Mon, 17th Jul 2017 17:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 154
Lot 154 - Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon 1967-)


Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon 1967-)
Das Kapital: Projet machine technique de l’amour no. 3 and Projet machine a rendre fou les fous

mixed media and found objects on paper

Artwork date: 1995
Signature details: both signed, dated and inscribed with their respective titles

Sold for R136,416
Estimated at R100,000 - R150,000

Condition Report

Creasing in areas, surface dirt, pin holes in areas.

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.


mixed media and found objects on paper

Artwork date: 1995
Signature details: both signed, dated and inscribed with their respective titles


61.5 x 85 cm each


In her review of the first American exhibition of Cameroonian-born, Belgian-based artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, New York Times critic Roberta Smith describes a fluid network of formal, stylistic and cultural influences. “[Tayou’s] work is at base diaristic,” she writes, “in that it reflects one person's movement through the world, but the story it tells belongs to no single individual or culture” (1999). The artist puts it more simply: “I am an explorer,” he says, adding that although he’s travelled extensively, he’s never really left the country of his birth (2009).Tayou’s practice is as borderless as his life, and like the artist himself, it retains a firm foothold on the African continent while adopting a distinctly global outlook. His site-specific installations combine the debris of modernity – from ticket stubs to commercial waste – with the viscera of an Africa half real and half imaginary. Plastic fetishes squat on tree trunks, a snake coils a body made of wash cloths and masks, a shantytown skyline emerges from hundreds of bird cages. The results are sometimes architectural and sometimes totemic, but always codify their recycled materials anew.The Das Kapital mixed media works testify to this. Each was executed freehand and fast. Formal documents, including receipts and cheques, lose their authority in a melange of rough marks and half-formed figures. A doll’s leg, suggestive of some unseen violence, hangs limply in this sea of stuff. As only Tayou could do, the Das Kapital diptych takes a deeply serious subject (in this case, Karl Marx’s critique of political economy, from which the works take their name) and expands it, both affirming and destabilising the text through subjective interpretation. “I leave to others the possibility of saying it all,” the artist declares, “To me, art is simply a vector for communication”.

Anna Stielau


Smith, Roberta. 1999. ‘Art in Review: Pascal Marthine Tayou’. New York Times. as of 28 May 2017

Tayou, Pascale in Wright, Karen. 2009. ‘Pascal Marthine Tayou’. Art in America. as of 28 May 2017

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Mon, 17th Jul 2017

Aspire Art Auctions’ second Johannesburg sale offered a selection of some of the best works produced by local and international artists available on the local market. Offerings included Cameroonian-born, Belgium-based, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Chilean, Eugenio Dittborn, and South Africans, William Kentridge, Kendell Geers, Louis Maqhubela, Cecil Skotnes, Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, and Mohau Modisakeng, amongst others.

The sale was led by an international auction record of R1 200 320 achieved for a drawing, Children under Apartheid, by exiled South African artist Dumile Feni, as well as the successful sale of top international lot Golden Mask by renowned performance artist Marina Abramović. 


Friday 14 July 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 15 July 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 16 July 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

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