4th Mar, 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 27
Lot 27 - Penny Siopis (South Africa 1953-)


Penny Siopis (South Africa 1953-)

acrylic, pastel and collage on paper

Signature details: signed bottom left

Sold for R160,010
Estimated at R80,000 - R120,000


acrylic, pastel and collage on paper

Signature details: signed bottom left


40 x 90 cm; Framed size: 69 x 117 x 6 cm


Although well known for her videos and installations, Penny Siopis is foremost a painter. As an artist who has consistently engaged with South Africa’s fraught social and political life, her central concerns are with the physicality of paint, the accumulation of found objects (including video footage), material memory, and the politics of embodiment. As she has previously articulated her ‘interest in materiality as concept, form defined as much through the relief surface as by colour and composition.The work featured as one of a series shown (in a line) on Lift Off 1997, a group exhibition that launched the 'new' Goodman Gallery in Joburg which had moved from Hyde Park to Parkwood. The series was positioned opposite my installation Reconnaissance 1900 - 1997, a collection of found objects (personal) arranged on a platform in front of a huge photograph (like a screen) of my grandfather's cinema, which became one of the references for my film, My Lovely Day. The paintings referenced some of the objects featured in the installation, and also some that were not in the collection. Text and dates—in painted script—evoke concerns of memory and what falls in and out of the official archive.[2]

Emma Bedford


[1] Excerpts from a text by Alexandra Dodd. Aspire Art Auctions. Spring 2016, p.50

[2] Penny Siopis, email to the seller, 1 February 2021.

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, 4th Mar, 2021

Aspire Art Auctions’ Cape Town sale proved that the market for African and international art continues to thrive despite the pandemic.

The top lot by value was Irma Stern’s Dahlias and fruit, one of the most outstanding paintings from her late period, which achieved an impressive R5,234,800. Marlene Dumas scored a sensational hit when her early painting, Score, sold for R3,414,000, and stellar results were also achieved for celebrated artists; William Kentridge, George Pemba, Gerard Sekoto and Peter Clarke, amongst others, with world records at auction set for contemporary artists Turiya Magadlela and Gerhard Marx.

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