Twentieth-century Modern and Post-War art has dominated the art market for the last 20 years and it remains the largest segment, by value, of the global art auction market. This sector is where most of the highest priced art works are sold and it represents the various styles and histories of the previous century, along with the most recognisable and desirable artists of the time. The Fine Art sector is also noteworthy.


Aspire Art Auctions has specialist knowledge of this segment, especially within the South African and African context, and is a market force in assessing, researching, promoting and handling modern art in Africa at auction.


The record of important modern South African art sold by Aspire bears testimony to our agility and strength in the sector. We have successfully presented and sold works by leading South African modern artists like Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, Gladys Mgudlandlu, J. H. Pierneef, Anton van Wouw, Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Alexis Preller, Stanley Pinker, Edoardo Villa, Cecil Skotnes, Walter Battiss, Robert Hodgins, Ezrom Legae and Sydney Kumalo amongst others.


Aspire is the first South African auction house that has committedly promoted undervalued 20th-century black artists at auction and has achieved exceptional results in this special collecting segment – one which is currently the subject of renewed focus in South African art history and collecting patterns.


Our accomplishments include a world record price achieved for a gouache painting by Peter Clarke. Aspire also holds auction records for a drawing by Dumile Feni and a mixed media work on paper by Louis Maqhubela, and we have achieved high prices for paintings by George Pemba and celebrated black modernist sculptors such as Ezrom Legae and Sydney Kumalo. Aspire is best positioned to handle rare and significant historical artworks deemed to be national artistic treasures of South Africa, especially in the case of artists like Gerard Sekoto.