CityLife Arts

Aspire debuts in Paris auction

By Citylife Arts Writer |

Aspire Art Auctions’ second co-curated auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art in collaboration with Piasa takes place in Paris on 24 June.

The debut of an African auction house in Europe marks an industry first in South Africa. While the art market is gradually re-opening in Europe to resume activities for the next quarter, indications are that Paris will resume the momentum it gained prior to the COVID-19 crisis. In 2019, France emerged as a new global art-market force with the country’s auction market growing a remarkable 49% (Artnet Intelligence Report, Spring 2020).

Paris is currently one of three leading cities for specialised sales of art from the African continent where auction turnover from sales of modern and contemporary African art has almost quadrupled between 2017 and 2019 (Artprice.com). “Aspire has an abiding commitment to promoting international value in art and artists from Africa, and to presenting art from Africa to an international audience while developing global appreciation and appetite.

This initiative is primed to deliver strong results and long-term benefits for collectors. Artwork Highlight: Early William Kentridge Drawing As part of our offering, we are thrilled to present William Kentridge’s important Drawing from Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris from 1989,” says Aspire in a statement this week.

Kentridge’s distinctive fusion of film, drawing, sculpture, graphics, music, theatre, and opera have made him the most widely recognised South African artist in the world today. Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris is the first of Kentridge’s ten internationally celebrated Soho Eckstein films.

Says Ruarc Peffers, managing director of Aspire Art Auctions; “How serendipitous that this drawing comes from Kentridge’s film, Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris, where it features prominently! The fact that our next auction will be conducted in Paris, allows us to explore many of our mutual interests in top quality artworks from the African continent that offer insights into both the commonality and diversity of our shared cultures”.

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