Wed, 29th Sep 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 27
 
Lot 27 - Sydney Kumalo (South Africa 1935-1988)

27

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

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Cast by the Vignali Foundry, Pretoria.

7 casts were produced by Goodman Gallery: 1/7 – 7/7; all cast posthumously. Edition numbers 1/7 – 4/7 were cast in 1996; edition numbers 4/7 – 7/7 were cast in 1997.

Other examples from the edition are in the Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection and Bradley Collection, Johannesburg.

Study for Mythological Rider II 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.

This bronze sculpture is among the earliest known explorations of the idea. Kumalo produced Study for Mythological Rider II in 1970 and returned to the motif in 1975 with a work titled Two Bulls. The later piece comprises a bearded man riding a horned bellowing bull; his arms stretched out in comparable fashion, though his hands are clasped in praying gesture. Kumalo also sculpted Man on Beast in 1975 and others that followed over the years – returning to this motif multiple times throughout his career.

To gain a richer appreciation of Kumalo’s work in general and Study for Mythological Rider II in particular, one must delve into the world and culture that shaped his artistic imagination. Kumalo was born and grew up in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Following the forced removals and the demolition of the area by the apartheid government in 1955, his family moved and settled in 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 Study for Mythological Rider II, 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. Kumalo is noteworthy for having had an artistic agenda to employ African sculptural traditions. A mode espoused by the Amadlozi Group which Kumalo was part of with artists Cecil Skotnes, Ezrom Legae, and others during the 1960s. This universe of ideas is key to enjoying the power of his Mythological Rider as an artwork.

Research reveals that Kumalo made a terracotta sculpture of Study for Mythological Rider II in 1970. It is from this terracotta that the bronze works were later cast. While he was still alive, only the first edition was ever cast under Kumalo’s supervision at the Renzo Vignali Foundry in Pretoria. Edition numbers 2 – 7 were cast posthumously. Kumalo had left the rights to Esther Kumalo, his wife, to cast the remaining editions of the work, and he wanted her to have his proof.

His express wish that the proof of the sculpture be made for his wife tells us how much he loved this work.

Estimate
R1,000,000 - R1,500,000
 

Buyers Premium

Place Bid
R
Register for Live Bidding

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

 

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

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Cast by the Vignali Foundry, Pretoria.

7 casts were produced by Goodman Gallery: 1/7 – 7/7; all cast posthumously. Edition numbers 1/7 – 4/7 were cast in 1996; edition numbers 4/7 – 7/7 were cast in 1997.

Other examples from the edition are in the Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection and Bradley Collection, Johannesburg.

Study for Mythological Rider II 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.

This bronze sculpture is among the earliest known explorations of the idea. Kumalo produced Study for Mythological Rider II in 1970 and returned to the motif in 1975 with a work titled Two Bulls. The later piece comprises a bearded man riding a horned bellowing bull; his arms stretched out in comparable fashion, though his hands are clasped in praying gesture. Kumalo also sculpted Man on Beast in 1975 and others that followed over the years – returning to this motif multiple times throughout his career.

To gain a richer appreciation of Kumalo’s work in general and Study for Mythological Rider II in particular, one must delve into the world and culture that shaped his artistic imagination. Kumalo was born and grew up in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Following the forced removals and the demolition of the area by the apartheid government in 1955, his family moved and settled in 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 Study for Mythological Rider II, 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. Kumalo is noteworthy for having had an artistic agenda to employ African sculptural traditions. A mode espoused by the Amadlozi Group which Kumalo was part of with artists Cecil Skotnes, Ezrom Legae, and others during the 1960s. This universe of ideas is key to enjoying the power of his Mythological Rider as an artwork.

Research reveals that Kumalo made a terracotta sculpture of Study for Mythological Rider II in 1970. It is from this terracotta that the bronze works were later cast. While he was still alive, only the first edition was ever cast under Kumalo’s supervision at the Renzo Vignali Foundry in Pretoria. Edition numbers 2 – 7 were cast posthumously. Kumalo had left the rights to Esther Kumalo, his wife, to cast the remaining editions of the work, and he wanted her to have his proof.

His express wish that the proof of the sculpture be made for his wife tells us how much he loved this work.

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.

Request condition report

 
 

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

Click here to download our absentee bidding form.

Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Wed, 29th 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.

The auction is the first at Aspire’s new premises in De Waterkant. The 132 lot sale will be held over two days with a Modern Session on the 29th September and a Contemporary Session on the 30th September.

 

Download the Telephone/Absentee Bidding Form

 

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

View all lots in this sale