Phutuma Seoka (South African, 1922-1997) Four sculptures: 1. Black Head 19892. Walking man, red shirt3. Walking man, white shirt4. Snake 150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 2W
Phutuma Seoka
(South African, 1922-1997)
Four sculptures: 1. Black Head 1989
2. Walking man, red shirt
3. Walking man, white shirt
4. Snake 150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)

£ 2,000 - 3,000
US$ 2,600 - 3,800
Phutuma Seoka (South African, 1922-1997)
Four sculptures:
1. Black Head 1989
2. Walking man, red shirt
3. Walking man, white shirt
4. Snake
all painted carved wood
150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Museum of Modern Art Oxford.

    Exhibited
    Oxford, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, Art from South Africa, 17 June – 23 September 1990.

    Literature
    Museum of Modern Art Oxford, exh. cat., Art from South Africa, (London, 1990) 'Black Head, 1989' illustrated pg. 22.



    Dr. Phutuma Seoka was born in Modjadji, in Lewbowa South Africa. He would use the time between his appointments as a barber, to whittle and carve the sculptures that would adorn his shop front. On seeing this set-up, curator Ricky Burnett selected Seoka to be included in the exhibition Tributaries: A View of South African Contemporary Art that was held at both the Africana Museum in Johannesburg (1985) and the BMW Art Gallery in Munich (1986). The exhibition was the first in apartheid South Africa where black and white artists were shown together on a national stage on such a large scale. On meeting the artist, Burnett commented:

    "I think there's a sense of internality in these, an element of the slightly surreal. Certainly he always talked about animals from his dreams."

    The focus of the exhibition was the inclusion of all strands of South African art practice: the trained painters of the Western academic schools, community project artists from the inner cities, and rural artists trained in more indigenous traditions. The exhibition was something of a watershed, challenging established distinctions between 'high' art and folk art.

    Shortly after, Seoka was also part of Art from South Africa that took place at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1990. Once again, the exhibition was extraordinary in that it was the first and last contemporary art exhibition to be held in a foreign country during the cultural boycott enforced by the ANC, in protest of the apartheid regime. These guidelines were relaxed around the time of the Amsterdam conference 'Culture from another South Africa' (1987), and curator David Elliot from the Museum was able to organise a show that displayed works by over 65 black and white South African artists, Seoka included. Seoka garnered much attention with his works, in particular his sculpture Paul Kruger (1989). As a result, Seoka became an important figure of the artistic vanguard from South Africa at the end of the twentieth century.

    This colourful, cartoonish mix-match of figures and animals convey a sense of the surreal. Seoka would often place nails in the arms and legs of his figures so they could have some form of quasi-mobility. The style of flat, painted wood is referred to as 'Shangani', however Seoka was not trained as a painter. Raised in the homeland of Venda, north-west rural South Africa, the artist instead took up the practice of woodcarving, the largest artistic export of the region. The people of Venda are said to have 'drifted down from the great lakes region, the Congo, and to have carried down the tradition of woodcarving'. The mountainous areas of the region mean there is plentiful material in the surrounding forests.

    Bibliography
    P. Savage (ed.), Making art in Africa 1960-2010, (Surrey and Burlington, 2014) chapters 41 & 42.
    I. McLean (ed.), Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Contemporary Art, (Cambridge, 2014).
    Johannesburg Art Gallery, exh. cat, Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, (Johannesburg, 2007) pp.222.
Contacts
Phutuma Seoka (South African, 1922-1997) Four sculptures: 1. Black Head 19892. Walking man, red shirt3. Walking man, white shirt4. Snake 150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)
Phutuma Seoka (South African, 1922-1997) Four sculptures: 1. Black Head 19892. Walking man, red shirt3. Walking man, white shirt4. Snake 150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)
Phutuma Seoka (South African, 1922-1997) Four sculptures: 1. Black Head 19892. Walking man, red shirt3. Walking man, white shirt4. Snake 150 x 79 x 56cm (56 1/6 x 31 1/8 x 22 1/6in) and smaller. (4)
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:

25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalog for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

By bidding for a lot at the Sale, bidders agree to the terms set out in this Notice, which Notice accordingly varies the Buyer's agreement.

Expressions used in this Notice will have the meanings ascribed to them in the Glossary contained in the Catalog for this Sale.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
W Shipping & handling restrictions apply

Objects displayed with a "W" will be located in the Bonhams Warehouse and will only be available for collection from this location.