South African artist William Kentridge. Picture: KENTRIDGE STUDIO
South African artist William Kentridge. Picture: KENTRIDGE STUDIO

Strauss & Co will offer an impressive single-owner collection of contemporary African art on Saturday, February 15.

Lots can be previewed daily at Quay 7 Warehouse in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town until the sale starts at 6pm.

The sale includes drawings by William Kentridge of a landscape in the Marikana area where 34 miners were killed by police in 2012.

Kentridge’s Small Koppie 2 (estimate R1.5m-R2m) depicts the low hill where miners gathered during a 2012 strike at the Marikana platinum mine.

Cape Town, with its diverse and sophisticated ecosystem of galleries, museums, institutions and events, has over the past few years established itself as a global art capital.

The 22 lots were acquired over the past decade, a period of global emergence for contemporary African art, and map the many ways in which artists from the continent are now expressing themselves.

The lots include vivid photographs by two of the continent’s most celebrated portraitists, Omar Victor Diop (Senegal) and Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco). Also included are works by Cyril Omamogho (Nigeria), Meriem Bouderbala (Tunisia), Redouane Ouarzaz (Morocca) and George Lilanga (Tanzania). 

David Bailey’s 1985 portrait of singer Mick Jagger (estimated to be worth R100,000-R150,000) forms part of a selection of works by American, British and Chinese artists in this single-owner collection.

“Interest in art from the African continent continues to grow, especially as artists inventively assert themselves using unconventional media and approaches,” says Bina Genovese, joint MD of Strauss & Co. 

Other noteworthy highlights from Strauss & Co’s forthcoming contemporary art sale include Athi-Patra Ruga’s wool and thread on tapestry canvas Touched by an Angel (estimate R700,000-R900,000) and Nicholas Hlobo’s embroidered ribbon assemblage piece Umphokoqo (estimate R400,000-R600,000).

It is the first time a work by Hlobo will appear on the secondary market in SA.

Interest in Ruga’s tapestries is also high after the world record price of R477,960 paid at a Strauss & Co sale in May 2019.

Hlobo and Ruga have participated in high-profile collaborations with French luxury goods brands in the past year.