Sales Results

Live Auction in Cape Town, 16 March 2022

25/03/2022     General News, Live Auctions, Announcements

Lot 15 | George PembaNongqawuse (The girl who killed to save), 1976
SOLD FOR ZAR910,400 | South African Auction Record


Our first live auction for 2022 took place on Wednesday, 16 March in Cape Town. Presenting a superb collection of works by leading names in 20th century and contemporary art in South Africa and the broader continent, the sale delivered exceptional results – setting the tone for the new year which will see our commitment and ambition for the African art market strengthen with further growth opportunities. 

Bidders from South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and India participated in the auction, while 40% of the buyers were first-time buyers with Aspire. An impressive 21% of the works sold achieved prices above the high estimate and 60% within the estimate range. The sale set an outstanding 5 new world auction records and 7 new South African auction records. 


Auction Records

The spotlight fell on the cover lot; George Pemba’s evocative painting Nongqawuse (The girl who killed to save) from 1976which ignited fierce and competitive bidding and sold for an impressive R910,400 – setting a new South African auction record for the artist. 

Rising star Cinga Samson’s early untitled landscape of a stormy sky was a firm favourite among local and international collectors following his recent official signing with the international White Cube gallery and sold for a local record of R591,760. 


Lot 9 | Cinga SamsonUntitled (Stormy Sky)
SOLD FOR ZAR591,760 | South African Auction Record

Lot 99 | Misheck MasamvuBottoms Up, 2015
SOLD FOR ZAR489,340 | World Auction Record


Mischeck Masamvu’s expressive Bottoms Up achieved an outstanding R489,340 after a bidding frenzy. Breaking Aspire’s previous record, it set a new world auction record for the artist. A highlight was the repatriated work The Fallen Kings, by Louis Maqhubela which sold for R375,540 – tripling its pre-auction high estimate of R120,000 and topping Aspire’s previous world record for the artist. 


Lot 13 | Louis MaqhubelaThe Fallen Kings
SOLD FOR ZAR375,540 | World Auction Record


Marking the artist’s first appearance on auction in South Africa, a local record was achieved for Ayana Jackson with her large-scale photograph Destruction which realised R159,320.


Lot 45 | Ayana Vellissia JacksonDestruction (from the Poverty Pornography series), 2011
SOLD FOR ZAR159,320 | South African Auction Record


Top Lots

The top lot by value was William Kentridge’s untitled Drawing for Mine from 1991, which sold for 
R3,186,400. As only one of eighteen original drawings produced as stills for his animated film Mine, these drawings are extremely scarce and sought-after. To date, Aspire remains the top South African seller of works by William Kentridge on the secondary market.


Lot 36 | William KentridgeDrawing for Mine, 1991
SOLD FOR ZAR3,186,400


Marlene Dumas’ poignant painting Kindvrou from 1974/5, achieved R2,048,400. This extraordinary painting is the fourth work by the world-renowned artist successfully handled by Aspire. We currently hold the South African record for Dumas and remain the only auction house in South Africa dealing in the artist’s work at this level. 


Lot 51 | Marlene DumasKindvrou, 1974/5
SOLD FOR ZAR2,048,400

The exquisite large-scale painting A Green Girl, one of the most exceptional works by  Robert Hodgins to have come to auction, sold for R1,046,960. Painted in 1998/9, the work presents Hodgins’ personal contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Ophelia. 


Lot 29 | Robert HodginsA Green Girl, 1998/9
SOLD FOR ZAR1,046,960



Across the auction, sculpture performed well. A beautiful bronze titled Girl with Dove by Sydney Kumalosold for R182,080, while The Lovers by Edoardo Villa realised R159,320. Other works by these artists alongside sculptures by Bruce Arnott and David Brown achieved a combined total of R573,460.


Lot 38 | Edoardo VillaThe Lovers, 1981


Works that performed strongly in the Modern category include a set of drawings by Sydney Kumalo which sold for a combined R97,318 – a strong indication of a strengthening market for the artist’s works on paper. 

Neville Lewis’ striking portrait of a young woman in a yellow headscarf sold for R108,110 and a large-scale ceramic work by Esias Bosch achieved R284,500.


Lot 38 | Edoardo VillaThe Lovers, 1981

Paintings by Walter Battiss are always treasured by collectors and the artist’s thick impasto work Village scene with rider sold for R147,940.

Contemporary showstoppers included Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa’s mixed media work Mr Consumer 2 which sold for R170,700 and Sam Nhlengethwa’s large scale collage painting Inspired by the upright bass selling at R170,700. Zanele Muholi’s photograph titled Sasa Bleecker, New York, from the Somnyama Ngonyama series, achieved R136,560.

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