Irma Stern, Black Lilies, 1941. Estimate: R 3 500 000 – 5 000 000

Excitement is building as Aspire Art holds its first-ever landmark art auction in the Cape Winelands at Boschendal Estate this coming Saturday, 20 April 2024.

For this occasion, Aspire presents TAKING FLIGHT: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection. This single-owner live auction marks the culmination of nearly 15 years of passionate curation and collecting, where each artwork has been meticulously selected and acquired with love and care. Sourced from leading galleries and dealers internationally and locally, as well as prominent auctions, this private collection is a testament to a thoughtful collector’s dedication and discerning eye.

Browse and Download the Catalogue here.

At the heart of the Phoenix Collection lies a treasure trove of important 20th-century and contemporary South African art. This legacy sale offers discerning collectors the exclusive opportunity to acquire rare and significant works from a special selection of 30 premier artworks from the collection. Spanning more than 70 illustrious years of art history within the country, with a particular emphasis on artists working in the Cape region, these exquisite pieces offer a rare glimpse into the rich tapestry of artistic innovation and cultural heritage.

Alexis Preller, Adam, 1972. Estimate: R 8 000 000 – 10 000 000

Each artwork showcased in this auction represents the epitome of excellence, allowing serious collectors to invest in premium masterpieces. Key works include an exquisite still life painting titled Black Lilies, painted in 1941 by Irma Stern, one of the most important and collectable artists in South Africa, Alexis Preller’s magnificent Adam, which was exhibited at his 1972 retrospective exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum and the São Paulo Biennial in 1973, and a fascinating portrait of a Hindu Dancer by the very popular Tretchikoff, showcasing the delicate movement of classical Indian dance. This seminal painting was exhibited at his 2011 retrospective at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town.

Vladimir Tretchikoff, The Hindu Dancer, 1951. Estimate: R1 500 000 – R2 000 000.

Also included is a wonderful stylised still life by the renowned Erik Laubscher from 1952, which stands as a hallmark of his ‘Paris School’ works. Not to be missed is Iris in Clamp (Iris II), a large-scale and well-loved archival print by internationally regarded William Kentridge.


Erik Laubscher, Still life, 1952. Estimate: R 700 000 – 900 000


William Kentridge, Iris in Clamp (Iris II), 2005. Estimate: R 700 000 – 1 000 000

A special section spotlights a series of exquisite paintings by the formidable Eleanor Esmonde-White. A founding member of the New Group in 1938, she participated in the São Paulo Biennale in 1957 and 1961, and later in 1964, she was selected to exhibit at the South African pavilion at the 32nd Venice Biennale.

Eleanor Esmonde-White, Nudes, n.d. Estimate: R 180 000 – 240 000


Marelize van Zyl, CEO of Aspire Art, says: “We are thrilled about our expansion into the Winelands and our inaugural auction in the region. This venture marks an exciting new chapter for Aspire as we bring together the worlds of art and wine, presenting an exceptional annual event that will delight discerning collectors. We look forward to welcoming our clients and friends in art to this extraordinary sale and forging new connections within the Boland area”.


TAKING FLIGHT: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection is currently on view in the majestic Manor House at the beautiful Boschendal Estate in the Franschhoek Winelands until 20 April at 6 pm when the auction will commence in person and live-stream.

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