Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991)
'Head' bronze 52cm (20 1/2in) high (not including base)
PROVENANCE: Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1974 Collection of the late Anthony Quinn
This work was cast between 1970 and 1975 by the Fiorini Foundry in London in an edition of six, before the terracotta mould was destroyed. Another (stamped 2/6) was exhibited in The Neglected Tradition: Towards a New History of South African Art at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1988 (p.46 cat. no.20 illustrated), and another is in the Bruce Campbell Smith Collection (not stamped) and was exhibited in the Dumile Feni Retrospective at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1988 (p.29 illustrated) as well as Revisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African Art at Iziko SA National Gallery in Cape Town, 1 October 2005 - 19 March 2006 (p.178 cat. no.140, illustrated).
Quinn also acquired several pieces directly from Dumile, who was living in exile in London in the 1970s. Dumile was unperturbed by his famous patron, and when Quinn chased his commissions, the artist would simply reply with a request for more funds "for inspiration". At that time Dumile was moving away from working solely with African subjects, and it is known that he worked on a sculpture modelled on Quinn himself, though it is uncertain whether this bust was ever cast.