Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 142 250
Lot 97
  • Brett Murray; Africa Maquette

Lot Estimate
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 142 250

About this Item

South African 1961-
Africa Maquette
signed and numbered 12/15
bronze and paint on a wooden base
height: 28cm excluding base; base 5cm


This is an artist’s model of Brett Murray’s painted bronze sculpture, commissioned by the Cape Town Urban Arts Foundation and JK Gross Trust, and installed on St George’s Mall in Cape Town. Murray’s self-described ‘stoic, mock-monumental African presence’ is composed of an outsized Nigerian ritual ancestor figure bedecked with yellow Bart Simpson heads. Murray conceived the work as a satirical comment on ‘converging cultural paradigms’ in post-apartheid South Africa. City officials initially vetoed the work’s installation, but later capitulated when the artist submitted an expert testimonial by Nigerian critic and intellectual Kole Omotoso. Murray subsequently won further public commissions, notably at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in 2002. ‘The great attraction of producing public artworks is that it gives artists an opportunity to reach a broader audience. A less obvious attraction is the chance it provides artists to work closely with highly skilled artisans, welders, moulders, bronze casters, fettlers, riggers and engineers.’1

Sean O’Toole

  1. Brett Murray. (2013) Brett Murray, Johannesburg: Jacana Media. Pages 273 and 274.


Brett Murray. (2013) Brett Murray, Johannesburg: Jacana Media. Page 274, and illustrated in a photograph of the artist's Cape Town studio, page 35.

cf. Sophie Perryer (ed.) (2004) 10 Years, 100 Artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Cape Town: Bell-Roberts in association with Struik. Africa. Illustrated on page 265.

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