Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 96 730
Lot 93
  • Brett Murray; King

Lot Estimate
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 96 730

About this Item

South African 1961-
cast resin, mild steel and oil paint
height: 73cm


This lot formed part of 22 satirical sculptures made by Brett Murray in completion of his Masters in Fine Art degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1988. Cast in resin and painted in the manner of West African colon figures, his sculptures depicted soldiers, policemen and – here – a monarch. ‘Much of the work dealt with the military and its impact on the individual and the country. I wanted to lampoon abuses of power and patriarchy in general.’1 The formal language of these sculptures – in particular their rounded volumes and cartoonish simplicity – point to the strong influence of Bruce Arnott, a modernist sculptor who mentored Murray at Michaelis. After graduating Murray produced one body of work in the same style, Fat Sculptures (1991), and then relinquished working in this way for two decades. In 2006 he resumed making concise, threedimensional sculptures with the same unambiguous socio-political messaging as his student work.

Sean O’Toole

  1. Brett Murray. (2013) Brett Murray, Johannesburg: Jacana Media. Page 57.


A gift from the artist to the current owner.


Brett Murray. (2013) Brett Murray, Johannesburg: Jacana Media. Illustrated in colour on page 61.

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