14th Sep, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

  Lot 37
Lot 37 - Atang Tshikare (South Africa 1980-)


Atang Tshikare (South Africa 1980-)

sandstone, bronze and wood

Artwork date: 2019
Edition: 1 from an edition of 5


sandstone, bronze and wood

Artwork date: 2019
Edition: 1 from an edition of 5


139 x 64 x 57 cm


Private collection, Cape Town.


Multidisciplinary artist Atang Tshikare’s work seamlessly intersects fine and functional art and design. Working predominantly in sculptural form, Tshikare takes inspiration from his Tswana culture to create uniquely distinct pieces that reference African mythology in a fresh and contemporary Afrocentric visual vocabulary.

Narratively rich, Tshikare’s sculptures are constructions of regional fauna and flora or mythical biomorphic forms. He masterfully combines various mediums like wood, bronze, metal, ceramic, leather and resin, while juxtaposing natural colour and textures for optical effect.

Lathlela and Mopane are two exquisite sculptures created in wood, bronze and sandstone, originally produced in 2019 as part of a specially commissioned series.

Lathlela in Setswana means ‘to throw’. Here Tshikare designed a tree, but with the focus on the leaves to tell the story of when “the pre-rain wind blows the leaves off and carries them into the air to a new space so the leaves would plant and grow further. Sometimes warriors used it during a hunting party because it was light and flew far without a lot of effort”. Designing the leaves as spears, Tshikare hand carved them from solid wood to fit on the bronzed branch. Each leaf is perfectly sanded and treated with a specially selected colour varnish to retain the natural look and feel of the wood as it is offset against the metallic patina of the bronze.

The initial design concept for Mopane was based on the form of a Bonsai tree, but as the planning and sketches developed, it resembled to the artist the Mopane tree’s fruit and the edible Mopane caterpillar found in Southern Africa. Again constructing the tree from a bronzed trunk, Tshikare ingeniously and beautifully braided wooden tubular forms between the metal branches. Each distinctive tubular form was carved from solid wood and then sanded and stained in solid black – a lengthy and creative process Tshikare describes: “Each unique shape did a little dance for me and my favourite one did a split”[1].

Marelize van Zyl

[1] Atang Tshikare, Instagram, 16 September 2020


The artist is represented in numerous local collections, notably, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.

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Auction: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 14th Sep, 2022


Aspire Art will impress collectors with this focused, boutique-style auction. Including 81 carefully selected lots the sale boasts impressive examples by many of South Africa’s most celebrated artists. A fine selection of William Kentridge works, including two original drawings, Eduardo Villa sculptures, painting by Robert Hodgins and Walter Battiss and a wonderful early Penny Siopis drawing are on offer.

Also featured are two special sections – Black Modernism and Photography. Aspire has firmly cemented itself as a champion of both these collecting segments and collectors will be spoilt for choice with a rare drawing by Dumile Feni as well as works by other modernists including Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba and Lucas Sithole and photographs by David Goldblatt, Mohau Modisakeng and Simphiwe Ndzube amongst others.


The exhibition preview is open to the public.

Viewing is from Friday 9 to Wednesday 14 September.

Weekdays from 09h30 to 16h30, Saturdays from 09h30 to 14h00, and Sundays by appointment.

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