Aspire Art Auctions hosted our Winter Collection auction in August– a timed-online auction featuring a unique collection of modern and contemporary art, ceramics, collectables and books.
The sale ran from Tuesday 24–31 August and differentiated itself from previous timed-online auctions with its wide range of contemporary art alongside more historic works, multiples and editions, photography, sculpture, ceramics and an impressive selection of signed art books.
The sale, presented in partnership with the Photography Legacy Project (PLP) – an organisation established to support the digitisation of photographic legacies in Africa – was the largest collection of African photography ever to come to auction. The auction showcased a diversity of subject matter – ranging from landscape to the interior, gender-based issues to surfing culture and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Notable inclusions were works by Zimbabwean photographer Tamary Kudita and young award-winning woman photographer, Lee-Ann Olwage who collaborated with Belinda Qaqamba Kafassie. Emerging photographers like Kongo Astronauts collective (DRC) and the documentary imagery of Etinosa Yvonne (Nigeria) added depth and diversity, while the older generation of established practitioners like David Goldblatt, Alf Kumalo and Ernest Cole also featured.
This premier, large-scale, timed, online-only sale presented a wide range of contemporary art alongside more historic works, multiples and editions, photography, sculpture, ceramics and an impressive selection of signed art books for easy collecting.
Leading artists represented in the auction included Marlene Dumas, Jane Alexander and Walter Oltmann together with contemporary voices like Zanele Muholi, Nandipha Mntambo, Athi-Patra Ruga, Blessing Ngobeni, Gerhard Marx, Nicholas Hlobo and Nelson Makamo. Modern stalwarts included John Mohl and Edoardo Villa amongst others. Pieter Hugo, Mikhael Subotzky and Roger Ballen led the photography selection while new media works by Wayne Barker, Ed Young, Usha Seejarim, Turiya Magadlela and international star Damien Hirst also featured.
Aspire was a proud partner in the I AM FUNDA charity auction. The initiative aimed to raise funds for the FUNDA Arts Centre, to save and restore the iconic community centre and encourage organisations to support arts education in townships as a deserving focus of social responsibility projects. Proceeds from the auction directly benefited FUNDA and the artists who generously donated works. Artists included; Nandipha Mntambo, Sam Nhlengethwa, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Tracey Rose, William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Esther Mahlangu, Deborah Bell, Clive van den Berg, Bambo Sibiya, Karel Nel, Mohau Modisakeng and Zemba Luzamba.
A first to the local market, Editions: International Prints & Multiples was a special curated auction featuring editioned works by 20th century art legends like Alexander Calder, Antoni Tàpies, Henry Moore, Salvador Dalí, Robert Motherwell, James Rosenquist, Ernest Trova, Richard Smith and Victor Vasarely. It presented a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire works by sought-after, international artists.
Aspire Art Auctions’ Cape Town sale proved that the market for African and international art continues to thrive despite the pandemic.
The top lot by value was Irma Stern’s Dahlias and fruit, one of the most outstanding paintings from her late period, which achieved an impressive R5,234,800. Marlene Dumas scored a sensational hit when her early painting, Score, sold for R3,414,000, and stellar results were also achieved for celebrated artists; William Kentridge, George Pemba, Gerard Sekoto and Peter Clarke, amongst others, with world records at auction set for contemporary artists Turiya Magadlela and Gerhard Marx.
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