Ending 16th Jul, 2024 18:10

Works on Paper

  Lot 18
Lot 18 - Dumile Feni (South Africa 1939-1991)


Dumile Feni (South Africa 1939-1991)
Untitled (Graveyard scene)

pen on paper

Signature details: signed mid-right; inscribed with the title and dimensions on a label on the reverse
Location: Cape Town

Sold for R11,725
Estimated at R10,000 - R15,000


pen on paper

Signature details: signed mid-right; inscribed with the title and dimensions on a label on the reverse
Location: Cape Town


25 x 35 cm; framed size: 44.5 x 54 x 1.5 cm


The Desmond Fisher family collection, Cape Town.


Although Dumile Feni worked in different disciplines including painting and sculpture, drawing was the artistic talent he engaged in for the longest time. The artist began creating drawings from the age of 6 and it was to become a most fundamental and well-loved part of his practice.

Feni was constantly drawing throughout his formative years and it was part of his daily routine into adulthood. As a young boy, he would sketch before he did anything else in the morning be it talking or eating. This was an unusual habit that intrigued his parents who eventually made sure that he had paper and a pen before they went to bed.

Drawing the world and the people around him continued to play a pivotal yet informal role throughout Feni’s life until his early 20s when he began to see art as a career rather than a habit. In 1963 the artist suffered from Tuberculosis which saw him being admitted to the Charles Hurwitz South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) Hospital in Johannesburg. During his time as a patient, Feni received art materials which he used to paint murals in the hospital with fellow artist Ephraim Ngatane. It was around this time when he met other artists such as Louis Maqhubela and Cecil Skotnes who further nurtured his artistic career and essentially motivated him to become an artist.

While he was beginning to build a thriving career in South Africa, Feni was also deeply affected by the oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa and during the 1960s his drawings began to depict the harsh realities of black South Africans. Fearing harassment from the apartheid forces, he made the difficult decision to go into exile in London.

Desmond Fisher, an entrepreneur with a great interest in South African art who was a patron of modernists such a Sydney Kumalo, Cecil Skotnes and Ezrom Legae also developed a deep respect for Feni’s work. In 1968 before Dumile Feni left South Africa, Fisher bought a small suitcase with several drawings which aided Feni when he left South Africa. Many of these drawings featured in the Dumile Feni exhibition at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Makanda 1991 co-curated by Fisher and his friend and advisor Linda Goodman of the Goodman Gallery.


If this is a Live Auction you have several methods in which to place your bids.

Please see https://www.aspireart.net/buying/ for more information on bidding in a Live auction.



If this is a Timed-Online auction - all bidding takes place right here. 

Once logged in, simply enter your maximum bid.

An email will be sent to you if you are winning, if the reserve is not met, or if you are outbid.

As well as receiving emails, you will see the status of your bids on the website with a 'flash' showing your current bid status; you can also view this information on your 'My Account' page.



Max bid

You can leave a maximum bid by entering the maximum amount that you wish to bid up to on a particular lot. In doing so, the bidding system will automatically and incrementally bid on your behalf, up to your maximum bid amount in the event that you are outbid by another auction registrant.

When you are outbid, the bidding system will automatically bid one increment above the latest winning bid to ensure that you are the winning bidder and will do so until your maximum amount is reached.

Once you are no longer the winning bidder, it means that your maximum bid amount has been outbid by another registrant.

When you are not the winning bidder, but your maximum bid amount is the same as the current winning bid, it means that you were outbid by another registrant whose maximum bidding amount either matches or exceeds your maximum bid amount and that the winning bidder placed their absentee bid prior to yours.

NB: The system gives sequential preference to bidders based on when they first entered their bid into the bidding system.

Auction: Works on Paper, ending 16th Jul, 2024



View all lots in this sale

Images *

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.





While we endeavour to assist our Clients as much as possible, we require artwork(s) to be delivered and/or collected from our premises by the Client. In instances where a Client is unable to deliver or collect artwork(s), Aspire staff is available to assist in this process by outsourcing the services to one of our preferred Service Providers. The cost for this will be for the Client’s account, with an additional Handling Fee of 15% charged on top of the Service Provider’s invoice.

Aspire Art provides inter-company transfer services for its Clients between Johannesburg and Cape Town branches. These are based on the size of the artwork(s), and charged as follows:

Small (≤60x90x10 cm): R480

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R960

Large (≤120x150x20 cm): R1,440

Over-size: Special quote


Should artwork(s) be collected or delivered to/from Clients by Aspire Art directly, the following charges will apply:

Collection/delivery ≤20km: R400

Collection/delivery 20km>R800≤50km

Collection/delivery >50km: Special quote



A flat fee of R100 will be added to the invoice for packaging of unframed works on paper.


International Collectors Shipping Package

For collectors based outside South Africa who purchase regularly from Aspire Art’s auctions in South Africa, it does not make sense to ship artworks individually or per auction and pay shipping every time you buy another work. Consequently, we have developed a special collectors’ shipping package to assist in reducing shipping costs and the constant demands of logistics arrangements.

For buyers from outside South Africa, we will keep the artworks you have purchased in storage during the year and then ship all the works you have acquired during the year together, so the shipping costs are reduced. At the end of the annual period, we will source various quotes to get you the best price, and ship all your artworks to your desired address at once.

Aspire Art will arrange suitable storage during, and cost-effective shipping at the end, of the annual period.



Collections are by appointment, with 24-hours’ notice

Clients are requested to contact the relevant office and inform Aspire Art of which artwork(s) they would like to collect, and allow a 24-hour window for Aspire Art’s logistics department to retrieve the artwork(s) and prepare them for collection.


Handling Fee

Aspire Art charges a 15% Handling Fee on all Logistics, Framing, Restoration and Conservation arranged by Aspire.