Aspire Art Auctions’ inaugural Cape Town sale on 27 March 2017 at the Avenue, V&A Waterfront attracted wide-spread interest from the media and collectors alike, inspired by the new vision which Aspire brings to the market. Based on a curated approach, with fewer lots offered and a greater focus on quality, seasoned and new collectors competed to acquire significant works. The promotion of critically engaged art, assembled with the acknowledged expertise of Aspire’s specialists, has increased the levels of interest amongst the pool of local and international collectors and curators. Aspire’s strategy to expand into the global market resounded with fervent bidding from across the world. As part of the company’s ethos of accessibility and inclusivity, the centrally located venue in the thriving V&A Waterfront, flanked by the Aquarium and One & Only Hotel, drew crowds to the preview. The museum-quality display which presented the art in the best possible setting, received unanimously positive responses. Aspire set various significant records: at estimates of R2,500,000–3,500,000, J H Pierneef’s A view across Fisherman’s Cove, Seychelles sold for an astonishing R4,547,200, reaching over four times the previous record for a non-South African subject. Vrystaat Reën achieved R2,046,240, also four times its low estimate of R500,000. The linocut, Kasteelberg (Doringbome en Berge, S.W.A.) sold for an impressive R51,156, considerably over estimates of R20,000–30,000. Equally noteworthy is Hugo Naude’s Kammanassie River, Oudtshoorn, repatriated from Germany for this auction, fetching R704,816. Emma Bedford, Senior Specialist and head of Aspire’s Cape Town office, comments: “We have achieved a number of ground-breaking records with historical and contemporary works, proving that our vision of developing the market is not only achievable but enthusiastically supported by collectors, hungry for exciting new developments in the industry.” Amadlozi artists fared well, . . .
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