London this evening, the much anticipated Art For Africa auction of works donated by some of the foremost Contemporary artists from the UK and South Africa brought the remarkable sum of £457,450*, comfortably within pre-sale expectations. The money raised by tonights sale the brainchild of philanthropists Tara and Jessica Getty, Trustees of Africa Foundation, and South African artist Beezy Bailey will benefit Africa Foundation and Ikamva Labantu, two charities that fund and facilitate the care and support of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa. In support of these two worthy charities, the auction saw spirited participation from enthusiastic bidders both on the telephones and in the room, and 19 of the 36 lots that were sold achieved prices above their high estimates.
Commencing tonights auction, in a saleroom filled with artists, celebrities and private collectors, six Zulu warriors in traditional attire and wielding spears and shields performed a highly-charged war dance, which set the atmosphere and tempo for the occasion. The first work under the hammer, Judith Masons Walking around the world: Daljosaphat, Paarl, South Africa, established a new record for the artist when it sold for £5,500 against an estimate of £4,000-5,000.
Commenting on the results of tonights auction, Tara and Jessica Getty, Trustees for the Africa Foundation, said: We are absolutely delighted with this evenings results, which are exactly what we had hoped for and feel very lucky to have achieved, particularly in the current climate. Our success would not have been possible without the enormous generosity of the artists, the inspired support of our many sponsors, especially Northern Trust and Sothebys efforts. The money we raised through this event will equally benefit Africa Foundation and Ikamva Labantu, two highly deserving charities, and will enable them to continue their effective work in South Africa, providing support where it is most needed.
Standing Matter XX, a life-size sculpture of a human figure, made in 2009 from mild-steel forged-balls by British artist Antony Gormley was the top-selling lot of the auction. Three bidders, two on the telephone and one in the saleroom, competed for almost five minutes to acquire this iconic piece which was estimated at £100,000-150,000. Standing Matter XX finally sold to a buyer in the room for £130,000 to a round of applause.
The second highest price realised tonight was for Marc Quinns Microcosmo (Fortuna), a painted bronze sculpture of Kate Moss wearing a leotard in a complicated yoga position. The work, which measures 30 x 25.5 x 25.4cm, is number 7 from an edition of 7 and sold to a commission bidder for the sum of £85,000 (Estimate: £90,000-120,000).
Highlighting the works in the auction by South African artists was Marlene Dumas Would Jesus have done the same? in pen and brush and ink on paper, which sold for £32,000 (Estimate: £15,000-20,000). Beezy Baileys oil on canvas A Farm in Zimbabwe performed well and sold for almost double its low estimate at £11,000 and set a new record for the South African artist at auction. Internationally renowned South African artist William Kentridges charcoal and pastel on pages from The Illustrated London News, 1870, World on Its hind Legs sold above estimate at £21,000 (Estimate: £15,000-20,000). A new record was set for Dylan Lewis white patina on bronze Male Trans-Figure III Maquette, which commanded £14,000 (Estimate: £8,000-£10,000), and the price realised for Transmitter by Jane Alexander, £2,800, was a record as well.
Among the pieces in the auction by artists from the UK, further strong prices were achieved this evening and include those for Seeing is Deceiving, a commissioned portrait by Alison Jackson brought £7,500 setting a new record for the artist auction (Estimate: £3,000-£4,000); Jonathan Yeos Falling Leaves sold for £5,500 against an estimate of £3,000-4,000 establishing a new record for the artist at auction; Tracey Emins Suffer Love XXI realised £5,000 (Estimate: £2,500-3,500); and renowned artist Annie Lennoxs Annie Lennox Bared sold for £2,500, within presale expectations (Estimate: £2,000-3,000). Yinka Shonibares photograph The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Africa). After a bidding battle between two clients, the work finally sold to a telephone bidder for £36,000, in excess of its pre-sale high estimate (Estimate: £20,000-30,000).
Oliver Barker, Senior International Specialist, Contemporary Art and Auctioneer at Sothebys, said: Tonights exceptional results are true testament to the quality and appeal of the great works of art which were generously donated to this historic event by some of the worlds leading Contemporary artists. It has been a huge honour for Sothebys to play a role in raising funds for Africa Foundation and Ikamva Labantu, and on a personal note it was a great privilege to be the auctioneer for this landmark sale.
Northern Trust is delighted with the success of this auction, said Doug Regan, Head of Northern Trust's Wealth management group. I am thrilled to have attended the auction tonight and seen the many works that have raised money for these worthy charities.