7th Jun, 2023 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 47
Lot 47 - Uwe Wittwer (Switzerland 1954-)


Uwe Wittwer (Switzerland 1954-)
Karussell Negativ (Merry-go-Round Negative)

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2012
Signature details: signed and printed with the artist's name, the date, title, medium and dimensions on a SMAC Gallery label on the reverse
Literature: Judin, J; Lullin, E. & Tufnell, B. (eds). (2013). 'Uwe Wittwer: Paintings'. Ostfildren: Hatje Cantz Verlag, illustrated in colour on p. 168

Sold for R120,094
Estimated at R150,000 - R250,000


oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2012
Signature details: signed and printed with the artist's name, the date, title, medium and dimensions on a SMAC Gallery label on the reverse
Literature: Judin, J; Lullin, E. & Tufnell, B. (eds). (2013). 'Uwe Wittwer: Paintings'. Ostfildren: Hatje Cantz Verlag, illustrated in colour on p. 168


100 x 130.5 x 3 cm

Private Collection, Johannesburg.
SMAC Art Gallery, Cape Town.
Haunch of Venison, London.


Internationally renowned Swiss artist Uwe Wittwer’s paintings continue to captivate audiences with their ethereal beauty and contemplative narratives. His works, like the enchanting Karussell Negativ from 2012, evoke a sense of nostalgia and mystery, blurring the line between reality and imagination.

Wittwer's artistic practice combines traditional painting techniques with digital manipulation and printing processes. He often starts with found images, whether historical paintings, photographs, or other visual references, which he then digitally alters and transforms by manipulating the composition, colours and textures, thus creating a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere in his works. Transferring the image to canvas, Wittwer’s unique painting style involves layering translucent glazes of colour to produce a luminous effect that adds depth and complexity to his compositions.

Here, in sepia-tinted tones, the artist presents a whimsical scene of a carousel with horses – a treasure of a bygone era. The carousel symbolically stands as a sentinel of memories, where echoes of childhood and youthful dreams reminisce and roam. The scene is stunningly elegant, heart-warming and emotionally moving, offering the viewer a brief sentimental retreat.


As early as 2008, Uwe Wittwer was voted into The 50 Most Important European Contemporary Artists List by Bilanz Magazine. Represented by international galleries; Galery Judin (Berlin), Galerie Peter Kilchmann (Zürich) and Parafin, (London), his most recent 2023 solo exhibition; The Mission was presented by Parafin to much critical acclaim. Participation in major group exhibitions include; Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf (2020), Kunstmuseum Bern (2019), Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (2018), Museum Langmatt, Baden, Switzerland (2017), Kunstmuseum Solothurn (2013), Centre Pasquart, Biel (2012), Tate Britain, London (2011) and the Courtauld Institute, London (2010) and Museum of Modern Art / PS1 MoMa, New York (2006).

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Auction: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 7th Jun, 2023


Aspire Art will impress collectors with this focused, boutique-style auction in Johannesburg. A feature of the carefully compiled collection is a strong focus on contemporary African artists. Collectors of contemporary works from Africa will be spoilt for choice with works by Thierry Oussou (Benin), Richard Mudariki (Zimbabwe) and Banele Khoza (Swaziland). Local contemporary favourites include Nandipha  Mntambo, Cinga Samson and Gerhard Marx amongst others. Contemporary photographers are also well represented with works by Aida Muluneh (Ethiopia), Kudzanai Chiurai (Zimbabwe) and South African international superstar, Zanele Muholi, while important historical images are included with works of Winnie Mandela by Alf Kumalo and a portfolio of twelve works – chronicling the hardships of apartheid – from Ernest Cole’s seminal House of Bondage (1967).

A highlight of the sale is South African modernist Alexis Preller’s, Adam (1972) – a recently discovered, never before seen, work forming part of Preller’s series of Adamic-themed works from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Other significant modern pieces include a unique terrazzo sculpture by Edoardo Villa, still lifes by Maggie Laubser and works by Cecil Skotnes, Walter Battiss and J.H Pierneef. 

The sale concludes with a special section of  William Kentridge editioned prints led by the impressive Blue Head (1993 – 1998).



Viewing will be open from  Friday 2 to Wednesday 7 June 8:30 to 16:30 and Saturday 3 June from 10:00 to 14:00.

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Small (≤60x90x10 cm): R480

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R960

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Over-size: Special quote


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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.

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