Live Auction, 7 October 2019

Sold for

R 68 280
Lot 570
Brett Murray; Africa Maquette

Lot Estimate
R 60 000 - 80 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 68 280

About this Item

South African 1961-
Africa Maquette
circa 2000
signed and numbered 13/15
painted bronze
height: 28cm


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.


The New Church, Cape Town, Pop Goes the Revolution No2, October 2013, another example from the edition is illustrated in colour on page 55.


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

cf. Thembinkosi Goniwe, Mario Pissarra and Mandisi Majavu (ed.) (2011) Visual Century: South African Art in Context. Volume Four: 1990-2007, Johannesburg: Wits University Press. Africa is illustrated in colour on page 166.

Brett Murray (2013) Brett Murray, Johannesburg: Jacana Media. Another example from the edition is illustrated in a photograph of the artist's Cape Town studio on page 35. Africa is illustrated in colour on page 274.




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