Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction
  • Wim Botha; Prism 17
  • Wim Botha; Prism 17

Lot Estimate
ZAR 300 000 - 500 000

About this Item

South African 1974-
Prism 17

signed, dated 15 and numbered 2/3

bronze on a wooden pedestal
height: 172cm including base; bust: 67 by 40 by 30,5cm


The centrepiece of Wim Botha’s 2015 exhibition Pietà was an abstracted bronze interpretation of Michelangelo’s first marble study  of the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus. Titled Prism 13 (Dead Pietà), the work was formed from a polystyrene block that Botha worked at with a chainsaw and wire cutter before casting. The work’s jagged, tilting planes resemble the jutting ice shelves in Caspar David Friedrich’s painting The Sea of Ice (1823 - 24). This lot forms part of a series of sculptural busts produced using the same sculpting technique. A past winner of the Helgaard Steyn Prize (2013) and Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art (2005), Botha is well known for his appropriation of religious icons and artistic forms, as well as the use of unorthodox (non-classical) materials. ‘I work with materials central to mass consumerist applications, that are subsequently transformed in essence and meaning to a point at which material and concept becomes integrally interdependent.’1

Sean O’Toole

  1. Sean O’Toole. (2003) Artbio: Wim Botha, [Online], Available: [10 December 2018].

View all Wim Botha lots for sale in this auction

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