Sun, 17th Jun 2018 18:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 14
Lot 14 - Peter Clarke (South Africa 1929-2014)


Peter Clarke (South Africa 1929-2014)
Sunset at Windemere (Afrika Mayibuye) (sic)

gouache on paper

Artwork date: 1957
Signature details: signed and dated 10.1.1957; inscribed with the title and artist's address on the reverse

Sold for R432,440
Estimated at R150,000 - R200,000

Condition Report

Crease bottom right corner, very minor cockling, adhered to mount with sellotape, verso glossy paper. Examined out of the frame, not laid down.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.


gouache on paper

Artwork date: 1957
Signature details: signed and dated 10.1.1957; inscribed with the title and artist's address on the reverse


24 x 30 cm

Purchased from the artist’s family.


Sunset at Windemere (Afrika Mayibuye) is perhaps one of Peter Clarke’s oddest works, yet it is not a surprise considering his penchant for humour. Those who know the now late artist and his work, might remember him for his diligence and often humourous observation of the everyday. With their quiet and yet whimsical painterly touches, Clarke’s distinctive saturated palette and bold contours, often appear misleadingly passive. He is sometimes referred to as an heir to movements such as German Expressionism, the Harlem Renaissance etc., but rarely to the haunting influence of African sculptural traditions which runs through his work. The Machiavellian wit that clandestinely pops up in his oeuvre, depicts reality with a bold disregard of naturalistic conventions. Sunset at Windemere (Afrika Mayibuye) represents a rather earlier Clarke, almost emboldened by his era’s journalis ticpreoccupations.It depicts three men defecating in a row of rickety, open toilet cubicles. Completed in 1957, at the height of apartheid’s forced removals, it portrays the tragedy and neglect faced by the residents of the now lost community of Windermere. At first glance, the painting draws us in with the warm, liquid colours of the sunset, into what deceptively becomes a comical representation. But Clarke depicts something more than just the spatial sanitary ecology of apartheid South Africa. He reveals the monotony of racial oppression with pathos and reluctant comic ease. Upon closer reading, he unveils a spatio-existential tragicomedy, where space and race correlatively define the logics of incongruity and the daily naturalization of destitution. Thus his subtitle Afrika Mayibuye (Africa Return) presupposes a nostalgic yearning for a different sociality and time.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 17th Jun 2018

In a slow and unresponsive market, amid tight economic conditions generally in South Africa, Aspire Art Auctions made impressive statements and set several world records.

Two rare works by Irma Stern achieved sparkling results. The top lot by value: Still life with magnolias, apples and bowl (1949), fetched R6 828 000, the highest price achieved for a work by Stern for over a year. Another significant still life, Still life with chrysanthemums in the artist’s handmade ceramic jug, from 1950, sold for R3 414 000.

A significant, world record was achieved for Peter Clarke – R1 479 400 for Lazy Day, an acrylic and gouache on paper from 1975, and records were also set for contemporary artists, Zander Blom and Paul Stopforth.


Thursday 14 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Friday 15 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 16 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 17 June 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm

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