SALE RESULTS: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 19 June 2024

SALE RESULTS: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 19 June 2024

Striking Results and New Records Achieved at Auction in Johannesburg

27/06/2024     General News, Live Auctions, Insights

The recent offering by Aspire Art in Johannesburg reinforced the company's continued success in its specialised art segments and welcomed collectors’ optimism and confidence in the market. Featuring a strong collection of contemporary artworks as well as significant pieces from the 20th century, the auction further focused on women artists who performed well and debuted international works including a famous print by David Hockney which set a new auction record.


Following an action-packed sales season in the Cape, Aspire Art returned to Johannesburg with the much-anticipated live auction of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, to build on the milestones and impressive results achieved during the last, November 2023, sale in the city. 

The Winter Evening Sale took place on Wednesday, 19 June from a lively auction room at 32 Bolton Road in Parkwood. Featuring 65 exceptional artworks by leading names in modern and contemporary art locally and abroad, the auction once again emphasised Aspire's commitment to present select collections, where every piece is handpicked based on its significant historical and cultural value, rarity, collectability, and investment potential.

Drawing interest from online and telephone bidders in South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, USA, Singapore, Japan and Qatar,  the auction produced outstanding results, with 71% of the pre-auction estimate successfully sold on the evening. Notably, almost 20% of the sold pieces surpassed the high estimate, while 65% fell within the estimated price range.



Irma Stern, Dahlias and Fruit, 1960 | SOLD FOR R 5,600,000


The leading lot by value was the brilliant and vivid still-life painting by the one and only Irma Stern which sold for R5.6 million. Painted in 1960, the same year she won the Peggy Guggenheim International Art Prize, Dahlias and Fruit is indisputably one of the most vibrant paintings the artist ever produced.


A South African auction debut, acclaimed international artist David Hockney’s large and colourful lithographic print Hotel Acatlán: Two Weeks Later from his famous A Moving Focus series, realised R1.83 million setting a South African record for the artist. 


David Hockney, Hotel Acatlán: Two Weeks Later (from A Moving Focus series), 1985 | SOLD FOR R 1,830,000



Zanele Muholi, Sine II, Melbourne, Australia, 2020 | SOLD FOR R 485,205


Following Zanele Muholi’s recent retrospective exhibition opening at the TATE in London, the artist’s grippingly powerful portrait photograph Sine II - Melbourne, Australia sold for R485,205, surpassing the previous South African Record set by Aspire in 2022. 

Velaphi Mzimba’s strikingly large portrait study Nomvula, created in 1999, sold for an impressive R175,875, a World Record for the artist. 


Velaphi Mzimba, Nomvula, 1999 | SOLD FOR R 175,875


Another superb World Record was also achieved for Bronwyn Katz with R175,875 realised for her found media work Rooispoor III from 2008, the same year the artist’s solo exhibition, A Silent Line Lives Here was shown at the prestigious Palais de Tokyo in Paris. 


Bronwyn Katz, Rooi Spoor III, 2018 | SOLD FOR R 175,875



The spotlight fell on Gladys Mgudlandlu’s charming gouache landscape, Draught, which saw local and international collectors fiercely competing for the final bid. The work achieved an impressive R152,425 against pre-auction estimates of R 50,000 – 70,000, doubling the high estimate and reaffirming the artist’s position as one of South Africa’s pioneer Black Modernists.  


Gladys Mgudlandlu, Drought | SOLD FOR R 152,425


Other Top 10 Performers include:  


William Kentridge, 9 Films

SOLD FOR  R 352,351


Moshekwa Langa, Mind Map

SOLD FOR R 293,125


Igshaan Adams, Plate 4 (Neoscope series), 2014

SOLD FOR R 257,950


Blessing Ngobeni, Whipped Land I, 2018

SOLD FOR R 187,600


Sydney Kumalo, Pregnant Woman (SK29)

SOLD FOR R 175,875


Esther Mahlangu, Dwelling, 2017

SOLD FOR R 175,875


Alfred Thoba, South Africa Please Do Help People.... 2002

SOLD FOR R 175,875


Dumile Feni, Dancing figures, 1966

SOLD FOR R 164,150


Pieter Hugo, Nura Garuba and Friend with their Monkey, Abuja, Nigeria, 2005, 2005

SOLD FOR R 117,250


Esther Mahlangu, Ndebele pattern with blue, 2021 | SOLD FOR R 117,250


We thank all our clients who entrusted us with handling their artworks and all the bidders who participated in and acquired works from the auction. We look forward to an exciting second half of the year of auctions, exhibitions, private sales and advisory services – assisting clients in building collections of value