, became his lifeline to the world outside. She did his shopping and everything else required beyond his hermitic existence. He never left his house again until he died alone and childless in 2014, leaving all his artworks to Etna.
Michael Sarjeant -  Landscape with hungry dog, ghost carousel and a gun Michael Sarjeant -  Landscape with hungry dog, ghost carousel and a gun detail
Michael Sarjeant
"Landscape with hungry dog, ghost carousel and a gun"
and detail
1995
Oil on board
60cm x 70cm
Unframed
R 2 900
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Michael Sarjeant -  Looking at the blue world
Michael Sarjeant
"Looking at the blue world"
2011
Oil on canvas
50c x 50cm
Unframed
R 1 350
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Michael Sarjeant -  Blue wings
Michael Sarjeant
"Blue wings"
2010
Oil on board
60cm x 50cm
Unframed
R 2 100
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Michael Sarjeant -  Empty house
Michael Sarjeant
"Empty house"
2010
Oil on board
60cm x 78cm
Unframed
R 2 100
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Michael Sarjeant -  Gub-Gub came
Michael Sarjeant
"Gub-Gub came"
2013
Oil on canvas
60cm x 75cm
Unframed
R 2 100
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Michael Sarjeant -  Doll's house with beautiful bride Michael Sarjeant -  Doll's house with beautiful bride detail
Michael Sarjeant
"Doll's house with beautiful bride"
and detail
1989
Oil on board
120cm x 120cm
Unframed
SOLD
Michael Sarjeant -  Domestic magic
Michael Sarjeant
"Domestic magic"
2003
Oil on board
78cm x 93cm
Unframed
R 3 800
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Michael Sarjeant - Eve
Michael Sarjeant
"Eve"
Oil on canvas
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
SOLD
Michael Sarjeant - Paradise in Paris
Michael Sarjeant
"Paradise in Paris"
2013
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 250
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Michael Sarjeant -  The apple in Eden
Michael Sarjeant
"The apple in Eden"
2013
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 750
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Michael Sarjeant -  Everything is broken I
Michael Sarjeant
"Everything is broken I"
2013
Oil on canvas
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
R 1 300
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Michael Sarjeant -  God takes Gaby
Michael Sarjeant
"God takes Gaby"
2013
Oil on canvas
60cm x 75cm
Unframed
R 2 100
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Michael Sarjeant -  Everything is broken II
Michael Sarjeant
"Everything is broken II"
2014
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 650
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Michael Sarjeant -  Empty blue chair
Michael Sarjeant
"Empty blue chair"
2011
Oil on board
60cm x 70cm
Unframed
R 3 200
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Michael Sarjeant -  Angry dog
Michael Sarjeant
"Angry dog"
2013
Oil on canvas
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
R 1 300
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Michael Sarjeant -  Blue Gaby in a blue world
Michael Sarjeant
"Blue Gaby in a blue world"
2011
Oil on canvas
40cm x 50cm
Unframed
R 1 150
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Michael Sarjeant -  Blue Michael
Michael Sarjeant
"Blue Michael"
2012
Oil on canvas
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
SOLD
Michael Sarjeant -  Blue ghosts
Michael Sarjeant
"Blue ghosts"
2014
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 250
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Michael Sarjeant -  Gaby_s long thin arm
Michael Sarjeant
"Gaby's long thin arm"
2012
Oil on canvas
76cm x 61cm
Unframed
R 2 900
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Michael Sarjeant -  Broken chair and Michael with wings
Michael Sarjeant
"Broken chair and Michael with wings"
2013
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 750
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Michael Sarjeant -  Bringing Gaby back
Michael Sarjeant
"Bringing Gaby back "
2011
Oil on board
60cm x 70cm
Unframed
R 2 800
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Michael Sarjeant -  The door to the world
Michael Sarjeant
"The door to the world"
2011
Oil on board
60cm x 70cm
Unframed
R 2 800
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Michael Sarjeant -  Doll_s house with blue door
Michael Sarjeant
"Doll's house with blue door"
1984
Oil on board
65cm x 70cm
Framed
SOLD
Michael Sarjeant - The bunny and the bullet
Michael Sarjeant
"The bunny and the bullet"
2013
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
Unframed
R 1 600
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Michael Sarjeant -  The bell tolls in the broken city
Michael Sarjeant
"The bell tolls in the broken city"
2012
Oil on canvas
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
R 1 150
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Michael Sarjeant - Sad blue world
Michael Sarjeant
"Sad blue world"
2006
Oil on board
50cm x 50cm
Unframed
SOLD
Michael Sarjeant -  Good Friday I
Michael Sarjeant
"Good Friday I"
2013
Oil on canvas
45cm x 60cm
R 1 350
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