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Aspire Art Auctions Sells Top International Work

Increasing global interest in Aspires’s Auctions

Top Seller (R1,448,200): Marina Abramović, Golden Mask, 2009. Framed chromogenic print, from an edition of 9 + 2 AP, 127 x 127 cm. PHOTO Nina Lieska, Repro Pictures

Aspire Art Auctions’ second Johannesburg sale on 17 July 2017, at the Park on 7 in Hyde Park, attracted huge interest in the varied and superbly compiled range of contemporary, modern and historical work on offer. Aspire continues on its strategic path as a dynamic South African and international auction house, attracting widespread interest from local and global collectors, curators and buyers. The top lots on auction, by one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists, sold for R1 448 200. Marina Abramović’s Golden Mask (2009) is a hypnotic photographic print from one of her famed video performances. Her work is much sought after internationally. Aspire Senior Art Specialist and Director Mary-Jane Darroll: ‘It’s really exciting for us that international work of this quality is being entrusted to us to sell in the local market – it’s a testament to our positioning and expertise in the market for contemporary art. It’s also testament to our growing profile internationally.’

Aspire Art Auctions
Moshekwa Langa, Mmatšie (R318 304)

The focus on international work extended to other major successes on the recent auction sale. The work by Chilean artist, Eugenio Dittborn, entitled 14th History of the Human Face, fetched a remarkable R522 928, more than five times its high estimate, while the Cameroonian born, Belgium based artist, Pascale Marthine Tayou’s work Das Kapital sold for R136 416. These international auction successes took their place alongside other South African work with a global flavour. These include examples such as the incredible drawing, Children under Apartheid, by exiled artist Dumile Feni, which achieved R1 250 480, an auction record for the artist, and the contemporary work by Paris-based Moshekwa Langa, Mmatšie, achieving R318 304, breaking the previous auction record, also held by Aspire. Other contemporary work by South Africans with international interest also sold very well. The recent Henri Cartier-Bresson International Award winner Guy Tillim featured on the auction with ten photographic portraits of Mai Mai militia. The work sold for R477 456, almost double its high estimate.

Peter Clarke, Figures on a Path, 1960. Oil on canvas, 23.5 x 18.5 cm. PHOTO Nina Lieska, Repro Pictures (R682 080)

Ruarc Peffers, Director, Senior Art Specialist and auctioneer, comments: ‘We are pleased to have done very well with this kind of contemporary work, and with others like Brussels-based Kendell Geers’ Border Order achieving R193 256, above its top estimate.’ Aspire remains committed to pioneering the Artist’s Resale Right in South Africa, an abiding commitment to the development of the industry and support of emerging and established artists. Consistent with Aspire’s ethos of international museum-quality presentation and display, the curated setting once again received unanimously positive responses. Darroll concludes: ‘We’re fast carving ourselves a niche in this market, and our successes are something we will celebrate and continue to build.’

Upcoming Auction details: Aspire’s Spring sale on 4 September 2017, at the Avenue, V&A Waterfront offers a breath of fresh air. Visit this beautiful venue to enjoy some choice works, amongst them a rare early Simon Stone mosaic triptych, sure to delight viewers and collectors.

Louis Maqhubela | Flight (R70,928)

For gratis and obligation-free valuations, and to consign works of art to the upcoming Cape Town auction, before end July, please contact:


Jacqui Carney | | +27 71 675 2991

Mary-Jane Darroll | | +27 82 567 1925

Ruarc Peffers | | +27 84 444 8004

Cape Town

Emma Bedford | | +27 83 391 7235

Marelize van Zyl | | +27 83 283 7427

About Aspire Art Auctions

Aspire Art Auctions is a South African-based, specialist auctioneering company formed to respond to the requirements of the country’s rapidly growing art industry. Specialising in historical, modern and contemporary art, the company is headed by a grouping of partners with formidable collective knowledge and expertise – together representing the longest combined secondary art market presence in South Africa. With collective art industry experience of more than eighty years, Art Specialists Emma Bedford, Jacqui Carney, Mary-Jane Darrol,l Ruarc Peffers and Marelize van Zyl produce curated auctions of top-quality international, African and South African art. What makes Aspire Art Auctions unique in the local auction world is this knowledgeable team whose exclusive focus on fine art ensures that works of art are presented in comprehensive historical and cultural contexts and on the best possible display platforms.

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