30th Nov, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 6
Lot 6 - Alf Kumalo (South Africa 1930-2012)


Alf Kumalo (South Africa 1930-2012)
Hugh Masekela, 1956

archival ink print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

Artwork date: 1956
Edition: number 2 from an edition of 10
Literature: Kumalo, A. (2011). 'Through My Lens: A Photographic Memoir'. Cape Town: NB Publishers, illustrated on p.208.; Cheers, D & Masekela, H. (2005). 'Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela'. New York: Three Rivers Press illustrated on the cover page.

Sold for R136,560
Estimated at R50,000 - R70,000


archival ink print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

Artwork date: 1956
Edition: number 2 from an edition of 10
Literature: Kumalo, A. (2011). 'Through My Lens: A Photographic Memoir'. Cape Town: NB Publishers, illustrated on p.208.; Cheers, D & Masekela, H. (2005). 'Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela'. New York: Three Rivers Press illustrated on the cover page.


image size: 45 x 35 cm; sheet size: 59.5 x 42 cm


Private collection, Cape Town.


Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist's estate.

"Alf Kumalo, an internationally recognised photographer, was on the spot to capture many key dramatic moments in South Africa’s liberation history, both tragic and joyous. In this collection Kumalo demonstrates his unique access to diverse iconic figures, not only in the South African struggle, but also in the global spotlight." – From Through My Lens: A Photographic Memoir.

Born in Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal, Alf Kumalo came to Johannesburg as a young boy. A largely self-taught photographer, he worked at Bantu World and Golden City Post in the 1950s, freelanced for Drum magazine in the 1960s and Sunday Times in the 1970s. In the 1980s he joined The Star in Johannesburg. His work has been published in leading international newspapers such as The Observer, New York Times, New York Post and The Sunday Independent, and exhibited at the United Nations General Assembly, New York City. Kumalo’s books include Mandela: Echoes of an Era; Alf Kumalo: South African Photographer; Through My Lens: A Photographic Memoir; and 8115: A Prisoner's Home. Kumalo was awarded the Presidential Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2004 and the Nat Nakasa Award for Media Integrity in 2005.

This photograph was taken after Hugh Masekela received a trumpet from American jazz legend, Louis Armstrong, through anti-apartheid activist Father Trevor Huddleston. Kumalo wanted to capture the significant, newsworthy moment and asked the then-teenage Masekela to pose for what would later become a book and album cover. At the time, Masekela was mortified at how the photo made him look, but Kumalo assured him that the picture would "outlive his girlfriend". Masekela grew to love the image and how it "captured his spirit perfectly", so much so that it was chosen for the book cover of his autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela.


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town and Javett Art Centre, Pretoria.

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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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