The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 6. Surrender  .

Helen Teede


Lot Closed

February 22, 05:07 PM GMT


5,000 - 7,000 USD

Lot Details


Helen Teede




signed and dated 2021 (on the reverse)

oil on canvas

150 by 120cm., 59 by 47¼in.

Please be aware of the Conditions of Sale when bidding. As a benefit auction, there is no buyer’s premium charged. The only additional costs due to the winning bidder are applicable sales tax and shipping. Works auctioned are sold “as is,” and condition reports are included with lot descriptions as available. In-person previews of the auction artwork will be available at Norval Foundation at 4 Steenberg Rd, Tokai, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa from 26 January – 22 February, Monday to Sundays 9 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays). Please note that while this auction is hosted on, it is being administered by Norval Foundation (“the museum”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the museum. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the museum so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

This work has been kindly donated by the artist

Helen Teede (b. 1988, Zimbabwe) is an artist whose work is grounded in direct observation and visual storytelling which, in Zimbabwe, is both tradition and cultural necessity. Incongruent narratives and disorientation are a place of discovery, and she uses the process of painting as a bodily expression of anger, hope and curiosity. Teede researches her work through immersion in her surrounding environment, embedding her work in the land and its history. Through her paintings, she explores shared humanity and asserts a commitment to be of a place and of time, making possible the prospect of genuine reconciliation. 


Surrender explores how liberated and unruly beings haunt society and remind it of its fragility, drawing on tropes in gothic fiction that evoke abject bodies and monstrous shadows, de-subjectivised, desexualised, open and vulnerable. Referencing Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 1857 watercolour The Wedding of St. George and Princess Sabra, a claustrophobic scene in which a woman, tied to a man by her hair while he embraces her, Teede makes an ironic nod to the macho-underpinnings of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. Surrender comes from a place typical of the post-colonial, ecological and feminist gothic canon, where boundaries are never fixed and apparent binary divisions such as nature/culture, human/animal, self/other, etc. blur into one another.