27th Mar, 2017 15:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 168
Lot 168 - Igshaan Adams (South Africa 1982-)


Igshaan Adams (South Africa 1982-)
Parda IV

woven nylon rope and string

Artwork date: 2015
Exhibited: blank projects, Cape Town, Parda, 30 June to 25 August 2016.
Literature: Ball, J., Higgins, J. & Simbao, R. (2015). Igshaan Adams. Cape Town: blank projects, colour illustration on p.93.

Sold for R73,892
Estimated at R50,000 - R70,000


woven nylon rope and string

Artwork date: 2015
Exhibited: blank projects, Cape Town, Parda, 30 June to 25 August 2016.
Literature: Ball, J., Higgins, J. & Simbao, R. (2015). Igshaan Adams. Cape Town: blank projects, colour illustration on p.93.


210 x 165 cm


Despite their meticulous construction, there is something unruly about Igshaan Adams’ signature textiles. In Parda IV, which takes its name from the practice of veiling the female body under Shariah law, nylon and rope meet, mesh and unravel. The closeness of the weave allows their printed fibres to overlap, creating an intricate pattern reminiscent of optical illusions – although it is hard to look at, it is equally difficult to look away.Parda IV was first exhibited as part of a show of the same name in Cape Town, which marked Adams’ shift away from the representational and cemented his status as a rising star. One of a larger series born from an ongoing collaboration with the women of Philani Centre in Khayelitsha, the piece attests to the artist’s fascination with the muddy and often muddled construction of self.As a queer, coloured man raised a Muslim in his grandparent’s Christian household, Adams finds himself at the intersection of sometimes conflicting identities. Although undeniably tailoring his work to reflect these conflicts, he is less interested in speaking directly about his own experiences than in revealing the ways in which the ‘self’ always functions as an unstable touchstone. In Parda IV, a reference to veiling or hiding the body alludes to the opacity of identity, but the artist also exposes the warp threads that form the backbone of his ‘veil’. These spool out from the tight-knit weave as if awaiting completion. Identity is under-construction for Adams…it’s a work in progress.Interestingly, additional source material for the Parda series was provided by the research of Swiss psychiatrist Herman Rorschach, inventor of the Rorschach test used to examine personality and gauge emotional wellbeing. Like ink-blot tests, Adams’ enigmatic artworks are an open system, making room for projection and imagination.

Anna Stielau

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, 27th Mar, 2017

The Inaugural Cape Auction offed a diverse range of top-quality historic, modern and contemporary works. With a focus on critically engaged art and a curated approach, seasoned and new collectors competed to acquire significant works.

Aspire’s commitment to the growth of the art market saw international records broken in recognition of exiled South African artists. Louis Maqhubela’s Exiled King, a definitive, politically motivated work, sold for R341,040 - three times his previous record, and Albert Adams’ Untitled (Four Figures with Pitchforks), his first appearance at auction, sold for R136,416. Top prices were also achieved for established artists including J.H Pierneef, William Kentridge, and Edoardo Villa, and contemporary artwork fared exceptionally with record prices for David Brown, Steven Cohen, Mohau Modisakeng, Moshekwa Langa, and Mikhael Subotzky.


Friday 24 March 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 25 March 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 26 March 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

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