6th Mar, 2024 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 60
Lot 60 - Kevin Roberts (South Africa 1965-2009)


Kevin Roberts (South Africa 1965-2009)
Lady and the Unicorn

oil on panel

Artwork date: 1997
Signature details: signed and dated bottom left; printed with the artist's name, the title, medium and dimensions on a label on the reverse

Sold for R100,000
Estimated at R120,000 - R160,000


oil on panel

Artwork date: 1997
Signature details: signed and dated bottom left; printed with the artist's name, the title, medium and dimensions on a label on the reverse


110 x 110 cm; framed size: 130 x 130 x 3 cm


Private collection, Pretoria.


South African surrealist painter Kevin Roberts was born in Rustenburg in the North West province. He completed a National Diploma in Fine Arts at Technikon Pretoria in 1988, followed by a Higher Diploma which he achieved with distinction.

Skilfully, creating picturesque, dream landscapes filled with recurring symbols and motifs, Roberts’ works almost always include images of female figures which become non-literal carriers of meaning. They are placed in landscapes amongst nature, alongside birds, cattle, fish, horses, or as is the case in this work, centaurs.

With his distinctive style rendered in invisible brushstrokes with muted colours in large planes accompanied by flattening line, the artist paints tableaus that are uniquely serene in character. Creating a heightened sense of mystery and intrigue through the careful use of rhythmic pattern and obscure symbols, what makes Kevin Roberts truly exceptional is the way in which he allows the viewer enough room to make their own interpretation. Standing before the large-scale Lady and the Unicorn, one is confronted with the exceptional beauty of the work and skill of the artist but is also offered boundless possibilities to be drawn in and engage – and to create endless meaning out of the intricate image of a woman, unicorn horn, tea, centaurs, leaves and a feather set against a vast field of fine and meticulously painted grass.


  • In 1995, Roberts was crowned the winner of the Absa L’Atelier Award following which he spent several months in France, at the famous Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.
  • Important fairs and biennales include the 1stJohannesburg Biennale in 1995 and the Art London fair in Chelsea in 1999.


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably the Sasol Art Collection, Johannesburg; ABSA Bank Collection, Johannesburg; Javett Art Centre, Pretoria; Telkom Art Collection, Johannesburg and the Sanlam Art Collection Bellville.

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