Live Virtual Auction, 15 February 2020

Sold for

Lot 89
Diane Victor; Three Fates

Lot Estimate
R 350 000 - 500 000
Selling Price

About this Item

South African 1964-
Three Fates
signed and dated 2011 twice
ash drawing on paper
191 by 270cm excluding frame


In this work Diane Victor employs the iconic, mythological image of the Three Fates who control the thread of life. Re-imagined here as domestic workers, she disrupts deeply embedded, taken for granted perceptions and “taps into the unravelling thread of our social fabric”.1

The Three Fates, an ash drawing originally presented at her University of Johannesburg show Ashes to Ashes and Smoke to Dust in 2012, is an example of Victor’s cutting-edge artistry and technique. The technique of using ash as a drawing medium developed from her printmaking practice. In the printing technique of aquatint, rosin dust is sprinkled onto an etching plate to create texture and tone. The ash, however, provides more lively, deeper tones and softer effects. Victor’s unique way of breaking the habits of complacent viewing presents a potentially contentious issue, in a gentle and sympathetic manner.

In recognition of her international standing, Diane Victor was recently included in the authoritative publica-tion Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing (Phaidon, 2005), a worldwide survey of over 100 of the most dynamic artists working in the medium of drawing.


1. Karen Von Veh (2018) ‘Diane Victor’s Upside Down World’, in Jeanne Van Eeden (ed.) little History: Diane Victor, exhibition catalogue, Bloemfontein: University of the Free State.


University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Diane Victor: Ashes to Ashes and Smoke to Dust, December 2011 to January 2012.

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