Aspire Art Auctions

Aspire launches the public preview for their Autumn 19 auction on Thursday 28 February at 10am. Join us at Avenue, V&A Waterfront. Auction is on Sunday 3 March, 6pm.

Public Preview: 28/02/2019 to 03/03/2019

Aspire showcases superb work in its latest art auction

Aspire Art Auctions has compiled a varied and top-quality selection of fine art for its upcoming auction in Cape Town on March 3 at Avenue, at the V&A Waterfront.
The company has become established in the South African fine art auction market as an innovator, focused on bringing a mix of the finest historic, modern and contemporary
work to market.

This selective and exclusive approach is evident in the headline lots on offer in the new sale. Aspire holds the current world record price achieved for a work by one of South Africa’s most prominent modern artists, Alexis Preller, when his Adam (1972) sold for R9 104 000 in October 2018. Another significant work by Preller is on offer in Cape Town in the shape of the beguiling early painting Congo Figures (1939). This important piece in Preller’s development as an artist is joined on the sale by two other Preller works from different phases in his career: The Blue Plate (1956) is a still life featuring the artist’s famous ‘household gods’ – talismanic objects from his domestic and studio environments – and a later work, Tower – Zimbabwe Ruins (1967), which amply demonstrates his mastery of colour.

The major work on offer in the contemporary segment is by renowned South African-born,
Dutch-based painter Marlene Dumas. Her early work Love Lost (1973/4) anticipates her mature figurative style, and is distinguished by including collage elements, unusual for the artist. The Dumas painting is joined on the sale by a notable landscape by William Kentridge, an artist whose successful sales with Aspire, including a world record for one of his drawings, confirm the company’s reputation as the go-to South African auction house for discerning quality in the contemporary field. His Victoria Falls (from the Colonial Landscapes series) (1996) is a significant example of this genre in the artist’s oeuvre.

Lot 66: Marlene Dumas, Love Lost, 1973/4, oil, collage and graphite on cotton duck, 122 x 91 cm | Estimate: R3 000 000 – 5 000 000

The sale also includes works by two of the mainstays of the market for South African collectors, demonstrating Aspire’s breadth of expertise. J.H. Pierneef has two beautiful landscapes on offer. An early oil on canvas depicting a Free State scene, Sunlit Mountains, Clarens from 1918 shows off to great effect the artist’s mastery of light. Then, his Acacia Trees is an opportunityfor collectors to acquire a relatively rare casein work by the artist. The Pierneef works are joined by a typically luscious and vibrant still life by the inimitable Irma Stern, one of her depictions of flowers– this time an elegant arrangement of roses in a black Chinese martaban.

Other important twentieth century paintings on offer include three brilliantly colourful and joyous oils by Walter Battiss, two typically robust compositions by Robert Hodgins – one of which,
With Malice, Aforethought (2006) unusually features spray paint as one of its mediums;
as well as a wonderfully idiosyncratic piece by Cape Town’s own Stanley Pinker, Somewhere in Cloud Kuku Land.

Joining the Marlene Dumas painting in providing an international flavour to the sale is a small group of works from Scotland. Critically acclaimed Glasgow artist Stephen Conroy has two works on offer, the larger of which, The Entrance I (1992) is a commanding example of his crepuscular palette and enigmatic figuration. Edinburgh-based artist Sir Robin Philipson gives local collectors the chance to acquire one of his coveted still lifes with poppies as the subject, his most popular at auction internationally.

Lot 50: Alexis Preller, Congo Figures, 1939, oil on hessian, 63.5 x 79.5 cm | Estimate: R4 000 000 – 6 000 000

Rounding out the sale is another outstanding collection of contemporary art to complement the lead lots by Dumas and Kentridge. Aspire has established impeccable credentials in this segment in recent times, with regular record-breaking sales for contemporary South African work. On offer in Cape Town will be an important work by Berlin-based Robin Rhode, Pan’s Opticon Studies, his first time at auction in his native South Africa; as well as recent works by highly respected artists Pieter Hugo, Mohau Modisakeng and Athi-Patra Ruga. Another first at auction will be a compelling piece by Simphiwe Ndzube, Sarah and some Gentlemen from 2014.

The auction will once again pay out royalties to living South African artists under the terms of Aspire award-winning Artist’s Resale Rights initiative. Aspire is the first, and still the only, local auction house in South African history to pay these artist’s royalties on the resale of their works of art. The initiative is undertaken entirely at Aspire’s own cost, and demonstrates its commitment to the growth and development of the African art industry.

Aspire has, to date, earned royalty dues through their sales for almost 100 living South African artists, across the career spectrum. The initiative was awarded Best Strategic Project in the Business Arts South Africa Awards in 2018.

Lot 21: William Kentridge, Victoria Falls (From the Colonial Landscapes series), 1996, charcoal, pastel and conté on paper, 55.5 x 74.5 cm | Estimate: R2 500 000 – 3 000 000


Lot 41: Cecil Skotnes, Head, 1983, carved, incised and painted wood panel, 122.5 x 90 cm | Estimate: R500 000 – 800 000

Auction Week Programme
Wednesday 27 February | 5 to 8 pm
RSVP Kathryn Del Boccio | +27 11 243 5243 | +27 79 791 6037 |

Thursday 28 February to Sunday 3 March | 10 am to 5 pm

11 am to 12 pm
Skotnes – Across Generations: Pippa and John Skotnes in conversation with Marelize van Zyl
12 to 1 pm

Value Reconsidered: The rise of Alexis Preller in the secondary marketby Ruarc Peffers
1 to 2 pm, Break, 2 to 3 pm

Love, Sex and Art: Emma Bedford discusses Marlene Dumas’ art and writings
3 to 4:10 pm

Screening of film In Conversation: Kentridge & Dumas.Directed by Catherine Meyburgh

Sunday 3 March at 11 am

Sunday 3 March at 6 pm
VENUE | Avenue, V&A Waterfront, 40 Dock Road, Cape Town
ENQUIRIES | | +27 21 418 0765
For gratis and obligation-free valuations, and to consign works of art to upcoming auctions, please contact:

Cape Town
Emma Bedford | | +27 83 391 7235
Marelize van Zyl | | +27 83 283 7427

Jacqui Carney | | +27 71 675 2991
Kathryn Del Boccio | | +27 79 791 6037
Ruarc Peffers | | +27 84 444 8004