3rd Mar, 2019 12:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 20
Lot 20 - Jake Aikman (United Kingdom 1978-)


Jake Aikman (United Kingdom 1978-)
Veiled Distances

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2014

Sold for R204,840
Estimated at R200,000 - R300,000


oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2014


150 x 210 cm


Jake Aikman’s large-scale painting Veiled Distances presents an impression of an ethereal reality and an immediate, almost palpable sense of mystery. Like the Romantic painters of the early nineteenth century, Aikman subjects the viewer to the overwhelming magnitude of nature: its peaceful beauty, silence and powerful unpredictability. The impressive view of a remote seascape with an outcrop of land in the distance is not essentially dramatic, but more contemplative, as it evokes a feeling of the Sublime.Aikman painted Veiled Distances in early 2014 to present at the Cape Town Art Fair. This compelling work followed on from a new series of paintings he produced for his 2013 solo exhibition At the Quiet Limit, in which he first introduced views of landforms in his iconic seascapes. Aikman derives the imagery for his paintings from photographs and film stills drawn from popular media and his personal archives, particularly from his travels to remote locales including Nicaragua, Indonesia and Southern Africa. He extracts and dislocates these images from their primary origin, translating their realism into atmospheric and sensory scenes that simultaneously captivate and, despite their tranquil and serene ‘veil’, offer a challenge.

The location depicted in Veiled Distances is non-specific, geographically indistinct and cannot be physically encountered. “It is not a direct reflection of reality or painted from first-hand experience, but is experience deferred, or experience by proxy, or simply experience imagined” (2013:10)[i]. The ominous scene does not present a definitive narrative; instead the viewer is kept in suspense. The absence of human presence is intentional while the restricted colour palette adds emotional effect. The subtle variations of tone and green hues ultimately imbue the painting with a seductive grace. By revealing as little as possible, Aikman encourages the viewer to explore this scene personally, privately and on one’s own terms – “to ponder the truth of the encounter with the work and the feelings it elicits” (2013:10)[ii].

Marelize van Zyl


[i] Teale, J. 2013. At the Quiet Limit in Van Zyl, M (ed.), 2013. Jake Aikman. At the Quiet Limit. Stellenbosch: SMAC Art Publishing, p.10.

[ii] Ibid.

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

In the My Account tab you can also enter telephone bids, or email bids@aspireart.net to log telephone/absentee bids.

Join us on the day of the auction to follow and bid in real-time.

The auction will be live-streamed with an audio-visual feed.

Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, 3rd Mar, 2019

Aspire Art Auctions set a new bar for the market in its Autumn 19 Auction in Cape Town, with a South African auction record for its cover lot.

An early work, by international star Marlene Dumas, Love Lost (1973/4) achieved R7 283 200, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate of R3 000 000. Further successful sales included a range of paintings by Alexis Preller from across his career, and new world records for work by Jane Alexander, Simphiwe Ndzube, and Moshekwa Langa. These results further establish Aspire’s growing reputation as the discerning auction house for handling contemporary South African art.  

View all lots in this sale

Images *

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.





While we endeavour to assist our Clients as much as possible, we require artwork(s) to be delivered and/or collected from our premises by the Client. In instances where a Client is unable to deliver or collect artwork(s), Aspire staff is available to assist in this process by outsourcing the services to one of our preferred Service Providers. The cost for this will be for the Client’s account, with an additional Handling Fee of 15% charged on top of the Service Provider’s invoice.

Aspire Art provides inter-company transfer services for its Clients between Johannesburg and Cape Town branches. These are based on the size of the artwork(s), and charged as follows:

Small (≤60x90x10 cm): R480

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R960

Large (≤120x150x20 cm): R1,440

Over-size: Special quote


Should artwork(s) be collected or delivered to/from Clients by Aspire Art directly, the following charges will apply:

Collection/delivery ≤20km: R400

Collection/delivery 20km>R800≤50km

Collection/delivery >50km: Special quote



A flat fee of R100 will be added to the invoice for packaging of unframed works on paper.


International Collectors Shipping Package

For collectors based outside South Africa who purchase regularly from Aspire Art’s auctions in South Africa, it does not make sense to ship artworks individually or per auction and pay shipping every time you buy another work. Consequently, we have developed a special collectors’ shipping package to assist in reducing shipping costs and the constant demands of logistics arrangements.

For buyers from outside South Africa, we will keep the artworks you have purchased in storage during the year and then ship all the works you have acquired during the year together, so the shipping costs are reduced. At the end of the annual period, we will source various quotes to get you the best price, and ship all your artworks to your desired address at once.

Aspire Art will arrange suitable storage during, and cost-effective shipping at the end, of the annual period.



Collections are by appointment, with 24-hours’ notice

Clients are requested to contact the relevant office and inform Aspire Art of which artwork(s) they would like to collect, and allow a 24-hour window for Aspire Art’s logistics department to retrieve the artwork(s) and prepare them for collection.


Handling Fee

Aspire Art charges a 15% Handling Fee on all Logistics, Framing, Restoration and Conservation arranged by Aspire.