Art investment: These are the top 10 most bankable SA artists

Irma Stern (Supplied)
Irma Stern (Supplied)

Prices for works by the top 10 "most bankable" artists in South Africa range from R250 000 to R50 million.

Who these top 10 artists are, is revealed in a new report by New World Wealth entitled 2020 Art Ratings - the most bankable artists in South Africa. New World Wealth is a global market research group based in Johannesburg.

Criteria for the ratings in the report included the average value of paintings; their ability to hold value and resilience to market downturns; penetration into the international market; unique style; price appreciation over the past 10 years; expected price appreciation going forward; and appeal to wealthy buyers (also referred to as high net-worth individuals).

The top-10 artists (in no particular order)

JH Pierneef (works sell from R3 million to R25 million)

JH Pierneef | Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch

Irma Stern (R5m to R50m)

Irma Stern: Still life with magnolias, apples and bowl

Maggie Laubser (R500 000 to R5m)

maggie laubser

Maggie Laubser | Landscape with sheep

Alexis Preller (R2m to R20m)

Alexis Preller | Woman with Red Hair

Gerard Sekoto: (R500 000 to R5m)

Gerard Sekoto | Street Scene

Vladimir Tretchikoff (R1m to R15m)

Vladimir Tretchikoff | Chinese Girl

Sydney Kumalo (sculptor) - (works sell for R300 000 to R2m)

Mythological Rider
Sydney Kumalo | Mythological Rider

William Kentridge: (R1m to R5m)

art kentridge

William Kentridge | Reservoir

John Meyer (R250 000 to R3m)

arti work by john meyer
John Meyer | A Trail of Solitude

Anton van Wouw (sculptor) - (R1m to R10m)


Anton van Wouw | Miner

The prices provided are rough ranges and refer to current prices of large-scale works by the artist.

The report also mentions that the global top-end art market is valued at around US$75 billion. African art accounts for around US$1 billion of this, with US$480 million held in South Africa specifically.

According to New World Wealth, South African artists' prices are still well behind the most expensive artists worldwide. Globally, artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Cezanne, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Gustav Klimt regularly fetch over US$30 million each at major auctions in London and New York.

The "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci and "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh are probably the most valuable paintings in the world. However, neither of them have ever come up for auction. They are considered "priceless", the report states.

The most expensive painting actually sold at auction is Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, which sold for US$450 million in 2017 – this equates to almost the same value of the entire SA fine art market.

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