Edoardo Villa and Steenberg traverse the centuries

At Steenberg, you will notice an engaging juxtaposition of historicism and abstract simplicity. This melding of the past and the future speaks to Steenberg’s endearing dictum of “Contemporary Heritage.” Standing astride our treasured 17th Century buildings, some of which have been awarded National Monument status, are the cubist and modernist sculptures of Edoardo Villa, bringing Steenberg confidently into the future.

When Graham Beck purchased Steenberg Hotel and Winery in 2005, he brought his famed passion for art – in particular, his love affair with the work of Italian-born sculptor Edoardo Villa – with him. With the help of Professor Karel Nel, WITS University Fine Arts Department, Beck placed 15 of Villa’s massive colourful steel creations in carefully selected positions in and around the gardens of the hotel and the winery – a striking proximity between antique heritage and contemporary artistry – which later received the official blessing of the artist himself.

Possibly the most poignant example of this blending of old and new is African Astronaut (2001-2), a bold 3.3m tall, bright red structure that stands proudly beside the estate’s centuries-old clock tower. This sculpture epitomises Villa’s fascination with cones and is typical of his signature expression of the assertive human figure, stretching bravely into the sky, its strength and energy emphasised by its crimson colour.

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