INVESTMENTS, COLLECTIONS, ART FAIRS, GALLERY FOCUS
a dv e rt or i a l
for the Art
Aspire Art Auctions is poised to become the go-to
contemporary auction house in SA
T David Goldblatt: The Kibble Lashers South Africa’s art auction market has also always Sam Nhlengethwa: Glimpses of the Fifties and Sixties
he news last month that the almost been comprised of privately held companies. The
300-year-old Sotheby’s fine art ability of these businesses to attract, consign and sell and Sixties by well-known Johannesburg artist Sam
auction house has been put up for stock is complicated by the relatively small size of the Nhlengethwa for a world record of R967,300 earlier
sale to a private entity brought to market here, with the consequent smaller pool of local this year. At the same sale in June, the company also
an end a period of some 31 years collectors, especially of top-end, high-value signatures. highlighted the depth and collectability of South African
during which the company was the only publically This can be traced in part to the long decades of cultural fine art photography, selling another local artist with
traded auction house in the world — listed during isolation South Africa lived through under apartheid, an international market and appeal, David Goldblatt.
that time on the New York exchange. The offer making collecting tastes in the country somewhat His powerful image The Kibble Lashers (1969) achieved
of a private purchase comes as Sotheby’s has insulated from international trends. R443,440, a world auction record.
consistently been losing ground and market share
to its major competitor, Christie’s, which is privately Of course, this position has begun to change as the Aspire’s results, and its burgeoning roster of
held by French billionaire François-Henri Pinault. country’s art market is exposed to and becomes much international buyers in the South African market,
The two auction houses, originally both English, more a part of these international currents. Local auction indicate that a lot can be achieved by a smaller, more
and both dating back to the mid-18th century, still houses find themselves at a crossroads — do they agile player, with artworks that are poised to grow in
dominate the global art auction industry, despite continue to deal in local work with diminishing returns value on the global stage. Just ask Christie’s.
the rise of Asian, especially Chinese, houses in the and collector bases, or do they internationalise where
last decade. Christie’s recent, heavily publicised, South African work is saleable on international auction Contact Details
successes include selling the most expensive single platforms? After all, exchange rates could potentially 011 243 5243
painting in history in 2017, Salvator Mundi, at the work in their favour, and new collectors may well [email protected]
time credited to Leonardo da Vinci, for $450m. be intrigued. www.aspireart.net
In 2018, the company sold the collection of Peggy
and David Rockefeller for $835m, by far the largest Among the small roll-call of South African artists
amount ever achieved for a private collection. who have current international value, William Kentridge
A common refrain in the competition between is perhaps most prominent. Aspire Art Auctions has
the two auction houses, and the main business positioned itself as the go-to contemporary auction
reason given for the prospective sale of Sotheby’s, house in SA, and its successes achieved with Kentridge in
is the “f lexibility” it will provide the company. comparison to international sales make for interesting
What this essentially means is that Sotheby’s will reading. Its second highest price for a Kentridge
have access to funding and potential investment drawing, in 2017, was in line with the upper reaches
in order to acquire stock and potentially of dollar-linked auction market prices, and its then-
guarantee a minimum price to sellers. Publically world-record price of R6 600 400, achieved in 2018, for
traded companies are, of course, beholden to a drawing from the film Stereoscope, has only just been
shareholders, whether institutional or private, bettered – by Sotheby’s.
in any such dealings. The more agile and flexible
position offered by private and wealthy ownership Outside of the contemporary segment, Aspire is
means that highly valuable work can be guaranteed focused on other areas of the market that are currently
quicker, and thus can be consigned to the privately- ripe for growth and potential internationalisation. One
held’ auction house. of these is the under-represented work by black 20th
- century artists, with a recent highlight the selling
of a suite of photo-collages, Glimpses of the Fifties
FROM THE EDITOR
A Tiso Blackstar Group business From the editor ART
13th Floor, 2 Long Street, Cape Town, 8001 It’s an African INVESTMENTS, COLLECTIONS, ART FAIRS, GALLERY FOCUS
Tel: +27 21 469 2400 year for art
Fax: +27 86 682 2926 7
www.businessmediamags.co.za A t this year’s “Olympics of the Art World”, the 58th
Biennale di Venezia that opened recently in May, among Corporate sponsorship
EDITORIAL the 91 national pavilions, 8 represent African countries: of art fairs is about
EDITOR Layla Leiman Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Seychelles, South more than bragging
CONTENT MANAGER Raina Julies Africa, Zimbawe, Ghana and Madagascar, and a further rights, it’s about
[email protected] 5 include African perspectives in their exhibitions. In the main exhibition investing in the growth
COPY EDITOR Brenda Bryden of the biennale, Ralph Rugoff’s May You Live in Interesting Times, 13 of the of the creative economy.
CONTRIBUTORS Nicola Kritzinger, Dave Mann 79 artists selected from around the world are of African descent. The South
African national presentation was curated by two newcomer female curators 8
DESIGN whose exhibition, The Stronger We Become, explores the theme of resilience
HEAD OF DESIGN STUDIO Jayne Macé-Ferguson and features the work of Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose and Mawande For Strauss & Co,
SENIOR DEISGNER Lesley-Ann van Schalkwyk Ka Zenzile. participating in the
ADVERT DESIGNER Bulelwa Sotashe RMB Turbine Art Fair is
COVER IMAGE Nelson Makamo, Power over Love In this issue of Art, we take a way to engage with
DIGITAL EDITOR Stacey Visser a look at the role of corporate new audiences and
[email protected] sponsored art prizes, which often serve create links between
as a springboard for artists onto the the primary and
SALES secondary markets.
Merryl Klein global stage.
[email protected] +27 21 469 2446 11
Also in May, the New York edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art
PRODUCTION Fair welcomed 10 000 visitors over the fair weekend. So while art from Africa In the Riebeek Valley,
PRODUCTION EDITOR Shamiela Brenner is regarded as a burgeoning art market, African art is on the rise. Solo Studios is fostering
ADVERTISING CO-ORDINATOR Lwando Njamela a new way to encounter
DISTRIBUTION Shumiera Fredericks For an artist, having work shown at international fairs and major (and buy) art.
[email protected] biennales validates their position in the market and influences the value
PRINTING CTP Printers, Cape Town of their work. In this issue of Art, we take a look at the role of corporate- 12
sponsored art prizes, which often serve as a springboard for artists onto the
MANAGEMENT global stage. We also look forward to the RMB Turbine Art Fair, this year in Collector Q&A: Art
SENIOR BOOKKEEPER Deidre Musha a new location, but once again promising an excellent selection of affordable can teach, inspire and
BUSINESS MANAGER Lodewyk van der Walt African art for new and seasoned collectors alike. From art fairs we move on bring joy.
GENERAL MANAGER, MAGAZINES Jocelyne Bayer to the secondary market and review the trends shaping the auction world.
We speak to a passionate collector about the joys of living with art and learn 14
Copyright: Picasso Headline. No portion of this about the art of conservation and restoration.
magazine may be reproduced in any form without the What are the key trends
written consent of the publisher. The publisher is not shaping the secondary
responsible for unsolicited material. ART is published art market? Following
by Picasso Headline. The opinions expressed auction records is the
are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline. best way to keep abreast
All advertisements/advertorials and promotions of the art market.
have been paid for and therefore do not carry any
endorsement by the publisher 17
Editor Accidents happen. Here’s
what to do if a treasured
artwork is damaged.
prizes serve an integral
role in the art ecology,
not only recognising
and showcasing talent,
but also inﬂuencing the
value of the awarded
Exhibitions to diarise.
A RT FA IRS
of the arts
with the RMB
Turbine Art Fair
The 2019 RMB TAF may have a new venue, but it’s staying true to its
history of championing established and emerging African art in an
accessible and inclusive environment, writes DAVE MANN
A rt fairs are key to the growth In 2018, TAF announced its official From top left: Douglas Portway, Abstract with Green,
of South Africa’s arts industry. partnership with RMB in the form of the art Blue and Red; Vusi Beauchamp, Socialise, courtesy of
These weekend-long events fair’s headline sponsor. “RMB is committed Kalashnikovv; and Jake Michael Singer, courtesy of
attract artists and art-lovers from to positively transforming lives through the the artist.
across the country, promoting arts and the growth of the creative economy,”
sales, encouraging investment, and providing said Alison Badenhorst, head of RMB “The purpose of Turbine Art Fair is to develop
excellent opportunities for corporate sponsorship Corporate Marketing at the time of the RMB young artists and grow the market for African
of the arts. TAF partnership announcement. art,” explains Glynis Hyslop, founder of Turbine
Art Fair and MD of The Forum Company. “RMB
Currently in its 7th year, the RMB Turbine “Through the RMB Turbine Art Fair we shares our vision and this partnership will help
Art Fair (TAF) has become a highly anticipated aim to enhance the visual arts market in an to elevate art collecting across a wider market,
event on Johannesburg’s arts calendar. The event, environment that is inclusive, accessible and strengthening the greater creative economy.”
which brings together exhibitors from around proudly African.”
the country to present and sell works, is aimed at Similarly, TAF provides a unique platform
championing established and emerging African For RMB, sponsoring the fair was a for galleries and creative institutions alike, both
art in an accessible and inclusive environment. It natural progression, with their involvement
is also an art fair that encourages investing in art with TAF reaching back to their early
by way of collecting, with works generally being support of the art fair’s smaller events
priced between R1 000 and R50 000, offering an such as its annual RMB Talent Unlocked
opportunity for savvy investors and new buyers to programme, a six-week mentorship
extend or even begin their own collections. programme and exhibition that provides a
vital platform for young, upcoming artists.
A RT FA IRS
through potential sales and the ability to engage venue — 10 Fricker Rd, Illovo. “Our vision for From top: Louis Maqhubela, Composition with Cockerel,
with and educate the art-loving public. TAF has always been to develop young artists and Dog, Figure and Fish; Robyn Penn, They live in deep time in
grow the market for African art and elevate art a way we do not, courtesy of 50ty/50ty; and a visitor at the
“TAF attracts a large audience of people who collecting across a wider market. South Africans RMB Turbine Art Fair.
may not always visit individual galleries, but love have really embraced this fair since the beginning
art. It is a wonderful opportunity to view the and we are delighted to be moving to a bigger
work of multiple galleries at once, to gain insight venue in 2019,” says Hyslop.
into the unique quality of their projects, artists
and activities,” says Britt Lawton of David Krut “Visitors will be able to view exciting
gallery. “TAF provides us a platform to showcase installations, larger gallery spaces and a more
the works of our younger artists and new conceptually curated fair, but in the relaxed
collaborations. We are able to actively engage with environment that has always been the signature
people who are there with the intention of seeing, of Turbine Art Fair.”
learning about, and buying art.”
This year also sees an alumni exhibition by The
Market Photo Workshop (MPW) Programmes
and projects manager of the MPW, Khona
Dlamini explains that while their involvement
at the TAF is a great opportunity to show the
work of their many alumni, it’s also a chance
to provide them with hand’s-on experience of
exhibition installation and maintenance.
“As a training institution, the transfer of skills
is our primary objective, and opportunities for
practical training and experience are not always
available,” Dlamini says.
This year sees a brand-new location for the fair.
The 7th edition of the TAF (held between 11th and
14th July) is set to take place in a new and bigger
Strauss & Co bringing the primary and secondary markets together
Another supporter of the TAF is Strauss & Co to begin their own collections has been attracted. we just wanted to show how art and artists can IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Fine Art Auctioneers, who has been involved “RMB is fully supportive of the growth of the art influence each other,” he says.
with the fair since its inception. Having started industry and it has definitely brought individuals
out with only a small booth in its first year, the from the corporate sector who have the money “These two artists came from very different
auction house has gone on to become one of the and desperately want to learn about the art points of entry into the art world and when they
fair’s greatest supporters over the years. The market. So the return on capital is large,” says met up in Cornwell, they got on like a house on
past two editions have seen Strauss & Co host Goodman. “It is good to see this general inflow fire. Eventually, they went their separate ways, but
hugely successful museum-quality exhibitions of new, enthusiastic buyers — whether they’re you can still see the influences they had on each
— a collection of JH Pierneef works in 2017 and buying something for R500 or R50 000 — because other’s work.”
a series of Irma Stern still life works in 2018 — if they’re buying it from anyone in the art world,
which have been highlights of the fair. it’s endorsing and growing the art industry.” Pieces in the exhibition will be sourced from
two substantial private collections, as well as from
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be involved in the Strauss & Co will also be presenting the third in various corporate and museum collections such
Turbine Art Fair and to have been there from the a series of museum-quality exhibitions at TAF this as the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Pretoria Art
beginning, in fact,” says Strauss & Co’s executive year, focusing on two prominent South African Museum, and the Nedbank collection.
director Susie Goodman. “The reason we endorse artists whose work has great synergy, Louis Khehla
and support it is that it is the only fair that deals Maqhubela and Douglas Portway. Titled A Meeting Following its collaboration with Artist Proof
with the emerging collector or the collector who of Minds: Louis Khehla Maqhubela and Douglas Studios on the previous two exhibitions, Strauss
wants to learn, and I think that’s the thing that Portway, the exhibition will trace the meeting of & Co will once again be working with the
becomes evident every year. Someone who wants these two prominent artists and the influence they printmaking studio to produce custom prints
to get involved in the collecting of art can walk had on each other’s work. based on the exhibition. The prints will be for sale
in and see a variety of work from a variety of at TAF.
galleries in an environment that is both affordable Strauss & Co’s senior art specialist and curator
and inviting.” of the exhibition Wilhelm van Rensburg explains “I think this exhibition fits in so well with
that this year’s exhibition will shift the focus from the overall atmosphere of TAF,” concludes
Goodman adds that with RMB as the fair’s individual artistic practice to the ways that artists Goodman. “It’s about a meeting of two
headline sponsor, a new market of corporate can impact one another’s work. “We’ve had the individuals who learned from one another and
buyers who are eager to learn more about art and masters like Stern and Pierneef and with this, that’s so much a part of what the TAF is about
— artists, art-lovers, investors and more coming
together to learn and network.” ■
Proud Media Partner of the 2019 - RMB Turbine Art Fair
A RT FA IRS
Cultivating a new
variety of art fair
in Riebeek Valley
South Africa’s art fairs and festivals are often extravagant,
much-publicised affairs that take place in the country’s bustling
metropoles, but one art fair prizes intimate art encounters and
bespoke experiences above all else, writes DAVE MANN
F ounded in 2016, Solo Studios’
Intimate Art Encounters is a From top: Leila Fanner Studio;
weekend-long art event that takes Solly Smook; and Solo Studios in
place in and around the towns of Riebeek Kasteel.
Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West.
The event is a collaboration between artists, art and various impromptu
musical and theatrical
curators and galleries based in the area and performances after dark
at the various restaurants
aims to provide an opportunity for in the area as well as in
the streets. Audiences
art-lovers and collectors to visit can expect to browse the
studios of artists such as
artists in their studios, viewing Tamlin Blake, Solly Smook,
Li Nepgen, and Tanya Majo
and purchasing their art as to name a few.
they do. While Piprek is wary of
growing the event too quickly due to the scale and
The idea for Solo Studios infrastructure of Riebeek Valley, he explains that
the 2019 event will show a 30-45 per cent growth
had been in the works for since 2018. An increased number of studios and
artists have been selected, with this year’s event
some years before it became a community of creatives featuring 18 studios, and 6 group exhibitions in
galleries and pop-up venues. Piprek also expects to
a reality, with artists, curators who network and showcase reach full audience capacity by 2019 or 2020 and
sees Solo Studios possibly running for longer than
and gallerists in the valley their trades through year- a single weekend in the near future.
coming together to make the round activities and events. “The intention is never to expand to the
traditional type of ‘Arts Festival’, as the
vision a reality, explains founder of Solo Studios’ Intimate Art stakeholders wish to preserve the intimacy of
the experience, and not alter the integrity of the
Solo Studios, Klaus Piprek. Encounters, then, is the highlight rural lifestyle,” says Piprek. “Rather, with the
Women’s Day public holiday eventually shifting
“All it took was a leap of faith into the of the annual creative calendar for to a midweek day, it is envisaged that the event
will extend in duration, eventually over a five-
unknown, and with some private funding and Arts Town. day period, and including a focus on ‘Celebrating
Woman through the Arts’ as a theme.”
sponsorship in the form of donated artworks “It is quite rare to be able to visit so many and
Solo Studios will take place on 8-11 August 2019.
from participating artists, the inaugural event such acclaimed artists all under one umbrella and Tickets are available via solostudios.co.za ■
was conceptualised and executed with resounding during a single weekend event, all in their private
success,” says Piprek. “It’s truly a local event by the spaces,” says Piprek. “Many of the participating
artists, for the artists.” artists are quite reclusive, and in some cases are
An hour’s drive from Cape Town, Riebeek represented by agents or galleries worldwide.
Valley is characterised by its sweeping wheatlands, Therefore, to have the opportunity to engage
vineyards, and olive groves, an idyllic setting, directly with them in their studios, understanding
which, Piprek says, has “attracted an unusually their inspiration and processes, and being able to
IMAGES: SUPPLIED high concentration of creative minds to settle purchase directly from source provides for a very
in the area”. The proliferation of artists, writers, intimate encounter.”
poets, musicians, photographers, academics, Typically, an average day at Solo Studios
journalists, crafters and more in the area has led to features guided walkabouts of artist studios,
the Riebeek Valley being dubbed “Arts Town” — group exhibitions, wine tastings, poetry readings,
11 A R T
THE JOY Do you enlist the assistance
of Collecting of any art industry
professionals? What is your
Art can be many things to relationship with them?
different people. Isaac Shongwe,
When I started buying art in a serious way, the first
a founder and chairman of piece I bought was by Sam Nhlengethwa. I might
Letsema Holdings, speaks with be one of the biggest collectors of his work, which I
love, along with the man himself. We have come to
LAYLA LEIMAN about what know one another closely and talk regularly. I like
art means to him meeting the artists who create the pieces I enjoy so I
have some understanding of what makes them tick.
How and when did you first From top: Gerard Sekoto, Woman
become interested in art? in profile; William Kentridge, What makes a piece of art
Diva; and Sydney Kumalo, collectable for you?
I was raised by my grandmother, and on my Mythological Rider, 1970.
maternal side I am Ndebele. She used to do the It has to speak to my soul. It’s as simple as that.
Ndebele painting, like Esther Mahlangu, and as IMAGES: SUPPLIED
I grew up, she would send me to go buy the paint. How would you describe your art
I was fascinated by the work that she did. That collection? Are there particular
sparked an interest in me in terms of the artistic. artists who you collect, or
I will always be fascinated by people who are able to are you perhaps interested in
do carvings and other such work. particular subjects, mediums or
styles of work?
Is collecting about what makes
you happy, or about a good Very much South African focused. Apart from Sam
investment? Nhlengethwa, if you walked around my office you
will find Velaphi Mzimba, Mohau Modisakeng and
Art is like music to me. There is music you like and Mary Sibanda. George Pemba. Gerard Sekoto.
there is music that excites you. I see art in the same
way. I enjoy art because it feeds my soul. As I’ve Do you have a favourite piece
grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the investment in your collection? What is the
aspect of art, but if I’m having a bad day or feeling story behind it?
miserable, I’ll look up at an artwork — of Madiba —
in my office, and it will remind me to stop whining I do. It’s called Girl Eating Samp, by George Pemba.
because he went and did far harder things than I There is this young girl sitting, just eating pap,
ever did. and you can see this is a poor girl, and it reminds
me of me. I see a younger me and he’s not wearing
What is your approach to shoes, and he looks a bit grey and it always leaves an
collecting art? impression on me. I’ve positioned it so whenever I
go to my study, I see it. I’ve had it for about
I buy what I like, which makes me feel good. Some five years.
of the pieces on display at the office, while not worth
much, bring me a great sense of joy. Increasingly, What advice do you have for
however, and what excites me about joining the people new to the art world
board of Aspire Art Auctions, is I’m very interested and considering starting
to learn, in a serious way, more about African art in their collection?
general. I am also privileged to be able to support
young artists, which I enjoy. Art is to be enjoyed. As you age, you think about
your life. I hope, since we have a lot of young
professionals at our office, being surrounded by
these different works will spark something inside
them. Art is very personal, and a mirror
through which society
views itself. Engage
with it in a way
that best suits you,
because it can
teach you a lot
and inspire a
journey of self-
12 A R T
Figure and Bird
Pastel on paper
30,5 by 39cm
SOLD R 20 484
Douglas Portway Douglas Portway
Abstract with Green, Blue and Red Abstract Composition
Oil on paper Mixed media on paper laid down on board
51 by 66cm 49,5 by 64cm
SOLD R 9 380
SOLD R 39 830
Strauss & co at the
rmb Turbine Art Fair
A Meeting of Minds: Louis Maqhubela and Douglas Portway Symbolic Figures, Animals and Forms
Mixed media on paper
51,5 by 61,5cm
SOLD R 22 736
Strauss & Co is proud to present the third in a series of museum-quality exhibitions (2017: JH Pierneef; 2018: Irma Stern)
at the RMB Turbine Art Fair (TAF), focusing this year on two prominent South African artists whose work has a great synergy:
Louis Maqhubela and Douglas Portway. The artists met for the first time in St Ives, Cornwell, in 1967, after Maqhubela won the
prestigious Artist of Fame and Promise award at the Adler Fielding Gallery in Johannesburg, which included the prize of a trip to
Europe. It was a meeting of great minds: they were artistic kindred spirits in the true sense of the term. Both were already highly
successful artists in their own rights, albeit having had very different entry points to their careers. The meeting impacted both
artists’ thinking and the manner in which they painted subsequently. The aim of this exhibition is to examine the intersection of
the work of these two artists, looking at their art training and early influences and how their styles developed after they met.
The RMB Turbine Art Fair will take place from 12–14 July 2019 at the new location of 10 Fricker Road, Illovo,
Enquiries: 011 728 8246 | [email protected] | www.straussart.co.za
ART AUCTION MARKET
NICOLA KRITZINGER asks the
experts about the trends shaping
the secondary art market, and
explains why auction results
are a key indicator of an artist’s
Above from left: David Goldblatt, Carvings for T here is a high demand dollars, or William Kentridge’s Procession selling
sale on William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, 3 July for the “very best quality for one and a half million dollars, and Gerard
1999. Sold online for R82 075 by Aspire Art works by artists with Sekoto’s Yellow Houses selling only a little short
Auctions; and Nelson Makamo, Power over Love. strong reputations and of one million dollars. Peppiatt says that they sell
Sold for R318 640 by Strauss & Co. well-developed careers”, South African art to buyers from California to
explains Hannah O’Leary, the head of Modern Beijing, and that there is a growing international
Hannah O’Leary of Sotheby’s London. and Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s demand for top-notch works.
London. Some of the artists selling well at
auction in London include George Pemba, The South African market
Irma Stern, Pierneef, Zanele Muholi, and
Nicholas Hlobo. Notably, a David Koloane work Local trends tend to be slightly different than
sold for £17 500 sterling at the 2016 Bowie/ international ones. While the big names still
Collector auction where over 55 000 people sell for record-breaking prices in South Africa,
attended the preview in London. There are there is more at play in the local market for South
strong indications that African art sells well African art. Specialists agree that the primary
internationally, and O’Leary sayss that one of market (galleries), and the secondary market
the advantages at Sotheby’s in London is that (auctions) affect one another. International
they typically reach over 200 collectors from exposure and consistent sales for a contemporary
over 30 countries bidding at the African art artist with a reputable gallery can increase the
auctions, where “over half the lots typically sell auction prices for an artist’s work, especially when
for more than their upper pre-sale estimate”. the demand is higher than the supply. Wilhelm
Giles Peppiatt, the director of Modern and van Rensburg, senior art specialist at Strauss &
Contemporary African Art at Bonhams, is also Co, gives Karel Nel, Phillemon Hlungwani, and
enthusiastic about the international market Nelson Makamo as examples of this, reassuring
for South African works of art and the world- collectors of the growing investment potential of
record prices for South African artworks that are their art.
achieved at auction in London, including Irma
Stern’s Arab Priest which sold for five million Alex Horsler, an art specialist at Russell
Kaplan Auctioneers, says: “There is a trend
14 A R T
I IMMAAGGEES:S:SXUPXPXLXIEXDXX towards buying well-established artists, such as Van Rensburg agrees that some art can be From top left to right: Giles Peppiatt
Kentridge and Deborah Bell, as safe havens for subject to fashion, listing the discontinued of Bonhams; JH Pierneef, Farm
the storage of fiscal value, as opposed to the rand popularity of 18th and 19th century drawings Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond,
and other types of investments. On the other at auction in the contemporary moment. Stellenbosch. Sold for R20 462 400
hand, much-touted young black artists such as by Strauss & Co; and Wilhelm Van
Nelson Makamo are also making huge gains in “The auction market can be a little like the Rensburg of Strauss & Co.
the market. These trends can also be seen in the stock market in some senses, because if you are
primary market, as the biggest galleries’ artists playing with investment and fungible growth in From left: Athi-Patra Ruga, Even I Exist in Embo: Jaundiced Tales of
tend to provide a reasonably stable scaffolding mind, you need to know when to sell, and when Counterpenetration. Sold online for R28 990 by Aspire Art Auctions; and
on which the auction prices can safely grow.” to buy. Staying ahead of trends can be hard work, Jacqui Carney of Aspire Art Auctions.
There is a system of trust inherent in the and unlike stocks, my advice is to buy art you
speculation of sustained art value. love that is also the best you can afford, and to William Kentridge, Untitled (Woman and Café), 1992.
sell the works you have outgrown.” Sold for R3 186 400 by Aspire Art Auctions.
Horsler warns that it is important not to
speak about the “art market” as a whole, but Online auctions all the major auction houses tends to be quite
look at artists individually because the value of low. He says he has observed that buyers love the
an artist’s work is not immune to the fashions of Online art auctions have slowly been gaining thrill of bidding, whether online or at the event
the moment. He says: “Some artists popular 20 traction in the South African market and they itself, as “it’s all about the adrenaline and the
years ago had extensive markets buttressed by are being embraced by many of the auction spirit of competition”.
largely white-male businessmen and corporate houses for the sale of smaller items. In Van
collections”, which has negatively affected their Rensburg’s opinion, online auctions are inviting But as Jacqui Carney, art specialist from Aspire
value in an open market, thus incapable of to younger buyers, and can give clients time to Art Auctions, has observed on several occasions,
holding up at auction today. “It is important to reflect on a potential purchase before bidding, Aspire’s online auctions are a great opportunity
look at an artist’s market holistically, researching enjoying the privacy afforded by bidding online. for young art collectors to start a quality
all aspects of their career in order to predict future collection because there are treasures to be found
growth potential.” Art specialist Luke Crossley from Stephan for good prices online. This may very well be
Welz & Co says: “Online auctions are because online auctions are non-sequiturs, which
NICOLA KRITZINGER’S TIPS FOR flourishing.” He attributes this both to the can be advantageous to the savvy buyer. ■
BEING A PRO WITH A PADDLE accessibility of the online format and the types
of works on offer catering to established and
Familiarise yourself with the language emerging collectors alike.
employed at auction.
Horsler thinks that online auctions seem to
Stick to your budget. You’re committing to be a non-sequitur, as the online sale rate across
purchase every time you raise the paddle.
K now the current market value of any
work you bid on.
Keep close track of the denominations by
which the bid is increasing, as these can
change unexpectedly at live auction.
C heck the buyer’s commission before
bidding. You could pay up to 20 per cent on
E mploy your poker face. Serious bidders
often enter near the end of the bid.
Concentrate! Track the auction in your
catalogue. Everything happens very quickly.
Most importantly, have fun.
15 A R T
best practices &
Conservation and restoration allow works of art to survive the Harbour scene, before, during and after restoration, the work
ages. But these are highly specialised practices that should only was chemically cleaned to remove the old discoloured varnish
be entrusted to the experts. NICOLA KRITZINGER speaks to that caused it to yellow and discolour over time.
restoration experts Ernest Bellingan Scott and Lisa Walker around
the dos and don’ts of conserving your artworks Accountability
IMAGES: SUPPLIED Consistent care or if a wildly gesticulating friend puts a finger Restoration requires accountability. Walker
through your Maggie Laubser, it can be repaired. advises that: “If the restorer has used the correct
Ernest Bellingan Scott advises that care should These processes are two of the tasks Bellingan materials for conservation and restoration, the
be exercised consistently over time, and that Scott enjoys most: the heavily varnished and restored areas can be detected under a UV light or
collectors should take preventative measures to yellowed painting that slowly comes back to life as by X-ray. All materials used in the conservation
offer artworks longevity. Acid-free museum-grade you remove all the layers of dirt from its surface; and restoration of an object must be reversible.”
framing of paper works, for instance, preserves or mending a torn paper work so the tear is It is important that all restoration is visible to the
a work’s condition and value. Dusting can be invisible after restoration is satisfying work. trained eye, and invisible to the rest. There are
highly detrimental to the surface of artworks exceptions, however, such as the Japanese art of
like paintings, and can result in the breakage or The high-tech of it all Kintsugi (golden seams) or Kintsukuroi (golden
scratching of fine ceramics. Don’t bring a feather repair), which is the repairing of broken ceramics
duster anywhere near your Ming meiping. Art restoration is slow work, and like any with urushi – a lacquer dusted or mixed with
specialised technician, there is plenty of powdered gold technique. ■
Yellowed by time equipment involved, whether high-tech or
manual. Complex machines, artificial light Ernest Bellingan Scott.
Extensive damage to artworks cannot always sources, tools, chemicals, glues, brushes, gloves,
be restored: fire damage, water damage, soot, and fine sharp scalpels are to execute restorations
and mould being the worst culprits. Shattered effectively. Lisa Walker, a ceramics restoration
ceramics are also very difficult to piece back expert, enjoys the slowness of conservation –
together. But there is hope, because if you inherit working closely with the artwork to restore it to
a Rembrandt from your great-aunt Hilde, it is its original state of beauty – taking time to notice
entirely possible to remove the yellowed varnish; expressive brushstrokes, or fingerprints, on
17 A R T
Corporate-sponsored art prizes are great for brand positioning,
but also provide an important catalyst for recognising and
F nurturing emerging artistic talent, writes DAVE MANN
rom household names such as well as encouraging artists to be fearless in their Katlego Mogoera, runner-up, New
William Kentridge and Helen artistry, challenging society to evaluate the lenses Breed Art Competition 2018.
Sebidi to emerging contemporary through which it views the world and to strive
stars such as Bronwyn Katz, Banele for a limitless approach to contemporary art,” he resonates with the Corobrik brand, and we are
proud to continue our support of this incredibly
Khoza and Chris Soal, corporate explains. “Artists no longer just contemplate life, unique exhibition,” says Musa Shangase,
Corobrik’s commercial director.
art awards and competitions have served as but rather they engage, they comment on and seek
Phatshoane Henney Attorneys
springboards for the growth and recognition of to challenge existing ideas, as well as established
Finally, platforming artists in the Free State is
countless artistic talents. artistic practices.” The New Breed Art Competition, which was
established in 2016 by Bloemfontein law firm,
Corporate organisations are investing a great RMB and Standard Bank Phatshoane Henney Attorneys. Now in its
fourth year, the competition provides a platform
deal into the growth and sustainability of the for Free State artists to showcase their talent
and contemporary Free State art, and to benefit
South African arts industry through its emerging RMB and Standard Bank are both brilliant from the prizes and national exposure the
artists, partly to reach a wider audience, but also examples of financial institutions providing
Sam Moleko, director at Phatshoane Henney
to ensure the longevity of the arts. platforms for artists through their sponsorship Attorneys and spokesperson for the competition,
explains that in addition to investing in the
Sasol of art competitions. RMB’s Talent Unlocked is a careers of young artists and the arts industry as a
whole, sponsoring the competition also serves to
six-week mentorship programme and exhibition link them to a wider audience.
Since 1990, Sasol has sponsored the Sasol New that provides a vital platform for young, “We were concerned that linking our firm
with an art competition could be perceived as
Signatures Art Competition, which has, over the upcoming artists that provides a vital platform frivolous or even confusing for our clients, but the
exact opposite has occurred,” says Moleko. “We
years, granted countless artists with awards and for young, upcoming artists, giving them both have had an overwhelmingly positive response
from not only our individual clients, but also
recognition for their work in the form of prize exposure and the tools necessary to sustain their corporate partners who have been delighted with
our support of the arts through our New Breed
money and exhibition opportunities. Former art careers once the programme is completed. Art Competition and the various spin-off projects
that are resulting from the project.” ■
winners include Diane Victor, Gavin Rooke, There are also few who haven’t heard of the
Mohau Modasikeng and Lebohang Kganye. annual Standard Bank Young Artist Award.
Sasol’s vice president for Group Awarding prizes to young and innovative artists
Communication and Brand Management Elton across the fields of drama, music, jazz, visual
Fortuin explains that for the company to invest art, performance art, dance and film, the awards
in emerging artists is to invest in art that both have been given to more than 100 artists since
celebrates and communicates what it means to 1981, including artists such as Sam Nhlengethwa,
be living in contemporary South Africa. “Sasol Andrew Buckland and Berni Searle.
is aware of the benefits of visual art and the Corobrik
impact it has on social justice and cohesion as
Clay, brick and paving manufacturer
Corobrik sponsors the Corobrik IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Simon Moshapo, merit National Ceramics Biennale, rewarding the
award, Sasol New country’s ceramic artists through both an
Signatures 2018. exhibition and The Corobrik Award. “The use
of fired clay to create something truly inspiring
“We were concerned that linking our ﬁrm with an art
competition could be perceived as frivolous or even
confusing for our clients, but the exact opposite
has occurred.” — Sam Moleko
18 A R T
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
Add these exhibitions to
Ilana Seati, Untitled. Guns & Rain IMAGES COURTESY OF: THOMARTS GALLERY, IN TOTO GALLERY
your diary this month
Thomarts Gallery Guns & Rain represents a dynamic stable
Dawid Ras Gallery of emerging and under-represented
Based in Cape Town, Thomarts Gallery is Southern African artists. Opened on
“There is a difference between pictures and co-run by artist Nkosinathi Thomas Ngulube. 3 July, the gallery presents an all-woman
It provides a range of art services including group show titled Suffrage. Featuring the
art. There is a place for both. I deal in art.” The sales, collection strategy and exhibition work of Tuli Mekondjo (Namibia), Jenny
Nijenhuis (South Africa), Ayobola Kekere-
Dawid Ras Gallery, located in Dawid’s home development and curation. Thomarts Gallery Ekun (Nigeria), Jo Rogge (South Africa/
in Sandton, is not a “white cube gallery” and represents many informally trained artists Namibia) and Carmen Ford (South Africa),
from rural and disadvantaged communities. the exhibition reflects on women’s rights
Dawid is not a “gallerist”. It is an intimate space It runs regular art workshops in Mpumalanga to vote, 101 years after (some) women’s
where art works, art trends and artists can be and in Cape Town townships to provide these suffrage. Among other themes, these
artists with skills, training and development, artists comment on the gendered nature
talked about. What is important is that people alongside building a market for their work of political participation, representation,
must look at the art, buying is secondary. The through the gallery. Thomarts Gallery will
gallery focuses on contemporary South African be exhibiting sculptures and paintings by history, memory and failures of the state.
paintings and sculptures by emerging and At the RMB Turbine Art Fair, Guns & Rain
mid-career artists such as Henk Serfontein, Ngulube at the 2019 RMB Turbine Art Fair, will present new work by Ayobola Kekere-
Olaf Bisschoff, Zolile Phetshane, Anton Karstel, before heading to Los Angeles to show his Ekun and Sky Salanje (Zimbabwe).
Sarel Petrus, Nel Erasmus and Johan van works at The Other Art Fair 2019. For the first www.gunsandrain.com
Heerden. The gallery presents seven to eight time, Thomarts Gallery will be representing
solo or group exhibitions each year. At the artists from rural areas of South Africa at the The Melrose Gallery
upcoming RMB Turbine Art Fair in July, Dawid Contemporary Art Fair 2020 in Paris.
will be representing Olaf Bisschoff, Cobus van www.thomartsgallery.com The Melrose Gallery is home to an exciting
Bosch, Sotiris Moldovanos and Arno Morland. stable of established and emerging Pan
www.dawidras.com African contemporary artists. During
July, the Winter Show is on view at the
In Toto Melrose Arch space in Johannesburg. This
group exhibition features works by Esther
In Toto Johannesburg was founded in 2010
with the vision of providing quality works of art Mahlangu, Willie Bester, Paul Blomkamp,
from both established and emerging Southern Regi Bardavid, Vusi Khumalo, Clint Strydom,
African artists. Dealing in contemporary and Christiaan Diedericks, Denis Mubiru, Aza
historical works as well as representing a Mansongi, Ronald Muchatuta, Restone
Maambo, Sfiso Ka-Mkame, Carl Roberts
small stable of gallery artists, In Toto focuses and Strijdom van der Merwe. At the gallery’s
on exhibiting pieces that are both interesting space at the One&Only Cape Town,
and meaningful. At this years’ RMB Turbine the Nelson Mandela Unity Exhibition in
Art Fair, In Toto will present a solo exhibition
of the work of Israeli-born, South African- celebration of Mandela’s birthday month will
based artist Ilana Seati, whose expressive oil include works by Nelson Mandela, Esther
paintings figuratively explore themes of truth Mahlangu, Willie Bester, Sam Nhlengethwa,
and fantasy. Also on in July, In Toto hosts its Vusi Khumalo, Velaphi Mzimba, Lene
ever-popular Menagerie group exhibition at its
Pienaar, Charlie Mackesy,
gallery in Illovo. This show Christiaan Diedericks,
features work by Joachim
Schönfeldt, John Moore, Jurgen Schadeberg
Kirsty May Hall and Sarel and Paul Weinberg.
Petrus to name but a few.
www.intotogallery.co.za www.themelrosegalleryco.za ■
Tuli Mekondjo Ou Ta Fya, Ou Ta Nkosinathi Thomas Ngulube,
Ti Kala Ko / Someone Says Die, Off the Record.
Another Says Stay, courtesy of
Guns & Rain.
20 A R T