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A silhouetted black-and-white portrait of a smiling white man in a suit with glasses on a gray background.

Emile Stipp

London; Pretoria, South Africa

Financial services

Contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, with a focus on video art

Overview

The chief actuary of Discovery Health, Emile Stipp splits his time between London and Pretoria, South Africa. A prominent member of South Africa’s art scene, Stipp sits on the African Acquisitions Committee of Tate and has donated works of African contemporary art to Tate Modern and the Art Institute of Chicago.

While Stipp’s collection, which focuses on contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, includes major artists who work in painting, sculpture, and photography like Zanele Muholi, David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, and Edson Chagas, his primary focus is on video art, with pieces by the likes of Dineo Seshee Bopape, Kudzanai Chiurai, Emeka Ogboh, and Donna Kukama.

“The works on our walls, in our rooms and on our screens have deep meaning to me,” Stipp told ARTnews in an email. “It holds up a mirror to my life and time. It also tells a story that transcends my personal experience and shows the potential to overcome the political and religious divisions we all face. It is such a privilege to live with and encounter meaningful objects every day. I feel lucky to have been able to support contemporary artists from Africa for more than 20 years now.”

And recently, Stipp has also become interested in collecting the work of pioneering modernists, like South African–born artist Ernest Mancoba, a member of CoBrA who lived in exile because he had married fellow artist Sonia Ferlov, who was white. “He never received the recognition he deserved in Europe, and was forgotten in South Africa—even though his contribution to art history is unique,” Stipp said. Because Mancoba’s work comes to market “only very rarely,” Stipp jumped at the opportunity to buy a 1958 untitled drawing when it was shown at Stevenson in Cape Town in 2021. He added, “I now see it at the vanguard of the collection.”

Newswire