Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present

Live Virtual Auction, 19 February 2024

Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present
About the Session

From Thomas Baines to Jake Aikman, Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present will showcase art by pioneering modernist and trailblazing contemporary artists, spanning 175 years of visual landscape painting on the African continent. This comprehensive auction reveals a nuanced understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and environmental contexts that have shaped artistic representations of the landscape. Through an examination of various themes, the auction seeks to engage viewers in a dialogue that transcends time and space, connecting past representations to contemporary perspectives. The auction attempts to engage with the diversity of artists that have shaped and continue to shape the depiction of Africa through time.

The auction invites viewers on a captivating journey through the artistic expressions that mirror the multifaceted nature of African terrain. Through meticulous  curation and insightful analysis, the catalogue aspires to be a valuable resource for scholars, art enthusiasts and anyone eager to embark on a thought-provoking exploration of Africa’s rich and complex artistic heritage.

Curatorial Voices
Recognising the dynamic discourse surrounding African Landscape, both past and present, the auction features texts by invited contemporary curators responding to the auction selection and themes. As external voices, they provide critical insights into the complexities of the landscape theme. By amplifying these contemporary perspectives, the exhibition seeks to bridge the gap between traditional representations and the ever-evolving discourse on the role of African art within the global art market.

Azza Satti, Independent Curator, Kenya
Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), Nigeria
Camilla van Hoogstraten, Head of Sales, Latitudes Online
Ugoma Ebilah, Curator, Gallerist & Founder of Bloom Art
Nkgopoleng Moloi, Independent Curator, South Africa

  • Alexandra Karakashian; Achromatic (Beneath) I, triptych
  • Alexandra Karakashian; Achromatic (Beneath) I, triptych
  • Alexandra Karakashian; Achromatic (Beneath) I, triptych

Lot Estimate
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000
Cape Town
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About this Item

South African 1988-
Achromatic (Beneath) I, triptych

signed on the reverse

oil on three sheets of overlapping paper
each sheet size: 98 by 70cm (overlapping); 98 by 145cm excluding frame; 108,5 by 156,5 by 4,5cm including frame


Alexandra Karakashian's artistic exploration delves into thought-provoking concepts and materials, navigating the intricate connections between humanity and the environment. Her creations invite contemplation on how landscapes are perceived amidst evolving social, political, and ecological dialogues. The use of engine oil and salt in her art reflects a profound connection to her conceptual foundation, expressing deep concern for global ecological challenges and the exploitation of resources in Africa. Karakashian's work is further tied to her familial background as a descendant of the Armenian Genocide this further imbues her work with a contemplative atmosphere, acknowledging the burdens of destruction on people that paradoxically underpin global industrial progress.

In her artistic process marked by pauses and influenced by chance, Karakashian challenges the strict dichotomies of 'black' and 'white' against a backdrop of 'neutral' tones. This not only alludes to South Africa's complex historical landscape but also mirrors her observations of ongoing racial discrimination in South Africa and beyond. Overall, her body of work serves as a platform for nuanced discussions involving environmental issues, geopolitical complexities, and societal dynamics, rooted authentically in her heritage, nationality, race, and culture.

SMAC Gallery (2016) Ground, online,, accessed 25 January 2024.

This lot has been selected by Curatorial Voice: Azu Nwagbogu.

View all Alexandra Karakashian lots for sale in this auction

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