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World record for a drawing by Kentridge at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale in London
William Kentridge (B. 1955), Large Typewriters, 2003. Sold for £682,750. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Large Typewriters, an imposing large-scale work by William Kentridge, was one of the stand-out lots at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale in London today (24 March), achieving an impressive £682,750 – a new auction world record for a drawing by the artist. The top lot of the sale was Girl With Ice Cream on Palette by Banksy, which sold for £1,102,750.

The 30-lot sale made a total of £4,080,025 with 97% sold by value and 87% sold by lot.

Ralph Taylor, Bonhams Global Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, commented: “Large Typewriters is a perfect example of Kentridge’s practice. We are delighted that it achieved such a wonderful price and set a new auction record for a drawing by the artist. It is also fantastic to see Banksy’s Girl With Ice Cream on Palette attain such an impressive result, building upon Bonhams’ success in achieving strong results for works by the artist.”

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955 to a Jewish family of Lithuanian descent. His parents’ dedicated involvement in the fight against apartheid in South Africa would have a deep and lasting impact on the artist, setting him apart from many of his white peers from a young age, and heavily informing his work. Kentridge completed a degree in Politics and African History in Johannesburg, before turning to art and theatre. This unconventional path would go on to influence his practice both aesthetically and intellectually, with his work crossing and combining mediums – though with South African culture and identity remaining at the heart of his practice. Kentridge often returns to the same images – whether it is the typewriter, the megaphone, the telephone or the tree – with each image retaining its familiarity, and at the same time referencing something outside of itself. His work speaks to a universal audience, while addressing complex themes specific to South Africa's history of racial discrimination and apartheid.

Kentridge's bold artistic vision has seen him become one of the world's most sought-after artists by museums and collectors alike. His work can be found in the collections of some of the most prestigious museums in the world, including the MoMA, New York, Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago among many others.

Other highlights of the sale include:

• Kenneth Noland (1924-2010), Return, 1970. Sold for £231,500. A museum-quality painting by one of the most significant and celebrated painters of the late Modernist period, Return sees Noland's mature style at its best; a visual symphony of unrepeatable simplicity, and one of the most accomplished 'stripe' paintings that Noland began to produce at the end of the 1960s.

• Barry Flanagan (1941-2009), Harebell on Portland stone piers, 1983. Sold for £525,250. When the daring conceptual artist Barry Flanagan decided to turn his attention to creating bronze sculptures of hares in 1979, some thought it was an eccentric move. But Flanagan would go on to create his playful sculptures – with dark, folkloric overtones – and for the next three decades, his famous leporids leapt into museums across the world. Harebell on Portland Stone Piers, which was created in 1983 and is from the same edition on public display the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, comes from the Estate of Gerard L. Cafesjian.

• Banksy (B. 1975), Girl With Ice Cream on Palette, 2004. Sold for £1,102,750. Banksy has solidified his position as one of the most well-recognised and sought-after street artists of all time. Painted on wood, Girl with Ice Cream on Palette from 2004 is a sterling example of Banksy's stencilling style on found material, depicting one of the most playful and memorable images from his oeuvre, that first appeared at his first major breakthrough exhibition Turf War, in 2003. The sale builds upon Bonhams’ reputation for achieving impressive results for works by the artist.

• Fernando Botero (B. 1932), Gatta, 2008. Sold for £312,750

• Sturtevant (1924-2014), Study for Warhol's Marilyn, 1965. Sold for £206,500.

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