30th Nov, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 3
Lot 3 - Zanele Muholi (South Africa 1972-)


Zanele Muholi (South Africa 1972-)
Muholi II


Artwork date: 2021
Signature details: signed, dated and numbered 2/3 behind the right arm
Exhibited: Art Paris, Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris, Galerie Carole Kvasnevski, 7 to 10 April 2022. Another example from the edition exhibited.

Sold for R700,000
Estimated at R800,000 - R1,200,000



Artwork date: 2021
Signature details: signed, dated and numbered 2/3 behind the right arm
Exhibited: Art Paris, Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris, Galerie Carole Kvasnevski, 7 to 10 April 2022. Another example from the edition exhibited.


90 x 60 x 35 cm


Muholi Art Institute, Cape Town.


Sir Zanele Muholi is the Black Madonna of the global art world. The gender slippage in this sentence is deliberate – Muholi operates in an extramoral Nietzschean realm, beyond boundaries. The radical currency of Muholi's art must be understood as such.

The sculpture, Muholi II (2021), which sees the artist extending the versatility of their practice is quaint, retro, quirky – fundamentally queer. As gender theorist Judith Butler points out in her essay, Radically Queer; “If the term queer is to be a site of collective contestation, the point of departure for a set of historical reflections and futural imaginings, it will have to remain that which is, in the present, never fully owned, but always and only re-deployed, twisted, queered from a prior usage and in the direction of urgent and expanding purposes”.[1] This is why Muholi declares that “The political agenda behind my work is not yet fulfilled... I have to continue to redirect, resist, and interrogate the act of looking”.[2] Like Butler, Muholi occupies an expanded field, in which looking is as tyrannical as it is enlightening. Optics matter.

With regard to the sculpture, Muholi II, the optic is decidedly quaint and obtuse, current and old-fashioned. Muholi's point? That to be queer – in the healthiest, incorporative and intelligent sense of the word – is to be untimely, outside causation, radically vertical, otherwise.

This is the point of all of Muholi's art. After the Nobel laureate, Toni Morrison, Muholi plays in the dark, and, as such, produces art that is both palpable and illuminating. This is because Muholi knows that their 'political agenda' is permanent, unfulfilled, latent, and that art, to truly reach the world, must, despite all, remain sonar. Queer, definitionally, is this powerful abstraction. We see a 'man', a 'woman' – a slippage between – a being composed, entire, yet profoundly hesitant. Why? Because Muholi must perpetually “redirect, resist, and interrogate the act of looking”.[3]

Ashraf Jamal

[1] Judith Butler, 'Critically Queer' in Goodman, L & De Gay, J. (eds). (2000). Politics and Performance, London and New York: Rutledge.

[2] Zanele Muholi in Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance Gallery Guide. Available at: https://www.gardnermuseum.org/experience/being-muholi/gallery-guide (Accessed: 31 October 2022).

[3] ibid


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, the Baltimore Museum of Fine Art, Baltimore; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York.; Tate Modern, London and Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.

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: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 30th Nov, 2022


The focused sale brings to market 84 highly collectable lots, with the diverse collection showcasing highlights by modern masters including magnificent still-life compositions and a Zanzibari boat scene by Irma Stern, an Alexis Preller abstract and an early JH Pierneef landscape. Also included is a significant collection of celebrated contemporary artists: Mustafa Maluka, David Koloane, Walter Oltmann, Norman Catherine, Willem Boshoff, a rare self-portrait oil by Robert Hodgins as well as a large bronze sculpture by Zanele Muholi, the first of this new body of work to be offered on auction.
The sale features a special selection of artworks by William Kentridge. One of the most celebrated and influential living artists today, his major retrospective exhibition is currently on show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This is one of the most unique and high-quality Kentridge collections to come to market. Spanning his career and showcasing the many mediums in which he works, the sale features signature charcoal drawings alongside collages, tapestry, prints and sculptures.

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.