Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993) Senegalese mother and child

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Lot 27
Gerard Sekoto
(South African, 1913-1993)
Senegalese mother and child

Sold for £ 15,000 (US$ 19,914) inc. premium
Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993)
Senegalese mother and child
signed and dated 'G.SEKOTO / 67' (lower right)
oil on canvas
81 x 60cm (31 7/8 x 23 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection until 1990.
    By direct descent to present owner.


    Sekoto first travelled to Senegal in 1966, when he was invited to exhibit at the 'First Festival of Negro Arts' by the President Leopold Senghor. The two men had met in Paris. Senghor had been made a deputy to the National Assembly in 1946, and was frequently sent to the French capital on official business. He was a fervent Pan-Africanist and deeply committed to the philosophy of Negritude. He was active in affirming the value of black culture in Paris, establishing Presence Africaine in 1947, a journal that published African authors.

    Sekoto moved to Paris later that year. He soon became involved in the pan-African movement, contributing an article titled 'A South African Artist' to Presence Africaine in 1957. His paintings offered a window into black experience, depicting life in Sophiatown, and the exile community in Paris. To Senghor, they were a visual expression of Negritude.

    Following the 'Festival of Negro Arts', Sekoto continued to work in Dakar and Casamance until 1967. The current lot was executed during this period. He was particularly inspired by the grace and beauty of the Senegalese women:

    "Stately, aristocratic, slender and tall. They walk as though they have no concern at all with their surrounding, yet going on their way to somewhere. This is already being felt from youth. The little girls have by nature that way of being relaxed in the gestures of their limbs, so graceful without even being aware of it." (Gerard Sekoto in a letter to Barbara Lindop, May 1986)

    The elongated figure of the mother exemplifies this grace. The headscarf wound around her head adds to her regal stature.

    Provenance
    B. Lindop, Gerard Sekoto, (Randburg, 1988), pp.231-233.
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