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Contemporary African art maintains market momentum. Aspire Art Auctions reveals exceptional Moshekwa Langa amidst increased international attention.


Moshekwa Langa, hand thrown distance, 2000, pen, pencil, acrylic, enamel and spraypaint on paper, 140 x 100 cm Estimates: R250 000 - 350 000Moshekwa Langa, hand thrown distance, 2000, pen, pencil, acrylic, enamel and spraypaint on paper, 140 x 100 cm. Estimates: R250 000 – 350 000


Artprice released its H1 2018 Global Art Market Report last week, posting a rise of 18% in Global auction turnover on fine art, totaling $8.45 billion in sales for the first half of 2018. The global price index for contemporary art in particular, shows a remarkable progression of 27%. For art investors, this market segment indicates the strongest price increases over the short, medium and longer terms.

Contemporary African art continues to enjoy exponential demand as collectors are boosting the market for signature pieces from the continent and the diaspora. Unlike many other emerging geographic collecting categories, contemporary African art has maintained market momentum since the late 2000s. Both the primary and secondary markets’ focus will remain on Africa through the second half of the year, as excitement builds for the upcoming editions of 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair in London (during Frieze week) in early October and AKAA (Also Known As Africa) in Paris during mid-November.

We are delighted to present an exceptional mixed media work by internationally acclaimed artist Moshekwa Langa on our upcoming SPRING Auction on 28 October in Johannesburg.hand thrown distance was produced and exhibited in 2000 as part of Another Time, Another Place, Langa’s first solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg – and the first in his home country since completing his studies at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he continues to live and work.

hand thrown distance reads like a visual riddle, while alluding both to a personal history and universal experience. Langa uses acrylic, enamel, spraypaint, pen and pencil expressively as distracted descriptors for fleeting states. Surface drawings – or ghost sketches – and writings are made on layers of abstract painted fields. The artist often likens his art to the interpretation of a poem:

“My work is made up of questions and asides from which I have added and subtracted over the years. It only looks abstract because a small section is seen at a time. Like a series of disembodied passages from a book. It is made up of excerpts, recordings, facts, flowers and dreamscapes. It is a nonfactual, nonlinear account of what interests me.” – Gxolo, N. Moshekwa Langa and the mass of a poem. Mail & Guardian, 2 May 2016.

Attractively estimated at R250 000 – 350 000, the work comes to auction amidst much international attention.  His solo exhibition Relatives recently opened at Blain Southern in London. This followed his selection by Simon Njami to show in this year’s edition of the Dakar Biennale in Senegal and his participation in We Don’t Need Another Hero, curated by Gabi Ngcobo for the 10th Berlin Biennale in Germany.

hand thrown distance (2002) is only the fourth work by the artist to be offered at auction locally since 2014. Having set the current auction record for Moshekwa Langa with the sale of Mmatšie, which achieved R318 304 in our June 2017 sale,  we are excited to once again present a work by this renowned artist.


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