By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
One of the country’s prolific collectors and leading personalities in social circles Nwabisa Xayisa’s valuable collection amassed over a period of 10 years is up for grabs at the next Aspire Auction sale at the end of this month.
This massive collection of art works from some of the country’s leading artists is sure to attract many a collector looking for quality works, collected by a discerning lover of South African art Nwabisa. The socialite unfortunately passed on in May due to cancer. This collection she amassed with her husband, prominent businessman, Mikki Xayiya.
“Nwabisa Xayiya was, over the past decade, a leading figure amongst Johannesburg’s most noteworthy art collectors, art industry influencers and socialites. She was an inspirational voice within a new generation of art collectors looking to transform and grow the contemporary art market by enlarging the space and growing the positive influence that collectors have in our society.
And yet, despite her public profile and visible support for the arts, the treasures of Nwabisa’ Xayiya’s own private collection have remained, until now, largely unknown.Aspire Art Auction’s exhibition and sale of the collection will represent, for many, the first opportunity to appreciate the exceptional caliber and scope of the collection of a woman who, whether for art, design, or fashion, had ‘a keen eye and a sense of style,” says Aspire in a statement announcing this special auction sale sure to attract those looking for good artworks to add to their collection.
The collection is said to comprise of about 300 treasured examples of modern and contemporary art.
“The sale is underscored by a story of commitment and passion for art, and the companionship in collecting between Nwabisa and her husband Mikki Xayiya. This repository of exquisite South African, African, and international art celebrates the art, life and love of Nwabisa who tragically passed away in May 2021 after a brave
fight against cancer. Together with her husbandthey built a life that was shaped by the artistic energy of a country in which they were cherished patrons and influential art collectors.
The auction will offer best of class examples by great modernists as well as exciting contemporary pieces. Notable is a selection of work by painterGeorge Pemba, whose brilliant palette held a special place in Nwabisa’s heart. There is also a set of impressive urban scenes and portraits by Gerard Sekoto and a rarely seen Alexis Preller, a glorious Robert Hodgins, and varied examples of Dumile Feni’s early work along with others from his later New York period,” adds Aspire.
In the contemporary offering categories collectors during the sale will sample from some of the leading voices in contemporary art in South Africa, including works by Blessing Ngobeni, Sam Nhlengethwa,William Kentridge, Teresa Firmino, Athi-Patra Ruga, KudzanaiChiurai, Nelson Makamo, Owusu-Ankomahand Nicholas Hlobo, amongst others.
On offer will also be sculptural pieces by Deborah Bell alongside works by pioneering modernist sculptors including Edoardo Villa, EzromLegae and Sydney Kumalo, amongst others.
The sale will open with a private event on Monday25 October, 2021, coinciding with what would have been Nwabisa’s 40th birthday. The auction sale aptly dubbedArt, Life and Love: The Collection of Nwabisa Xayiya,will open to the public at the Xayiya House in Houghton, Johannesburg from Saturday 23 October, 2021,culminating in a Live auction, at the premises, on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 11am.
Art lovers, collectors and all those who appreciate their culture and legacy, are invited to visit the preview on a by appointment basis and see the remarkable collection, the auctioneers urge.
“The full auction collection will be divided into two parts, giving bidders two separate opportunities to participate in the auction. The Live Auction will see 100 lots of exclusive highlights from the collection included in a catalogue sale going under the hammer in a live, physical and live-streamed auction on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 11am, and the remainder of the collection will be included in an Online-only Auction opening on Wednesday 20 October and closing on Monday 1 November from 6pm (lots will close in 30-second intervals).Visit www.aspireart.net to view the collection and place your bids.” Advises Aspire.
ABOUT MIKKI & NWABISA
Mikki Xayiya is a South Africanluminary who was amongst an important generation of people who dedicated their lives to the struggle for freedom — a course for which he was, in 1984, sent to prison on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela and others, before being released in 1990 as apartheid began to fall. Mikki Xayiya served as political advisor to the first premier of Gauteng, Tokyo Sexwale, from 1994 to 1997. Together with Sexwale, they co-founded Mvelaphanda Investment Holdings, marking his entry into the world of business. He has been a key collector and art patron since then.
Nwabisa Xayiya was, over the past decade, a leading figure amongst Johannesburg’s most noteworthy art collectors, industry influencers and socialites. She was an inspirational voice within a new generation of art collectors looking to transform and grow the contemporary art market by enlarging the space and growing the positive influence that collectors have in our society.