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George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba

(1912 -  2001 )
MNYALUZA MILWA PEMBA George The Vote

Bonhams
Sep 9, 2015
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Artworks in Arcadja
16

Some works of George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba

Extracted between 16 works in the catalog of Arcadja
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Portrait Of A Woman Carrying A Gourd

George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Portrait Of A Woman Carrying A Gourd

Original 1945
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 13
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Description:
George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (South African, 1912-2001) Portrait of a woman carrying a gourd signed and dated 'MM PEMBA - 45' (lower right); bears an E. Schweickert label (verso) oil on canvas laid to board 40.4 x 30.2cm (15 7/8 x 11 7/8in). Footnotes Provenance Acquired by a private collector in 1945, Port Elizabeth. By direct descent to present owner.
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Portrait Of Mrs May Murray Parker

George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Portrait Of Mrs May Murray Parker

Original 1947
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 14
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Description:
George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (South African, 1912-2001) Portrait of Mrs May Murray Parker signed '-M.M. PEMBA-1947-' (upper right) oil on canvas 66 x 51cm (26 x 20 1/16in). Footnotes Provenance Acquired directly from the artist by Mrs Murray Parker in Cape Town, 1947. By direct descent to current owner. Mrs May Murray Parker was the granddaughter of Sir John Charles Molteno, first Prime Minister of the Cape. Her family were respected members of Cape Town's intelligentsia; May's aunt, Elizabeth Molteno, was a close friend of Olive Schreiner, and a fervent advocate of equal rights for black South Africans. Through Elizabeth and her fellow campaigners, May was introduced to a number of artists and writers from the black community. May was also particularly close to Donald Molteno, an advocate at the Cape Bar and a staunch opponent of apartheid. In 1937, he was asked to represent the ANC in the House of Assembly, and would later be appointed the President of the South African Institute of Race Relations in the Western Cape. Donald's home functioned as an unofficial meeting place for political figures at the forefront of the civil rights campaign. One such individual was Prof. Jabavu of the University of Fort Hare, whose portrait George Pemba was commissioned to paint in 1950. It is likely that May encountered the artist at one of Donald's gatherings. May commissioned this portrait from Pemba in 1947. During the 1920s and 30s, a number of Acts were passed that sought to restrict the freedoms of black South Africans, including the Urban Areas Act which resulted in the creation of African townships, and the Colour Bar Act which prevented Africans from practicing skilled trades. It was becoming increasingly difficult for individuals like Pemba to earn a living. During this period, portrait commissions were the mainstay of his income; a fact May was only too aware of. In asking Pemba to paint her, May was both demonstrating her confidence in Pemba's artistic capabilities, and signalling her antipathy to the discriminatory legislation. Bibliography S. Hudleston, Against All Odds: George Pemba, his life and works, (Johannesburg, 1996), 35-37.
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Bearded Man At The Kraal

George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Bearded Man At The Kraal

Original 1990
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 7
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Description:
George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (South African, 1912-2001) Bearded man at the Kraal signed and dated 'MPEMBA / 90' (lower right) oil on canvasboard 39.5 x 49.5cm (15 9/16 x 19 1/2in). Footnotes Provenance Private collection, South Africa. This painting was executed in the last decade of the artist's life. It displays many characteristics that we associate with his late works; the sensitive interplay between light and shadow, the detailed depiction of the wrinkles and folds in the man's face, the melancholic expression. We would like to thank Sarah Hudleston for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - The Vote

George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - The Vote

Original 1995
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 57
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Description:
George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba (South African, 1912-2001)

The Vote

signed 'MPemba '95' (lower centre)

oil on canvasboard

46 x 61cm (18 1/8 x 24in).

Footnotes

Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner, Port Elizabeth, 1995.

"The images of South Africans going to the polls that day are burned in my memory. Great lines of patient people snaking through the dirt roads and streets of towns and cities...The mood of the nation during those days of voting was buoyant."

These were the words of Nelson Mandela remembering the South African general election of 1994. The ANC would go onto achieve a majority in Parliament with 252 seats, and the ability to form a new government. It is estimated that they won 62% of the vote.

Pemba takes this historic occasion as his subject. His main interest however is not the triumphant win of the ANC, but the patient and jubilant queuing of the black population casting their vote for the first time. Another work entitled

The Vote

, dated 1994, (illustrated in Proud & Feinberg, plate no. 6.38) records the scene outside the polling station. Art historian Jaquelin Nolte's description of this work is also relevant to the current lot; "the energy in this work lies in its attention to the phenomenon of waiting. It is a depiction of the 'new South African order'". The election was the first in which all citizens of all races were allowed to take part. It was estimated that of the twenty-million who were going to the polls, the majority would be voting for the first time.

The ANC had a battle on their hands to educate the black population on methods of voting; the apartheid system had meant that black voters were unaware of how to exercise the democratic process. Mandela revealed that "each rally was also designed to teach people how to vote. The ballot itself was a long narrow piece of paper with the parties listed in descending order to the left and then the symbol of the party and a picture of its leader to the right".

The differences between the 1994 and the 1995 works illustrate the shift in voter education. In 1994 Pemba's voting booth is only a dark box, almost pushed out of the left-hand picture plane. However, by 1995, Pemba records the act of ballot marking centrally in his composition. The light filled room is calm but buoyant with anticipation.

Bibliography

S. Hudleston,

Against all odds: George Pemba: His life and works

, Johannesburg, 1996).

N. Mandela,

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

, (London, 1995), pp.669–752.

H. Proud and B. Feinberg,

George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba Retrospective Exhibition

, exh. cat. 2nd ed. (South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1996), pp.33-74.
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba -  Horse Memorial, Port Elizabeth

George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba - Horse Memorial, Port Elizabeth

Original
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 583
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Description:
George Mnyaluza Milwa Pemba Horse Memorial, Port Elizabeth signed and dated 65 oil on canvas laid down on board 29 by 44cm
Exhibited:
South African National Gallery, Cape Town; King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth; Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, George Pemba Retrospective Exhibition, 27 April 1996 to March 1997, page 84, catalogue number 81.
Literature:
Sarah Huddleston. (1996) Against All Odds: George Pemba, his life and works. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers. Illustrated in colour on page 120.
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