Online Only - SEED II

Online-Only Auction, 17 - 24 October 2022

Session 1
About the Session

The SEED II Online-Only Auction is curated by the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art. The purchase price or the hammer price of each work sold will be distributed in support to 4 of the most active non-profit organisations in the Southern African Contemporary Art Eco-System.

No buyer’s premium will be charged on these lots. SAFFCA will arrange all domestic shipping, at no charge to the buyer. International shipping and related duties, however, will be for the buyer’s account.


Sold for

ZAR 300 000
Lot 40
  • Chris Soal; The strangeness of being a stranger

Lot Estimate
ZAR 160 000 - 240 000
Selling Price
ZAR 300 000

About this Item

South African 1994-
The strangeness of being a stranger
Bamboo and Birch Wood Toothpicks, Polyurethane Sealant on Board
146 by 130 by 25cm


In 2017, Soal graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Hons) at the University of Witwatersrand. He has received numerous awards, such as the Claire & Edoardo Villa Will Trust Grant, 2020; the SEED Award from the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), 2019 and the PPC Imaginarium Award in 2018. He has been awarded residencies by the Southern African Foundation of Contemporary Art, Knysna, South Africa; RAW Material Company, Dakar, Senegal); Residenza Roma by Montoro12, Italy, and by the Nirox Sculpture Park at the Cradle of Humankind in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has exhibited in group shows at institutions such as the Nirox Sculpture Park, 2021; Iziko South African National Museum, 2020; FRAC MECA, Bordeaux, 2019; Stellenbosch University Museum, 2018, and Wits Art Museum, 2017. Notably, Soal was selected as one of ten contemporary artists to participate in redesigning three handbags as part of the 5th edition of the Dior Lady Art project. Recent solo exhibitions include Soal’s solo booth at Art Brussels 2022 and As below so above, in 2021, both with WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery. Soal’s work forms part of numerous significant private and public collections, both locally and internationally, including The Bunker Artspace, (The Beth Rudin DeWoody collection), USA; The Braunsfelder Family Collection, Germany; Galila’s P.O.C. - The collection of Galila Barzilaï Hollander, Belgium; Renee and Robert Drake Collection, Netherlands; Scheryn Art Collection, South Africa; Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA), South Africa, France, Belgium; Modern Art Projects, South Africa; First Rand Bank, Corporate Collection, South Africa; The Rupert Family Collection, South Africa; Barloworld Corporate Collection, South Africa; Kavita Chellaram Art collection, London, Lagos; Martin Nielsen Collection, Denmark; The Trevor Noah Collection, South Africa, USA; LAM Museum, Lisse, Netherlands; Arsenal Contemporary, Montreal, Toronto, New York; MACAAL Museum, Morocco.

Soal’s studio-based practice is sculptural in its output, working with objects and materials in ways which show not only a conceptual engagement with the contexts and histories of the objects, but that also re-enforce the body as a site for knowledge reception and production. Soal’s works seek to make a poetic statement through the simplest of means, engaging the viewer’s spatial awareness and perception while challenging societal assumptions of value. Through his use of discarded and mundane ephemera, such as toothpicks and bottle caps, along with concrete, rebar, electric fencing cable and other industrial materials, Soal’s work intuitively develops the familiar to the point of the uncanny. Soal’s works can be considered as a social abstraction that is deeply rooted and reflective of having grown up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Specifically, the artist’s work with beer bottle caps explore the legacy of gold mining in the city, with the illusory concavities and convexities of his spiralled wall pieces becoming suggestive of the appearance and disappearance of mine dumps and sinkholes. Foregrounding pressing ecological concerns, the artist’s works with toothpicks primarily consider and seek to expose the paradoxical relationship humankind has with nature, that of simultaneous dependence and  nomination.


Courtesy of Whatiftheworld 

View all Chris Soal lots for sale in this auction

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