Art from Across the African Continent at Strauss & Co’s Curatorial Voices Auction

Top lots with estimates over R1 million including work by Gerard Sekoto, William Kentridge and Cinga Samson will be auctioned across a timed online-only day sale and curated evening live sale at Strauss & Co on Tuesday.

By Debbie Hathway
Athi-Patra Ruga
Proposed Model for Tseko Simon Nkoli Memorial
artificial flowers, high density foam, jewels, lightbulbs, and perspex, in a Perspex vitrine height: 205,5cm; width: 1065cm; depth: 134cm
R500 000 - 700 000

Several exceptional modern and contemporary artworks from across the continent go under the hammer on 28 February at Strauss & Co’s Curatorial Voices auction.

Bidders will vie for works by Ablade Glover (Ghana), Pilipili Mulongoy (DR Congo), Gerard Sekoto (South Africa), Pierre-Christophe Gam (Cameroon), Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya) and Wycliffe Mundopa (Zimbabwe). Leading South African artists featured include William Kentridge, Zanele Muholi, Nelson Makamo, Athi-Patra Ruga, Simphiwe Ndzube and Cinga Samson.

Sekoto’s Prayer in Church is among the top lots (estimated at R3-4 million). It is an endearing study of religious devotion dating from his seminal Eastwood period (1945-47). Kentridge has two charcoal works on found paper estimated at R1,5-2 million. Meanwhile, Samson’s figure painting, Before the Day has a Meaning (estimated at R1.2-1.6 million), is one of only five works from 2016 that introduced his brooding, theatrical self-portraiture.

South African sculptors Deborah Bell, Cameron Platter, Chris Soal and Atang Tshikare will also be represented, as well as Proposed Model for Tseko Simon Nkoli Memorial (estimated at R500 000-700 000), an edition of Athi-Patra Ruga’s mixed-media sculpture that honours anti-apartheid and gay rights activist Simon Nkoli.

Among the diverse lens-based media on offer are two photo portraits from Pierre-Christophe Gam’s Affogbolos series and Robin Rhode’s Girl with Skipping Rope, a sequence of six photos made in the ancient biblical city, Jericho.

“The goal of this new sale is to underscore the importance of greater collaboration [among curators and historians] across Africa,” says Kate Fellens, joint Head of Sale for Curatorial Voices. “Through working together, we look to strengthen the infrastructure between us. From Cape Town to Cairo, from Lagos to Harare – these collaborations from within become crucial for the African art market to sustain itself long-term.”

The artworks can be viewed at Brickfield Canvas, 2nd Floor, 35 Brickfield Road, Woodstock in Cape Town.

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