ASPIRE X PIASA highlights Modern & Contemporary African Art in Cape Town

Collectors of contemporary art and photography are well catered for in the upcoming Aspire X Piasa Auction of Modern & Contemporary African Art in Cape Town.

Contemporary art currently accounts for 15% of the global secondary art market and is now the third largest collecting segment by auction turnover ($1.89 billion). Dynamic in nature, the contemporary art market represents an arena of unbounded discoveries, constantly fueled by new works and artists entering the scene. Aspire Art Auctions continues to prevail in this sector, currently holding the world auction records for works by: Moshekwa Langa, Sam Nhlengethwa, Mohau Modisakeng, Zander Blom, Georgina Gratrix and Simphiwe Ndzube amongst others. In South Africa, the auction house hold the records for works by William Kentridge, Pieter Hugo and Mikhael Subotzky.

An outstanding auction

Introducing the contemporary collection is an impressive range of drawings and sculpture by William Kentridge. Topped in value at R3–5million, Kentridge’s large scale mixed media work Whilst Reaching Down (Slowly), 2013, is a series of drawings on dictionary paper. 

ASPIRE X PIASA William Kentridge
Lot 64: William Kentridge, Whilst Reaching Down (Slowly), 2013 | Estimate: R3 000 000 – 5 000 000

Filmed in sequence, they become an animation, forming a progression of images in which Kentridge explores his inter-related interests in drawing, text and film.  Another drawing from this series as well as an animation with music and singing by Neo Muyanga, is currently on view in the exhibition, William Kentridge: Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings to Work at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town.

ASPIRE X PIASA Auction William Kentridge
Lot 70: William Kentridge, Untitled IV (Horse with a Raised Leg), 2007 | Estimate: R800 000 – 1 200 000
Lot 74: William Kentridge, Drawing from Other Faces (Healing To All in Global), 2011 | Estimate: R1 600 000 – 2 000 000

Works by Kudzanai Chiurai (Zimbabwe), Zemba Luzamba (Congo) and Kay Hassan, as well as Wim Botha and Zander Blom alongside Mustafa Maluka’s large painting We forgot how life’s supposed to be, and Moshekwa Langa’s Untitled abstract in blue ink add to the strength of the overall contemporary offering.

ASPIRE X PIASA Auction Kudzanai Chiruai, Kay Hassan
Lot 6: Kudzanai Chiruai, White Wall, 2011 | Estimate: R150 000 – 250 000
Lot 71: Kay Hassan, Kosoku, 1998 | Estimate: R120 000 – 180 000
Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Zemba Luzamba
Lot 9: Zemba Luzamba, New Generation 3, 2011 | Estimate: R100 000 – 130 000

Other highlights include a striking city-scape Full Moon, 2017 by the late, much celebrated David Koloane as well as delicate works on paper by Pascale Marthine Tayo (Cameroon) and Kemang Wa Lehulere.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA David Koloane
Lot 113: David Koloane, Full Moon, 2017 | Estimate: R100 000 – 150 000
Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Cape Town
Lot 76: Pascale Marthine Tayou, Untitled II, 1997 
| Estimate: R70 000 – 100 000
Lot 77: Kemang Wa Lehulere, Bedtime Stories 2 
| Estimate: R100 000 – 150 000

Spotlight on a new generation

The collection also introduces a new generation of bright young stars with works by Simphiwe Ndzube, Ruby Swinney, Pierre Vermeulen and Jody Paulsen.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Simphiwe Ndzube Ruby Swinney
Lot 1: Simphiwe Ndzube, Even I Exist, 2015 | Estimate: R60 000 – 80 000
Lot 26: Ruby Swinney, Before the crossing, 2018 | Estimate: R25 000 – 35 000
Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Pierre Vermeulen, Untitled
Lot 46: Pierre Vermeulen, Untitled (Sweat Print #8 & #9), 2016 | Estimate: R100 000 – 150 000
Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Jody Paulsen, Eat Me
Lot 69: Jody Paulsen, Eat Me (Hotdogs) | Estimate: R120 000 – 180 000

Photography Auction

Aspire has made meaningful advances in developing the market for photography at auction, and the carefully curated selection of photographic works will excite discerning collectors. Included are works by some of the best-known, established and emerging, names in film and photography from Africa, some of whom are making their South African auction debut.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Photography Sue Williamson
Lot 110: Sue Williamson, Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: The Boat Will Not Sink, Paris – France, 2016| Estimate: R55 000 – 70 000

Rarely exhibited in South Africa is an early 1980s photograph Every Mother’s Son / Children of Suffering by the late Nigerian/British photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode. His work investigates the body politic and queer identity – one of the first photographers to do so. Fani-Kayode’s archive is enjoying a renaissance of international critical engagement and re-assessment following his inclusion in recent survey exhibitions and publications in the UK.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Photography Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Lot 99: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Every Mother’s Son/Children of Suffering, 1989
Estimate: R70 000 – 90 000

Three examples from influential Benin photographer Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou draw upon his hallmark portrait vernacular. In 2013, Agbodjélou won the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize from London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Photography Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou
Lot 104: Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, Egungun Masquerades III, 2015 | Estimate: R50 000 – 90 000
Lot 108: Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, Borderlands, 2012 | Estimate: R50 000 – 90 000

Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru was listed among the top artists represented at Paris Photo in 2019. Macho Nne 09 (Caribbean Peacock), 2014 is a striking image, typical of his meticulously crafted self-portraits from his C-STUNNER series.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Photography Cyrus Kabiru
Lot 95: Cyrus Kabiru, Macho Nne 09 (Caribbean Peacock), 2014 | Estimate: R70 000 – 90 000

Guy Tillim’s 2008 photograph Apartment building, Avenue Bagamoyo, Beira, Mozambique holds pride of place as the cover of his lauded book Avenue Patrice Lumumba. This image has, for over a decade, served as a catalyst for institutional discussion around the relationship between photography, architecture and society in Africa, whilst enjoying a lengthy roster of international exhibitions.

Auction ASPIRE X PIASA Architecture Photography Guy Tillim
Lot 107: Guy Tillim, Apartment building, Avenue Bagamoyo, Beira, Mozambique, 2008 | Estimate: R60 000 – 80 000

Legendary photographer David Goldblatt is represented with seminal images from his famous photo books Some Afrikaners Photographed and TJ/Johannesburg Photographs including the highly sought-after work – A railway shunter who dreamed of a garden without concrete or bricks, watered by this dam, Koksoord, Randfontein. 1962. Aspire currently holds the world auction record for Goldblatt’s work and continues to dominate this market globally.

David Goldblatt ASPIRE X PIASA Auction
Lot 88: David Goldblatt, A railway shunter who dreamed of a garden without concrete or bricks, watered by this dam, Koksoord, Randfontein, 1962 | Estimate: R250 000 – 400 000

Other highlights include photographic works by Athi-Patra Ruga, Mary Sibande, the brothers Hasan & Husain Essop, Nyaba Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Mario Macilau (Mozambique) and Mohau Modisakeng.

ASPIRE X PIASA Auction Mario Macilau photography
Lot 91: Mario Macilau, Window, 2016 | Estimate: R30 000 – 40 000

All works on auction will be exhibited from 12 – 14 February at OroAfrica House, 170 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.

Download the e-Catalogue here.

Share on:

You might also like