Sun, 31st Oct 2021 11:00

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

 
  Lot 25
 
Lot 25 - Sydney Kumalo (South Africa 1935-1988)

25

Sydney Kumalo (South Africa 1935-1988)
Mythological Rider II (Study for Mythological Rider)

bronze on wooden base

Artwork date: 1970
Signature details: signed on the back
Edition: from an edition of 7 + 1AP (casting date unknown)
Exhibited: Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Sydney Kumalo, 17 to 31 May 1997, another cast from the edition exhibited.; Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA, Apartheid and Today, February 2001, another cast from the edition exhibited.
Literature: The Star, 20 May 1997, Darryl Accone, No spots on this Leopard, Mythological Rider (II) illustrated.; Business Day, 23 May 1997, p.14, Artworks that reveal artists’ evolution in style and concept, John Dewar, Sydney Kumalo Retrospective, Goodman Gallery, reference “mythological rider sculptures”.; Signature Pieces – The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection, editor Julia Charlton, Bell Roberts Publishing, 2009, p.184.; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 16 February 2001, Catherine Fox, Shadow of Apartheid, p.Q8 Weekend Preview – Visual Arts.

(Qty: 1)

123 x 65 x 30.5 cm excluding base

Notes:

Mythological Rider is a notable work among sculptor Sydney Kumalo’s compositions exploring the motif combining man and beast in a singular form. The work depicts a humanoid figure balancing on the back of an animal – perceptibly a long-necked hound.

The bronze sculpture is among the earliest known explorations of the idea. Kumalo made Mythological Rider, in 1970, and returned to the motif in 1975 with a work titled Two Bulls. The later piece comprised a bearded man riding a horned bellowing bull; his arms reach out in comparable fashion though his hands are clasped in a praying gesture. Kumalo also fashioned Man on Beast in 1975 and others followed over the years. He returned to the motif of a humanoid figure riding an animal throughout his career.

To gain a richer appreciation of Kumalo’s work in general and Mythological Rider in particular, one must delve into the world and culture that shaped his artistic imagination. Kumalo was born in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Following the forced removals and the demolition of the area, his family moved to Diepkloof in Soweto.

Kumalo was raised with a deep awareness and pride in his family's Zulu traditions. However, it’s important to note the convergent cultural polyglot that greater Johannesburg was from the start; giving a growing Kumalo access to a slew of cultures and myths to draw from.

For instance, the strange anatomical features of the Mythological Rider, like the disc-shaped head and the accordion forms of its torso locate the figure as something ethereal and not human. We must look to the realm of tokoloshes or goblins of Zulu myths and folktales to appreciate its form. Khumalo had an artistic agenda to employ African sculptural traditions. A mode espoused by the Amadlozi group Kumalo founded in 1961 with fellow artists Cecil Skotnes and Ezrom Legae, amongst others. This universe of ideas is key to enjoying the power of his Mythological Rider as an artwork.

We know from an interview given by Neil Dundas of the Goodman Gallery that Kumalo made the terracotta of Mythological Rider in 1970 from which the bronze was cast. Only the first edition was ever cast with Kumalo at the Vignali Foundry; numbers two to seven were cast after his death. He had left the rights to Esther, his wife, to cast the full seven editions of the work, and wanted her to have his proof. The artist's proof was later sold by the gallery to the Commonwealth Development Corporation on behalf of Esther. His express wish that the proof of the sculpture be made for his wife tells us how much he loved the work.

Estimate
R800,000 - R1,200,000
 

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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

 

bronze on wooden base

Artwork date: 1970
Signature details: signed on the back
Edition: from an edition of 7 + 1AP (casting date unknown)
Exhibited: Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Sydney Kumalo, 17 to 31 May 1997, another cast from the edition exhibited.; Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA, Apartheid and Today, February 2001, another cast from the edition exhibited.
Literature: The Star, 20 May 1997, Darryl Accone, No spots on this Leopard, Mythological Rider (II) illustrated.; Business Day, 23 May 1997, p.14, Artworks that reveal artists’ evolution in style and concept, John Dewar, Sydney Kumalo Retrospective, Goodman Gallery, reference “mythological rider sculptures”.; Signature Pieces – The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection, editor Julia Charlton, Bell Roberts Publishing, 2009, p.184.; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 16 February 2001, Catherine Fox, Shadow of Apartheid, p.Q8 Weekend Preview – Visual Arts.

(Qty: 1)

123 x 65 x 30.5 cm excluding base

Notes:

Mythological Rider is a notable work among sculptor Sydney Kumalo’s compositions exploring the motif combining man and beast in a singular form. The work depicts a humanoid figure balancing on the back of an animal – perceptibly a long-necked hound.

The bronze sculpture is among the earliest known explorations of the idea. Kumalo made Mythological Rider, in 1970, and returned to the motif in 1975 with a work titled Two Bulls. The later piece comprised a bearded man riding a horned bellowing bull; his arms reach out in comparable fashion though his hands are clasped in a praying gesture. Kumalo also fashioned Man on Beast in 1975 and others followed over the years. He returned to the motif of a humanoid figure riding an animal throughout his career.

To gain a richer appreciation of Kumalo’s work in general and Mythological Rider in particular, one must delve into the world and culture that shaped his artistic imagination. Kumalo was born in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Following the forced removals and the demolition of the area, his family moved to Diepkloof in Soweto.

Kumalo was raised with a deep awareness and pride in his family's Zulu traditions. However, it’s important to note the convergent cultural polyglot that greater Johannesburg was from the start; giving a growing Kumalo access to a slew of cultures and myths to draw from.

For instance, the strange anatomical features of the Mythological Rider, like the disc-shaped head and the accordion forms of its torso locate the figure as something ethereal and not human. We must look to the realm of tokoloshes or goblins of Zulu myths and folktales to appreciate its form. Khumalo had an artistic agenda to employ African sculptural traditions. A mode espoused by the Amadlozi group Kumalo founded in 1961 with fellow artists Cecil Skotnes and Ezrom Legae, amongst others. This universe of ideas is key to enjoying the power of his Mythological Rider as an artwork.

We know from an interview given by Neil Dundas of the Goodman Gallery that Kumalo made the terracotta of Mythological Rider in 1970 from which the bronze was cast. Only the first edition was ever cast with Kumalo at the Vignali Foundry; numbers two to seven were cast after his death. He had left the rights to Esther, his wife, to cast the full seven editions of the work, and wanted her to have his proof. The artist's proof was later sold by the gallery to the Commonwealth Development Corporation on behalf of Esther. His express wish that the proof of the sculpture be made for his wife tells us how much he loved the work.

The overall condition is excellent.

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.

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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. 

The full auction collection will be divided into two parts, giving bidders two separate opportunities to participate in the auction. The Live Auction will see 100 lots of exclusive highlights from the collection included in a catalogue sale going under the hammer in a live, physical and live-streamed auction on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 11am, and the remainder of the collection will be included in an Online-only Auction opening on Wednesday 20 October and closing on Monday 1 November

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