14th Sep, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

Lot 63
Lot 63 - Gerard Sekoto (South Africa 1913-1993)


Gerard Sekoto (South Africa 1913-1993)
Casamance Dancers and Policeman

gouache on card

Artwork date: 1966
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right
Exhibited: Everard Read, Cape Town, 'OASIS: 25TH ANNIVERSARY GROUP EXHIBITION', 3 December to 31 December 2021.

Sold for R341,400
Estimated at R300,000 - R400,000


gouache on card

Artwork date: 1966
Signature details: signed and dated bottom right
Exhibited: Everard Read, Cape Town, 'OASIS: 25TH ANNIVERSARY GROUP EXHIBITION', 3 December to 31 December 2021.


37 x 51.5 cm; framed size: 57.5 x 71.5 x 3.5


Private collection, Cape Town.

Everard Read, Cape Town.


In 1966, Gerard Sekoto was invited to the Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres in Dakar, Senegal. It would be the first time that Sekoto had travelled to Senegal and the first time in many years that he had returned to the African continent since his self-imposed exile to Paris in 1947.

During this time, Sekoto exhibited at Dakar’s Palace of Justice and soon after was presented with the opportunity to travel to Casamance, a provincial village in Senegal. This would prove to be a significant source of inspiration. Chabani Manganyi, Sekoto’s biographer, has noted that the village was, ‘a favourite destination for foreigners and artists’ and that the tempo of life there ‘surrounded by breath-taking scenery and home to the Diola people who were steeped in rituals of their African ancestors, was worlds apart from the capital city of Dakar’. Casamance stole Sekoto’s heart, and the artist recalled that he had no obstacles there, proclaiming, “I had come to a different life that reminded me greatly of home [South Africa]. I was seeing another world of black people. Out of that I was expressing the same kind of cry that I was expressing at home in another way”.[1]

Sekoto’s work produced during this time reflects the beauty of the people and natural surroundings. Although his work showed formal techniques learned during his time in France, in this painting we see a unique depiction of movement in capturing traditional Casamance dancers in an interaction with an official policeman in western uniform.In 2021, Casamance Dancers and Policeman formed part of Everard Read gallery’s OASIS: 25th Anniversary Group Exhibition. This exhibition in Cape Town showcased works by emerging young artists, leading contemporary artists, and artists that have passed away who had contributed greatly to South African art.

Carina Jansen

[1] Manganyi, N. C. (1996). A Black Man Called Sekoto. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. p.124.


The artist is represented in numerous local cand international collections, notably, Johannesburg Art Museum.; Javett Art Centre, Pretoria.; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.; Municipal Collection of the City of Paris.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania.; University of Fort Hare, Alice and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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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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