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Aspire Art Auctions leads contemporary market with upcoming Cape Town sale

Contemporary art is an area in which Aspire has consistently led the auction market, and forms a strategic focus area for the company.

Zander Blom, Untitled 1

On its most recent Johannesburg auction, held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on November 12, 2017, a stunning new South African sales record was achieved for a drawing by the doyen of SA contemporary artists, William KentridgeWilliam Kentridge’s Drawing from Mine (Soho with coffee plunger and cup) (1991), sold for R5 456 640. Not only is this a record price for a drawing by Kentridge in South Africa, by a margin of some 25% over the previous best, it beat the high estimate for the work by more than double. The performance in this segment was truly well ahead of the game on this auction. Two works by European-based Cape Town artist Mustafa Maluka earned their highest ever prices at auction, The smell of fear is thicker than you think (2007) fetched R272 832, and One day it will all make sense (2007) fetched an impressive R318 304. A work by Pierre Fouché, Peter of the Galatea (2007), attained a very respectable price of R68 208, over double its high estimate. It is testament to Aspire’s expertise in the contemporary arena that, in his first time at auction, Fouché fetched this serious price in a very competitive bidding war. A stalwart figure of the contemporary market, Robert Hodgins, again did well, his Office Hours (2006) attaining R728 920. A rare work on auction by Willie Bester, renowned anti-apartheid multimedia artist, did very well, fetching over a quarter of a million rand, which equalled his best price ever at auction. 

Mohau Modisakeng, Frames series, Untitled (Frame X)

In Aspire’s forthcoming Cape Town auction in March 2018, the focus on contemporary work continues, with an exciting line-up of South African art. One of the highlights at this auction is the tapestry work by Athi-Patra Ruga from 2013, Uzukile the elder. This arresting piece is newly arrived on consignment from the prestigious Fondation Louis Vuitton show in Paris entitled Being There, which featured new contemporary South African talent. Another significant work on auction is by one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the country at the moment. Mohau Modisakeng’s star continues to rise. He is fresh from a highly successful solo show in Cape Town, and from a critically well-received exhibition as one of two SA artists at the SA Pavilion in Venice. The work on auction is from 2012’s Frames series, Untitled (Frame X). Lastly, another contemporary highlight on offer is Zander Blom’s dynamic abstract painting Untitled (1: 96). The prolific Blom, now based in Cape Town, is a prominent painter with an international reputation. He was the recipient of the Jean-François Prat prize for contemporary art in France in 2014. These exciting contemporary talents take their place alongside one of the headline works on the sale, the rare Angel King (1970-75) by sought-after modern painter Alexis Preller – demonstrating that Aspire offers top-quality works across the historic, modern and contemporary spectrum. Emma Bedford, Director, Senior Art Specialist and head of Aspire’s Cape Town office, comments: ‘We are delighted to be doing so well with the kind of contemporary work we have on this sale, given our commitment to the contemporary and our expertise in the area.’ The contemporary field is one in which many living South African artists who sell on Aspire’s auctions gain the benefit of the company’s self-generated and managed Artist’s Resale Rights (ARR) scheme. ‘Aspire remains committed to pioneering the Artist’s Resale Right in South Africa,’ says Bedford, ‘because we have an abiding commitment to the development of the industry and support of emerging and established artists.’

Aspire Art Auctions leads contemporary market with upcoming Cape Town sale

Upcoming Auction details:

Aspire’s Summer sale in March 2018, at the Avenue, V&A Waterfront offers a breath of fresh air. Visit this beautiful venue to enjoy some choice works, sure to delight viewers and collectors. For gratis and obligation-free valuations, and to consign works of art to the upcoming Cape Town auction, before end January, please contact:

Cape Town

Emma Bedford | | +27 83 391 7235

Marelize van Zyl | | +27 83 283 7427


Jacqui Carney | | +27 71 675 2991

Mary-Jane Darroll | | +27 82 567 1925

Ruarc Peffers | | +27 84 444 8004

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