30th Nov, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 35
Lot 35 - Simphiwe Mbunyuza (South Africa 1989-)


Simphiwe Mbunyuza (South Africa 1989-)

ceramic and underglaze

Artwork date: 2022
Signature details: signed along the bottom

Sold for R284,500
Estimated at R250,000 - R350,000


ceramic and underglaze

Artwork date: 2022
Signature details: signed along the bottom


97 x 63 x 63 cm


Private collection, Johannesburg.


A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit art students on Feenix.org, an online fundraising platform that connects students and communities to fundraise towards achieving debt-free tertiary education.

Simphiwe Mbunyuza is a young South African artist and ceramicist based in Johannesburg. His large-scale abstract ceramic work draws inspiration from his Xhosa background and African cultural symbolism. “My work involves relationships and interactions within African cultural symbolism and cultural day-to-day objects used by African groups, particularly the Xhosa people.”1 For Mbunyuza, identity, history, memory, traditional techniques and the use of indigenous materials are all important markers when considering his practice.

Mbunyuza grew up in a small village called Mambendeni, just outside Butterworth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. His work is influenced by the people and cultures of the village, taking from Xhosa and the other cultural groups that now populate the region. For example, the coloured elements in Mbunyuza’s ceramics draw from customs of decorating mud houses and the tradition of women painting their faces with decorative dots during ceremonies.

The artist holds a Master of Fine Art degree from The University of Oklahoma and a Fine Arts degree from Walter Sisulu University. He has exhibited internationally, including a recent exhibition at Marianne Boesky in Aspen, Colorado and USA, as well as Gallery 1957 in London and Accra, among others. He is the recipient of awards and residencies including the Anderson Ranch Arts Centre in 2021; the Red Clay Faction Award and Oscar Jacobson Award from The University of Oklahoma in 2019; John Steele Award for Excellence in Ceramics from The Walter Sisulu University; a residency with A.I.R Vallauris, France, in 2017 and has been invited to participate on a 2-years residency at world-renowned Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, USA.

  1. Email from the artist to Jacqui Carney, 21 October 2022.

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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.

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