Sun, 31st Oct 2021 11:00

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

  Lot 36
Lot 36 - Ezrom Legae (South Africa 1938-1999)


Ezrom Legae (South Africa 1938-1999)

bronze on a marble base

Signature details: signed and numbered AP
Edition: from an edition of 5

Sold for R182,080
Estimated at R120,000 - R180,000

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 marble base

Signature details: signed and numbered AP
Edition: from an edition of 5


63 x 17 x 13 cm excluding base; 61.5 x 24 x 16 cm including base


Private collection, Linksfield, Johannesburg.


Born in Vrededorp, and partly educated at the legendary Polly Street studio, Legae also became a part of the Amadlozi Group with mentors and peers at the time Cecil Skotnes and Edoardo Villa among others. He worked in a wide range of media, but is well remembered for his sculpture. His standing as an artist on his own terms, and not simply as an anti-apartheid protest artists working at a time when it was almost incumbent on artists to show their opposition to apartheid, is indicated by the tributes paid to him on his death. The last respects paid by legendary retired gallerist Linda Givon, founder of the Goodman Gallery, are indicative: “Thirty years of working together through the heaviest time in a country shattered by the cruelest and most devastating destruction, a nation's deconstruction and reconstruction. You taught me how to look across the wall at the people who were so desperately subjected to unspeakable horror. Your sensitivity as a human being as well as an artist touched my heart and my soul. Your courage in a time when nobody dared to speak out in 1979 with your homage to Steve Biko and in 1980 with Freedom is Dead. Your sculpture of burnt flesh and necklaced people, tortured but always lyrical with a sense of poetry and deep sensitivity. It was fitting that you were chosen to present our great President Nelson Mandela with a bronze sculpture on his stepping down as head of the ANC. You have enriched my life and those of many others.”

While a far cry from that vein of activism in his sculptural work, in this fine piece, Legae has produced a figure study which, while abstracted, speaks typically to both Western and African art-making styles. The implicit energy and elongation of this torso creates a pleasing dynamism and elegance.

Edward Tsumele

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

In the My Account tab you can also enter telephone bids, or email to log telephone/absentee bids.

Join us on the day of the auction to follow and bid in real-time.

The auction will be live-streamed with an audio-visual feed.

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 offers examples by great modernists as well as exciting contemporary pieces. Notable is a selection of work by George Pemba. There is also a set of impressive urban scenes and portraits by Gerard Sekoto, a rarely seen Alexis Preller, a glorious Robert Hodgins, and varied examples of Dumile Feni’s work. 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.


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

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): R400

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R800

Large (≤120x150x20 cm): R1,200

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.