VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium
All the measurements stated in the catalogue descriptions relate only to the dimensions of the bronzes. These dimensions do not include any associated plinths (eg. perspex stands).
I first became aware of Dylan Lewis's sculpture some twelve years ago when my wife gave me one of his leopard busts in bronze. At that stage he was a relatively unknown young artist, but it was noticeable that everyone who saw the sculpture on my desk remarked on its beauty. I subsequently asked Dylan to sculpt a leopard for a golf course called Leopard Creek, which I was developing at the time. Dylan came up with the idea of doing a series of leopards, one on each tee, which explores leopard form and movement.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege getting to know Dylan and his work over the years. He is a very versatile artist and changes everything in his world into an art form. He draws, paints, makes furniture and objets, but primarily, he sculpts. Dylan is happiest when outside, climbing a mountain or working 'en plein air'. He believes that our separation from nature causes us great psychological distress and that each wall, window and city construction is a barrier which keeps us away from that which we need to be connected to, atavistically, for our well-being.
Dylan's Cat sculptures reflect the man himself. The shyness and reserve which one encounters when meeting him belie his true character. If you want to know the man, look no further than his sensitive and profound work.
All of Dylan's art appeals to the viewer on an emotional level. Not only art connoisseurs and intellectuals appreciate his work. When people see his sculptures they have an immediate, visceral response to them. The lucky few may entertain the desire to own one. Having one, they might over time find they start to collect more. The sculptures never date and one never grows tired of looking at them.
Therein lies his superb talent.
Executive Chairman: Richemont
For the last fifteen years, South African sculptor Dylan Lewis has focused extensively on the Cat, particularly the large wild Cats that still roam the remaining vestiges of Africa's wilderness areas. Over this time, Lewis has created a collection of animal sculptures that are now internationally collected. Through a series of exhibitions, in North America, London and South Africa, Lewis has acquired a reputation as an artist whose bronzes portray with a profound elegance the innate essence of nature's perhaps most beautiful creation. It is said that his sculptures define the very dynamics of the wild kingdom - predation and the predator, instinct and primeval impulse, life, death and rebirth. It doesn't require much time in the presence of Lewis's work to see why this artist has risen so rapidly from relative obscurity to the front rank of figurative sculpture internationally. His work effortlessly amalgamates both the dark forcefulness and exuberant playfulness that all cats have. They are an accurate comment on an ancient lineage as well as being simply lovely works of art.
With considerable foresight, Lewis has always kept from sale the last cast of each major work. From the first he had ambitions to unite his most iconic work in one exhibition. With this auction, solely dedicated to the bronzes of Dylan Lewis, Christie's has allowed the artist to achieve that goal. This event will certainly further enhance Lewis's reputation as an outstanding figurative sculptor. No less, it provides the artist with an opportunity to express in real terms his abiding passion for wilderness. Mindful of the considerable threat posed to the unspoiled natural areas he loves and from where he draws his creative inspiration, he has generously decided to donate 10 percent of the proceeds of this event to WWF (South Africa), which will considerably help our work.
WWF (SA) is the subcontinent's largest and most influential conservation organization, and confronts the ecological challenges posed by an area that is under considerable stress from human activity. As South Africa recovers from the ravages of apartheid, economic growth has accelerated remarkably. Every economically viable resource is now eagerly exploited by industry and agriculture, spurred by a government needing to provide employment for a vast workforce of formerly disadvantaged people. The consequence of this convulsive human activity is an alarming array of serious environmental problems. Rampant exploitation now threatens to irreparably damage the ecological integrity of one of the world's most biologically diverse and beautiful countries. Throughout South Africa, WWF is looked upon as gatekeeper of the nation's natural crown jewels. This is indeed a weighty responsibility.
Heartfelt thanks are due to both Dylan Lewis and Christie's for this magnificent gesture. A donation of this magnitude has never before been made by an artist emanating from southern Africa. It will certainly highlight the fact that individuals can have a profoundly positive impact on the natural environment.
Chairman WWF South Africa