30th Sep, 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 74
Lot 74 - Diane Victor (South Africa 1964-)


Diane Victor (South Africa 1964-)

charcoal and pastel on paper

Artwork date: 2001/2, reworked 2003
Exhibited: Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein, 2001. Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, 2003.

Sold for R170,700
Estimated at R150,000 - R250,000


charcoal and pastel on paper

Artwork date: 2001/2, reworked 2003
Exhibited: Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein, 2001. Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, 2003.


192 x 345 cm; framed size: 210 x 358 x 6 cm


Academic institution.

Private collection, Cape Town.

Stevenson, Cape Town.


Diane Victor’s drawing of Pasiphae is undoubtedly one of the most impressive works she has ever produced. Its extraordinary draughtsmanship and sheer scale are breathtaking. Not surprisingly, it was selected by Michael Stevenson for the inaugural exhibition of the opening of the Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town in 2003 after having had its first museum showing in 2001 at the prestigious Oliewenhuis Museum in Bloemfontein.

In Greek mythology, Pasiphae, the daughter of the sun god Helios, is cursed by Poseidon to fall in love with a bull. Here a young girl – smiling as she trails her toy bull on wheels – stands between a burly farmer and an immense bull whose stomach holds a reclining man. Both reverberate with potential danger for the girl-child. And yet she is secure and confident in her enjoyment of this pastoral scene. Victor’s fearless handling of the poignant subject of a young girl who navigates the fine line between her love of her precious toy, fascination for the natural world and her alertness to its potential dangers, is unparalleled in its courageous address of difficult issues.

The artist is widely acknowledged for her superb draughtsmanship and the technical excellence she brings to all her work. As she has made clear in an interview with author, Sean O’Toole, “I cannot just leave issues that anger or upset me alone. … They are still part of my range of choices and an element of my social conscience”.[1]

[1] available: https://artthrob.co.za/03feb/artbio.html

Visit https://silencedpasiphae.wordpress.com/pasiphae-the-greek-mythology/

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, 30th Sep, 2021

Aspire Art Auctions brings a significant and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art to auction in Cape Town. The sale stars exceptional works by many of South Africa’s big signatures, including, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Penny Siopis, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo and J.H Pierneef, amongst others. Also featured is an exciting collection of contemporary artists from elsewhere in Africa – Patrick Bongoy and Zemba Luzamba from the Congo, Moustapha Baïdi Oumarou from Cameroon and Gerald Chukwuma from Nigeria.

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