Looking Back: Contemporary African Records Set in Bowie/Collector

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Looking Back: Contemporary African Records Set in Bowie/Collector

  • Norman Catherine, Fanagalo Store. Sold for £81,250 (previous record £38,104).
    "I keep my little wooden Catherines all over the house; they appear in nooks and crannies, corners and on shelves. They still startle and light up the moment every time I glance in their direction...He almost occupies the same space in South African art that Eduardo Paolozzi shoulders in British art. Rebellious and just 'outside'. So, of course, I love him." (David Bowie, 2000)

  • Romuald Hazoumè, Alexandria. Sold for £25,00 (previous record £12,931).
    "He [Bowie] questioned me closely about the masks and about my work, wanting to understand the context in which they were produced, why I used recycled materials and my attitudes towards them. We talked about which masks he liked most, and why. David was very knowledgeable about art and our wide-ranging conversation moved between painting, sculpture, film and his opinion about only collecting powerful pieces that spoke directly to him." (Romuald Hazoumè, 2016)

  • Willie Bester, What Happened in the Western Cape? Sold for £20,000 (previous record £17,836).
    "A bit like Bacon, his figurative and descriptive powers are tremendous. Recurring images of yellow caspirs, police-vans, graves, hand-made guns and corrugated iron shanties accumulate to assault the viewer with a deeply felt sense of moral indignation. His technique is quite as powerful as his subject matter is didactic." (David Bowie, 1995)

  • David Koloane, Made in South African (Pink). Sold for £17,500 (previous record £5,663).
    "If Leon Kossoff had been born a black man in Soweto, he might have painted like this. This later work is surprising in its ferocity — the 90s have affected Koloane in a gravely brutal new way." (David Bowie, 1995)

  • Peter Bongani Shange, F Mayibuye Head C & Mayibuye Head F. Sold for £16,250 each (previous record £1,791).
    Mayibuye is a Zulu concept that roughly translates as 'bringing back what is lost'. In this series these stylised and idealised Mayibuye Heads symbolise the Zulu ancestors calling for a return to the traditional way of life, before the oppression of colonialism and apartheid.

  • Percy Konqobe, Prophet's Head. Sold for £10,625 (previous record £5,585).
    Konqobe is a sangoma, or traditional African healer, whose artistic practise gives form to his dreams and visions: "The bronzes are evidence to the world of the visitations of the ancestors' messengers that draw attention to my gods."

  • António Ole, Untitled (Mask). Sold for £10,000 (previous record £3,329).
    "The tension between the different logics of war and peace is epitomised by this masterful conceptualism of António Ole…there is a sub-text that envelopes the soul." (David Bowie, 1995)

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