Kudzanai Chiurai, Revelations X, 2011, R 160 000 – 240 000
Ever-increasing global interest in art from Africa is changing the art market. To meet this growing demand, Aspire Art Auctions has partnered with Paris-based auction house Piasa, to introduce an Africa focussed auction that presents some of the best examples of modern and contemporary art produced on the continent. This collaboration is unprecedented and represents the first time an African and European auction house have partnered to present a sale of African art, in Africa, for a global audience.
The Modern and Contemporary African Art auction takes place on Friday, 14 February at OroAfrica House in Cape Town. The curated collection comprises 198 lots, featuring 139 artists from Africa and the diaspora, and whilst it presents a broader pan-African offering, it spotlights various key collecting segments within 20th century modernism, contemporary production and photography.
The auction introduces a remarkable painting by Chéri Samba (Congo), internationally regarded as the most in-demand African artist on the auction circuit. Retour au Bercail, 1995, (R225 000 – 300 000) is the first work by the artist to be offered at auction in South Africa. Other prominent artists debuting locally on auction include Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba (Ivory Coast), with two expressive mixed media works from the mid-1990s, Marc Padeu (Cameroon), Salah Elmur (Sudan) with an enchanting work The Green Forest, 2016 (R195 000 – 255 000) as well as Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe) with his 2016 paper-based work titled Tauya Nadzo Tsoka Dzenyu (Brand New Second Hand Nikes), estimated at R180 000 – 240 000.
Chéri Samba, Retour au Bercail, 1995, R 225 000 – 300 000
Collectors of contemporary art will be particularly interested in works by Kudzanai Chiurai (Zimbabwe), Zemba Luzamba (Congo) and Kay Hassan, alongside alongside Mustafa Maluka, Moshekwa Langa, Wim Botha and Zander Blom. Adding to the strength of the overall offering is a striking city-scape Full Moon, 2017 (R100,000–150,000) by the late, much celebrated David Koloane.
Salah Elmur, The Green Forest, 2016, R 195 000 – 255 000
An impressive range of drawings and sculpture by William Kentridge leads this contemporary selection. The mixed media work Whilst Reaching Down (Slowly), 2013, (R3 – 5 million) presents a series of drawings on dictionary paper highlighting the artist’s interest in drawing text and animation.
William Kentridge, Drawing from Other Faces (Healing To All in Global), 2011, R 1 600 000 – 2 000 000
Adorning the catalogue cover is a superb, early painting by internationally acclaimed Marlene Dumas, never before seen on the market.
Expressive and powerful, Oktober 1973 is only the third Dumas painting ever offered at auction in South Africa. Estimated at R3–5m, the work is set to attract significant interest.
A strong lead of women artists which showcases an exceptional still life painting by Irma Stern’ from 1954. African and Chinese ceramics with oranges and open book reflects Stern’s sophistication, love of travel, her delight in the discovery of diverse cultures and their artefacts, and her mastery of oil painting. Helen Sebidi’s colourful Figures and birds, 1991 (R80 000 – 120 000) will appeal to the dedicated collector.
Contemporary highlights include work by Lisa Brice, Deborah Poynton and Frances Goodman, as well as Georgina Gratrix’s compelling portrait Girl with Purple Hair, 2013 (R250 000 – 350 000) and Mary Sibande’s striking photograph, A Terrible Beauty is Born (from the Long Live the Dead Queen series), 2013 (R300 000 – 400 000).
Georgina Gratrix, Girl with Purple Hair, 2013, R 250 000 – 350 000
Aspire has made meaningful advances in developing the market for photography at auction, and the exciting range of photographic works and lens-based media will thrill collectors. Rarely exhibited in South Africa and also making its inaugural local auction appearance, is an early 1980s photograph by the late Nigerian/British photographer Rotimi Fani-Keyode. Legendary photographer David Goldblatt is represented
with well-known images from the seminal photobooks Some Afrikaners Photographed and TJ/Johannesburg Photographs.
Three striking examples from Benin photographer Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou draw upon his hallmark portrait vernacular. Two remarkable sets of pen and ink drawings; Oja Suite, 1962 and Nok Suite, 1958/59 (each R300 000 – 500 000) by Uche Okeke, a an important figure in Nigerian art history, together with a powefull, early drawing by Dumile Feni Mother and Child, 1966 (R200 000 – 300 000) introduces the outstanding collection by 20th century and modern artists from the continent. Impressive works from established, canonical artists like John
Koenakeefe Mohl, Ablade Glover (Ghana), Ernesto Shikhani (Mozambique), Alexis Preller, Cecil Skotnes and Walter Battiss are sure to attract attention. Of note is the beautiful Namaqualand flowers and quiver tree, a strikingly large landscape painting by Hugo Naudé (R750 000 – 1 million). Headlining the collection is J.H. Pierneef’s, Baobabs with Soutpansberg in the distance, painted in 1920 and estimated at R 6 – 9 million. Pierneef’s baobab paintings, are extremely rare, and this impressive painting produced 100 years ago, with impeccable provenance, is a must have for any serious collection of his work.
ASPIRE X PIASA AUCTION DATE:
Friday 14 February at 3 pm
OroAfrica House, 170 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town
Wednesday 12 February 12 to 5 pm
Thursday 13 February 10 am to 5 pm
Friday 14 February 10 am to 3 pm
Cape Town | +27 21 418 0765 |