Art Insure

Rudds Auctioneers

Riva Cohen

Hannes Thiart
Riva Cohen, Photograph ,


Charles Rudd Auctioneers 87 Bree Street Cape Town, 8001



Various Artists at Rudds Auctioneers

The Atlantic Art Gallery in Wale Street, Cape Town, has closed after 42 years of exhibiting the latest in up-and-coming artists and sculptors.

Riva Cohen has been described by artists Simon Jones and Mark Midgley as ‘the artist’s saint’. She established herself as a genuine friend to all those who came into contact with her, be they artists, clients, fellow gallery owners or agents.

Riva was quoted as saying ‘I support artists whose work I love and believe in. It’s as simple as that.’

Ever since Riva, with her late husband, Issy, began selling art in 1968 from their Oranjezicht home in Cape Town, she embodied the role of the dealer as nurturer and supporter of artists, and on many occasions financed new artists in their early days until they were able to stand on their own in a competitive market.

Riva never pursued the contemporary thoroughbreds who made the headlines but supported the independent artists who may have been overlooked by cultural cliques. Many developed extensively under her patronage, acquiring considerable acclaim and thereby sustaining a decent livelihood.

Her first gallery was in Burg Street and opened in 1973, followed 18 years later by a move to nearby Church Street and then in 2005 to Wale Street.

After four score years and more, Riva is physically frail but her attitude is as alert as ever. The demands of the gallery, however, have taken their toll and an era has come to an end.

The artists’ works to be offered for auction at Rudd’s, 87 Bree Street, Cape Town on Wednesday 30th January 2013 reads like a ‘who’s who’ of not only Cape Town-based but South African artists nationally. One hundred artists are represented in over 180 lots of oil paintings, watercolours and lithographs.

Viewing for this sale is, therefore, highly recommended: Saturday 26 January 9-1pm, Monday 28 January 9-4pm, Tuesday 29 January 9-1pm (no viewing on auction day ).

This is an opportunity for South Africans who love their art to support a doyen of her trade and the many young artists that she helped to encourage and develop, many of whom have become not only locally but internationally renowned.

The fully illustrated catalogue is available on  and hard copy catalogues may be purchased at Rudd’s, 87 Bree Street, Cape Town.

26 January 2013 - 30 January 2013