Sun, 2nd Jun 2019 9:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 3
Lot 3 - David Koloane (South Africa 1938-2019)


David Koloane (South Africa 1938-2019)

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2009
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right

Sold for R147,940
Estimated at R80,000 - R120,000

Condition Report

Recently cleaned and re-varnished by Lucy Blumenthal.

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.


oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2009
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right


83 x 142 cm


David Koloane, as much as any South African artist, can be considered a national treasure. A tireless champion of black art and artists in the country throughout his long career, he will be honoured with a national retrospective later in the year, which will include the current work at auction and will be accompanied by a catalogue in which the work will also be illustrated.Koloane, unusually for the local art world, is renowned as much for his role as mentor, critic and teacher as he is for his extensive visual output. If for nothing else, his instrumental involvement in founding the Bag Factory Artist’s studios in Fordsburg – for decades a stalwart Johannesburg art institution – should cement his legacy.As he has often reflected himself, Koloane sees his work as a chronicle of black urban life, both during and after apartheid. Vibrant and full of detail, Koloane’s cityscapes in various mediums are among his most characteristic subjects. Born in the township of Alexandra in 1938, he has seen his hometown of Johannesburg go through many changes in his lifetime. This view of the city emphasises the industrial and commercial character of Jozi. Advertising hoardings dominate the upper plane, along with the belching smoke of the cooling towers of a huge factory in the background – perhaps Orlando or Kelvin power stations. A shabby car, flattened in its perspective, pollutes the atmosphere in the right foreground. In the left foreground, an often-used metaphor in Koloane’s work reoccurs; a pack of scavenging mongrels, emblematic of forces of greed, oppression and the hard life of the city, forages on the ground.In this work, the artist’s muted palette and bold, almost graphic expressionism perfectly capture the grimy underbelly of the big city with the implicit oppression of its apartheid history never far from the surface.

James Sey

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 2nd Jun 2019

Aspire Art Auctions presented a focused and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art in their latest sale in Johannesburg.

The company’s commitment to innovation led to a bold and signature move in this sale, which featured a special section dedicated to photography. The medium has been traditionally strong among South African artists but has been without a proper focus in the local auction market. The ground-breaking segment featured a wide range of the most important South African photographers, including Pieter Hugo, David Goldblatt, Guy Tillim, and Zanele Muholi. In addition, the sale starred a number of the market’s big signatures – Alexis Preller J.H. Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, and Maggie Laubser and top contemporary artists including, Diane Victor, and Wim Botha.


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