Sun, 3rd Mar 2019 12:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 24
Lot 24 - Kevin Atkinson (South Africa 1939-2007


Kevin Atkinson (South Africa 1939-2007
Golden Seven

acrylic, oil and blackboard paint on canvas

Artwork date: 1976-77

Sold for R159,320
Estimated at R150,000 - R200,000

Condition Report


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.


acrylic, oil and blackboard paint on canvas

Artwork date: 1976-77


168 x 167.5 cm


A graduate of UCT, Kevin Atkinson subsequently studied under the British Surrealist printmaker Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris, where he also encountered Marcel Duchamp. He was a restlessly experimental figure whose initial body of work reflects an internalisation of the dominant international trends of the 1960s and 70s. Initially, these included kinetic art, hard-edge painting and environmental art. In Scotland, while exhibiting a series of bright yellow triangles that punctuated the rolling lawns of a private estate at the 1972 Edinburgh Festival, Atkinson also had dialogues with Joseph Beuys and Jack Burnham. Between 1975 and 1977, the thinking of these two significant artist-philosophers led his art in a decidedly metaphysical and cerebral direction. Golden Seven is a drawn from the artist’s Arena series1 of paintings, drawings, etchings and lithographs of this period. Despite its esoteric content, the Arena series is now, in retrospect, becoming better understood and seen as Atkinson’s most definitive body of work. Like many other works in this series, it references Atkinson’s ubiquitous use of the symbols of the heart and the triangle. The latter is strongly indicated in Golden Seven as the mystical Pythagorean tetractys2, and is inscribed over a wedge of ultramarine blue in the lower left of the canvas. Atkinson’s mysticism also connected strongly with numerology. The number 7, which he clearly associated with the vocation of the artist, represents intuition, inner wisdom, the seeker, the thinker and a quest for Truth with a capital ‘T’.For Atkinson, his Arena series stood as evidence of a striving towards ‘consciousness’ and of his own spiritual journey. They were conceived of as ‘process’ works that he left behind him to guide others who wished to follow a similar path.

Hayden Proud

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 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, Sun, 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): R400

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R800

Large (≤120x150x20 cm): R1,200

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.