First French-South African auction partnership promises new world records on contemporary African art this Valentine’s day, February 14th
Pan African vision spanning 10,000 miles from Paris to Cape town set to shake up Africa’s art market
French flair and passion from Piasa combined with South African energy and local knowledge from Aspire promises to deliver an auction sale of Modern & Contemporary African Art to remember on February 14th at 3pm in Cape Town.
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 landmark auction: Modern and Contemporary African Art takes place on Friday, 14 February at OroAfrica House in Cape Town. The curated collection comprises 198 lots, featuring 139 artists representing 27 countries from Africa and the diaspora. While presenting a broader pan-African offering, it spotlights key collecting segments from 20th Century modernism to contemporary production and photography.
Christophe Person, of French auction house Piasa, says: “The South African market is one of the most dynamic on the continent. But until now collectors have been mostly focussed on local artists and less on art from other African countries. What is special about this new partnership between Aspire and Piasa is that it offers a pan-African vision of contemporary creation.” Ruarc Peffers of Aspire, adds: ”We are delighted to be working with Piasa who have made significant inroads into the Contemporary African Art Market in Europe. Creating both depth and breadth geographically is one of the real excitements of this joint initiative.”
Ever-increasing global interest in art from Africa is changing the art market. To meet the growing demand, Aspire has partnered with Paris-based house Piasa, to introduce an Africa-focused auction that presents some of the best examples of modern and contemporary art produced on this continent.
Headlining the collection, and the top lot by value, is J.H. Pierneef’s Baobabs with Soutpansberg in the distance, 1920 (R6–9million). Pierneef’s baobab paintings are extremely rare. Painted a century ago and never before seen on the market, this large, splendid painting, with impeccable provenance, will enhance any serious art collection.
Adorning the catalogue cover is a superb, early painting by internationally acclaimed Marlene Dumas, never before seen on the market.Oktober 1973 is only the third Dumas painting ever offered at auction in South Africa. Estimated at £160,000 – £260,000 (R3–5million), the work is set to attract significant interest.
An impressive variety of drawings and sculpture by William Kentridge leads the contemporary selection. Topped in value, Kentridge’s mixed media work Whilst Reaching Down (Slowly), 2013, £160,000 – £260,000 (R3–5million) is a series of drawings on dictionary paper which highlights the artist’s command of drawing, text and animation.
The auction introduces some of the most in-demand African artists on the market. A remarkable painting by Chéri Samba (Congo) titled Retour au Bercail, 1995, (R225,000 – 300,000), is the first work to be offered at auction in South Africa by this seminal painter.
Rarely exhibited in South Africa and making its inaugural local auction appearance, is an early 1980s photograph Every Mother’s Son / Children of Suffering (R70,000–90,000) by the late Nigerian/British photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode. Legendary photographer David Goldblatt is represented with seminal images from his famous photobooks 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 (R250,000– 400,000). Aspire currently holds the world auction record for Goldblatt’s work and continues to dominate this market globally.