30th Nov, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 63
Lot 63 - Dylan Lewis (South Africa 1964-)


Dylan Lewis (South Africa 1964-)
Trans-figure IX


Artwork date: 2021
Signature details: signed, numbered 1/8 and stamped with the catalogue number S252 on the lower leg portion

Sold for R910,400
Estimated at R800,000 - R1,000,000



Artwork date: 2021
Signature details: signed, numbered 1/8 and stamped with the catalogue number S252 on the lower leg portion


200 x 101 x 61 cm excluding base; 255 x 101 x 64.5 cm including base


Private collection, Johannesburg.

Aspire Art, Contents of Deodar House Live Auction, 11 February 2018, Lot 82.

Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg.


Nature and wilderness are absolutely central to sculptor Dylan Lewis’ practice. Having grown up in a family of religious fundamentalists with conservative views and values, the outdoors always presented a safe, non-judgemental space. As such, when he embarked on his artistic career, Lewis quickly became recognised for his powerful depictions of wildlife in bronze, and specifically his wild cat sculptures. However, after 10 years of great success in the genre, and looking for opportunities to develop both personally and artistically, Lewis turned his attention to the female nude.

Given his conservative upbringing, the subject of nudity had previously been taboo and therefore presented itself as an opportunity for the exploration of the human form. Thus, an extremely successful series of erotic female figures emerged – including Trans-figure IX. Here, and throughout Lewis’ human depictions, the figure is ambiguous, without a face or identity. Lewis’ focus is instead on the form itself, expressively and emotively rendered in clay before being cast in bronze. Rich with vitality, Lewis is interested in exploring the wildness within the human psyche – both his own as he moulds his works, and that of the figures he depicts.

In extension of his love for the outdoors, in 2017 Lewis opened the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch. The entirely indigenous garden is home to more than 60 of Lewis’ sculptures, as well as his own foundry. Another example from the Trans-figure IX edition is displayed emerging from surrounding greenery in the Southern end of the Garden.


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, The collection of President Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg; The collection of President George W. Bush, Dallas; Harvard Capital Management Worldwide, Boston; Deutsche Morgan & Grenfell, London and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town.

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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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