Art in Context

Tribal Art - Asia - Contemporary African Art - European Contemporary Art

Cultures are part of the wealth of this world. Its’ artistic works are diverse - and each one is unique. The more we know about them, the more we recognize the extraordinary, the elaborate, the perfect or disturbing, the harmonious and the moving. The more we engage with them, the aesthetic, spiritual, and social ideas of their creators become visible.

In this context, the November auction will present significant works of traditional art from Africa, Australia, Oceania and Asia alongside European and African works of contemporary art.

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 16 November 2019 – 2 pm

Preview in Wurzburg:
13 to 15 November from 10 am to 7 pm  
16 November from 9 am to 2 pm  


Catalogue order

Tribal Art

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire
An impressive work created by a master carver. The figure was published in 1994 and 2011. It impresses with its’ balanced,  harmonious proportions and ornate asymmetrical hairstyle, together with an extraordinary detail: a goatee-beard made of plant fibre. Carvers who are commissioned with the production of such a figure, had to strictly adhere to the specifications of the diviner "komien". Only he received the special instructions, given to him in a dream, about the physical appearance, posture, scarification, jewellery or hairstyle of the figure.

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire
Created by the same artistic hand, and kept as a pair until today, these "Asie usu" figures belonged to the requisites of a diviner "komyen". They served as a dwelling place for bush spirits, who regularly take possession of the "komyen", thereby enabling him to foresee the future or find the cause of misfortune. In order to obtain their help, these figures are treated with great care and placed at divination sessions between those seeking advice and the diviner. Not only in terms of its meaning and function, this work is particularly elaborate and finely worked.

Kanyok, D.R. Kongo

Kanyok, D.R. Congo
This rare bowl bearer from the second half of the 19th century is heavily influenced by the neighbouring Luba in shape and style. The motif of the female bowl bearer "mboko" is one of several important sculptural genres found throughout the wider area of Luba influence. The "mboko" fulfills several functions in the Luba region, but is generally in the context of divining and healing. For example, it was an important task of the bowl to absorb the white kaolin clay ("mpemba"), which was mixed with medicinal herbs and used for spiritual and healing purposes.

Contemporary Art

Yves Sambu Dinzenza, Vanitas Projekt, Contemporary African Art
Yves Sambu, kitendi en couleur, Vanitas 2010

Yves Sambu Dinzenza (*1980), Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
kitendi en couleur, Vanitas 2010

Yves Sambu’s "Vanitas" project (2010-17) is a series comprising of photographs and videos that takes as its subject "La Sape" and sapeurs (Congolese dandies). Sambu’s portrait-subjects are depicted in cemeteries, bars, streets, and in private shops and work places. At the onset of "Vanitas" project, Yves Sambu wanted the exhibition to be structured around several elements. The dimensions that form "Vanitas" are multiple: from the sacred to the playful, from the festive to "socio-poetic" commitment, from competitive rivalry to artistic expression to self-esteem.

Marna Hattingh, Hollywood & Kerkmusiek, Contemporary African Art
Marna Hattingh, Hollywood & Kerkmusiek, 2013

Marna Hattingh (*1977), Capte Town, South Africa
Hollywood & Kerkmusiek, 2013

Marna Hattingh's work is characterized by her highly unique and sought-after style, strongly influenced by her experience as an illustrator, blending wry humour and social comment into playful palettes with a serious undertone. Her work shows influences from her African homeland, especially in the choice of colours. She draws her inspiration from everyday life in Cape Town. She works in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Gavin Rain, Portrait of a woman, Contemporary African Art
Gavin Rain, Portrait of a woman

Gavin Rain (* 1971), Cape Town, South Africa
Portrait of a woman
Gavin Rain studied art in the 1980s and 90s at the University of Cape Town and at the Ruth Prowse Art School in Woodstock, Cape Town. Influenced by Seurat and 20th century Russian avant-garde art, he discovered Pointilism in 2003 and developed his own style, a form of Neo-Pointilism. Rain's paintings consist of concentric dots and circles of acrylic paint, which are applied to the canvas in different sizes, with varying densities and thicknesses of paint application. From a distance, the eye of the beholder combines these dots and colours into a whole. The further the viewer steps back, the more clear the motif becomes.
Rain’s objective is to allow the viewer to perceive the convergence of two opposing pictorial styles: the abstractness of the multitude of colourful concentric circles that thicken into dense and imperfect dots in relief, and the figurative aspect of the image that is defined by the sum of these same dots as the viewer takes a few steps back.
Rain is represented at exhibitions and art fairs all over the world. In 2011 he took part in the 54th Venice Biennale with a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in the Costa Rican Pavilion, and in 2014 he exhibited at TEFAF in Maastricht.