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African artists achieve record prices

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The collaboration between SA’s Aspire Art Auctions and France’s Piasa art auctioneers for Modern & Contemporary African Art in Cape Town on February 14 featured a collection of 198 artworks.

And achieved noteworthy results with African artists attaining personal record prices for their work.

A highlight was Chéri Samba of the DRC’s Retour au Bercail selling for R432440 (well above estimate). Sudan’s Salah Elmur’s The Green Forest sold for R318640, and Kenya’s Michael Musyoka’s Time 5 achieved R250360.

While these results were inspiring for the up-and-coming African painters, the auction reinforced the demand for established African artists on the market, with South Africans to the fore. The cover lot of the sale, internationally renowned SA artist Marlene Dumas’ Oktober 1973 sold for R7.05million, well above the pre-sale high estimate of R5m.

Other SA artists to fare well were William Kentridge ,whose multi-media work Whilst reaching Down (Slowly) sold for more than R2.5m, and John Meyer’s Cape landscape, Edge of the Hexrivierberge, which fetched R1.138m.

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