Literary opportunity through an online rare book auction


Aspire Art proudly presents VOLUMES, a timed online book auction taking place May 19-26. The special sale focuses on art books and books by and about the artist and covers everything from rare and collectible ephemera to reference works and artist monographs.

Notably, the sale features a substantial selection from Emma Bedford’s private collection of art books. Bedford, is herself a highly respected curator and writer. During her 25 years at the Iziko South African National Gallery, she curated major museum exhibitions for renowned artists such as William Kentridge, Marlene Dumas, Moshekwa Langa and Berni Searle, among others. During his illustrious career, Bedford amassed a unique collection of art literature. Many of the books on offer come from artists and curators with whom she has collaborated, offering collectors a unique opportunity to acquire interesting and important publications, many of which are signed by the authors and artists.

A unique collection dedicated to the artist Johannes Meintjies (1923-1980) is also on offer. Meintjies is widely celebrated for his expressive and enigmatic paintings, but his enormous creative energy extended to literature as well. A writer and historian, he published 35 books and was awarded literary prizes at the Van Riebeeck Commemoration Festival in 1951 and the Pretoria Centenary Festival in 1955. Offered in a single set of over 40 items, this collection consists of books – many of which are signed – about and written by Meintjies, including the artist’s diaries, his publication about fellow artist and friend Maggie Laubser, and the autobiographical Jeugjaré published in 1963.

Read more: Guide to African art

For those interested in contemporary culture and criticism, there is a comprehensive collection of Bitterkomix comics, manuals and special editions, signed by the two artists and numbered 11/80 as well as a lot of more than 40 copies to collect iJusi magazines and posters.

Kentridge enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice with 10 sets of books on the artist, including Smoke Ashes Fable: William Kentridge in Bruges (2017) by Margaret K Koerner and William Kentridge: Notes to a Model Opera (2017) edited by Karen Marta. Other rare publications include a signed copy of Irma Stern’s book Zanzibar published in 1948 and Nandipha Mntambo: Standard Bank Young Artist Award published in 2011 and essays by Ruth Simbao and David Elliott.

Bidding will begin on Thursday, May 19 and run through Thursday, May 26, with lots beginning to close at 6 p.m.

View the entire collection, register and bid online at

Sales inquiries

Johannesburg: +27 10 109 7989| [email protected]

The cap: +27 21 422 5100 | [email protected]


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