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Art for the Arch – Celebrating Archbishop Tutu’s 90th birthday with a good cause

This story is sponsored

The Embassy of France in South Africa and The French Institute of South Africa are proud to support the Art for the Arch auction, as part of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation’s [email protected] campaign, which aims to raise R90-million for the Tutu Legacy Fund, from 7 October 2020 to 7 October 2022.

William Kentridge, Roses in the Big Glass, coffee-lift aquatint with drypoint, image size: 100,5 by 79cm. Estimate R150 000 – 200 000

Funds raised from the Art for the Arch auction will go towards an exciting long-term exhibition celebrating the work of Archbishop Tutu, titled Truth to Power, which will open in October 2021. The Embassy is honoured to be part of this momentous occasion ꟷ both Desmond and Leah Tutu have continued to be outstanding examples of compassionate and courageous leadership, which is reflected in the Foundation’s work and continues to inspire many. 

John Meyer, West of Sutherland, acrylic on canvas, 76 by 94,5cm. Estimate R600 000 – 800 000

The hybrid (in-person and online) auction, also themed “Truth to Power”, will be held at The Old Granary Building, Cape Town, on 22 September 2021, and will consist of two sessions, with the first beginning at 3pm and the main event taking place at 6pm. Strauss & Co is providing the auctioneer, a catalogue with a foreword written by HE Aurélien Lechevallier, France’s ambassador to South Africa, and art insurance for the occasion. Registration opens on 15 September 2021. The items on auction include highly coveted limited-edition prints by renowned artists William Kentridge and Esther Mahlangu,  and a fully sponsored stay at a five-star private villa near Hermanus in the Western Cape. 

Turiya Magadlela, Ubuhle bakho bufana neLanga (Your beauty is like a rising Sun), pantyhose on canvas with acrylic gel sealer,150 by 150cm. Estimate R80 000 – 120 000

“We’re extremely proud and honoured to be a part of the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and hope that this milestone will help to raise awareness of the important activities of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The French Embassy will assist the Foundation in this auction on various aspects, including sourcing some of the items presented during the auction, and communicating widely around it on our networks,” says Lechevallier.

Esther Mahlangu, Ndebele Abstract, acrylic on canvas, 100 by 150 by 5cm. Estimate R100 000 – 150 000

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this premier event with our partners Strauss & Co and the French Embassy in South Africa. Their generosity is greatly appreciated,” says the Foundation’s CEO, Piyushi Kotecha. “Archbishop Tutu’s legacy has not yet been fully told, yet his courageous leadership helped guide our country through and beyond apartheid, and set an example to the world. 

Blessing Ngobeni, Died Digging Gold I, acrylic and collage on canvas,173 by 94 by 5cm. Estimate R80 000 – 120 000

“It still does, but it is the Foundation and, most importantly, our young leaders who must carry on his legacy of constructive dialogue, consolation and the healing of divisions, all of which remain critically important to increase equitable prosperity and socioeconomic development throughout our modern world.”

Lutanda Zemba Luzamba Munkoyo, 2020, oil on canvas,120 by 80 by 4cm. Estimate R70 000 – 90 000

“We’re excited to be involved in the important quest to secure Archbishop Tutu’s legacy,” says Strauss & Co executive chairperson Frank Kilbourn. “Here at Strauss & Co we deal with important legacy pieces on a daily basis, but these tangible assets only have their true value because of the intangible. Archbishop Tutu is one of the greatest assets to humanity. His life story shows how we can be when we are at our best. We’re looking forward to hosting the auction.”

Georgina Gratrix, Ballyhoo Blooms, oil and glitter on linen, 60,5 by 70 by 4cm. Estimate R70 000 – 90 000

About the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation 

Founded in 2013, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation represents one of the world’s most iconic leaders and his life-long partner. The Foundation strives to ensure that their uncompromised bravery is celebrated, communicated and curated for posterity. Guided by the values of its founders, the Foundation uses the Tutus’ rich archival heritage to promote learning, leadership and dialogue. This takes place through research and development, archival digitisation, museum design and curation, and programmes and events to promote these values.

Jake Aikman, Solace, oil on canvas, 30 by 30cm. Estimate R22 000 – 26 000

About the Embassy of France in South Africa

The Embassy of France in South Africa serves as the main representative office of the French Republic, headed by Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier. The Embassy works to build and strengthen co-operation and collaboration between South Africa and France in various fields, including politics, education, culture, business and science. This is done through close relations not only with the South African government, but also local businesses, non-governmental organisations, the media and educational institutions. Embassy staff constantly monitors and analyses local developments and is responsible for looking after the interests of French citizens in South Africa.

About the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS)

Over the 20 past years, IFAS has worked with multiple public and private partners in South Africa and in more than 30 African countries, prioritising the development of skills and ecosystems for innovation in the cultural and creative industries sector. With each project, IFAS develops unique collaborations with the shared goal of making the exchanges between the countries within creative industries more rewarding, complementary, dynamic, innovative, creative and ambitious. The Institute facilitates and implements these collaborations with key players of the French creative industries in training, innovation, business development and public policies to design programmes with a win-win approach.

Visit to register. 

Media enquiries:

Miss Aurélie Chauveau-Caron, Press Attaché at the Consulate General of France in Cape Town:

[email protected]

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