Aspire Art Auctions continues online success

03 Nov 2017

Aspire Art Auctions just closed its second Timed Online sale, and continued the successful trend set by its inaugural online sale in September. in a growing market which represents 8.4% of the overall art market globally and is the fastest growing sector of the market, Aspire again presented a wide range of accessible and affordable fine art, across a wide range of media and genres.

Invaluable.com, Aspire’s online partner, reported that the Timed Online auction attracted registered bidders from all around the world, and actual bids from more than five different countries.

Contemporary works dominated sales, as the online platform attracts new buyers on the lookout to build up their collections with interesting and edgier art. Mary Sibande’s Reproduction, an early sculptural work, was snapped up as one of the top ten lots by value, appropriately for the rare opportunity to own an accessible work by this prominent contemporary artist. Sibande was recently presented with the African Art Award at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington.  The museum’s second annual African Art Awards is being framed with the theme of “Honor, Inspire and Include”. Sibande is one of three recipients, alongside Egyptian artist Ghada Amer and patron of the arts Alice Walton.

Elsewhere on the sale, eminently collectable contemporary work attracted buyers’ attention. Among them were revered urban artist Sam Nhlengethwa, whose typically bold portraits of jazz musicians Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim sold immediately, as did perennial favourite Collen Maswanganyi’s delightfully humourous sculptures. Other successful contemporary work included an eerily compelling portrait by Chinese surrealist painter Zhang Xiaogang, which sold as one of the top ten lots by value, where it was joined by a typically incendiary conceptual work by Kendell Geers, june seventy six. Another important addition to the local contemporary roll call was Sowetan documentary and fine art photographer Andrew Tshabangu, whose work Rear View Mirror sold well above its high estimate of R12 000, going for R16 000.

Away from the brisk sales of the range of contemporary work on offer, the well-known self-taught impressionistic painter Adriaan Boshoff – whose work is something of a favourite at auction – again sold well. Two works of Boshoff’s were among the top lots sold, with Lovers beneath a tree and Woman in a doorway both fetching a respectable hammer price of R25 000. Landscapes overall performed particularly well, with two Errol Boyley examples selling for R20 000 each on the hammer.

The sale demonstrated the huge variety of work on offer, somewhat typical of the profile of lots on online auction.  A curiousity by revered modern artist Maggie Laubser – Dutch landscape with boats  -preparatory sketch – fetched more than three times its high estimate.

These works in more traditional artistic media sold alongside a wide range of other media and craft objects, such as beaded Ndebele aprons. A number of art books sold exceptionally well, in particular a copy of the rare critical catalogue ‘The Neglected Tradition: Towards a new history of South African art’, which sold for R2 000.

These results confirm Aspire’s ongoing contribution to the development of the online market, now fast becoming a fixture in local art auction calendars in line with growth and development elsewhere in the world.