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Major Alexis Preller leads Aspire’s SPRING 18 Auction

Aspire Art Auctions is excited to bring to the market Adam (1972), a definitive work by Alexis Preller.

Aspire Art Auctions Alexis Preller
Alexis Preller, Adam, 1972, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm | Estimate: R8 000 000 – 10 000 000

The work of Alexis Preller is among the most collectible. The artist’s standing has steadily risen in the four decades since his last exhibition in 1975, prior to his untimely passing that same year. The Global African Art Market Report (2016) positions Alexis Preller as the second most important and recognised modern artist from Africa in terms of turnover at auction.
     Adam is an electrifying painting produced in 1972, and forms part of a small group of Adamic figures that concerned Preller in his late career. This rare and unique painting was one of only five works Preller selected to present at the São Paulo Biennale in 1973.
     At the time, Preller was interested in both Adam as the first human figure and also with Adam as a version of the Apollo of Classical antiquity – in many ways an ideal of male beauty. Adam demonstrates many of the key characteristics of Preller’s imagining of the male psyche in his oeuvre and in his personal mythography. In the Adamic and Apollonian works around this time, there is often a  gender ambiguity and a certain eroticism, which this Adam figure embodies. Its saturated colour palette is also characteristic of the artist’s later work.
     Estimated at R8 000 000 – 10 000 000, this work leads the upcoming SPRING 18 Auction on 28 October in Johannesburg.
     The market for Preller’s work is consistent, and Adam will certainly seduce the artist’s collector base.  We are honoured to present this significant work of museum-quality which itself was enthusiastically endorsed by the artist and hailed as one of his top works.
     This important consignment follows the remarkable sale of Preller’s Profile Figure’s (Mirrored Image) (1967), for over R7 million at Aspire’s inaugural auction in October 2016 in Johannesburg  — eclipsing the other amounts earned for Preller. In March this year, Aspire made headlines once again with the sale of Gold Angel (Arêté) for just over R4.5 million.

SPRING 18 Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art | 28 October 2018, Johannesburg | Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), 26 Melville Road, Illovo

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