Contemporary Art

Contemporary  |  6:00pm Sat 17 Feb 2018

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Lot 26

South African 1975-
Untitled
mixed media on paper
140 by 99cm excluding frame

Sold for R 120 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 136 416

Estimate R 120 000 - 160 000


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The first artwork Moshekwa Langa ever made was a map drawing in 1993. The cartographical impulse remains deeply embedded in his practice. While this lot may not resemble a map it forms part of a large body of works on paper and canvas exploring issues of land, history and autobiography in applied, map-like forms. Materially complex, these map works include topographical studies, Mondrian-esque geometric grid constructions made with black plastic and coloured adhesive tape, associative text-based pieces and purely abstract compositions such as this lot. Colour is integral to Langa’s work. The conservative art lessons he received at the Waldorf School, Pretoria, influenced his future trajectory. Langa elaborates: “I liked drawing at school, but my drawings were regarded as very unrefined by my teachers. I was very much encouraged to try work in a smooth way, where you shade from black to white. You made sure you use only bold colours … or you had to make washes and build up your colour through the primary structures of Goethe’s theory of colours.”1 Langa’s vivid and mercurial work, which heralded a radical subjectivity and new materialism in post-apartheid art, rejects these classical orthodoxies.

  1. Sean O’Toole, Notes towards Moshekwa Langa’s Unwritten Biography, in Iris Lenz (ed.), Moshekwa Langa: The Jealous Lover, Berlin: IFA, 2014, page 61.


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