SA art breaks record in London

2011-03-24 08:06
Johannesburg - South African paintings broke three records at an auction in London on Wednesday, said auctioneers Bonhams.

A painting by Irma Stern was sold for R34m, one by Alexis Preller for R8.4m and another by Gerard Sekoto for R6.7m.

"The Stern was above her last record made at Bonhams' October 2010 sale, where a painting titled Bahora Girl sold for R26.6m," Bonhams director of South African art Giles Peppiatt said in a statement.

The sale total was just under R101.2m and was expected to end closer to R112.4m with the after sales, he said.

Outstanding prices

"There was evidence of a highly-educated group of buyers in the room and on the phone.

"They picked the best and paid handsomely for it," said Peppiatt.

He said the sales were indicative of a growing appetite for the best of Stern.

He said a growing number of other artists were also beginning to command outstanding prices.

These included Sekoto, who was South Africa's leading black artist, and Preller.