Sun, 31st Oct 2021 11:00

Art, Life and Love: The Collection of Nwabisa Xayiya (Live Auction)

 
  Lot 32
 
Lot 32 - Ezrom Legae (South Africa 1938-1999)

32

Ezrom Legae (South Africa 1938-1999)
The Prisoner (Young Man)

bronze on a wooden base

Artwork date: 1969
Literature: De Jager, EJ. (1973). Contemporary Art in South Africa. Cape Town: Struik, another cast from the edition illustrated, unpaginated. | Katz, D. (1974). A Man of Two Worlds: Ezrom Legae. Lantern, Volume XXIV, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.62. | Berman, E. (1983). Art and Artists of South Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.405. | Burroughs, E. and Nel, K (eds.) (1998). Re/discovery and Memory: The Works of Kumalo, Legae, Nitegeka and Villa. Cape Town: Norval Foundation, another cast from the edition illustrated on pp.181-182 and pp. 200-201. Miles, E. (2004). Polly Street: The Story of an Art Centre. Johannesburg: The Ampersand Foundation, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.127.

(Qty: 1)

64.5 x 16.5 x 10.5 cm excluding base; 68 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm including base

Provenance:

Private collection, Linksfield, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Ezrom Kgobokanyo Sebata Legae undertook his art training firstly at the seminal Polly Street Art Centre – one of the first places to bring artists from different areas under one roof – from 1959 to 1960. Thereafter he studied at the Jubilee Art Centre, from 1960 to 1964, under the tutelage of artists Cecil Skotnes and Sydney Kumalo – both of whom greatly influenced his art practice. In 1965 Legae went on to teach and became co-director of the Centre and also worked as a part-time teacher at the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA).

While teaching at the Jubilee Art center, and early in his career, Legae enjoyed his first successes as a sculptor. In 1967 he received the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Award for Embrace – a 1966 work inspired by the parable of the prodigal son

In the same year, he received a special mention at the Transvaal Academy exhibition and the following year, in 1968, he was given a merit award by the Transvaal Academy for this work, Young man.

In a description of Young man, which has also been recorded as Youth/Prisoner, art historian Elza Miles states that the “athletic body of Young man/Youth (1968) with head turned skywards is a praise song to beauty”. Standing tall the figure epitomizes youthful vitality and is a powerful sculpture produced at a definitive moment in the artist’s career, as a celebrated sculptor.

Ezrom Legae’s first solo exhibition was held in Johannesburg at the Egon Guenther Gallery in 1965. He subsequently participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions including the South African Breweries Exhibition and the Republic Festival Art Exhibition in 1966 and the Sculpture 80 exhibition held at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the Black Art Today exhibition in Soweto in 1980. In 1982/83 his work was included in a selection of South African artists’ works which toured West Germany. In 1985 he exhibited with Villa and his mentors Kumalo and Skotnes in an Amadlozi exhibition in New York and in 1986/87 exhibited at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in the Johannesburg Art and Artists: Selections from a Century Exhibition. His work was also included in The Neglected Tradition exhibition held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1988, and the Looking at our Own: Africa in the Art of Southern Africa exhibition held at the Pretoria Art Museum in 1990.

Works by Legae can be found in many prominent private and public collections, including The Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, The Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Pretoria Art Museum, and several university collections.

Sold for R318,640
Estimated at R300,000 - R500,000


Condition report

The overall condition is good.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

 

bronze on a wooden base

Artwork date: 1969
Literature: De Jager, EJ. (1973). Contemporary Art in South Africa. Cape Town: Struik, another cast from the edition illustrated, unpaginated. | Katz, D. (1974). A Man of Two Worlds: Ezrom Legae. Lantern, Volume XXIV, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.62. | Berman, E. (1983). Art and Artists of South Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.405. | Burroughs, E. and Nel, K (eds.) (1998). Re/discovery and Memory: The Works of Kumalo, Legae, Nitegeka and Villa. Cape Town: Norval Foundation, another cast from the edition illustrated on pp.181-182 and pp. 200-201. Miles, E. (2004). Polly Street: The Story of an Art Centre. Johannesburg: The Ampersand Foundation, another cast from the edition illustrated on p.127.

(Qty: 1)

64.5 x 16.5 x 10.5 cm excluding base; 68 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm including base

Provenance:

Private collection, Linksfield, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Ezrom Kgobokanyo Sebata Legae undertook his art training firstly at the seminal Polly Street Art Centre – one of the first places to bring artists from different areas under one roof – from 1959 to 1960. Thereafter he studied at the Jubilee Art Centre, from 1960 to 1964, under the tutelage of artists Cecil Skotnes and Sydney Kumalo – both of whom greatly influenced his art practice. In 1965 Legae went on to teach and became co-director of the Centre and also worked as a part-time teacher at the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA).

While teaching at the Jubilee Art center, and early in his career, Legae enjoyed his first successes as a sculptor. In 1967 he received the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Award for Embrace – a 1966 work inspired by the parable of the prodigal son

In the same year, he received a special mention at the Transvaal Academy exhibition and the following year, in 1968, he was given a merit award by the Transvaal Academy for this work, Young man.

In a description of Young man, which has also been recorded as Youth/Prisoner, art historian Elza Miles states that the “athletic body of Young man/Youth (1968) with head turned skywards is a praise song to beauty”. Standing tall the figure epitomizes youthful vitality and is a powerful sculpture produced at a definitive moment in the artist’s career, as a celebrated sculptor.

Ezrom Legae’s first solo exhibition was held in Johannesburg at the Egon Guenther Gallery in 1965. He subsequently participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions including the South African Breweries Exhibition and the Republic Festival Art Exhibition in 1966 and the Sculpture 80 exhibition held at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the Black Art Today exhibition in Soweto in 1980. In 1982/83 his work was included in a selection of South African artists’ works which toured West Germany. In 1985 he exhibited with Villa and his mentors Kumalo and Skotnes in an Amadlozi exhibition in New York and in 1986/87 exhibited at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in the Johannesburg Art and Artists: Selections from a Century Exhibition. His work was also included in The Neglected Tradition exhibition held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1988, and the Looking at our Own: Africa in the Art of Southern Africa exhibition held at the Pretoria Art Museum in 1990.

Works by Legae can be found in many prominent private and public collections, including The Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, The Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Pretoria Art Museum, and several university collections.

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Auction: Art, Life and Love: The Collection of Nwabisa Xayiya (Live Auction), Sun, 31st Oct 2021

This October, 2021, we are honoured to present Art, Life and Love:  The Collection of Nwabisa Xayiya, a single owner auction showcasing the cultivated taste and style of Nwabisa Xayiya.

The auction will offer best of class examples by great modernists as well as exciting contemporary pieces. Notable is a selection of work by painter George Pemba, whose brilliant palette held a special place in Nwabisa’s heart. There is also a set of impressive urban scenes and portraits by Gerard Sekoto and a rarely seen Alexis Preller, a glorious Robert Hodgins, and varied examples of Dumile Feni’s early work along with others from his later New York period.

Within the contemporary offering, there are outstanding works by Blessing Ngobeni, Sam Nhlengethwa, William Kentridge, Teresa Firmino, Athi-Patra Ruga, Kudzanai Chiurai, Nelson Makamo, Owusu-Ankomah and Nicholas Hlobo, amongst others. 

Viewing

Lots will be on view at the Xayiya residence: 63 4th Street, Houghton, Johannesburg
Saturday 23 October to Saturday 30 October from 10 am to 6 pm

View all lots in this sale