Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993) Waiting
Lot 39
Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993) Waiting
Sold for £74,500 (US$ 125,221) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993)
signed 'G SEKOTO (lower right)
oil on canvasboard
23 x 35.4cm (9 1/16 x 13 15/16in).


  • Gerard Sekoto's art works produced during his South African period are considered the stronger of his output and remain at the pinnacle of his life-long artistic achievement. Under the creeping shadow of apartheid emerging in the 1940's, Sekoto was witnessing the reality of life for ordinary black people. Beyond the surface appearances of hardship and discrimination, Sekoto was exposed to endurance and compassion, social solidarity and dignity in the relationships and activities of ordinary men, women and children. It was through his artworks created in Sophia town, District Six and Eastwood that the artist was able to provide a window through which the white suburban society could see and experience how the other people lived. Waiting reveals Sekoto's arresting aesthetic and narrative power of his pictorial vernacular of the early 1940s. In the above image, Sekoto does not concentrate on individual features of the figures as he seems to be more concerned with the portrayal of the human condition. The aura of attendant resignation that seems to surround the figures is poignantly rendered in an economy of colour, subtly contrasting dark and warm tones. The artist's unique handling of colour and light demonstrate his profound empathy for his human subjects to the extent that they become living, breathing characters, evoking a sense of serenity and dignity.

    L. Spiro, Sekoto: Unsevered Ties, (Johannesburg, 1989), p.18
    N. Chabani Manganyi, 'Gerard Sekoto (1913-1993) from "Figure/Ground", Selected Works' in B. Lindop & C. Reid (ed.), Song for Sekoto, (Johannesburg, 2013), pp.31, 32

    This lot is in South Africa. Therefore it is not subject to VAT on either the hammer price or the buyer's premium. It will be available for viewing at the Everard Read gallery in Johannesburg. Payment for this lot may be made in Pounds Sterling in London or in South African Rand through our Johannesburg office using the rate of exchange announced at the auction and collection must be made through our Johannesburg office. Please contact the department for further information.
Lot symbols
  1. Hannah O'Leary
    Specialist - South African Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 207 468 8213
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5839
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