Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high
Lot 91*
Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high
Sold for £74,500 (US$ 97,005) inc. premium

Lot Details
Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991) Applause 61 cm (24 in) high
Dumile Feni-Mhlaba (Zwelidumile Mxgazi) (South African, 1942-1991)
Applause
bronze
61 cm (24 in) high

Footnotes

  • The present lot was cast by the Tallix foundry in Beacon, New York, between 1981 and 1987.

    PROVENANCE
    The Dumile Feni Family Trust

    Dumile Feni is one of South Africa's enigmatic artists who played an important role cultivating a unique form of expression that piercingly articulated the repressive social, economic and political conditions of his time. Regarded as the master of turbulent imagery and the Goya of the townships, his artworks speak directly of personal experience, indicating the extent to which the political and personal had become inextricably intertwined in South Africa. The draconian system's disregard for black people led the artist into a 23 year period of self imposed exile.

    Dumile Feni arrived in the USA in 1978 and settled in Los Angeles in the midst of the Black Arts Movement. He was exposed to the critics of the movement who sought what they called a Black Aesthetic (separate symbolism, mythology, critique and iconology), resulting in his style transforming, with most of his drawings completed in LA serving as compositions for his sculpture. Applause is a powerful piece and is dominated by the severe expression of the figure. Dumile's strong use of line in his sculpture creates an atmosphere of devastating intensity. It's impossible for the viewer not to absorb the message in this piece. Of his work Dumile said: 'my meaning or message is universal, human suffering and the state of humanity is universal; only the locations are specific.'

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Dr R. Dorris, USA Period: 1977 - 1991, Dumile Feni in the USA, in Dumile Feni Retrospective Johannesburg Art Gallery, P.M Dube (ed.), (Johannesburg, 2005), p.139

Saleroom notices

  • The present lot is a unique work, being the only cast produced during the artist's lifetime. A limited edition of 5 posthumous casts were planned by the Dumile Family Trust, to be cast from the same mould, of which only two have been produced to date. The posthumous casts are marked with the Dumile Family Trust stamp and numbered.
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